We all know Graham Stafford killed Leanne Holland. The police told us so, after their exhaustive review of the case which was finalised in 2012.
But when did he kill her?
The crown case is that she died on Monday 23 September 1991 between 8am and 4.30pm. It is acknowledged that if she did not die during that time frame, Graham Stafford was not the killer. The Commissioner of Police wrote on 23 August 2012 “….. entomological research has determined the approximate time of death was 23 September 1991″.
So does that mean time of death may have been 22 September 1991 or 24 September 1991? One definition of approximate is ‘close to the actual, but not completely accurate or exact.’
25 years ago the crown forensic expert put the time of death as close to sunset on the Monday. Even that timing was outside the time frame mentioned above. Exhaustive tests by the defence put the time of death as definitely being on the Tuesday, perhaps even as late as Tuesday evening.
It is my understanding that the police case is now that Graham Stafford committed the murder on the morning of the Monday, not the afternoon. However as I have not seen the reinvestigation report I cannot confirm this. Stafford’s legal advisers have been refused a copy through legal channels. The police and crown have repeatedly refused to release it. Perhaps Channel 7, who do have a copy of the report, can enlighten us. I am particularly interested in perusing the credentials and experience of the person who calculated the time of death as being on the morning of the Monday.
Below is a timeline of the period from 7am – 8.30pm on Monday 23 September 1991. The timeline includes all known sightings, contested and otherwise. It does not include disputed sightings of Leanne Holland on the Tuesday. The police commissioner wrote in the correspondence referred to above “…It has been determined the last credible sighting of Leanne Holland was about 10.15am on 23 September 1991″.
In the police case, Graham Stafford had up to 3 hrs to commit the murder and cover it up. More than sufficient time apparently. If any one of the disputed sightings is correct, then that time frame is reduced significantly.
I believe the coroner, not the police should decide the last credible sighting of the deceased.
I also believe the coroner, not the police should determine the date and time of death.
The assistance of Bassem Nimah in producing the timeline is acknowledged and appreciated.
ANOTHER ARGUMENT WHY THIS MATTER NEEDS TO GO TO A CORONER:
In 1991 the police held the view Graham Stafford had helped dye Leanne’s hair in the bathroom and things became sexual, he got carried away and he killed her.
This is what was said by the defence at the 1999 Appeal ( I have not added the explanatory notes)
30. An issue arose in the original investigation of the case regarding the deceased’s hair being dyed. The original Police hypothesis seems to have been that the killing was sexually motivated and was precipitated by the Petitioner dyeing the deceased’s hair in the bathroom
31. When the body of the deceased was found her hair was a burgundy or titian colour. It was originally posited by the Police that the deceased’s hair was dyed. The Police case lacked a motive for the murder and the hypothesis of the hair dye provided a link to a sexual motive. This hypothesis was supported by Dr Ashby in her autopsy report and in her evidence at trial. It was raised by Police in their interviews with the Petitioner [Disc 1- 36:50mins, 40:00-40:25mins 28/09/91, Disc 2- 7:00-7:40 mins & 20:18-22:00, 28/09/91].
32. There was no evidence found by Police to support their hypothesis and subsequent scientific tests showed that the hair of the deceased was not dyed. In fact, despite Dr Ashby’s evidence at trial, the Police had abandoned this theory as early as the Committal hearing. The evidence quite clearly indicated that the deceased’s hair had not been dyed. The Crown did not otherwise suggest a motive for the murder.
33. Unfortunately the hair dyeing hypothesis went before the jury in the Police interviews and was unwisely raised by Defence Counsel with a number of witnesses at trial. Further, the issue of the deceased’s hair being dyed was mistakenly revived by later courts. This misconception added an extra element to an already complicated case. The Prosecution had a responsibility to make it clear at trial that their case did not suggest the deceased’s hair had been dyed and that they were not relying on it. Unfortunately the confusion remained and was exacerbated by the evidence the Crown led regarding the wheelie bin.
Fast forward 21 years to 2012 and the police now hold the view Graham Stafford had helped Leanne put peroxide in her hair in the bathroom and things became sexual, he got carried away and he killed her.
