Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Snowtown Murders

Completed Loop

These revelations bring us full circle, back to that grisly 1994 prequel to the Snowtown murders story, with which we began: the single, unidentified body at Lower Light. By June 8th, 1999, Chart detectives had obtained an old x-ray image of Clinton Trezise from a previous employer. As it was scrutinised by pathologists and anthropologists assisting the Taskforce, a five-year-old mystery was finally layed to rest and the key historical connection made. The announcement by police in June '99 took me back to '94, when yet again many South Australians had wondered what terrible multiple crimes they might soon be reading about.

Those skeletal remains found at Lower Light on August 16th, 1994, were Trezise's. Ironically, if he was a victim of the alleged Snowtown killers, he was the first to be found, among the last to be identified. In a further irony, the ID match was made by an outdated form of medical technology: an X-ray, not complex DNA testing. Clinton Douglas Trezise had last been sighted in 1993, but as his relatives had believed him a runaway, he'd not been reported missing until 1995. By then, his unidentified skeleton had already been found. While there is little question that Trezise met with foul play, and figured prominently in Chart's behind-the-scenes inquiries, a doubt still hangs over his identity as a victim of this alleged group. His killer may still be at large.

Summarising Chart's achievements to the time of writing, Detective Superintendent Schramm included the Lower Light body's identification. Calling it a "significant breakthrough..." Schramm defined the elusive ID as "a matter we have been trying to achieve for the past four years."

He added, "of the 11 people on our list, [balancing against 8 vault bodies, 2 backyard burials, and presumably 1 from Lower Light in '94] we now think we can account for all of those people. We are not at the moment looking for any more bodies."

The South Australian Police Department's complicated, delicate search for further possible offenders and accomplices goes on, but for the time being at least, Snowtown's deadly math appears to add up.

 

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