For the past 20 years Australian police have been on the hunt for a suspected serial killer. Targeting young women from the affluent area of Claremont, the case baffled investigators as it stretched into not only the longest running investigation, but the costliest in Australian history.
Beginning with the January 1996 disappearance of Sarah Spires as she stood at a busy intersection waiting for her cab to arrive, the mysterious killer was able to evade capture, striking at least two more times within the year to follow.
In the summer of that same year, Jane Rimmer was last spotted on security footage outside of the Continental Hotel within the same Claremont neighborhood Sarah Spires had vanished in only five months prior. Unlike Spires, whose body has never been found, Rimmer would reappear two months later. In August of 1996, investigators were able to locate her body in the bushland on the outskirts of Perth.
Nine months later reports broke that a 27-year-old lawyer named Ciara Glennon had disappeared near her home in Perth. Her partially clothed body would be uncovered less than a month later in some brush off the side of Pipidinny Road in Perth. After Ciara had been confirmed dead, investigators alerted the public that they believed they had a serial killer on their hands.
As far as what is known, the killer never struck again, but that never stopped investigators from pursuing leads on the whereabouts of Sarah Spires, nor did they give up on attempting to find a suspect.
After the story of a possible serial killer broke, journalist Liam Bartlett began his own investigation and discovered that prior to the disappearance of Sarah Spires, 22-year-old Julie Cutler had disappeared from the Claremont area under similarly suspicious circumstances. This gave some reason to believe that the killer had been operating undetected for some time prior to law enforcement making the connections between killer’s three suspected victims.
Initially law enforcement suspected that the killer had been a taxi driver and a revolving door of suspects, including several convicted killers, had been investigated in connection to the murdered and missing women cases. All of these leads came to dead ends.
It would take another 20 years before investigators finally located who they believe to be the man they’ve been searching for all these years.
On the morning of December 22, 2016, police conducted a raid on the Kewdale home of 48-year-old Bradley Robert Edwards. He has officially been charged with the murders of Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon, as well as the abduction of a 17-year-old girl in 1995, and a home invasion and sexual assault case dating back to 1988.
Investigators are still working on the case, but hope they are able to find enough evidence to convict Edwards of the 1996 abduction of Sarah Spires, and possibly the abduction of Julie Cutler. There has been word that several more breaks have been made since Edwards’ arrest, but law enforcement has declined any further comment on these breaks, for fear they could compromise the prosecution.
For the investigators and the victims’ families involved in these cases, they are certain that Edwards is the man they’ve been looking for all these years and are confident that justice will finally be served for the young lives that were tragically cut short.