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 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
German conservatives are destroying Europe with austerity, says economist Thomas Piketty
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for individual...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...
£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...