Bundy sailor confessed to murders before killing himself

WEST Australian police have launched a nationwide appeal for information about three murders a navy sailor who grew up in Bundaberg confessed to before killing himself.

Richard Edward Dorrough, 37, shot himself in the head on August 9 last year at a WA shooting range.

A note he had written, confessing to three murders, was later found at his home.

On Saturday, WA State Crime Assistant Commissioner Michelle Fyfe urged members of the public who had information about Dorrough's movements over the past 20 years to come forward.

Dorrough grew up in Innes Park, leaving the area in 1994.

Crucially, he returned in July 1999, after two of the murders he confessed to.

He sold an orange Kombi van and police have renewed their calls for information after a previously unsuccessful campaign to find the vehicle.

Fairfax reported that in 2000 Dorrough (pictured) was charged with attempted murder in Queensland after deliberately running down a pedestrian with his car. He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, with a minimum of 12 months, and was released in 2001.

DNA taken as a result of that case later provided a breakthrough in an unsolved murder.

Dorrough was extradited from WA to NSW in 2009, and faced trial charged with the murder of Sydney prostitute Rachel Campbell in 1998.

Her body was found in a church car park with stab wounds to her neck.

Although he admitted having sex with and biting Ms Campbell, Dorrough was acquitted of her murder.

The navy mechanic, who worked on the patrol boat HMAS Geelong, was also suspected of being involved in the murder of Sara-Lee Davey in Broome in 1997.

Police are now convinced he was responsible for the murder of both women.

At the time of her death, Ms Davey was 21 and Dorrough was 19 and on leave in Broome. An inquest into her murder will be held next year.

Now attention has turned to the third murder Dorrough confessed to, which detectives have so far been unable to link to any unresolved crimes.

"We are seeking public assistance regarding Dorrough's movements across Australia and even in New Zealand over the past 20 years," Ms Fyfe said.

"The Special Crime Squad has been in close contact with cold case teams in other police jurisdictions where Dorrough lived or visited during that period, but so far have been unable to establish a link with any unsolved serious offences.

"It may well be that members of the public who associated with Dorrough have the information we seek, and we urge them to come forward now."

A Queensland police spokeswoman yesterday confirmed cold case detectives had been informed of the case by their WA counterparts.

Anyone with information is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  bundaberg history navy

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