Fatal Females: 13 Cases That Gripped a Nation
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Women are supposed to be tender and loving – not cold-hearted killers, knife-wielding vampires or gun-toting hijackers. Yet throughout history, there's been no shortage of less than law-abiding ladies.
Let journalist Libby-Jane Charleston take you on a chilling journey through a true crime gallery of women who have smashed our perceptions of the stereotypical feminine persona: from meek Russian librarian Lucy Dudko, who commandeered a helicopter to break her boyfriend out of prison; to suburban sex goddess Michelle Burgess, who hired a hit man to take out her lover's wife; and Katherine Knight, who killed, skinned and cooked her partner to serve to his children.
Read these true stories and delve into the dark and disturbing lives of Australia's most fatal females.
Former TV reporter Libby-Jane Charleston began her career in her teens as one of Australia's youngest newspaper columnists. She has worked extensively in radio, papers and magazines as well as on TV – appearing on-camera for every television network in Australia, as a finance news anchor, current affairs reporter and general news reporter at Channels Ten, Nine, Seven, SBS & ABC.
and Gibb flirted openly and shamelessly and, on occasion, would greet each other with a kiss when Parker opened his cell door. So great was their attraction, they seemed not to care who was watching. Parker had already built up a reputation for getting dangerously close to select criminals, but this time it seemed she’d taken the closeness a step further. In May 1992, Parker and Gibb’s romance was exposed: they were caught on surveillance footage having sex in a broom cupboard. The highly
Keli, an attractive girl with an infectious smile, tanned skin and a solid build, was a natural athlete who excelled at water polo. She was constantly training and dreamed of one day making the Australian team. She attended Mackellar high school, where she was known as a cheerful tomboy who loved to socialise, then went on to study a Bachelor of Arts – and join the Australian University water polo team – at the University of Newcastle. In 1994, she met rugby player Duncan Gillies. The two fell
week.’ She asked Cowled to pass this extra note to Key, but somehow Cowled forgot, and only found the note again in the aftermath of the murder, when she dutifully passed it on to police. Cowled arranged for Key and Burgess to meet and discuss the killing. Burgess had no need to twist Key’s arm to convince him to ditch labouring work for the more electrifying role of contract killer. With his shaved head, goatee and dark sunglasses, Key’s appearance already fit the part perfectly. Plus, just two
search warrants for the Hadfield Street home. On 28 January, while Schembri was busy tinkering with his car engine outside the townhouse, he was approached by two officers who handcuffed him, read him his rights and led him to the waiting police car, where he sat in total silence. At the same time, another carload of officers arrived at the home to let Denny know they had a search warrant. Denny was led to a police car and taken to the same police station as Schembri, where she was formally
to first-degree murder. This meant that, under Queensland law, she’d receive life imprisonment. The trial lasted a mere nine minutes. The trial of Wigginton’s friends did little to examine the actual murder of Baldock, who became, like most murder victims, sidelined by the theatrical event. The women didn’t take the stand, but the court was shown videotaped interviews conducted just days after their arrests, which covered everything from lesbianism to incest, vampirism and satanic worship.