These are the faces burnt into the memories of many Fraser Coast locals.
These are the faces burnt into the memories of many Fraser Coast locals. Contributed

Killers in our midst: 12 deadly crimes that rocked the Coast

THE Fraser Coast is a safe, family-friendly place to live.

But like anywhere else, there have been crimes that have shocked us all.

From women killed in tragic domestic violence incidents to the shocking violence that ended a man's life in a Maryborough churchyard to the unsolved execution-style murder of a Fraser Coast couple, these are the killings that rocked the community.

Murder of Maryborough toddler Kate Beveridge

Kate Beveridge was just two years old when she was brutally murdered at the hands of a 16-year-old boy on May 31, 1994.

She was taken from her Maryborough home.

The teen killed the toddler by swinging her by the ankles and repeatedly hitting her head on the floor, the Courier-Mail reported.

He then sexually assaulted the tiny girl.

Her body was later found in long grass near a railway line about 150m from her home, according to newspaper reports at the time.

The girl's par­ents, who were both deaf, did not hear their daugh­ter's killer break into their home.

Her killer was sen­tenced to 14 years in prison - the max­i­mum sen­tence for a ju­ve­nile of­fender at the time.

Her murder led to a change in Queensland's legal system, allowing for life imprisonment for juvenile offenders in particularly heinous circumstances.

Kate Margaret Beveridge, murdered in Maryborough, Queensland in 1994. F/L
Kate Margaret Beveridge, murdered in Maryborough, Queensland in 1994. F/L

The unsolved murders that haunt the Heritage City

ON September 22, 1977, William and Edith Moffat answered a fateful knock at the door, wearing their dressing gowns and slippers.

It is not known who was standing at their door that night, or why, but what happened next would shock Maryborough to its core and puzzle detectives for years to come.

The middle-aged couple were led back to their bedroom in their Jupiter St home on September 22, 1977, where pillows were placed on the floor and nylon cord was used to tie their hands behind their backs.

It is believed Mr Moffat was forced to tie the cord around his wife's hands as detectives later found a similar knot on a temporary clothesline outside the home.

Two bullets were fired and both husband and wife died instantly at the foot of their bed in an execution-style killing.

The Moffats' deaths remain one of the state's greatest unsolved crimes, with the Queensland Police Service offering a $250,000 reward to anyone with information that helps solve the mystery.

Maryborough couple William and Edith Moffat, were murdered in their Jupiter St, Maryborough, home in 1977.
Maryborough couple William and Edith Moffat, were murdered in their Jupiter St, Maryborough, home in 1977.

Killer neighbour raped and murdered elderly woman

THE son of a woman who was raped and murdered by her neighbour has spoken of his never-ending grief and "terrible nightmares" since her horrific death.

Frederick Ronald Sinfield, 64, was sentenced to life in jail last year for the vicious rape and murder of Norma Ludlam, 75, at her Hervey Bay home in 2015.

Sinfield stared blankly ahead as Crown Prosecutor Todd Fuller read a statement from Ms Ludlam's son Steven Ludlam in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

Mr Ludlam, who appeared by videolink from Maryborough, wept as the statement was read, telling of his family's sadness that his mother never got to meet her great-grandchildren.

Frederick Ronald Sinfield – alleged murderer.
Frederick Ronald Sinfield – alleged murderer.

Penis hacked off in shocking murder case

NOEL Allan Clark was gruesomely murdered in a jealousy-motivated attack in 2009 after a woman lured him to a Maryborough house where two men were waiting.

Justice Ann Lyons condemned Graeme Kenneth Wright for the "violent and abhorrent" murder of 33-year-old Mr Clark, which the court has heard was motivated by his jealousy and obsession with his ex-girlfriend's new relationship with Mr Clark.

"I note that while you've helped detectives try and find the body, the body has not been found," Justice Lyons said.

Wright was sentenced a further two years, to run concurrently with his life sentence, for interfering with a corpse.

