The Family Court Murders
4 murders. 5 bombings. 2 shootings. And no one charged. This is the definitive story of the Family Court Murders.
4 murders. 5 bombings. And no one charged. This is the definitive story of the Family Court Murders.
An initiative of the Whitlam Government, the so-called ‘helping court' opened its doors in January 1976. But despite the high idealism of the court's creators, they failed to factor in one universal truth: that in a marital tug of war, one side would always feel more embittered than the other.
Despite the brazen enormity of the shootings and bombings in Sydney from 1980 – attacks that hit at the very heart of the judicial system – and a prime suspect publicly named by the Coroner, the police investigation failed to culminate in an arrest and after three decades stalled to a benign ‘review' status. Following a tip-off from a possible witness, the Channel 7 Sunday Night program determined to investigate this cold case. Award-winning true-crime writer and investigative journalist Debi Marshall was part of the team who worked this story.
Thirty-three years on, the horror of these crimes still haunts everyone involved. Witnesses are frightened to speak. Family members live in the dark shadows of grief and fear. Widows and children continue to live without closure. To break this uneasy silence, Marshall embarked on a terrifying journey into the dark heart of The Family Court Murders – and the prime suspect.
What she has uncovered will shock and outrage.
Debi Marshall is a journalist, producer for television and author who lives in Hobart. As a reporter and writer, Debi Marshall specialises in true crime. She has written eight books. Each combines her excellent storytelling skills with her forensic approach to accurate research.
Her book, Justice In Jeopardy, helped overturn Australia's double jeopardy laws. At all times, despite frequent personal danger and threats, she has been motivated to seek truth and justice and has worked with the highest ethical considerations to tell dark and challenging stories.
Her book on the notorious Snowtown serial murders, Killing For Pleasure, won the 2007 Ned Kelly award for Best True Crime.
Debi Marshall always sets out to establish a bond of trust with victims and their families, and with witnesses who came forward to tell her their stories.
Working as a producer with Channel 7's Sunday Night program she investigated The Family Court Murders of 1980 – 1985. Then conducted further research to write The Family Court Murders. Leonard Warwick was subsequently arrested over these matters.
Debi has also been a tutor in journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney and as a teacher of media at college. Her other books include The House of Hancock and The Devil's Garden. Her books have twice been long-listed for a Walkley Award.
Debi Marshall won a Walkley Leadership Award in 2015.
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