Hello, my name is Graeme Crowley. Thanks for stopping by. What an interesting 25 years it has been! Little did I know in late 1992 that I would still be involved in this case all these years later.
I have been asked on more than one occasion WIIFM. Whats in it for me. Fair question. I have a strong belief in right and wrong; I also am a strong believer in the old Australian adage of A Fair Go. Perhaps I am also a Law and Order tragic. Whatever I am, I can say unequivocally that neither Leanne Holland nor Graham Stafford received a fair go nor received proper treatment by our legal system. When I saw what happened to both of them I thought these wrongs could be rectified very quickly; how naive I was.
It irks me that Leanne Holland’s killer has never faced his due punishment. It irritates me that an innocent man spent over 15 years in custody for a crime he did not commit. And is still ignored by our judicial system. And it frustrates me that the Queensland Police have adopted the high morale ground and remain aloof, refusing to consider that perhaps they were wrong.
Some media have cast me as working tirelessly. That’s not entirely accurate nor true. It has been said I am obsessed by it. I will let others judge me on that. In those early years, say 1993 to 1996 I did put a great deal of effort into the investigation. I was self employed, supporting a wife and 4 children and paying mortgage. So in between earning a living I was perhaps working tirelessly; if you can do that one day a week or a fortnight, unpaid and not sure if what I was doing was the right thing. After all, in those early years I was not fully convinced of Graham Stafford’s innocence. That does not sit comfortably with a Law and Order tragic.
And then I ran out of things to investigate. So I moved on with my life. Months would go by and someone would contact me and say something like” you might be interested in this”. I had people come to my house! I had a uniform policeman I had never met, ring me to tell me he didn’t trust the detectives involved in the investigation but he had some information. That turned out to be an extremely significant lead.
In the meantime I became aware that Professor Paul Wilson of Bond University was across the matter. I would go to Bond University 4 times a year and give a lecture to his criminology students on the investigation and the case. I was fielding inquiries from many persons and media. It was not a story I could tell quickly and I found myself spending hours repeating the story to different people. It was a good story. An unbelievable story. At times a fanciful story. There was a lot of interest. And a lot of skepticism that what we were saying happened, really happened! Another lecturer and Barrister at the University, a previously unknown distant relative named Joe Crowley also became actively involved in the case.
Over a coffee with Paul the idea of a book was born.
After writing and editing, it took 5 years for the book to be published. We had many rejections from publishers. They were concerned that some of the (outrageous) allegations we were making would end up in defamation proceedings.
And the years passed. More media interest, questions, interviews. More occasional leads to be followed up. Meanwhile my 4 children grew up, married and moved away. They lived this story. As did my long suffering extremely supportive wife.
With the very significant evidence we had gathered pointing to a miscarriage of justice I thought the Judicial system and the Police would be supportive and interested. The exact opposite was the case. To my dismay the police actively and at times aggressively fought me at every opportunity. The justice system was non committal and deferred to the police.
Meanwhile Graham Stafford’s support base grew exponentially. Many reasonable people were disturbed with what they saw and read. They offered their support. They conducted their own inquiries and investigations. They provided insight into matters I had no experience in. They provided affidavits. Experienced retired detectives provided their input and support. In the early days I commented that the case had developed a persona of its own. We could not control what direction it would take nor what would happen next. An unexpected twist or turn became the norm.
Recently Professor Paul Wilson OAM was convicted of child sex offences dating back to the 1970’s. He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Obviously I was unaware of the charges until his arrest.