Australia's `Hannibal Lecter' questioned over disappearance of children in 1966
Friday 04 February 2005
The case of the Beaumont children has horrified Australians since Jane, nine, Arnna, seven, and Grant, four, vanished on a summer day in 1966. Their bodies were never found.
Derek Percy was jailed indefinitely in 1969 for murdering Yvonne Tuohy, 12, whom he abducted from a beach in Victoria and sadistically mutilated. On Wednesday, detectives acting on a new lead escorted him to a Melbourne police station where they quizzed him for nine hours about the Beaumont children and other unsolved cases.
A police source told The Melbourne Age newspaper that Percy, 55, was "intelligent, cunning and pure evil". One prison officer said: "He's highly intelligent, but you could never get a handle on his real feelings." Referring to the character in Silence of the Lambs, he added: "He's our Hannibal Lecter."
Detectives from three forces questioned Percy, a former naval rating, about the murder of five other children, aged between six and 15, in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne in the 1960s. According to The Age, police have established that, in each case, he was near the scene, either on holiday or stationed at a military base.
In the Tuohy case, he was found unfit to plead on grounds of insanity, and is now Victoria's longest serving prisoner. In 1998 a judge rejected his application for a fixed-term sentence, saying he had "demonstrated no significant remorse or anxiety" and had not received treatment for a condition described as sadistic paedophilia.
New information leading police to Percy was uncovered during an inquiry into historic unsolved child murders. It is believed that some DNA evidence was recovered from crime scenes, although a sample was never taken from Percy because he was not convicted.
- 1 Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Royal baby: Live updates as the wait continues for Duchess of Cambridge's second child
Hermann Goering's daughter fails to reclaim items looted by Nazi deputy during WWII
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...