The court heard from many witnesses during the week-long trial, including Wright's conspirator Dianna Gay Wright (no relation), who was sentenced to nine years imprisonment last year after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Missing man Noel Allan Clark 33yrs. Noel was last seen in Watt St, Murgon on 25 may 2009, his blue 1994 ford Fairmont sedan is also missing.
Missing man Noel Allan Clark 33yrs. Noel was last seen in Watt St, Murgon on 25 may 2009, his blue 1994 ford Fairmont sedan is also missing.

Wright told the court she lured Mr Clark, with whom she previously had an on-and-off sexual relationship, to her house on Wright's instruction.

She said Wright and the third conspirator, Byron Naylor, were waiting inside to ambush him.

She told the court Wright put electrical cords around Mr Clark's neck to hold him still while Naylor hit him repeatedly over the head with a baseball bat.

When Mr Clark fell to the ground, she said Wright sprayed about "half a can" of aerosol Start Ya Bastard into his face.

He and Naylor, who was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for his involvement in the murder, wrapped the body in a blanket and drove it to bushland just outside Maryborough.

Dianna Wright followed in a car and, for reasons she could not explain to the court, cut off Mr Clark's penis.

 

Man guilty of murder after hitting man with piece of wood

 

MARYBOROUGH man Simeon Frederick Blair, then 22, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering Cleveland Paul Clay.

Blair pleaded not guilty to killing Mr Clay, who was 31-years-old when he died, with a piece of wood at the back of the Carlton Hotel in the early hours of April 28, 2012.

Both men had been drinking on the night and had not previously met.

The jurors made their decision after a lengthy trial in the Maryborough Supreme Court which heard from more than 25 witnesses.

Man killed in Maryborough churchyard

Two men were found guilty of manslaughter after the death of Wayne Ruk in the churchyard of St Mary's Catholic Church in Maryborough.

Jason Andrew Pearce was charged with the murder of Wayne Robert Ruks at St Mary's Catholic Church in July 2008, but was convicted of manslaughter after using the controversial "gay panic" defence.

Pearce was sentenced in 2010 to nine years imprisonment, while his co-accused Richard John Meerdink received 10 years.

On July 9, 2012, Pearce was granted parole and released from jail.

Joyce Kujala is the mother of murdered man Wayne Warren Ruks. Wayne was bashed to death by two men in the Maryborough church grounds in 2008. Mrs Kujala has launched a final plea to the Palaszczuk government to abolish the gay panic defence that let her son's killers off lightly. Pic Jamie Hanson
Joyce Kujala is the mother of murdered man Wayne Warren Ruks. Wayne was bashed to death by two men in the Maryborough church grounds in 2008. Mrs Kujala has launched a final plea to the Palaszczuk government to abolish the gay panic defence that let her son's killers off lightly. Pic Jamie Hanson

Homeless hitchhiker killed, dumped in forest

TWO BEST mates accused of killing a hitchhiker and dumping his body in the forest were found not guilty of charges relating to murder.

But John Patrick Peterson and his friend Seamus Matthew Smith admitted killing 62-year-old Stephen Ward, and were found guilty of lesser charges.

The jury of six women and six men returned its verdict about 2.50pm after about three hours deliberation, and found while Peterson did not murder Mr Ward, he was guilty of manslaughter.

They found Smith was not guilty of accessory to murder, but guilty of accessory to manslaughter.

During the trial spanning almost two weeks, the Supreme court heard the two men picked up Mr Ward outside the Matilda Service Station at Curra, on August 4, 2008, before taking him to a truck stop on the Bruce Highway.

After drinking all day, Peterson was heavily intoxicated and flew into a rage after Mr Ward allegedly made a homosexual advance towards him.

Peterson, then 36, told the court he had "snapped" and beat the man 20 to 30 times around the head before he and Smith drove away.

However, they only drove a short distance before turning around and picking up Mr Ward, who was covered in blood.

