Our 'secret serial killer': Could there be more victims?
CONVICTED killer and former Kyogle resident, Ashley Mervyn Coulston, will feature on this weekend's Sunday Night program in a major investigation promising to reveal if there are more victims.
The Seven Network TV show's sneak peek video has labelled triple murderer Coulston "Australia's secret serial killer", a "cold-blooded killer" and "possibly one of the most dangerous Australia has ever had".
It was a newspaper advertisement by students searching for a room mate which led to the Burwood Triple Murders. The man eventually found responsible for the crimes was Coulston.
On July 29, 1992, Coulston killed 22-year-old student teachers Kerryn Henstridge and Anne Smerdon and Anne's brother-in-law Peter Dempsey, 27. They were bound, gagged and shot, execution-style, in their sharehouse in Summit Rd, Burwood.
Coulston was also the suspect in a murder and series of rapes on the Gold Coast and in northern NSW in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Burwood murders were one of more than 20 Australian murder cases detailed in the book Murder in Suburbia by journalist and crime writer Emily Webb.
She described the deaths as "one of the most cold-blooded murders" ever committed in Victoria.
But Ms Webb said Coulston was also "in the frame" for a series of unsolved rapes, and at least one murder, in eastern Australia.
"A man known as 'the Balaclava killer' began a reign of terror on the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads in the summer of 1979-80," Ms Webb wrote in her book.
"Coulston was living with his family in Kyogle, NSW, close to the Queensland border.
"Coulston is also suspected of being 'the Sutherland rapist', who attacked women between 1981 and 1984 in Sydney's southern suburbs.
"This rapist wore a balaclava and carried a sawn-off firearm, just like the Balaclava killer.
"These crimes are still unsolved. Coulston is now one of just a handful of prisoners in Victoria who are serving life sentences with no minimum - his crimes deemed so heinous that he will die in jail."
Bron Pederson yesterday shared the sneak peek video of this weekend's Sunday Night program on the Kyogle (the friendly town) Facebook page, posting: "Many locals will remember this man as he lived in Kyogle and the horror it caused among us all when Ashley was arrested ...".
Catch Sunday Night at 8pm tomorrow.