Claremont serial killer Bradley Robert Edwards found guilty

Bradley Robert Edwards has been found guilty of the serial killings of two women in Claremont, Western Australia, across 1996 and 1997

Bradley Robert Edwards has been found guilty of the serial killings of two women in Claremont, Western Australia, across 1996 and 1997 

Bradley Robert Edwards has been found guilty of the serial killings of two women in Claremont, Western Australia, across 1996 and 1997.

Justice Stephen Hall convicted Edwards, now 51, for the murders of Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27, on Thursday after a marathon seven-month trial in the WA Supreme Court.

Justice Hall however found Edwards not guilty murdering a third girl Sarah Spiers, 18, saying there was not enough evidence to convince him beyond reasonable doubt. 

Ms Spiers' body has never been found.

The verdict partially brings to a close more than two decades of pain for the families of the three women, who have regularly attended the trial and were in court to hear the verdict.

Edwards will be sentenced over the two counts of murder in December. 

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.

Edwards previously admitted to attacking two other women and raping a 17-year-old girl in 1995, but denied ever killing Ms Spiers, Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.

Prosecutors relied on DNA evidence collected under Ms Glennon's fingertips as she scratched and scrapped 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.

Ciara Glennon, 27, was the last victim of the so-called Claremont serial killer. She disappeared after a night out in Perth on March 15, 1997 and her body was found in bushland 40km away

Ciara Glennon, 27, was the last victim of the so-called Claremont serial killer. She disappeared after a night out in Perth on March 15, 1997 and her body was found in bushland 40km away

Jane Rimmer, 23, disappeared from Claremont on June 6, 1996 and was the second alleged victim of Bradley Robert Edwards

Sarah Spiers, 18, was the first victim of the Claremont serial killer. She disappeared on january 27, 1996 and her body has never been found

Jane Rimmer, 23, (left) disappeared from Claremont on June 6, 1996 and was the second alleged murder victim of Bradley Robert Edwards. Sarah Spiers, 18, (right) was the first alleged victim of Edwards. She disappeared on january 27, 1996. Her body has never been found

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 draws to a close the 51-year-old former Telstra technician's fate will be decided by a judge sitting without a jury of his peers. 

The Crown says it has strong DNA evidence linking Edwards, who provided hair and saliva samples to police, to the three murders. The defence case is 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'.

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

Accused serial killer Bradley Robert Edwards 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 denies murdering three women who disappeared from Claremont

Accused serial killer Bradley Robert Edwards 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 denies 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

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 Rimmber 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

Jane Rimmber 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 is now 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

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.

He maintains he did not murder secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, and childcare worker Jane Rimmer, 23, in January and June 1996 respectively, and solicitor Ciara Glennon, 27, in March the following year.

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. 

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

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

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. 

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.'

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. Alleged killer Bradley Robert Edwards is pictured during his first marriage in the 1990s

The Claremont serial killer case has been described as is the state's biggest, longest-running, and most

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