The defendants gave evidence that Mr Ward was moaning or gurgling when they put him in the back of the ute and drove him into the Bauple State Forest.

Life in prison for murder of estranged wife

RICHARD Giardina was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Hervey Bay businesswoman Lisa Maree Keem after the details surrounding the murder on Saturday, June 14, 2008, were revealed to the court.

Crown prosecutor Michael Copley said on the afternoon of the murder Giardina arrived unannounced at Ms Keem's Point Vernon home.

Husband of murdered woman Lisa Keem, Richard Giardina is led away from the Hervey Bay court.
Husband of murdered woman Lisa Keem, Richard Giardina is led away from the Hervey Bay court.


At some point Giardina "overpowered and strangled" Ms Keem, with whom he had been separated for several months, in her home office.

He then put Ms Keem's body on the back seat of his car, which he had bought under a false name, and travelled more than 10 hours south to a state forest outside Kempsey in New South Wales.

Mr Copley said Giardina removed the body from his car, doused it in petrol and set it alight.

Undated copy pic of Lisa Maree Keem from a program distributed during her Funeral Service. Keem's body was discovered by a bushwalker at the Maria River State Forest in Kempsey 15/06/2008.
Undated copy pic of Lisa Maree Keem from a program distributed during her Funeral Service. Keem's body was discovered by a bushwalker at the Maria River State Forest in Kempsey 15/06/2008.

Husband hires hit man to kill estranged wife

THE body of Ingrid Lester was found in a pool of blood at her Urraween home in November 2002.

The 35-year-old had been stabbed more than 40 times.

After two trials and seven years Jim Lester was found guilty of offering hit man Michael Kinsella $10,000 to kill his estranged wife.

Hervey Bay woman Ingrid Lester shortly before her murder.
Hervey Bay woman Ingrid Lester shortly before her murder.

Murder-suicide at Booral shocks Fraser Coast

JANICE Frescura and her daughter Robyn died in an apparent murder-suicide at Booral.

Their husband and father John, was believed to have shot both women before turning the gun on himself in November, 2016.

Mr Frescura was taken to Hervey Bay Hospital after the shooting and was set to be transferred to a hospital in Brisbane by rescue helicopter before dying of his injuries.

A firearm was found at the River Heads Rd property where the family lived.

Janice and Robyn Frescura were killed by their husband and father, John, at their Booral home.
Janice and Robyn Frescura were killed by their husband and father, John, at their Booral home.

Beloved Fraser Coast mum killed by husband

CLENCHING her throat and pinching her nose, Nathan Greenfield repeatedly said 'I love you' as he choked the life from the mother of his two children.

Not satisfied with her absent pulse, he lent down and sucked the remaining air from her lungs - an act he would later describe as "trying to swallow her soul".

He then dragged her to the ensuite bathtub, where she would later be discovered by her distraught father, covered her in towels, and he began planning his escape.

These chilling details were revealed in the Maryborough Supreme Court, where Greenfield was sentenced to 10 years in jail for the killing of 32-year-old June Wallis at Pacific Haven.

Greenfield also pleaded guilty to several other offences, including dangerous operation of a vehicle, going armed to cause fear and assault police, which stemmed from his actions the morning after June's death in March, 2015.

Nathan Greenfield and June Wallis.
Nathan Greenfield and June Wallis.

Father assaulted newborn baby to 'toughen him up'

A MAN who callously assaulted his newborn son to "toughen him up" has been sentenced to nine years' jail for manslaughter.

Four-month-old Lennoxx Eddy died two days after his father Ry Liam Smith violently shook him in August 2013 and refused to take him to a doctor.

Smith, 25, was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and failing to provide medical treatment in Townsville Supreme Court.

Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane said in the weeks leading up to Lennoxx's death, Smith assaulted him repeatedly to, "in his own words, toughen him up".

"Some examples of that physical conduct including slapping him on the cheek in quick succession, headbutting him to the forehead, he would pinch the nose of the child causing physical bruises," he said.



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