The Commissioner of Police wrote, in part, to the DPP on 23 August 2012: ” Leanne Holland had applied peroxide bleach to her hair but had not been able to fully spread the bleach through the hair before the process inexplicably ceased. This has been confirmed by microscopic and chemical examination of Leanne Holland’s hair. It was Leanne Holland’s stated desire to bleach her hair on 23 September 1991 with the assistance of Graham Stafford”.
What the chemical analysis would not show is the date and time the peroxide was placed in the hair and whether this occurred in the bathroom at 70A Alice St Goodna. A rather quantum leap, in my humble opinion, for the Commissioner to make that connection.
And of course that theory only has legs if it can be proven the murder occurred in the bathroom of 70A Alice St Goodna; and that claim is seriously questioned.
I wonder whether the scientists and the police considered the chemical reaction between peroxide and blood. (see youtube video below). I am not a scientist so help me out here. Would this be evident in the hair? Would it would make a lot more mess to clean up? In addition to the blood from the bashing to the head?
Everyone is aware of my criticism over the police handling of the investigation and my repeated calls for justice in the matter of the Leanne Holland murder. Lately I have felt the media have been attacking me personally over this matter. Take today’s Courier Mail for instance. This is a direct assault on my credibility.
Yesterday I was contacted by the Courier Mail to advise me they were running the story. For those of you who do not know how the media circus works, if I did not reply they would add the following comment to their story “We contacted Crowley for comment but he did not reply”. But I did reply. Obviously my reply did not suit their story so they ignored it. The journalist even agreed it was in the public interest to have an inquest.
Instead of providing a balanced story AND calling on the government for an Inquest, the Courier Mail instead focused on their own agenda which appears to include pushing the police line that Stafford is guilty as charged. What they do not say is the ‘new’ evidence is untested. And for every piece of evidence that shows Stafford is guilty, there is as much evidence to show he did not commit the crime. So can we please just push the Qld Government for an Inquiry into this matter instead of getting personal with me.
Sent: Sunday, 19 March 2017 5:43 PM
To: Graeme Crowley
Subject: Re: Fw: [Who Killed Leanne Holland] Contact Us
4 people identified “Steve’ at the body disposal site; 3 were family and 1 neighbour (that I know of). I can understand family may have a motive for making that up but not sure about the neighbour.
During the police reinvestigation Det Sgt (name provided) told me (in his words)”they had confirmed that Steve was at the body site. Other police who were at the scene were not happy about it but there it is”. No doubt he and the police service will (strenuously) deny that little gem so what can I say- I am making it up? There was no one else present and I did not record it.
In case you are wondering how that came about I will explain. I spoke with ……… about every 2 – 3 months during the course of the investigation, usually over a coffee. It was a joke really as he would say nothing. But over the 2 years he told me two things – the above and one other. Slip of the tongue? Don’t know.
I would point out that the Qld Govt is of the opinion that ‘it is not in the public interest’ to hold a corner’s inquest into this matter; yet 25.5 years later it is still in the media.
From: Kate Kyriacou <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, 19 March 2017 4:50 PM
Subject: [Who Killed Leanne Holland] Contact UsName (Optional): Kate Kyriacou
Email (Required if reply expected): firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: Hi Graeme
I am a reporter at the Courier Mail. You may have noticed we have been running some coverage on the Leanne Holland review.
Tomorrow there will be an article about the man standing with police at the crime scene where Leanne’s body was found. He’s been identified as a plainclothes police officer and not – as has been claimed – the sex offender and police informant ” Steve”.
I spoke to the police officer who is adamant the man pictured is him.
If you wanted to discuss this, or anything else, please let me know.
Time: March 19, 2017 at 3:50 pm
IP Address: 188.8.131.52
Contact Form URL: https://whokilledleanneholland.com/contact-us/
Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.
This is the letter from Commissioner of Police to DPP in August 2012 reporting on the result of the police reinvestigation.
Here are six VALID reasons why this material needs to go before a Coroner to determine the way forward in this matter.
- This evidence needs to be tested in a court. “The last credible sighting of Leanne Holland occurred at about 10.15am on 23 September 1991.” In fact, the last CREDIBLE sighting was by a family friend of the Hollands who had known Leanne since she was a baby. He saw her at 3pm on 23 Setpember 1991.
