Six mass murders, with a total of 43 victims, occurred between 1990 and 1997.

David Gray

Thirteen people were killed in Aramoana in 1990 by 33-year-old David Gray, including police constable Stewart Guthrie. During a siege the next day, Gray was shot dead by police.

Brian Schlaepfer

In 1992 in Paerātā, south of Auckland, 64-year-old Brian Schlaepfer murdered his wife, his three sons, the wife of one of his sons and a grandson. He then killed himself. Schlaepfer’s granddaughter Linda survived the killings by barricading herself in a bedroom.

Raymond Ratima

Seven members of his family were killed in Masterton by 25-year-old Raymond Ratima in 1992, including three of his own children. Ratima and his wife were having problems in their relationship, and were living with her parents. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Bain family killings

Five members of the Bain family were killed in Dunedin in 1994. In 1995 22-year-old David Bain, the only survivor, was convicted of murdering his mother, his father, his two sisters and his younger brother. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 16-year non-parole period.

From the start there was controversy over whether David was responsible or whether his father had killed the others and then shot himself. After an appeal to the Privy Council succeeded in 2007, there was a retrial in the Christchurch High Court and Bain was acquitted in 2009.

Alan Lory

Six residents of the New Empire Hotel in Hamilton died when Alan Lory (41) set fire to the building in 1995. Lory was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter and arson, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Lory was released in 2009.

Stephen Anderson

22-year-old Stephen Anderson killed six people and wounded another eight at a ski lodge in Raurimu, south-east of Taumarunui, on 8 February 1997. Some of the dead were family and friends who had been invited to join the Anderson family for the weekend. Found to be legally insane, Anderson was committed to secure psychiatric care. He was freed from care in 2009 but recalled in 2011. He was again released and worked as a tutor at a Wellington art school, but lost his job after his position was the subject of a 2014 newspaper article.


Why the 1990s generated so many mass murders is a difficult question to answer. During this decade and the previous one, a spate of ‘amok’ murders occurred in America, Europe and Australia. Similar events in New Zealand were part of this global trend. Researchers have suggested that high levels of unemployment, economic instability and growing social inequality during these decades may have contributed to the clustering of mass murders in New Zealand in the 1990s.
Stephen Anderson, Alan Lory, Bain family killings, Raymond Ratima, David Gray, Brian Schlaepfer, New Zealand, Six Mass Murders

Ararat Lunatic Asylum
Jane Ford was committed to Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 5th of March 1873. Ford escaped and was arrested near Talbot on the 23rd of July 1876. The escapee was a woman by the named Jane Fordo, who for the last three years had been living in the asylum at Ararat. On escaping Ford made her way to Talbot the town in which she was from. The evening before her arrest she was seen by some residents of Evansford and recognised, but she managed, however, to evade capture. Ford was ultimately found about two miles from Evansford in a hollow log, from which she had stuck her head out. Ford was at once taken to the Wallace’s Junction Hotel, as she was suffering hypothermia. Ford told police that the reason she escaped was because she was overworked. During the 10 days of her wanderings she had only eaten on three occasions and had slept in a shed two nights with only pieces of bark to cover her. On the other nights Ford slept in the bush or on the road without shelter. During the day of her capture she had seen the police searching for her, and hid herself in the log to avoid being sent back to the asylum, however because she was so cold and hungry she allowed the police to find her. The only clothing Ford was wearing was an old skirt, a threadbare shawl, and a tattered hat. She was returned to the Asylum. Ford would go on to escape two more times, the seconds on the 15th of November 1876 and recaptured on November the 17th and again returned, 22nd of march 1882 and recaptured on march the 25th.


Plucka Duck is a character on the popular Australian television program Hey Hey It’s Saturday. The character “presented” a segment on the show, along with Daryl Somers, which was a self-titled segment of Plucka Duck. Plucka was on the show until the show ended in 1999. In 2009, Plucka returned to the show when it returned to the screens as “Reunion Specials”. In 2010, the show returned as a series, with Plucka appearing in every episode. According to an interview given by John Blackman in 2009, Plucka was originally played by Mark McGahan, but was replaced by “Sim” for the reunion specials. “Sim” appears to refer to Simon Lefebvre. Also, Plucka Duck had its own show, Plucka’s Place. This show aired in 1997, with Livinia Nixon and Daniel Kowalski as co-hosts. The show lasted one season. In 2005, Plucka appeared with Daryl Somers at Carols by Candlelight. In 2008, Plucka made a long awaited return to television. Plucka (along with Dickie Knee and Daryl Somers) did a skit at the Logies. In early 2016, Plucka Duck appeared in an ad campaign for KFC riding a skateboard down a mountainous road in New Zealand.


