Bradley Robert Edwards has been found guilty of the serial killings of two women in Claremont, Western Australia, across 1996 and 1997
A woman has revealed how she managed to escape being a victim of Claremont serial killer, Bradley Robert Edwards, while working in a hospital.
Wendy Davis was working as a social worker at Perth‘s Hollywood Hospital in 1990 when she felt a hand grab her face and drag her backwards into a nearby toilet.
Edwards was 21 and working as a Telstra technician at the time.
Ms Davis managed to kick herself free of Edwards’ grasp and escape the assault.
‘I feel very blessed that I’m actually here to tell this story,’ she told 60 Minutes in a short promo for the Sunday night interview.
Ms Davis’ harrowing tale comes after Justice Stephen Hall on Thursday convicted Edwards, now 51, for the murders of Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27, in 1996 and 1997, after a marathon seven-month trial in the WA Supreme Court.
Wendy Davis (pictured) was working as a social worker at Perth’s Hollywood Hospital in 1990 when she felt Edwards grab her face and drag her backwards into a nearby toilet
Edwards was found not guilty murdering a third woman Sarah Spiers, 18, saying there was not enough evidence to convict him beyond reasonable doubt.
Ms Spiers’ body has never been found following her mysterious disappearance in 1996.
His conviction provided some solace for Ms Davis, a mother-of-three at the time of the assault who had been sitting at her desk.
‘A hand came from behind me with a cloth on it, around my face and hoicked me back off my chair and started to drag me towards the toilet,’ she said.
Ms Davis said she feared for her life and after a brief struggle she was able to break free of his hold.
‘I fell away and I looked at him, it was the weirdest, weirdest feeling,’ she said.
‘It was so frightening. I absolutely believe that he was practising.’
Ms Davis’ attack came just six years before Edwards carried out his first murder, something she believes could have been stopped.
‘If the police had just looked a little further… there had been a series of attacks. His fingerprints were already on record,’ she said.
West Australian police will now interview Edwards again as they continue to investigate the slaying of Ms Spiers.
Edwards was arrested in December, 2016 following one of the longest-running investigations in the country.
Justice Hall said he was satisfied Ms Spiers, who disappeared after a night out in Claremont in 1996, had also been abducted and killed.
Justice Hall said the evidence showing Edwards’ propensity for violent abductions made it likely that he was the killer of Ms Spiers.
Justice Stephen Hall convicted Edwards, now 51, for the murders of Jane Rimmer (left), 23, and Ciara Glennon (right), 27, on Thursday after a marathon seven-month trial in the WA Supreme Court
Justice Hall however found Edwards not guilty murdering Sarah Spiers (pictured), 18, saying there was not enough evidence to convince him beyond reasonable doubt. Ms Spiers’ body has never been found
But he said it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt in the absence of any other evidence about the killer’s identity.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, who embraced Ms Spiers’ parents Don and Carol after the hearing concluded, has vowed the search for her body will continue.
‘We want to find Sarah and we will never give up,’ Mr Dawson said.
‘We will want to speak with Bradley further and we will.’
Mr Dawson said the disappearance and death of Ms Spiers would remain a current investigation for homicide detectives.
He declined to comment on whether Edwards could potentially again be charged with Ms Spiers’ murder if new and compelling evidence came to light, or whether he was considered a suspect in any other unsolved murders.
The Claremont investigation was the longest-running in the country, dealing with almost 18,000 suspects including those screened for DNA testing.
But Mr Dawson revealed the ‘curious fact’ that Edwards was not among the thousands of suspects nominated by members of the public.
The verdicts have left more unanswered questions for Ms Spiers’ parents Don and Carol but at least brought some comfort to the loved ones of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon
In a statement, family and friends of Ms Rimmer said they had endured 24 years of anguish at the loss of the ‘young, vibrant’ woman.
‘Jane had her whole life ahead of her, and it is almost beyond comprehension this could have ended in such horrific, heinous circumstances,’ the statement said.
‘Our family can now take some comfort today and the healing process can begin.’
Edwards will be sentenced over the two counts of murder on December 23.
The Claremont serial killer case has been described as is the state’s biggest, longest-running, and most expensive criminal investigation and has received constant media coverage in Perth. Bradley Robert Edwards is pictured during his first marriage in the 1990s
Much of the sickening evidence police found hidden away at his Kewdale home (pictured) following his 2016 arrest can now be revealed following Thursday’s verdict
Sickening evidence police discovered stashed away in the Claremont killer’s secret lair following his arrest almost four years ago can also now be revealed.
