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Norm Gille­spie re­mem­bers the sus­pi­cion and hearsay that ripped through Shep­par­ton when teenagers Garry Hey­wood, 18, and Abina Madill, 16, went miss­ing on Fe­bru­ary 10, 1966.

The pair was last seen at a pop con­cert at the Civic Cen­tre on Wels­ford St, sit­ting in Garry’s car about 10.30pm. That car was found empty at 5am the next morn­ing at Vic­to­ria Park Lake, with no sign of Garry or Abina.

“I can’t re­mem­ber how I felt, other than I knew they hadn’t run away to­gether—I must’ve known some­thing was amiss, but I have no mem­ory of ever sus­pect­ing they’d been mur­dered,” Norm said.

“There were a lot of sto­ries go­ing around the tech school—it was big news. Some ter­ri­ble things were said that broke the Madill fam­ily’s heart.”

The worst fears were con­firmed when Garry’s and Abina’s badly de­com­posed bod­ies were found 16 days later at Murchi­son East.

Po­lice re­ports said Garry had been tied up with stock­ings and shot in the head, while Abina had been raped and bashed to death.

Her neatly-folded clothes and shoes were placed near her body.

“Of course, ev­ery­one was un­der sus­pi­cion—there was a lot of fin­ger-point­ing,” Norm said.

Many sus­pected the fruit pickers that flooded Shep­par­ton dur­ing the sum­mer months for work, while fel­low teen Ian Urqhart was hounded by po­lice and me­dia as a sus­pect.

Ian later moved over­seas, where he was killed in an ac­ci­dent.

Three years later, at 18, Norm joined the po­lice force. He be­lieves the mur­ders may have been a mo­ti­vat­ing rea­son to join, as were re­spected po­lice of­fi­cers Joe Og­den and Les O’Keefe, who had helped him when he was younger.

“It’s unique, it’s freak­ish, it’s co­in­ci­den­tal — here it is, a 15-year-old Shepp kid who knew the vic­tims, who went to the same con­cert, who joined the po­lice force and then later joined the task force and was in­volved in the ar­rest and pros­e­cu­tion,” Norm said.

Years went by. Norm and fel­low de­tec­tives Den­nis Hanna, Ken Mansell and Den­nis Lu­cas con­tin­ued the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but faced many dead ends.

Mean­while, in the 1970s and 1980s, a no­to­ri­ous se­rial rapist was op­er­at­ing in the Mel­bourne sub­urbs. Dubbed the Don­vale Rapist, the of­fender raped at least 30 women. He would of­ten tell the vic­tims that he wanted to be loved, and was fre­quently bare­foot dur­ing the vi­o­lent at­tacks.

A foul body odour de­scribed by the vic­tims led to the nick­name Mr Stinky—a name now no­to­ri­ous in Aus­tralian crime.

“Many of the rape vic­tims said he had this body odour about him. Some said it was diesel, some said it was de­ter­gent, some said it was sperm. Some said it was cow s***. No-one re­ally knew, just that it was aw­ful,” Norm said.

Then came the break — fin­ger­print ex­pert Sergeant An­drew Wall matched two fin­ger­prints found on the top of Garry Hey­wood’s car in 1966 with a print left be­hind by Mr Stinky.

They had their mur­derer —now they had to iden­tify him.

The vic­tims helped po­lice put to­gether what Norm calls an ‘‘ef­figy’’ — a man­nequin with a sculpted head that was used to try to iden­tify Mr Stinky.

Bill­boards went up across Mel­bourne with the face of this ef­figy, urg­ing the pub­lic to call in with in­for­ma­tion. Thou­sands of phone calls gave mul­ti­tudes of leads — but all of them led nowhere.

“It was a bril­liant in­ves­ti­ga­tion — we used all these dif­fer­ent ways and means of try­ing to iden­tify him,” Norm said.

“Peo­ple would be ring­ing us up and say­ing all these names of who they thought it was, but Ray Ed­munds was not once ever men­tioned—he slipped through.

