Claremont killer victim Ciara Glennon’s father, Denis, has strongly criticised some media reporting of the murder of his daughter in an emotional press conference at WA police headquarters, after yesterday’s historic conviction of Bradley Edwards.
Edwards, 51, was found guilty of wilfully murdering 27-year-old Ms Glennon and Jane Rimmer, 23, more than two decades ago, but not guilty of the murder of Sarah Spiers — murders that became known as the Claremont serial killings.
Mr Glennon said his family had experienced “countless heartbreaking setbacks” over the years, mostly caused by insensitive and inaccurate reporting of the case, “which serve little or no legitimate public interest value or purpose”.
“The dramatic headlines, the subjective content repeatedly cast doubt on the investigative work of the police, and the analytical work of the chemists, the scientists, all of whom I know were working diligently and conscientiously with what they had to work with at the time they were working on the case,” Mr Glennon said.
“This form of reporting, I can assure you, inflicted needless additional suffering on my family.
“And I can assure you my family is not alone in making that observation.”
However, he said he was not disappointed with all of the reporting on the case.
“In contrast, those in the media who, with acumen and wisdom, crafted balanced reports that were sensitively worded, were transparent. These were a welcome respite, and we thank the people responsible,” he said.
‘Enduring gratitude’ family feel to investigators
Despite their grief, he said the family would “not allow ourselves to be prisoners of the past”.
“The past is unquestionably, for us, engulfed by sadness, and that is a powerful force,” he said.
“But … it’s transcended by the fond memories of Ciara. Yes, memories watered by tears, but also caressed by her spirit, her ready friendship, and, above all, her courage.
“These memories will continue to apply healing balm to past suffering.”
A dignified Mr Glennon, who is 77, also conveyed his family’s “enduring gratitude” to police, Justice Stephen Hall and the prosecution team, of whom the family “could not have asked for more”.
“We never doubted their commitment to find the person who murdered Ciara. Not for one minute,” he said.
Mr Glennon said the family had been unable to view Ciara’s body, because “her wounds and injuries were too gruesome”.
However, he had read the autopsy report, which included photos of the injuries inflicted on her, photos he had been unable to forget.
“For 23 years I have lived with those images,” he said.
Investigator’s trust will ‘never be forgotten’
Mr Glennon said he was particularly grateful for the way WA Police had treated him and his family over the two decades since Ciara vanished.
” They permitted me to enter their world and express my profound desire for justice.
“They allowed me to assist wherever they believed I could.
“My request to them for truthfulness of information, no matter how hard to hear and bear, was granted to me and to my family.
“This trust and confidentiality will never be forgotten, and forever be honoured. “
He said the family also took comfort from the support of the wider public.
“We express the enduring gratitude to the many people of Western Australia and beyond who continue to uplift us as a family, and for their steadfast support over that 23 years,” Mr Glennon said.
‘She would fight for her life because that’s how she was brought up’
He also recalled the occasion 23 years ago, when he addressed the media from the same podium at police headquarters, begging for information from the public that might help find his daughter.
“Through tears I said she would fight for her life because of the way she was brought up,” Mr Glennon said.
“And little did we know then how prophetic these words would be.
“As she fought to save her life, she left us the vital DNA clues.”
It was Edwards’s DNA, that became lodged under Ms Glennon’s fingernails as she desperately fought for her life as the Telstra technician attacked her, that was the crucial evidence that ultimately led to his conviction for both her murder and that of Jane Rimmer.
“Ciara was strong in spirit, had courage, great courage,” Mr Glennon said.
“But yet, as she fought to save her life … she could not save herself, because of the brutal assault by her murderer.”