Much of the sinister evidence police found hidden in the lock-up garage of Edwards’ home in the Perth suburb of Kewdale after his arrest was so disturbing it was ruled prejudicial to be examined during his judge-only trial at a pre-trial hearing last February.
Those details can be revealed following Thursday’s verdict.
Among disgusting evidence were ‘graphic and extreme’ pornography found on a computer, women’s underwear with holes cut for male genitalia, sandwich bags filled with semen and weird homemade sex toys, all covered in Edwards’ DNA, news.com.au reported.
His estranged wife told police Edwards masturbated into the sandwich bags and seal them with hair ties.
First-person stories about women being abducted and sexually assaulted were also discovered on his computer.
Edwards evolved from a ‘socially awkward teenager’ to sex prowler, rapist and then serial killer.
The court heard a family member walked in on Edwards as young teenager in the bedroom of friend near an underwear drawer.
There were also claims Edwards stole items of women’s underwear from clotheslines.
He was sexually aroused by wearing women’s clothes, which escalated into a fetish an obsession with rape and abduction.
Women’s underwear with holes cut in them, weird sex toys and extreme pornography was found in the secret lair of Bradley John Edwards (pictured) following his arrest
‘A socially awkward teenager with a fetish for wearing — and stealing — women’s underwear became a man with an ‘obsessive sexual interest in the abduction, imprisonment and forcible rape of women,’ state prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo told the pre-trial hearing.
Violent erotica stories of women being abducted and raped police found on his computer had striking similarities to his offending, she added.
One portrayed man abducting a woman, stripping her of her clothes, binding her and sexually assaulting her, which had ‘marked similarities’ to the 1995 Karrakatta abduction Edwards pleaded guilty to.
‘The content … is unusual and depraved,’ Ms Barbagallo told the court.
‘The idea that somebody that’s arrested and charged in respect of these matters is ultimately found to have stories that are similar … to some of the activities that we say he has engaged in is quite striking.’
The last amendments to the violent erotica stories were December 11, 2016, just 11 days prior to Edwards’ arrest.
Among the deleted material police found on Edwards’ computer was 2002 extreme pornography film Forced Entry, based loosely on the crimes of 1980s Californian serial killer Richard Ramirez.
Four months prior to his arrest, Edwards posted a photo to Facebook of Italian YouTube producer Matteo Moroni’s ‘Killer Clown’ character, which is renowned for scaring people by running at them wielding hammers or chainsaws.
He refused to delete the post when a relative asked him to take it down.
‘Everyone loves a clown,’ Edwards replied.
Police search a house at Kewdale that is connected to the historic Claremont killings in Perth on December 23, 2016
Thursday’s verdict partially brings to a close more than two decades of pain for the victims’ families, who have regularly attended the trial and were in court to hear the verdict.
The Claremont serial killer case is WA’s biggest, longest-running and most expensive criminal investigation.
Edwards, a Telstra technician, was arrested in 2016 and has remained in custody ever since awaiting what was eventually a judge-alone trial.
He previously admitted to attacking two other women and raping a 17-year-old girl in 1995.
But he denied murdering secretary Ms Spiers, 18, and childcare worker Ms Rimmer, 23, in January and June 1996 respectively, and solicitor Ms Glennon, 27, in March the following year.
Bradley Robert Edwards’ Kewdale home in Perth taped of by police following his 2016 arrest
Prosecutors relied on DNA evidence collected under Ms Glennon’s fingertips as she scratched and scraped for her life.
Also key to their case were fibres found in Edwards’ car that linked it to the bodies of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.
Police had long had their sights on the now convicted killer – who called himself the ‘bogeyman’ online – but he repeatedly lied to them about his crimes.
Justice Hall took almost three months to consider all the evidence against Edwards, before handing down his verdict.
Outside court Jane Rimmer’s sister Lee said she could now get on with her life, but felt for the Spiers family who continue to search for answers.
‘I feel really good actually, at one point I thought he was going to be not guilty but we got the result we wanted and now we just have to keep working for the Spiers family and hope someone finds Sarah,’ Ms Rimmer said.
‘It means I can get on with my life without all this stuff.
‘I think you get some closure but it’s always gonna be the same. No-one’s ever going to bring her back.’