List of Australian mass killings in order of victims

1850 – Gippsland massacres – VIC (1000)
1916 – Mowla Bluff massacre – WA (400)
1834 – Convincing Ground massacre – Vic (200)
1928 – Coniston massacre – NT (170)
1868 – Flying Foam massacre – WA (150)
1878 – Palmer massacre – QLD (150)
1628 – Shipwreck of the Batavia – WA (110)
1838 – Slaughterhouse Creek massacre – NSW (70)
1834 – Pinjarra Massacre – WA (40)
1839 – Murdering Gully massacre – Vic (40)
1839 – Campaspe Plains massacre – Vic (40)
1996 – Port Arthur massacre – Tas (35)
1828 – Cape Grim massacre – Tas (30)
1838 – Myall Creek massacre – NSW (30)
1840 – Maria massacred – SA (25)
1861 – Cullin-La-Ringo massacre – QLD (19)
2000 – Childers Palace Backpackers fire – QLD (15)
1973 – Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub fire – QLD (15)
1926 – Forrest River massacre – WA (11)
2011 – Quakers Hill Nursing Home Fire – NSW (11)
1971 – Hope Forest massacre – SA (10)
2009 – Churchill Fire – Vic (10)
1987 – Queen Street massacre – Vic (8)
2014 – Cairns child killings – QLD (8)
1984 – Milperra massacre – NSW (7)
1987 – Hoddle Street massacre – Vic (7)
1991 – Strathfield massacre – NSW (7)
1911 – Ching family murders – QLD (6)
1988 – Oenpelli shootings – NT (6)
1992 – Central Coast massacre – NSW (6)
1996 – Hillcrest Murders – QLD (6)
1981 – Campsie murders – NSW (5 )
1984 – Wahroonga murders – NSW (5)
1987 – Top End Shooting – NT (5)
1987 – Canley Vale Huynh family murders – NSW (5)
1990 – Surry Hills shootings – NSW (5)
1993 – Cangai siege – NSW (5)
2009 – Lin family murders – NSW (5)
2014 – Hunt family murders – NSW (5)
1915 – Broken Hill massacre – NSW (4)
2011 – Hectorville siege – SA (3)
2014 – Logan shooting – Vic (3)
2014 – Sydney Siege – NSW (3)
2002 – Monash University Shooting – Vic (2)

On This Day – July 23, 1950

Allegations that Raymond Murray Baillie, 43, military pensioner, killed his wife and wounded his two sons with a rifle on July 23 last were made in the Criminal Court yesterday.

Baillie, of Nicholson-street, North Fitzroy, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife, Laurel, Frances Baillie. Outlining the case for the Crown before the Chief Justice (Sir Edmund Herring) and a jury, Mr. F. Nelson said Baillie had determined to resolve his domestic difficulties by ending the lives of his wife and sons, and then, ending his own life.  This determination was not fulfilled, because he was disarmed by his sons.  Mr. Nelson said there had apparently been domestic difficulties between Baillie and his wife and sons, aged 17 and 20 years, for some time before July 23. On the night in question the mother and sons decided to leave him and were packing suitcases, when Baillie got a rifle and shot his wife in their bedroom. He levelled the rifle at his two sons, one of whom was shot in the shoulder, and the other in the chest.

“We’re Leaving”

In a statement alleged to have been made to the police, Mr. Nelson said Baillie said his sons and wife started to abuse him, and his wife said to the boys; “Come on. Pack up, boys; we’re leaving.” In the alleged statement Baillie said he picked up a loaded rifle. He did not take aim, but pulled the trigger and the gun went off. He said his wife fell on the floor, and he went out to shoot himself. He realised the boys were going to attack him, so he fired three or four shots. The boys took the rifle from him and prevented him from carrying out his intention to shoot himself. Vance Baillie, who was wounded in the shoulder, said he was wakened by an argument between his mother and father, and went to his father’s bedroom after the argument quietened. He said his mother pushed his father through a window. After some discussion with his mother and brother they decided to pack and leave the home. Shortly afterwards he heard a shot and a groan. He and his brother rushed along the passage. There was a shot, and his brother fell.

