Vicki Marie McCulkin, who, with her mother Barbara McCulkin and sister Barbara Leanne McCulkin, disappeared from their Highgate Hill home in January 1974.
Vicki Marie McCulkin, who, with her mother Barbara McCulkin and sister Barbara Leanne McCulkin, disappeared from their Highgate Hill home in January 1974. Queensland Police

McCulkin murder trial: Jury urged to believe witnesses

A SUPREME Court jury has been urged to believe three witnesses who say Vincent O'Dempsey "confessed" to them he had a role in the disappearances of Barbara McCulkin and her two children.

Mrs McCulkin, 34, and her daughters Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, were allegedly murdered by O'Dempsey and Garry Dubois when they went missing from their Highgate Hill home in January, 1974.

O'Dempsey, 78, has pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to three charges of murder and one count of deprivation of liberty, while Dubois has a separate trial.

 

Vincent O'Dempsey.
Vincent O'Dempsey.

Prosecutor David Meredith has begun summing up the Crown case this morning, and pointed to the evidence of three people who say O'Dempsey admitted to having a role in the family's disappearance.

Warren McDonald, who grew cannabis with O'Dempsey, said he admitted 20 years ago he "killed the McCulkins" and "they'll never find the bodies".

Former fiancé Kerri Scully said O'Dempsey told her he was "good for" the murders, while a prison informant claimed the triple-murder accused said "she had to be dealt with", referring to "the mother of the two kids".

Mr Meredith said the witnesses did not know each other.

"We know that their claimed admissions... are quite independent in time and place," he said.

"Now if three people came along and said we were present when O'Dempsey told us this, then you might suspect collusion.

"That is not possible here."
 

The Highgate Hill house where Barbara, Leanne and Vicki McCulkin lived before they disappeared in January of 1974.
The Highgate Hill house where Barbara, Leanne and Vicki McCulkin lived before they disappeared in January of 1974.

Mr Meredith said the witnesses's claims were not just an "unfortunate" coincidence.

"That one person might falsely claim that you have made a confession would be extremely unfortunate," he said.

"That a second unrelated person makes a similar false claim would be extraordinarily, catastrophically, unfortunate.

"That a third person, also unrelated, makes a similar claim you might think that not only is that one not false, but neither are the other two."

Closing submissions in the case are continuing

News Corp Australia

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