USA

Man found guilty in Australia’s longest-running cold case thanks to DNA

A killer was convicted Thursday in Australia’s longest-running cold case — offering closure in a chilling, decades-old murder mystery.

Bradley Robert Edwards, 51, was found guilty of stabbing to death two women in the “Claremont serial killer” case after DNA evidence from the mid-1990s led to his arrest, according to CNN.

“It caused unimaginable heartbreak and haunted those involved for almost 25 years,” Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said on Facebook after the verdict. “Nothing will ever undo the pain.”

In 1996, 27-year-old lawyer Ciara Glennon disappeared after spending a night out in the wealthy Perth suburb of Claremont. Her body was later found tossed in nearby bushland with a stab wound on her neck.

The next year, a 23-year-old childcare worker, Jane Rimmer, was murdered in the same area in the same way, her body found dumped in a bushland.

Another woman 18-year-old secretary, Sarah Spiers, also went missing in the same area in 1996, but her body was never found.

“The disappearance and likely murder of three young women was in itself enough to cause wide concern. The fact that all three went missing from a popular nightlife area frequented by many young people inspired a real and pervasive sense of fear,” WA Supreme Court Justice Stephen Hall said during his judgment.

Denis Glennon, left, father of Ciara Glennon, arrives at the Supreme Court of Western Australia in Perth today.Denis Glennon, left, father of Ciara Glennon, arrives at the Supreme Court of Western Australia in Perth today.
Denis Glennon, left, father of Ciara Glennon, arrives at the Supreme Court of Western Australia in Perth today.Richard Wainwright/AAP Image via AP

The cases went cold until 2016, when Edwards, a telecommunications worker, was convicted of two rapes — and identified as a suspect in the cold cases.

Cops matched his DNA to samples taken from under the fingernails on Glennon’s left hand, which got there as she tried to fight him off, prosecutors said.

Investigators said they found that fibers on the bodies of Rimmer and Glennon matched ones in Edwards’ work car, indicating that he abducted both women in that vehicle.

Jenny Rimmer, center, mother of Jane Rimmer, arrives at the Supreme Court of Western Australia in Perth.
Jenny Rimmer, center, mother of Jane Rimmer, arrives at the Supreme Court of Western Australia in Perth.Richard Wainwright/AAP Image via AP

During the trial, the prosecution called hundreds of witnesses, including Edwards’ ex-wives and former colleagues, some of whom described him as violent, according to The Guardian.

He was ultimately found guilty in two of three murders, and acquitted in the Spiers case.

On Thursday, Rimmer’s sister, Lee, called the verdict bittersweet.

“I think you get some closure but it’s always going to be the same. No one’s ever going to bring her back,” she said.

Police at the home of Bradley Robert Edwards in 2016.
Police at the home of Bradley Robert Edwards in 2016.Paul Kane/Getty Images

The triple-murder trial is believed to be the most expensive in Australia’s history — costing more than $11 million, in part due to flying in international witnesses and renting out an entire secure office space to manage the decades of evidence, according to the ABC.

Edwards will be sentenced on Dec. 23.

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