When I interviewed Wendy Davis recently about her terrifying ordeal at the hands of Claremont serial killer Bradley Edwards, more than three decades ago, she was still very emotional.
In 1990, Edwards, a Telecom technician, came up behind her at her workplace at Hollywood Hospital and tried to choke her. But when Edwards was arrested and charged with rape and murder five years ago, the awful memories of the day he attacked her came flooding back.
Wendy, who thought Edwards was about to kill her that day, remains apologetic to the families of the Perth women Edwards later murdered. She feels sorry she didn’t speak up more after he attacked and terrorised her. But if anyone needs to apologise, it’s the authorities who trivialised Wendy’s ordeal back in 1990, and let Edwards get off so lightly.
Those execs at Telecom who met up with her after the attack and told her that Edwards was a good lad who’d just had a few personal problems. (Within months, the telecommunications company promoted him.)
Those cops who seemingly didn’t take Wendy that seriously and failed to provide follow-up care and support. He was charged with, and convicted of something so minor, that he remained off the police radar when they were later trying to hunt for Claremont’s serial killer for so long.
The magistrate, who ordered Edwards do a course for sex offenders, thus recognising he was a weirdo, yet only placed him on probation after he pleaded guilty to common assault. Some punishment, for terrorising a woman so badly, she later quit her job and left Western Australia. (She now lives in Hobart.)
All this enabled Edwards to remain free to commit terrible crimes in our city, remaining uncaught, for decades. Wendy, you’re not the one who needs to be sorry!
Read our interview with Wendy ( whose new memoir, Don’t Make A Fuss, It’s Only The Claremont Serial Killer, is out now) in this edition of The Starfish.
On a much lighter note, those with somewhat delicate tummies but a lust for sweet treats will love our delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe, courtesy of Georgia McDermott. Georgia’s new cookbook Intolerance-Friendly Kitchen(Penguin/Lantern) is full of healthy recipes designed for those of us who have sensitive digestive systems. Gluten-free and ‘FODMAP’- friendly, they’re also mighty tasty!
Margot reviews hot new musical Once, a joint production between Sydney’s Darlinghurst Theatre Company and Black Swan, on now at The Regal.
And we also feature a review of new Brit film Mothering Sunday, featuring a top-notch cast, including Colin Firth, Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor, and Glenda Jackson.
Jacqui and Peter