Hit in Shoulder

Vance Baillie said he jumped for the kitchen door, and a shot hit him in the shoulder. Cross-examined by Mr. R. V. Monahan, K.C., for the father, Vance Baillie said, as far as he could remember, he had only “belted” his father once. About 18 months ago, he said, he got a Judo hold on his father and tossed him over his head on to a brick wall. The incident had followed a fight between his father and grandfather. He agreed with Mr. Monahan that at one time he had said he would kill his father. The hearing will be continued today.Mr. Mr. F. Nelson appeared for the Crown. . Mr. R. V. Monahan. K.C.. with Mr. J. P. Moloney (Instructed Dy Mr. R. Dunn), appeared for Baillie.

Ossie Ostrich is an Australian television character, firstly on the Tarax Show, and then on the long-running program Hey Hey It’s Saturday which started as a Saturday morning cartoon show for children in 1971. In 1984, he also hosted an after-school children’s show called The Ossie Ostrich Video Show, with co-host Jacki MacDonald. In October 2009, Ossie appeared on the second Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion special and made regular appearances during the show’s 2010 revival series.

Producer Ernie Carroll, an experienced comedy writer who had worked for Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight, resurrected a puppet used for an earlier GTV-9 children’s program “packed away in a dusty suitcase in the GTV props bay.”

Typically, Ossie would provide the comic foil to Somers’ straight man. Daryl Somers sometimes retaliated by calling Ossie names like ‘Fiberglass Head’, but he also had more affectionate names, like his ‘pink, feathered beakie’. The comic skill of Somers and Carroll was instrumental in leading to the wider appeal of the show and its move to a prime time spot on Saturday evening.

Ossie wasn’t a part of Hey Hey It’s Saturday for the entirety of its 28-year run – he replaced footballer Peter McKenna as co-host after the show’s first eight weeks, and his retirement in 1994 was arguably a key factor in the demise of the show – but he was one of the most recognisable puppets in Australia for more than two decades.

Over time, Ossie’s head had to be replaced due to mishaps. Lipstick marks from over-amorous admirers were very difficult to remove. Other members of Ossie’s family were represented using the same puppet with different accessories. The Ossie Ostrich puppet is now on display at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

On the Tarax Show, Ossie’s theme song was “Here comes Ossie Ostrich”. This was also occasionally heard on Hey Hey.


ON THIS DAY – July 23, 1902

A lad named Arnold Egglestone was committed for trial at Creswick on a charge of murdering Ah Sin, a Chinese, on July 23. The story of the prosecution is that accused, who is alleged to have attempted to criminally assault a girl, aged twelve years and nine months, a week before, shot the Chinese to obtain money to get away. Bail was refused.

List of Australia Serial Killers and the number of victims.

Dennis Bruce Allen – Vic (13)
Andy Albury – NT (13)
John Bunting, Robert Joe Wagner – SA (12)
Clifford Cecil Bartholomew – SA (10)
Eric Edgar Cooke – WA (8)
Alexander Pearce – Tas (7)
Ivan Milat – NSW (7)
Leonard Fraser – Qld (7)
Christopher Worrell and James Miller – SA (7)
Paul Steven Haigh – Vic (7)
Frederick Bailey Deeming – Vic (6)
John Glover – NSW (6)
Thomas Jeffries – Tas (5)
William MacDonald – NSW (5)
Josef Thomas Schwab – NT (5)
Martha Needle – Vic (5)
Lindsay Robert Rose – NSW (5)
Elmer Kyle Crawford -Vic (5)
Arnold Sodeman – Vic (4)
Joel Teicher – Vic (4)
David John Birnie, Catherine Margaret Birnie – WA (4)
Bandali Michael Debs – Vic (4)
Reginald Kenneth Arthurell – NSW (4)
Peter Dupas – Vic (3)
Gregory John ‘Bluey’ Brazel – Vic (3)
Martha Rendell – WA (3)
Edward Joseph Leonski – Vic (3)
Caroline Mickelson – NSW (3)
Matthew James Harris – NSW (3)
Paul Charles Denyer – Vic (3)
Richard Edward Dorrough – WA (3)
Leslie Camilleri’s – Vic (3)
Ashley Coulston – Vic (3)
John Coombes – Vic (3)
Bevan Spencer von Einem – SA (3)
Ashley Coulston -Vic (3)

On this day …….. 23rd of July 1913

Rutherglen switched to electricity on this day in 1913. Before that, electric lighting had been confined to the mines around the town, and Rutherglen’s were illuminated by kerosene lamps. With new generated equipment in place, and Mrs Henrietta Gollings, on hand to officiate at the ceremony, Rutherglen took the plunge from darkness into light. Rutherglen changed over to State generated power in 1926.