“Den­nis Hanna is the cru­cial man that drove this in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and he said, ‘The p**** that mur­dered these kids in ’66 is still alive be­cause he’s left his prints be­hind at a rape scene’.”

Then in 1985 came the mo­ment that blew the case wide open. Po­lice in Al­bury ar­rested Ray­mond Ed­munds af­ter he was found mas­tur­bat­ing in a car on Dean St.

Leg­is­la­tion in NSW at the time meant fin­ger­print­ing was manda­tory on ar­rest—if Ed­munds had been in Vic­to­ria, which didn’t have the leg­is­la­tion, he could’ve slipped through the net again.

The prints were sent to Mel­bourne and quickly iden­ti­fied as the same prints from the man sus­pected of the 1966 mur­der and nu­mer­ous rapes.

Norm was camp­ing out at Kata­matite with Ken Mansell, Den­nis Hanna and Den­nis Lu­cas when they re­ceived the call. They ar­rested Ed­munds on March 22, 1985.

“Our big­gest fear, and it won’t leave me—and Den­nis Hanna will say the same—was the six­hour time limit for in­ter­view,” Norm said.

“We were s****ing our­selves—what hap­pens if we in­ter­viewed him and he said noth­ing? But he didn’t—when he asked to see a priest at St Kilda, that’s when we knew it was turn­ing.

“He ran out of luck, and our luck changed.”

Ed­munds con­fessed to the mur­der, and later took the de­tec­tives to Murchi­son East for a re-en­act­ment, point­ing out the place where the bod­ies of Garry and Abina were found.

Driv­ing to Murchi­son, Norm sat in the back of the car with Den­nis and Ed­munds.

“I felt cold. He had a cold­ness com­ing off him,” Norm said.

“He sat be­tween Den­nis Hanna and my­self on the way to Murchi­son East that night, and he said, ‘I’m like a sick dog, I should be put down.’ I didn’t want to bash him or hurt him, I wanted to sit down and work him out.”

Ed­munds even­tu­ally pleaded guilty to mur­der, and is now serv­ing a life sen­tence with no min­i­mum term. He is now 71 years old.

Ed­munds is also sus­pected of killing Mel­bourne mother Elaine Jones at Tocumwal in 1980—he was work­ing in the area at the time. Elaine was found in the Mur­ray River with her throat slashed, and her hus­band died of a heart at­tack while try­ing to pull her body into the boat. Their daugh­ter, 7, was in the boat at the time and had to swim back to shore for help.

Norm still thinks about the Mr Stinky case. He has writ­ten to Ed­munds in jail, urg­ing him to con­fess to any other mur­ders he was in­volved in, par­tic­u­larly that of Elaine Jones.

But Ed­munds has never writ­ten back.

“I wrote let­ters to him, hop­ing he would meet God and con­fess to other mur­ders, but I’ve never heard from him. It’s frus­trat­ing,” Norm said.

“It lives with you al­ways. He had a rat cun­ning. I al­ways think back to those who were left be­hind — it’s a nag­ging pain that won’t go away for them.

“He’s never come out pub­licly and ex­pressed re­morse; but he did tell us he would’ve, at one stage there, will­ingly have gone to the gal­lows.”

Al­most 50 years ago the mur­der of Shep­par­ton teenagers Abina Madill and Garry Hey­wood changed Shep­par­ton for­ever. Fin­gers were pointed, ac­cu­sa­tions were made, sus­pects were hounded — but it wasn’t un­til al­most 20 years later that a fluke led to the ar­rest of Ray­mond Ed­munds, bet­ter known as “Mr Stinky”.Norm Gille­spie was 15 when the mur­ders hap­pened. He joined the po­lice force three years later and worked as a de­tec­tive on the task­force that even­tu­ally ar­rested the no­to­ri­ous Mr Stinky 30 years ago yes­ter­day. He spoke with jour­nal­ist CHLOE WAR­BUR­TON about the tena­cious po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the mo­ment where Ed­munds’ luck fi­nally ran out.Abina MadillGarr­y Hey­wood Ray­mond Ed­munds, “Mr Stinky”Norm Gille­spie

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