Commissioner Dawson praised Edwards’ rape victims for coming forward, and the ‘strength and resilience’ of the murdered girls’ families.
‘Bradley Edwards can now be called for what he is. A brutal rapist and a murderer,’ he said outside court after the verdict.
Mr Dawson vowed he would never stop looking for Ms Spiers’ body and the investigation would remain open.
‘The Claremont killings struck at the heart of our way of life, stretching [to] almost a quarter of a century,’ he said.
‘Three innocent young women were killed along with the hopes and dreams they never got to fulfil.
‘We will never give up trying to locate Sarah, and I have conveyed that to Don and Carol Spiers today and to Amanda. Sarah and her family deserve justice.’
This kimono was left by Bradley Robert Edwards at a house in Huntsdale after he broke in and assaulted an 18-year-old woman in 1988. It is alleged to have provided DNA evidence linking Edwards to the murder of Ciara Glennon in 1997 and the rape of a 17-year-old girl in 1995
Edwards was just 19 when he donned a woman’s nightie, crept into a bedroom and climbed on top of a sleeping 18-year-old woman.
It was seven years before the first of the three young women would disappear from a popular Perth entertainment precinct and become victims of a predator dubbed the Claremont serial killer.
As the trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia drew to a close the 51-year-old former Telstra technician’s fate was decided by a judge sitting without a jury of his peers.
The Crown always claimed it had strong DNA evidence linking Edwards, who provided hair and saliva samples to police, to the three murders. The defence case was simply that Edwards did not commit the crimes.
What happened to the teenager who found Edwards in her bedroom in 1988 forms an integral part of trying to establish him as the Claremont serial killer.
On February 15 that year the 18-year-old was sleeping on her stomach in the bedroom of her family home at Huntingdale in Perth’s south-east. Edwards knew her and lived in the same suburb.
When the woman woke to feel someone straddling her back she initially thought it might have been her boyfriend, with whom she had spent Valentine’s Day only hours earlier.
‘There was no noise but then a hand came over my mouth,’ the woman, now 50, told the court in December last year. ‘I said, ‘It’s OK, I won’t scream’.
Bradley Robert Edwards (pictured) was just 19 when he donned a woman’s nightie and crept into the bedroom of a sleeping 18-year-old woman. He has pleaded guilty to that attack in 1988 but denied murdering three women who disappeared from Claremont
‘Another hand came onto the back of my head and was pushing.’
The woman thought her partner might have been covering her mouth so she did not wake her parents and get them both into trouble.
‘I was trying to work out what was happening, shaking my head from side to side,’ she said. ‘I said, ‘What are you doing?’ and ‘Let me go’ at some point.’
When Edwards tried to cover her mouth with a piece of cloth the woman said, ‘I love you’ and he stopped what he was doing.
Still believing the intruder could be her boyfriend she reached up to stroke his face but felt stubble when she knew he was clean shaven. She then dug her fingernails into him as hard as she could.
As Edwards got off her and walked away the woman braced herself to be hit.
When that didn’t happen she looked to her doorway and saw a tall man standing there in a long-sleeved nightie, ‘similar to what my mother wore’.
Hammering the wall to alert her parents as she stared at Edwards, the woman cried out, ‘Dad! Dad! Dad!’ and he ran.
A forensic police officer measures where tree branches have been torn off near the area where Ciara Glennon’s body was dumped at Eglington, about 40km north of Perth, in 1997
Jane Rimmer disappeared from Claremont on June 6, 1996 and her body was found in bushland about 40km south of Perth. This watch belonging to Ms Rimmer was found near her remains
As he fled the woman’s bedroom that night, Edwards left behind knotted black stockings, a piece of fabric and a silk kimono.
That kimono was central to the Crown’s contention that Edwards would years later go on to abduct and murder three women who were having a night out in Claremont when they disappeared.
This Identikit image shows a man seen on the night Sarah Spiers vanished from Claremont
Edwards has admitted the attack on the 18-year-old as well as twice raping a 17-year-old girl at Karrakatta Cemetery, near Perth’s central business district, on February 12, 1995. That teenager had been abducted from Claremont.
The bodies of Ms Glennon and Ms Rimmer were located in bushland north and south of Perth respectively weeks after their disappearance and had suffered neck injuries. The remains of Ms Spiers have never been found.
The prosecution argues Edwards’s offending escalated over time.
The girl he raped in the cemetery less than a year before Ms Spiers disappeared gave evidence against Edwards in four statements read out in the court.
