Two men have appeared in a Brisbane court charged with the murders of a woman and her two daughters who disappeared more than forty years ago.
Two men have appeared in court charged with the murders of Brisbane mother Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters, who vanished more than 40 years ago.
Vincent O’Dempsey, 76, and Gary Reginald DuBois, 67, appeared separately in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday charged with the murders of Barbara McCulkin, 34, and her daughters Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11.
Both men are also facing further charges in relation to the cold case, including three counts each of deprivation of liberty.
Mrs McCulkin and her daughters disappeared from their Brisbane home in January 1974, in what has become one of Queensland’s most baffling cold cases.
In court, O’Dempsey’s lawyer Terry O’Gorman said he wanted to place on the record he’d told his client that because of the notoriety of the case, there was a risk someone in jail would come forward with false allegations that O’Dempsey had confessed to them.
“There is a very real risk that he’ll be the subject of a jail `verbal’ or a false allegation that in jail he confessed to a prisoner in relation to the subject matter of these charges,” Mr O’Gorman said.
“Mr O’Dempsey, on my advice, will not be discussing any aspect of this case with anyone whatsoever at the jail or the watchhouse.”
Mr O’Gorman added that police were “on notice” that if they encouraged any prisoner to talk with Mr O’Dempsey without the discussion being recorded, it would be an issue at trial.
DuBois’ lawyer Peter Saggers said he echoed Mr O’Gorman’s comments.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan noted that he had no jurisdiction to grant either man bail and adjourned both cases to November 24.
Both men were remanded in custody.
DuBois’ daughter was in court to support her father and declined to speak with reporters.
Outside court Mr O’Gorman said O’Dempsey would plead not guilty.
“I wish to make it clear on behalf of Mr O’Dempsey that what he’s been saying since this cold case has been revived remains his case,” Mr O’Gorman told reporters.
“He is pleading not guilty. He declares his innocence of these charges.”
Mr O’Gorman said he wanted to make it clear to anyone in jail seeking to gain favour, for example a parole advantage, that his client would be keeping silent.
“This case has the profile that calls out for a jail ‘verbal’,” he said.
He repeated his warning to police that it was “on their head” if they encouraged a prisoner to talk to O’Dempsey without electronically recording the conversation.
He said he would apply for bail in the Supreme Court on behalf of O’Dempsey but it would take longer than normal because of the large body of evidence involved.
Mr Saggers said DuBois was in the same position and wouldn’t be speaking to police or anyone else about the case.
“He denies the charge completely,” Mr Saggers said.
“He too will be making application for bail in the Supreme Court.”