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Accused triple-murderer, Vincent O’Dempsey on trial for killing a mother and her two daughters in Brisbane, tried to ‘get at’ witness before his trial

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Possible break through in 43-year-old cold case

Vincent O’Dempsey, on trial for a 1974 triple homicide, tried to ‘get at’ witness before his trial in Brisbane, Australia, which started last week
Billy McCulkin’s wife,  Barbara McCulkin was allegedly strangled and buried in bushland with her girls, shortly after she surmised her husband knew about a fire in his failing night club which led to the death of 15 people, a year earlier
The arson allegedly was part of an insurance scam
Three witnesses testify they heard O’Dempsey, 78, confess to the infamous cold case of murdering  a Brisbane mom and her two minor daughters 
Witness who can’t be identified, at one time housed in jail with alleged killer, claims during one of their regular conversations he denied killing children but said their mother “had to be dealt with”
 O’Dempsey wanted him to get bail, get out of jail and go straight to a former girlfriend and tell her verbatim what to say if she had to testify in court
O’Dempsey has pled not guilty to killing Barbara McCulkin and daughters Vicki, 13, and 11-year-old Leanne, last seen at their Brisbane house,  Jan 1974
Girlfriend of former mobster testified that he bragged about 33 ‘kills’
Kerri-Anne Scully  said O’Dempsey told her while in bed,  ” he was good for the McCulkin murders but they’d never get him for it” 
A third witness, Peter Hall, in 2015 claimed that O’Dempsey’s accomplice Garry Dubois, confessed to three friends of the victim’s husband that the suspect [O’Dempsey] strangled first Barbara McCulkin, then her daughters
Vincent O'Dempsey1.jpg
78-year-old Vincent O’Dempsey is on trial for a triple murder he has been denying for the past 43 years

A former prisoner who says he gained the trust of accused triple-murderer Vincent O’Dempsey, has told a jury the accused McCulkins’ triple-murderer was trying “to get at” a witness before his trial.

The witness, who can not be identified, was at one time housed with Mr O’Dempsey, and claims during one of their regular conversations he denied killing children but said their mother “had to be dealt with”.

For the last eight days, Mr O’Dempsey has been on trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to the murders of Barbara McCulkin and her daughters Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11 in  cold case murders, from 1974.
Friends, family, neighbours and police have given evidence about the disappearance of the McCulkins, who have not been seen since January 1974.
For the trial, O’Dempsey has pled not guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to three counts of murder and one of deprivation of liberty in relation to the family’s disappearance on January 16, 1974. Brisbane mother Barbara McCulkin was allegedly strangled and buried in the bushes with her girls.
Ex-con McDonald told the court O’Dempsey told him, on January 2 this year: “In those days when you got paid to do a job, you did a job”.
He said O’Dempsey then said to him, “I wasn’t going to go down for a bunch of them”.
The informant said O’Dempsey wanted him to get bail, get out of jail and go straight to a former girlfriend and tell her word for word what she should say if asked to give evidence in court.
On Tuesday, the witness was taken through months of notes he made while in prison with Mr O’Dempsey. They included the 78-year-old accused saying “No, I’ve never laid a hand on the two kids”.

Vincent O'Dempsey3.pngVincent O’Dempsey in legal crosshairs after forty years
Barbara McCulkin and her daughters, Vicki and Leena5.pngVincent O’Dempsey first strangled Barbara [left], before doing same to her daughters

Referring to the conversation on January 2 this year, the man told the jury Mr O’Dempsey then said “she had to be dealt with”.
“He was talking about the mother of the two kids,” the witness said. “Two girls.”
A week later, Mr O’Dempsey discussed the address and routines of Warren McDonald, a former associate who had given a statement to police against him, the former inmate said.
“He was trying to arrange to get at him,” he said.
“He knew what time he left for work, which road he took, which roadhouse he stopped at for breakfast … the number of his house.”
O’Dempsey has pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to three counts of murder and one of deprivation of liberty in relation to the family’s disappearance on January 16, 1974.
The former prisoner told the court O’Dempsey told him, on January 2 this year: “In those days when you got paid to do a job, you did a job”.
He said O’Dempsey then said to him, “I wasn’t going to go down for a bunch of them”.
The informant said O’Dempsey wanted him to get bail, get out of jail and go straight to a former girlfriend and tell her word for word what she should say if asked to give evidence in court.

