// you’re reading...


Debi Marshall, true-crime author of Killing for pleasure – Page 2

Author of true-crime book Killing for pleasure, Debi Marshall recommends some books…

READERSVOICE.COM: Can you recommend a few books you’ve read and really liked?
DEBI MARSHALL: As a former English teacher who got my BA in English literature (I still teach occasionally), I love books!
These are hard to pick, but I’ll have a go.
In Cold Blood. The first true-crime novel, brilliantly researched and written.
Truman Capote is a genius!
Call Me When the Cross Turns Over. Darcy Niland (Ruth Park’s husband.)
A wonderfully written, simple novel that evokes the spirit of the Australian bush.
I used it as my bible when writing my first book, Her Father’s Daughter, the Bonnie Henderson Story, and my second, Lang Hancock – the iconic Aussie bushman who discovered iron ore, better known for marrying Rose Porteous.
Salvation Creek, by Susan Duncan (just released).
Again, a simple but beautifully written story about an Australian woman who faces betrayal, cancer, death and lost love – and lives to fight another day.
Truly inspirational, a must-read.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
What’s not to love about Mark Twain’s writing?
Poignant, warm and with the spirit of freedom blowing through it.
Evil Angels, by John Bryson. His descriptions are superb, and the way he puts all arguments across (it is about Lindy Chamberlain.)
Bryson is the master of subtlety.
Made me want to give up my day job.
RV: Do you have any future projects on the cards?
DM: I am now contracted with Random House publishing, to write a book on the Claremont serial killer in Perth, WA.
Three girls went missing from a ritzy nightclub area in the mid-90s, all within months of each other. Two bodies found, one still missing.

How many more girls are the victims of this man? I think the answer is possibly very frightening.
I am also writing a television script on my last book, Justice in Jeopardy, the Unsolved Murder of Baby Deidre Kennedy.
This was the subject of last Sunday’s 60 Minutes [Australia] program.
I got Raymond Carroll, the man twice convicted and acquitted of Deidre’s murder, to take a lie detector test on television.
He passed.
RV: Many police and others were traumatised by the bodies in the barrels murders.
Did covering the story in court change you and did writing the story help get it out of your system?
DM: I was warned when I started writing Killing for Pleasure, the Definitive Story of the Snowtown Murders, that it would change me.
It certainly did.
I will never, ever take my blessed life for granted again.
I cried frequently for the victims, for their lousy, uneventful lives, for their lack of opportunity.
They were luckless in life, luckless in death.
It has heightened my social conscience, made me look at John Howard [Australian prime minister] and the other elevated politicians in a much more critical light.
They pay lip-service to change, while the children cry. It is not good enough.
We need to push for change, and push harder.
RV: You mention pedophile rings like The Family, in Killing for pleasure, which are said to exist in many Australian cities, and are constituted by people in influence, including doctors and judges. Do you believe they still exist?
DM: Yes, I do believe these pedophile rings exist. These are truly evil people (women as well as men) who have power and a belief that they can do whatever they fancy.

Pedophiles are a scourge on our community, and they operate at all levels.
There are too many examples from South Australia (the Beaumonts, Bevan Von Einem, etc) to continue to ignore the fact that something is going on.
And yes – in all cities, unfortunately. Adelaide is not alone.
How to get rid of them? Throw more resources into policing it.
And watch the watchers. Corruption is endemic.
RV: If you could talk to John Bunting, the leader of the bodies-in-the-barrels murderers, what would you ask him?
DM: I almost pulled off an interview with Robert Wagner, one of the Snowtown killers, but third-party negotiations (for that read, I can’t say the real reason) torpedoed the project.
I’d ask them both, why? And how many more bodies?
I don’t believe 12 is the final body count.
Getting into a psychopath’s head is a challenge, but whilst we continue not to understand them, they continue to commit murder.
RV: Do you think the murderers were sick or both, and is there any point in making the distinction?
DM: Evil, sick or both? Both. And yes, there is a point in making the distinction.
It goes to whether they should be incarcerated in a mental institution or maximum security prison. Whether we should feel a modicum of pity for them or none at all.
I think Bunting and Wagner are mad by definition – but certainly not insane.
Most certainly not insane.
They killed because they loved it.
And they only stopped when they were caught.
Killing for pleasure, The definitive story of the Snowtown serial murders; published by Random House Australia, 402pages.