‘Claremont killer’ read rape fantasy stories
THE accused Claremont serial killer's obsessive fetish for women's clothing and rape fantasies escalated into the alleged murders of three women, a court has heard.
Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Sara Spiers, 18, Ciara Glennon, 27 and Jane Rimmer, 23, which came to be known as the Claremont killings, in 1995 and 1996.
He also faces charged related to the alleged sexual assaults of two teenage girls in 1988 and 1995.
State prosecutor Carmen Barbagallo argued that the alleged abduction of a 17-year-old girl in Karrakatta in 1995 was "strikingly similar" to "unusual and depraved" rape fantasy stories found on a computer owned by Bradley Robert Edwards.
Ms Barbagallo started day two of a pre-trial directions hearing on Wednesday by arguing that the stories should be admissible in the upcoming judge-only trial.
The stories, titled "Chloe's story" and "Sophie's story", were found on a computer seized by Edwards home in 2016, along with extreme pornography and almost 4000 porn website addresses.
Ms Barbagallo told the court that the accused's early alleged attacks on women and his fetish for women's underwear "evolved" and "escalated" into the alleged "murdering of three girls".
"There was an escalation involved," she said.
"The circumstances, the location, the geography is just window dressing. It's the manner in which he undertakes the attacks. It's the behaviour he engages in on each occasion.
"The use of the fabric or cloth to put over the mouth … that is really an unusual feature. These stories of women being sexually assaulted … they are obtained against their will and often involve sex assaults with an implication the women will not be leaving."
Defence lawyer Paul Yovich said there was a clear difference in the alleged attacks.
"The attacks allegedly happened in a workplace, a home and on the street - these are quite different places," he said. "That is not window dressing.
"There is an attack in broad daylight in Hollywood Hospital and an attack at night in the other two. There is an attack with apparent planning and attacks without planning."
Mr Yovich also disputed the state's argument there were a lot of BDSM videos found on Edwards' computer.
He said the relevance of the pornography was "factually flawed" and the erotic stories had no resemblance to the alleged attack in Karrakatta.
"There are 13 videos within the BDSM category … that material constituted about eight per cent of the pornographic material in the accused devices," he said.
"The material is extremely unpleasant. The underlying manner of the narrator is fundamentally different to the conduct subject of the Karrakatta cemetery (attack)."
Justice Stephen Hall also questioned whether the porn on Mr Edwards computer was more of an "interest" rather a reflection of the accused behaviour.
"There are other people who engage in this sort of behaviour," Justice Hall said.
"What's the direct connection between any of these offences and his pornography?"
But Ms Barbagallo said the fact the accused was in possession of a large quantity of pornography was significant.
"There is a striking similarity to the very things he had been accused of doing. Abduction, sexual assault, blitz attacks … this is unusual material to have in one's possession."
Mr Edwards is due to face a judge-alone trial on July 22, which is expected to run for nine months.