‘I thought at the end of it all that he was going to kill me,’ she said.
On the night of the rape the girl had left Club Bayview at Claremont – the same venue where Ms Spiers was last seen – and was walking a few hundred metres to a friend’s house.
Edwards has admitted twice raping a 17-year-old girl at Karrakatta Cemetery, (pictured) near Perth’s central business district, on February 12, 1995. That teenager had been abducted from Claremont
As she made her way through a dimly-lit park, she was grabbed from behind, pushed to the ground and straddled, then had a thick cloth like a sock shoved deep into her mouth.
‘I didn’t scream, I just froze,’ she said. It happened really quickly. He told me to shut up at one point.
‘I didn’t say anything to him. I was too frightened. I kept my eyes shut – I thought it would be better if he thought I couldn’t see him.’
Edwards tied up the girl’s hands tightly with a restraint ‘as thick as a telephone cord’, carried her to his van, bound her ankles and covered her head with a cotton bag.
‘I was very frightened,’ she said. ‘I thought I was going to die.’
Edwards drove for about 30 minutes then carried and dragged the girl through Karrakatta Cemetery where he raped her twice.
‘I started to cry but not loudly,’ she said. ‘I remember repeating, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe this is happening’. It was very painful. I remember my face lying against the dirt.’
Don and Carol Spiers, the parents of murdered secretary Sarah Spiers are pictured arriving at the Supreme Court of Western Australia on the opening day of her alleged killer’s trial
Edwards flung the girl into scrub, then left. About two minutes later he returned and threw her into denser bushes.
After the girl heard him drive off she opened her eyes and ran to the cemetery’s nearest exit. Semi-naked, she fled to a care facility near the Hollywood Hospital where she dialled a phone at the front door with her chin and yelled for help.
A picture showing drag marks on the ground where Bradley Robert Edwards raped a 17-year-old girl in a cemetery was tendered during his murder trial
A woman inside the hospital called police while the still-bound teenager ran off. She then called her father from a phone box and ran back to the hospital.
‘I said, ‘Dad can you come and get me?’ she recalled. ‘While I was crying I said I’d been raped.’
Edwards, who was convicted of assaulting a social worker at Hollywood Hospital in 1990, was arrested over the Claremont murders in December 2016 after DNA on the kimono was re-tested.
‘What the f***?’ the former Little Athletics coach exclaimed while sitting handcuffed on the floor of his Kewdale house when police told him he was suspected of being the Claremont serial killer.
‘You’ve got to be joking,’ he said as detectives read him his rights. ‘My head is spinning. I understand. I’m just trying to process what’s going on.’
Edwards went to trial in late November and the courtroom has been packed throughout the hearing.
The families of the three murdered women were regularly been in attendance, as have the 17-year-old and 18-year-old women Edwards attacked, and his parents.
Serial killer Bradley Robert Edwards was arrested at his home at Kewdale in December 2016. Police are pictured as the continued to search the premises on December 23
Prosecutors say Edwards’s DNA was found in semen on the silk kimono left behind after the Huntington attack, on the cemetery victim, and under Ms Glennon’s fingernails.
It has been part of Edwards’s defence that the scientific evidence may have been contaminated.
Defence counsel Paul Yovich SC urged Justice Stephen Hall in his opening address in November to ‘beware the tendency to smooth out the rough edges’ in the Crown’s case.
‘The defence is simple,’ Mr Yovich said. ‘It wasn’t him.’
‘We are not pointing the finger at any specific person, all we are saying is the nice, neat picture the state wants to present… is not the full picture.
‘The proper approach in any case is to fit the case theory to the evidence, not to try to fit the evidence to the case theory.’
Bradley Robert Edwards is pictured at the back of a van while he was married to his first wife, who gave evidence the couple had separated in late 1995 or early 1996
The Crown also said fibres from Edwards’s work trousers and Telstra-issued car were found on the rape victim and the remains of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.
Mr Yovich claimed DNA and fibre evidence could have been contaminated and that storing of such materials in the 1990s was much less sophisticated than it was now.
The prosecution evidence alone took five months to be heard and featured more than 200 witnesses.
But the defence case was almost over before it began.
Edwards chose not to step into the witness box or to give a detailed response to the murder charges.
The only evidence his barrister called for was weather records for the day Ms Spiers disappeared.
The Crown’s case closed with the playing over two days of a video of Edwards’s interview with police after his arrest.
