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On May 20, 1999 Detectives Greg Stone and Steve McCoy cruised into Snowtown, a small hamlet in South Australia. They were looking for a Toyota Land Cruiser that they believed was tied to the disappearance of Elizabeth Haydon, they found much more than that. What they found would blow the lid off their investigation into a suspected serial killer, they found 6 barrels with human remains.
John Justin Bunting is considered the worst serial killer in Australian history. He and his accomplice, Robert Joe Wagner, were fueled by their hatred of paedophiles, this doesn’t explain why some of their victims were not paedophiles, or why they stole their government benefits after their deaths, the author suspects John Bunting just liked to watch people die and liked not having to actually work for a living. Stealing benefits also kept the murders secret, since withdrawing money from people’s accounts made it look like they were still alive.
After the arrests James Vlassakis turned himself into police and confessed to his part in the murders. He became the Crown’s star witness. Jeremy Pudney paints a sympathetic picture of James Vlassakis and manages to do this without making one feel sorry for him. While a vulnerable youth, he still knew right from wrong and has blood on his hands.
This is a very detailed account of John Buntings life, the crimes, how and why the others got involved, the police investigation and finally the trial. It was a fascinating read from start to finish, and I can’t think of any questions left unanswered. I recommend this book to true crime fans.