Wednesday 20 July 2011

Murder or double suicide....that is the question

Families hope for mystery deaths answers

The mother of Atherton woman Vicki Arnold hopes the mystery surrounding her daughter's death 20 years ago will be solved thanks to further forensic testing on crucial evidence.

A pathologist and forensic experts will be sought to answer lingering questions surrounding the deaths of Ms Arnold and best friend Julie-Anne Leahy before a third inquest begins in the Far North on November 14.

At a pre-inquest hearing in Brisbane yesterday, the State Coroner’s office committed to providing the women’s families with a "comprehensive and carefully analysed" review of what has become one of the Far North’s most infamous cold cases.

Trail bike riders found the bodies of Ms Arnold, 27, and Mrs Leahy, 26, in a four-wheel-drive at Cherry Tree Creek on August 12, 1991 – two weeks after they failed to return from a fishing trip.

Mrs Leahy’s body was held upright in the driver’s seat by a seatbelt wrapped tightly around her neck; she had two gunshot wounds to the head, her throat was slashed and she had been bashed with a large rock.

Ms Arnold had been shot in the thigh, upwards through the jaw and fatally behind the right ear, and was slumped on the passenger-side floor, her hand resting on the stock of a sawn-off rifle with a shell jammed in the breech.

Forensic experts and family have criticised the police investigation and previous inquests which found Ms Arnold murdered Mrs Leahy before killing herself.

An attempt will be made to digitally enhance a photograph of the gun, and an expert may comment on whether Mrs Leahy was shot from the passenger side or the rear of the vehicle.

Nineteen witnesses are expected to be called during the inquest, which will run for two weeks in Cairns and Atherton

Author | Source | Melaine Petrinec |Wednesday, July 20, 2011 © The Cairns Post


  1. Alison Alloway20 July 2011 at 12:15

    After reading Robert Reid's book, I believe there was more than one killer involved. There were at least two killers. I believe one was trying to kill Julie Leahy by rock, strangulation, then knife..which could indicate this person might have been a woman. Vicki Arnold I believe tried to stop this killer and may have succeeded in preventing her friend from having her throat fatally cut. Then another person intervened, shot Vicki probably twice and then fatally shot Julie Leahy. I believe the two killers then dragged Vicki Arnold and placed her in the passengers seat and killed her with one last shot before putting the gun in her hand.
    If Robert Reid's is correct in some of his deductions, then one killer may be dead, dying in prison. However, the other one or others are still at large.

  2. The jammed case in the Ruger Malfunction is placed @ six mille-metres to the rear of the leading edge of the breech bolt .It is crushed as
    the result of hand operation . The gun was destroyed on the 30 July 2003 by the State . The
    shortened barrel reduced the bullet velocity to
    approx . 200 fps .


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