The True Story Behind the Claremont Killer

Claremont Killings

Warning: This article deals with an accounts of rape and sexual assault and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.

It was the case that shocked Australia. In the late 1990s, a serial killer was on the loose in the city of Perth.

Which bring us to September 24, 2020. On this date, Bradley Robert Edwards was convicted of murdering two young women who vanished over 20 years ago.

In this notorious case, known as the Claremont serial killings, Edwards was charged with “wilfully murdering” Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon. Edwards committed these two crimes in 1996 and 1997.

However, Edwards was acquitted of a third murder, Sarah Spiers, who was the first Perth woman to vanish around this time. He was acquitted of the charge because it could not be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt” that he killed her. There just was not sufficient evidence.

Who Was the Claremont Killer?

Before being arrested on two murder charges, Edwards was a Telstra technician from Western Australia.

According to The Guardian, Edwards had a history of violence during “emotionally distressing times”. At the age of 21, he grabbed and tried to force a dishcloth into the mouth of a 40-year-old social worker. He did this while working as a Telecom technician at Perth’s Hollywood Hospital. At the time, Edwards’ de-facto partner had confessed to cheating on him.

What Did the Claremont Killer Do Next?

In January 1996, an 18-year-old named Sarah Spiers vanished. And it’s uncertain what happened to her. However, a Justice named Stephen Hall has a theory.  During Edwards’ trial, he said, “the propensity evidence makes it… likely that the accused was the killer.” As of 2023, her body has never been found.

In June 1996, Rimmer was snatched off a Claremont Street. Then, nine months later, Glennon vanished. Both bodies of the two women were found dumped in bushland at opposite ends of Perth.

According to reports from the court case, Edwards had driven both women to separate remote areas of bushland on the fringe of Perth. There was also a violent struggle before he slashed their necks and covered their bodies in vegetation.

According to some key witnesses, several people saw a man matching Edwards’ description driving a Telstra vehicle around Claremont around this time. This man was offering lifts to women in the mid-1990s.

What’s more, some people heard high-pitched screams in the Mosman Park area on the night that Spiers vanished. A car, similar to the description of Edwards’ own vehicle, was nearby.

In 2008, DNA tests were done on the two bodies. Edwards’ DNA was found under Glennon’s left thumb and middle finger. At his trial, he admitted to it being his and denied knowing how it got there.

Edwards was also charged for assaulting an 18-year-old girl in 1988 and raping a 17-year-old girl in February 1995. He admitted to both counts of rape.

What Was Found at Edwards’ Home?

According to News.com.au, “extreme pornography, women’s underwear with holes cut in them, deposits in sandwich bags, bizarre homemade sex toys, and disturbing scenarios to abduct, rape and kill” were found inside a lockup garage at Edwards’ home after his arrest. The evidence was so “disturbing” that it was ruled “too prejudicial” for his trial.

The Claremont Killer Trial





Bradley Robert Edwards
Image: Channel 9

In December 2016, Edwards was arrested and subjected to a 12-hour police interview. Over 20 years had passed since the killings.

Additionally, before his trial, Edwards pleaded guilty to several other crimes. As we’ve already discussed, he admitted to raping a 17-year-old. According to Edwards’ statement, he bound and drove her to Karrakatta cemetery before raping her twice. He then left her naked in bushland. He also confessed to assaulting the 18-year-old woman in 1988.

Edwards’ court case ran from November 2019 until June 2020 in the Western Australian Supreme Court.

During this trial, several pieces of evidence were used against Edwards. At the time of the 17-year-old’s assault, she had given the police some DNA evidence. Fibres from his Telstra uniform were also found on her body, the body of Rimmer, and the body of Glennon.

But that’s not the end of the fibre spree. Fibres were also found on these women’s hair. These fibre matched some that were in a 1996 VS Holden Commodore, the car Edwards drove at the time.

In December 2020, Edwards was sentenced to life in prison for said rapes and murders. He also received a non-parole period of 40 years.

Related: Who Is Chris Dawson and How Did a Podcast Send Him to Jail?

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If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)  the National Sexual Assault, domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service.

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