- This evidence needs to be tested in a court. Was the peroxide put in her hair on Monday 23 September 1991 or some earlier date. The evidence has always been that she wanted to dye her hair not bleach it; her hair was already blond.
- This evidence needs to be tested in a court. I have already heard varying reports as to the quantity of blood found on the shower curtain and whether it belonged to Leanne.
- This evidence needs to be tested in a court. At least two experts have provided statements that if the body had been in the boot of that car there would have been smell and a LOT of blood. Neither of which was evident.
- This evidence needs to be tested in a court. A scientific officer investigating a murder, sights a maggot in the boot but does not make note of it, film it or video it. A student previously unknown to be at the scene on work experience makes note of it. The officer finds the maggot alive 24 hrs later, still in the boot. Three of his peers give statements that what he has stated is scientifically impossible. To confuse matters the officer mixes up the labeling of exhibits, marking this exhibit as found after the maggots at the scene, instead of before.
- This evidence needs to be tested in a court. “Entomological evidence has determined the approximate date of death as 23 September 1991″. Other entomological evidence determined the time of death as absolutely on 24 September 1991.
As everyone is aware there has been intense media interest in this case over the last few days. And rightly so. It is an important case and potentially the most significant miscarriage of justice this country has ever seen. For those who are not aware, there was a police reinvestigation 7 years ago, completed 5 years ago. The report concluded ‘conclusively’ that Graham Stafford murdered Leanne Holland. The QPS/DPP have always refused to release the report. Channel 7 recently received a copy through the back door. Channel 7 produced a program called ‘Murdered Uncovered’. As expected, the program followed the police line.
Graham Stafford’s barrister Joe Crowley sent this statement to Channel 7 ‘Murder Uncovered’. This is his position regarding the ‘new’ evidence as a result of the ‘reinvestigation’:
‘I spent three hours reviewing the 500 odd page reinvestigation report. It is interesting that at no point does it discredit or subvert the evidence given in 1997 by Police Scientist Leo Freney. In 2009 Justice Holmes (as she then was) said “Mr Freney’s evidence … comprehensively demolished the theory that Leanne Holland was killed at her Goodna home”. Justice Keane said “[o]n the basis of this evidence, it was demonstrably unlikely that the deceased had been killed at her home and the bleeding body … put in the boot of the car”. The material in the report does not detract from those findings. In relation to the house, the report merely establishes that at some time before she was murdered, Leanne Holland had put peroxide on parts of her hair and that a spot of blood on the shower curtain had been DNA matched to her. Evidence that the body had a checked pattern, which was very similar to a pattern that appeared on the boot mat of the Holden Gemini, does not explain why there was negligible blood in the boot. As to the maggot, the report demonstrates that it had no human DNA in it, which indicates that it was not from the body of Leanne Holland. In all, the report does not impeach the evidence of Leo Freney and does not provide evidence of Graham Stafford’s guilt’.
In case anyone is in doubt this is my position regarding the matter:
‘To Michel Usher and Channel 7. Thank you for increasing the public profile of this very important case. As stated at interview, the 10-page Executive Summary is a damning indictment of Graham Stafford’s guilt, if it is an accurate reflection of the 600-page report. My advice is that it is not an accurate interpretation and a more correct title may perhaps be Selective Summary. So, the debate rages on – did Graham Stafford murder Leanne Holland or was he an innocent victim of something more sinister. The law courts are the appropriate forum to test the evidence for and against Mr Stafford. It has always been my position that Graham Stafford should be re-tried for murder. More recently, and due to the considerable nefarious allegations surrounding this whole sordid matter, I have formed the opinion a Coroner’s Inquest would be more appropriate. Until the matter has been properly resolved, I believe Graham Stafford has suffered the ultimate Miscarriage of Justice. The Qld Govt has already rejected a request by Graham Stafford for a Coroner’s Inquest citing ‘not in the public interest’. I think your program will confirm the need for an Inquest and I would beg Channel 7 to call on the Queensland Govt, Queensland Police Service and DPP to hold an inquest into the death of Leanne Holland. You can find more information at http://www.whokilledleanneholland.com’.