'Bodies in the barrels' site is up for sale
March 11, 2012 1:21 AM Subscribe
posted by harriet vane (20 comments total)
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An oddly perky video of a real estate agent showing a real estate columnist around an old bank building and semi-attached house for sale
(3:51). The building was offered on eBay, had its listing removed, and then reinstated
. The reason for the video and the eBay concern? The bank (but not the house) had previously been rented to a group of serial killers
Used as a set in the award-winning movie about the crime
, the Snowtown bank was only the site of one murder, but investigators discovered 8 bodies stored in barrels in the bank vault (two more bodies were found buried in a backyard, another in a farm field, and another had been falsely believed to be a suicide). The barrels had previously been stored in cars and sheds but a police investigation into the missing wife of one of the group meant they needed a new hiding place. The ostensible reason the killers gave for the crimes was that the victims were pedophiles, while the police had originally begun their investigation over evidence of welfare fraud (the victims’ social security payments were being taken by the group). But only two victims were known pedophiles, while the rest were chosen for being gay, overweight, mentally disabled, and/or drug users - a ‘waste’ in the words of the ringleader, John Bunting. All victims came from within the circle of friends, family and neighbours of the killers, and none were from Snowtown.
Further details can be read in the judge’s justification for trialling one of the group separately from the rest - R v Bunting and Others
(the most complete in detail, since not all trial documents are available online - some are suppressed, others only available to read in person). A more luridly atmospheric, but less accurate, account can be found at TruTV’s writeup of the case
Residents of the town were unhappy with the publicity at the time of the discovery and during the trials. It isn’t known at present whether they approve of the real estate agent’s marketing tactics, although he has insisted that people wanting to view the property must show proof that they have at least spent money in the town before coming to look.