Cold case breakthrough on Family Court Murders

Police in NSW have arrested a suspect of the early to mid 1980s Family Court Murders according to media reports from The Australian and Lawyers Weekly. Detectives arrested a 69-year-old former firefighter in the Sydney suburb of Campbelltown this morning in connection with the crimes committed three decades ago. The arrest came after extensive work by the unsolved homocide squad who, over the past three years, had discovered new witnesses and evidence, produced by forensic technologies not likely to have been available at the time.

The crimes include the alleged killing in 1980 of Stephen Blanchard, who was the brother of Andrea Blanchard, the woman at the centre of a custody battle involving her daughter Trudi. Later that same year, Family Court judge David Opas, who was one of the judges to hear the custody case, was shot dead. The home of Justice Richard Gee was then bombed. He had taken on Justice Opas’ caseload but no one was injured.

Following those crimes was the alleged bomb explosion death in 1984 of Pearl Watson, the wife of Family Court judge Ray Watson, and an alleged bombing that killed Graham Wykes and injured 13 others at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in the Sydney suburb of Casula in 1985.

Read more about this story over at The Australian.

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