On This Day ……. 23rd of July 1945

In one of Victoria’s biggest gaol break, 22 men escaped from the old Geelong gaol on this day in 1945. Tired and hungry, four of the men, including the ringleader, were captured at Werribee on the 24th. The escape, which had been well planned, occurred at 12.30pm when the men were having lunch in the gaol yard. Without warning they rushed a stone wall, and, using tins as steps, scrambled over into a store yard. The guard on the watchtower tried to raise the alarm by telephoning the gaol orderly room, but the men had cut the wires. Grabbing several ladders they scrambled over the outer 15ft stone wall and dropped into the street. They were then seen to divide into several parties. Meanwhile the guard, unaware that the telephone wires were cut, was still frantically trying to raise the orderly room, and it is believed the first intimation the orderly room had of the escape came from an outside source. Military police in Melbourne were immediately notified and all roads and railway stations were watched. Police, however, were hampered by heavy football traffic from Geelong, and it in the confusion most of the escapees had made it to Melbourne, where their homes were. The four men captured at Werribee said they had no complaint against their treatment or against conditions in gaol. They had just seen the chance to escape and had taken it. Only one of the escapees was still a member of the Army, it was stated last night. Several of the men had civil convictions, and most of them had not served outside Australia. When they escaped the men were wearing Army clothes. The remainder of the men were found in Melbourne.


IT is not known the exact number of people the Victoria-born man killed, but he has admitted to at least 13 murders. Albury first came to police attention in 1983 when he used a broken bottle to mutilate an Aboriginal woman, Gloria Pindan, on Mitchell Street in Darwin. Drunk at the time, Albury had taken off his bloodied cowboy shirt and threw it in a nearby bin. It would lead police directly to him. Albury quickly confessed, telling police he kicked her, hit her then used a broken stubbie beer bottle top to cut her. He cut off her nipples and ripped her eye out. Albury claimed he was 15 when he killed his first victim – a 14-year-old boy who he buried under a boat shed on the Mornington Peninsula, and that he was also involved in “family” killings in South Australia. A South Australian fisherman was another victim, who Albury claimed to have hacked to death with a machete before he tossed the body into the Port Adelaide River. He also claimed to have used a bottle of poisoned alcohol to kill three Aboriginal people in the Todd River in Alice Springs in 1981. And he also claimed to fatally stomping sleeping pensioner Alfred Beales in the same river bed. Detectives from New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria have interviewed Albury about a dozen unsolved murders since 1976 but most claims had been disproved. One case that Albury admitted to being involved in was the murder of Aboriginal woman Patricia Carlton in Mt Isa in 1983. Carlton’s husband Kelvin Condren initially received a life sentence for the murder, but was released after Albury confessed to killing an Aboriginal woman at the same time. It was later proven that Albury had been in town and left the night of the murder. Supreme Court Justice Martin called Albury an extremely dangerous man with a casual disregard for the act of killing. “He has a fantasy about terrorising a town by committing casual, motiveless murder for the purpose of making people frightened that they may be the next to be killed,” Martin said. A prison psychiatrist described Albury as an above-average intelligence, who enjoys the reputation of a ‘monster’. Being locked away in jail didn’t stop Albury from his reign of terror. Albury put a garden hoe through the head of child molester John Michael Knox, and after being transferred to Alice Springs prison, he struck another inmate in the head with a cricket bat, cracking his skull. He also sent death threats written in blood to Northern Territory ministers. Albury was diagnosed with both psychopathic personality disorder and schizophrenia, which is the reason why he hasn’t been tried for a number of other murders he has confessed to around Australia. His murders have been attributed to his violent upbringing, as well as a hatred of Aboriginal people. Despite spending most of his childhood on the Mornington Peninsula, he had attended Nightcliff Primary School for a short time in his youth but was deemed “uncontrollable”.