On This Day – January 31, 1971
Christopher Lowery and Charles King, were charged with the brutal murder of a 15 year old school girl, Rosalyn Nolte, in Hamilton, Western Victoria. On this day in 1971, Lowery and King were driving down Gray Street, Hamilton’s main street, in Lowery’s Holden panel van, when they stopped and asked Nolte if she would like a lift. On a bush track, they forced her out of the vehicle, stripped her naked, apart from her socks, then beat, stomped and kicked her repeatedly with such fury that her elbow was broken. The sadists tied electrical flex around her neck and dragged her into the bush where they completed the job of trussing her. The flex was looped around her throat, her legs were drawn up behind her, the wire was looped again around her ankles and the end of it secured her wrists behind her back. The weight of her body slowly strangled her. Lowery and King watched then left her there. It was six days before Miss Nolte’s body was found. The two murderers were sentenced to death – the last people in Victoria to be receive the sentence. But on the 23rd of June 1973, the Governor-in-Council exercised mercy and commuted the death sentences to 60 years’ imprisonment, with a minimum of 50 years. The two killers without a cause wouldn’t see daylight until 2023. However they were back on the streets within 21 years. In late August 1992, they were freed after becoming eligible for a minimum sentence under Victoria’s new Sentencing Act introduced in 1991. Both men have since changed their names, however King was not been in trouble since. Lowery has been in and out of gaol before killing himself in 2007.