Claremont serial killings verdict: Bradley Robert Edwards found guilty of two murders

Bradley Robert Edwards.
Camera IconBradley Robert Edwards. Credit: The West Australian

Bradley Robert Edwards has been convicted of wilfully murdering Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon but has been found not guilty of the murder of Sarah Spiers – the first young woman he was accused of snatching off the streets of Claremont in the mid-1990s.

“(The similarities) do not allow for a conclusion to be reached beyond reasonable doubt that he person who killed Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon must necessarily be the person who killed Ms Spiers,” he said.

“A possibility or even a probability in that regard is not enough to support a conclusion beyond reasonable doubt.”

Edwards will be remanded in custody until 23 December when he will be sentenced.

During the trial, the prosecution relied on fibres they claimed came from Edwards’ work car and clothes that were found on the bodies of both Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, including carpet fibres in their hair.

But the most compelling evidence was DNA extracted from fragments of Ms Glennon’s fingernails, particularly her broken left thumbnail, an injury prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo said she suffered as she “scratched” and “clawed” her killer as she fought for her life.

That DNA, Ms Barbagallo said, belonged to Edwards.

And it matched the DNA profile found on the semen-stained silk kimono Edwards left behind during a break-in and attack on an 18-year-old woman in Huntingdale in February 1988.

He admitted that attack a month before his trial.

It became the crucial piece of evidence that led detectives to the killer they had been hunting for decades.

When it was tested in November 2016, DNA matched swabs taken from a 17-year-old girl he abducted from Claremont and raped at nearby Karrakatta Cemetery in February 1995 – a crime he also admitted.

Similar fibres to those found Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon were also found on her shorts.

During the trial, Edwards’ lawyer Paul Yovich set out to try to prove that the crucial exhibits could have been contaminated at the PathWest lab — with Edwards’ DNA from the Karrakatta rape also examined and stored there.

“Contamination events in labs are rare, they’re very rare, but they do happen,” he said in closing his case. “It only has to happen once.”

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