The disappearance of three young women in the 1990s became Western Australia’s biggest unsolved murder case for more than two decades.
The murderer, who became locally known as the Claremont serial killer, was finally convicted in 2020—25 years after the first disappearance.
The case, which sent shockwaves through Perth, has now been turned into new true crime drama series on Channel Seven: The Claremont Murders.
The series, which stars Kate Ritchie, Erik Thompson, Ryan Johnson and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, takes us back to Perth in the 1990s and the police investigation that led to finally solving the case.
What Is The Claremont Murders Based On?
The Claremont Murders is based on a series of abductions and murders that took place in the affluent Perth suburb of Claremont in the late 90s.
It began on January 27 1996, when 18-year-old Sarah Spiers went missing after a night out at Club Bayview in Claremont. Spiers was last seen leaving the nightclub, before she called a taxi from a nearby public phone booth.
When the taxi arrived, Spiers was no where to be found.
Six months later, 23-year-old childcare worker Jane Rimmer disappeared after having drinks at Claremont’s Continental Hotel. Two months later, her body was found in bushland 40 kilometres south of Claremont.
Then, on March 15 1997, 27-year-old lawyer Ciara Glennon was also reported missing after never making it home after a night out at the Continental. Her body was found three weeks later in bushland 50 kilometres north of Claremont.
Despite efforts from police at the time, the case remained unsolved until 2016, when an improvement in DNA testing led to police finally making an arrest.
How Was The Claremont Serial Killer Case Solved?
On December 22 2016, West Australian police arrested 48-year-old Bradley Robert Edwards.
Edwards was a former Telstra technician, who had been married twice and to the shock of many locals, also regularly volunteered at his stepdaughter’s little athletics club.
The case was solved through DNA evidence which linked to Edward’s first known attack on a woman in 1988, when he broke into the home of an 18-year-old and attempted to assault her while she slept.
During the attack, Edwards left behind a white kimono stolen from a washing line next door.
When the kimono’s sperm stains were finally tested as part of a review of local cold cases in 2016, they were found to match the cellular material located under Glennon’s fingernails.
While the police didn’t immediately match the DNA to Edwards, they were able to do so with a fingerprint taken from the doorknob of the 1988 property.
The fingerprint was found to match Edwards, who already had his fingerprints on file after being convicted of assaulting a social worker in a hospital in 1990.
When the police tested Edward’s DNA (through a Sprite bottle they sourced while following him) to the samples they had, it was found to be a match.
In September 2020, Edwards was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 40 years.
Edwards was convicted of abducting and killing Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon but due to a lack of sufficient evidence, acquitted of the 1996 murder of Sarah Spiers.
Despite the verdict, the judge said that it was likely he was her killer.
Where Is Bradley Roberts Edwards Now?
Edwards is currently behind bars in Western Australia, where he will stay for the rest of his life.
The Claremont Murders premieres on Seven and 7Plus on April 10.