THE trial of the alleged Claremont serial killer has only just begun but already the victims’ still-grieving relatives have heard harrowing details including women’s screams that abruptly stop, decomposition and animal predation.
Former Telstra technician and Little Athletics coach Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, finally went on trial in the Supreme Court of WA on Monday after almost three years behind bars.
Edwards wore a blank expression as prosecutor Carmel Barabagallo began outlining the abductions of 18-year-old secretary Sarah Spiers, child care worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and lawyer Ciara Glennon, 27, from the wealthy Perth suburb in 1996 and 1997.
The confessed rapist also remained impassive as the prosecutor detailed the gruesome discoveries of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon’s bodies in bushland, and how loud, high-pitched screams were heard in nearby Mosman Park on the night Ms Spiers went missing.
Sitting in the front row of the full public gallery, Ms Spiers’ parents Don and Carol heard the last recording of her voice as she called for a taxi.
She was gone by the time the vehicle arrived and was never seen again.
Grim descriptions of the other women’s injuries were endured by Ms Glennon’s father Denis, her sister Denise and Ms Rimmer’s mother Jenny.
Both women had neck injuries inflicted in a cutting or “even a sawing action”, Ms Barbagallo said.
They were partly decomposed and largely covered by vegetation.
Ms Rimmer was face down and naked, and parts of her body that weren’t covered by branches were damaged from animal predation, Ms Barbagallo said.
Dozens of reporters are covering the trial, with those not able to secure a seat watching proceedings via video link in three other rooms, but there appeared to be just enough seats for member of the public.
A sudden hush fell over the room 10 minutes before the trial got under way as the magnitude of the long-awaited events about to unfold sunk in.