FORMER journalist Monique Warnock (46) has never stopped thinking about the families of three young women who went missing in Claremont from 1996.
Ms Warnock started as editor of Community Newspaper Group’s Southern Gazette just months after South Perth resident Sarah Spiers went missing on January 26, 1996.
Nearly a year after her disappearance, Ms Warnock got an exclusive interview with Sarah’s mum, Carol, that was published across the newspaper group on January 21, 1997.
She said her strong relationship with local police, in particular Detective Inspector Paul Ferguson from the Major Crime Squad, helped gain the trust of Mrs Spiers.
“They (police) spoke to Carol Spiers on my behalf. It was the one-year anniversary and they asked if I could sit down with her and work out what she wanted as well and that’s what she ended up doing.
“I sat in Carol’s house in South Perth and we were both crying as she was showing me all the letters from people she had kept in boxes.
“I’ve never stopped thinking about it because I’d spoken to the parents and heard their anguish.”
In March 1998, Ms Warnock published another exclusive story after interviewing Dennis Glennon, the father of 27-year-old Ciara Glennon, who was allegedly murdered after disappearing from Claremont on March 14, 1997.
The disappearance of Ms Spiers, Ms Glennon and 23-year-old Jane Rimmer on June 9, 1996 had a profound effect on the then 26-year-old journalist’s social life.
“I looked a bit like Ciara and Jane, I was 26 and out clubbing in those areas,” Ms Warnock said.
“We were terrified to get into taxis and always looking over our shoulder.
“It changed the way we behaved. It took our freedom away.
“I didn’t drink for a couple of years and drove us everywhere.”
WA Police charged a 48-year-old Kewdale man with the murders of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon on December 23.
He is scheduled to appear in court on January 25.