Fi­nally our prayers have been an­swered

Par­ents tell in­side story of their quest for jus­tice Michelle Obama opens up on mis­car­riage, IVF It’s Adele of a lifestyle if you’re worth $250m

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - KATE KYRIACOU is telling Jef­frey’s story in the true crime pod­cast Dead Wrong. Lis­ten at couriermail.com.au, on iTunes or on your pre­ferred pod­cast plat­form

THE par­ents of sci­en­tist Jef­frey Brooks who died of a gun­shot wound at a cray­fish farm south of Bris­bane say the news of a fresh in­quest is the an­swer to their prayers.

Wendy and Lawrie Brooks say a new in­quest will “go a long way to­wards clo­sure con­cern­ing the cir­cum­stances of Jef­frey’s death”.

“We are truly elated,” Wendy and Lawrie Brooks told The Sun­day Mail.

“All our prayers have been an­swered. It’s the one thing that we’ve been liv­ing for, to be able to do this, just to be able to have a hear­ing, an hon­est hear­ing where the po­lice are called to ac­count.”

In 1998, two years af­ter the death of their son, Wendy and Lawrie Brooks went to thethe Crime and Jus­tice Com­mis­sion to plead their case. MICHELLE Obama yes­ter­day re­vealed she felt “lost and alone” af­ter suf­fer­ing a mis­car­riage, and she un­der­went IVF to con­ceive her two daugh­ters.

“I felt like I failed be­cause I didn’t know how com­mon mis­car­riages were be­cause we don’t talk about them,” the for­mer First Lady said.

Mrs Obama, 54, mar­ried the fu­ture pres­i­dent in 1992, but she stressed that their re­la­tion­ship was not al­ways easy as his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer of­ten took him away. And she re­vealed that they still have mar­riage coun­selling “when we need it”.

A driven lawyer and for­mer univer­sity ad­min­is­tra­tor, CRIME AND COURTS EDI­TOR They did not agree that their son’s death had been an ac­ci­dent. They did not be­lieve their metic­u­lous and care­ful son had shot him­self by ac­ci­dent, drag­ging a loaded gun from a car, bar­rel first, to­wards his body.

In­stead, po­lice told them they were wrong.

Jef­frey Brooks, a 24-yearold sci­en­tist, was found dead Mrs Obama said she was 34 or 35 when she re­alised the “bi­o­log­i­cal clock is real be­cause egg pro­duc­tion is lim­ited”.

She and Mr Obama, 57, “had to do IVF” if they wanted to have a fam­ily, she told Good Morn­ing Amer­ica.

They were try­ing for a fam­ily but it “wasn’t go­ing well” and af­ter a mis­car­riage she even­tu­ally con­ceived daugh­ters Malia and Sasha, now 20 and 17, through IVF.

Mrs Obama is pro­mot­ing her forth­com­ing mem­oir.

She and her hus­band have also earned an as­ton­ish­ing $90 mil­lion ad­vance for a joint book deal. at the Been­leigh Cray­fish Farm on March 13, 1996.

His death came af­ter he told friends and fam­ily he thought his life was in dan­ger af­ter he’d con­fronted oth­ers about cash sales at the farm.

Not long af­ter, he was dead, shot in the chest by an old, de­crepit farm gun he re­fused to touch in the past.

More than 20 years on, Wendy and Lawrie Brooks hope the case will fi­nally be ex­am­ined thor­oughly.

Build­ing on their own in­ves­tiga­tive work, The Sun­day Mail in­ter­viewed wit­nesses, con­ducted re-en­act­ments and bal­lis­tics tests, and con­sulted with a raft of sci­en­tific ex­perts.

The pa­per un­cov­ered enough new ev­i­dence that At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Yvette D’Ath or­dered the State Coro­ner to re­open the in­quest into Jef­frey’s death.

The Sun­day Mail un­der­stands that process is al­ready un­der way. High-pro­file crim­i­nal lawyer Peter Boyce, who is rep­re­sent­ing the Brooks fam­ily, has been con­tacted by the Of­fice of the State Coro­ner. The Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice has also been con­tacted with a re­quest to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion.

Once that oc­curs, the coro­ner’s of­fice has ad­vised that the brief of ev­i­dence will be re­viewed and “the in­quest will be listed”.

“Un­less Un­less you have been through a sim­i­lar ex­peri- ence, no one could ever un­der­stand the devastating ef­fects of the loss of a muchloved first­born son and brother, hus­band, grand­son, cousin, nephew and mate, par­tic­u­larly un­der th­ese cir­cum­stances,” the Brooks said.

“We’ve been liv­ing un­der a thun­der cloud, with no sat­is­fac­tion of see­ing jus­tice done for our son. At the very least, Jef­frey de­serves

jus­tice.” EVEN though she hasn’t re­leased any new mu­sic or toured in the past 12 months, Adele’s for­tune is re­ported to have grown by $26 mil­lion in that time.

The Lon­don-born singer is now said to be worth $250 mil­lion – up from $224 mil­lion a year ago. Her 121-date tour last year alone added $75 mil­lion to her for­tune.

Back in 2015, when she re­leased her al­bum 25, she re­flected that she was still liv­ing the same low-key life she was be­fore mak­ing her mil­lions, but she now shopped at the more up­mar­ket Waitrose su­per­mar­ket rather than Tesco.

“I want to have a real life so I can write records. No one wants to lis­ten to a record from some­one that’s lost touch with re­al­ity. So I live a low-key life for my fans,” she said.

Yet three years on, it’s clear that she has grown into her sta­tus as one of the world’s wealth­i­est women.

So what does she spend it on? Now liv­ing mostly in Los An­ge­les, she trav­els by $89 mil­lion pri­vate jet, favours pricier yel­low di­a­monds rather than bor­ing white ones, and is thought to have a staff that in­cludes a stylist, per­sonal trainer, as­sis­tant, and a body­guard or two.

DEVASTATING LOSS: Lawrie and Wendy Brooks at the place where son Jef­frey (be­low) died in 1996. Pic­ture: Adam Arm­strong

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