That video showed Edwards appearing to be stunned when confronted with DNA evidence linking him to one of the Claremont killings, the Huntingdale attack and the rape of the teenager.
Bradley Robert Edwards (pictured) will not learn his fate for several months. His defence case finished this week and closing submissions are due to be heard next month
‘Brace yourself Bradley, I have some results,’ Detective Senior Sergeant Joe Marrapodi said in the interview, before telling Edwards of the positive matches.
Edwards responded: ‘How could that be? I didn’t do it.’
Police showed Edwards a photograph of the silk kimono left behind at the Huntingdale attack which allegedly contained his DNA.
‘How can it be?’ he asked Senior Sergeant Marrapodi. ‘I don’t know what it is or where it’s from.’
Senior Sergeant Marrapodi told Edwards his DNA was also found on the 17-year-old victim of the cemetery rape. ‘I’m struggling to explain that,’ Edwards responded.
‘I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t there. I didn’t do any of this.’
It was not until October last year before the start of his murder trial that Edwards pleaded guilty to the Huntingdale attack and the rape at Karrakatta.
Edwards was also shown a photograph of Ms Glennon, who he denied knowing, and told DNA gathered from the rape victim matched a sample found on Ms Glennon.
‘What happened Bradley?’ the detective asked.
Ciara Gleenon’s father Denis Glennon is pictured arriving at the Supreme Court of Western Australia for the opening day of the trial of Bradley Robert Edwards on November 25 last year
‘I don’t know,’ Edwards replied. ‘I wish I could explain it and say I was wherever.’
Senior Sergeant Marrapodi tried to appeal to Edwards’s connection to his stepdaughter.
‘Your daughter said your most prized virtue is your honesty, this is your chance to show that she’s right,’ he told him.
Edwards: ‘I’m being honest.’
Senior Sergeant Marrapodi: ‘Are you a man who accepts responsibility for his actions?’
Edwards: ‘Yes I am. I accept responsibility for stuff I’ve done, not stuff I haven’t done.’
The 18-year-old woman Edwards attacked at Huntingdale in 1988 is now married to the boyfriend she had thought was on top of her.
Bradley Robert Edwards’s defence team arrives at court on the first day of his murder
KEY DATES IN MARATHON CASE OF THE ALLEGED CLAREMONT KILLER
February 15, 1988
– An 18-year-old woman is indecently assaulted in her sleep during a break-in at a Huntingdale home but her attacker flees after a struggle.
February 12, 1995
– A 17-year-old girl is abducted while walking through Rowe Park in Claremont and taken to Karrakatta Cemetery where she is sexually assaulted.
January 27, 1996
– Secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, disappears after leaving Club Bayview in Claremont after calling a taxi from a nearby phone booth. Her body has not been found.
June 9, 1996
– Childcare worker Jane Rimmer, 23, similarly vanishes in Claremont and is last seen outside the Continental Hotel.
June 10, 1996
– Western Australia Police sets up Macro task force.
August 3, 1996
– Ms Rimmer’s body is found by a mother and her children picking flowers in Wellard, south of Perth.
March 15, 1997
– Lawyer Ciara Glennon, 27, is last seen in Claremont after also visiting the Continental Hotel.
April 3, 1997
– Ms Glennon’s body is found in bushland at Eglington, north of Perth.
October 16, 2015
– A newspaper claims police have established a forensic link between Ms Glennon’s murderer and the man who raped a teenager in Karrakatta two years earlier but police refuse to comment for ‘operational reasons’.
December 23, 2016
– Bradley Robert Edwards, 48, from Kewdale, is charged with eight offences related to the deaths of Ms Glennon and Ms Rimmer and the Karrakatta and Huntington attacks, but no charges are laid over the disappearance of Ms Spiers. Edwards is remanded in custody.
February 22, 2018
– Edwards is charged with the wilful murder of Ms Spiers.
October 21, 2019
– Edward pleads guilty to five of eight charges against him, including the Huntingdale attack and raping the 17-year-old girl at Karrakatta, but maintains he didn’t commit the murders.
November 25, 2019
– A judge-alone trial begins in the Western Australia Supreme Court.
May 6, 2020
– The trial is adjourned after all evidence has been heard.
September 24, 2020
– Bradley Robert Edwards is found guilty of the murders of Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon, but is cleared of killing Sarah Spiers
December 23, 2020
– Edwards will return to the WA Supreme Court for sentencing