Barbara McCulkin and her daughters Vicky and Leanne2.jpgVincent O’Dempsey allegedly, bragged he killed Barbara McCulkin [photo], and her two daughters to his fiancée, Kerri Scully, and boasted he’d never be caught for the crime

Earlier in the trial, McDonald told the jury Mr O’Dempsey had boasted about the McCulkin murders while the pair chatted about security for their large cannabis crop.
“They’ll never catch me because they’ll never find the bodies,” O’Dempsey allegedly said.
On Tuesday, the witness also told the court he had been asked to contact other potential witnesses and provide them with answers which would “blow away” the case against O’Dempsey if they were called to give evidence.
A secretly recorded conversation between the former prisoner and O’Dempsey is expected to be played to the jury when the trial continues on Wednesday.
McDonald was followed on the witness stand by O’Dempsey’s former girlfriend Kerri Scully, who told the Brisbane Supreme Court she heard the defendant confess to the infamous triple homicide of more than four decades back. Sometime between 2010 and 2011,  Scully, 35, was living in Brisbane and regularly travelling to Warwick to stay with O’Dempsey, she said.

Vincent O'Dempsey2.jpg
Now 78 and under fire, Vincent O’Dempsey for decades was a feared underworld hitman who bragged he had bagged 33 hits

During one visit, he sent her to a shopping centre to buy a copy of the true crime book Shotgun and Standover, which he had said was regularly selling out. A section of the book discusses the McCulkin case and its investigations.

While in bed O’Dempsey showed Ms Scully said, he showed her a photograph in the book of himself walking from court with a leather jacket slung over his shoulder.
‘He was really proud of it,’ she said.
He then bragged about the murders, Scully said.
The former girlfriend says that four years ago the 70s mobster claimed he murdered 33 people.
“He said he was good for the McCulkin murders but they’d never get him for it,” Kerri-Anne Scully told Brisbane Magistrates Court.
‘I’m good for it but they’ll never get me for it,” O’Dempsey told her:
“I was blown away when I heard that come out of his mouth”, she said
“I went home the next day and then tried to distance myself from him and the relationship.’
In an earlier testimony, a forensic police expert confirmed O’Dempsey’s fingerprints had been found on the cover and pages of a copy of Shotgun and Standover.

Barbara McCulkin5.pngBilly McCulkin’s wife Barbara McCulkin was allegedly strangled and buried in bushland with her girls, shortly after she surmised her husband knew about the fire in his failing night club which led to the death of 15 people

Back in November, 2015, Peter Hall one of the men indicted in connection with the crime, under an immunity deal testified that O’Dempsey was responsible for all three deaths. He said that O’Dempsey’s co-defendant Garry Dubois confessed to three men and allegedly blamed O’Dempsey for all three murders. The men were friends of Billy McCulkin, the victim’s husband. Hall said after Dubois confessed they all decided to never discuss it again, and kept pact that for four decades.
The men were friends of Billy McCulkin. The bodies of his wife and children are still missing.
Mr Hall said Dubois confessed to three friends and they all decided to never discuss it again. It was a pact that lasted decades.
Hall has indemnity from prosecution. Now, he admits he and the accused men torched a Brisbane bar for insurance money.

The charred remains of the Whisky Au Go Go  club after it was fire bombed in 1973, killing 15 people..png Deliberate arson razed Billy McCulkin’s club in a 1973 insurance scam. The group of four allegedly, were paid $500 for the arson. The night club, reportedly, “wasn’t doing too well”

Hall previously claimed Dubois had approached his gang, the so-called “Clockwork Orange Group”, and told them O’Dempsey had commissioned them to stage an arson attack on the Torino’s nightclub venue.
The group of four was paid $500 for the 1973 insurance con, given the night club “wasn’t doing too well”, he said.
A month later, Whisky Au Go Go was fire bombed, killing 15 people.

The charred remains of the Whisky Au Go Go  club after it was fire bombed2..png The charred remains of the Whisky Au Go Go club after it was fire bombed in 1973, killing 15 people. 

The court heard Barbara McCulkin believed her husband was involved in both fires and considered telling police. Soon after, she was dead, as were her daughters.
O’Dempsey and his co-accused, Dubois, 70, deny police allegations against them.

 

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