Bega killer pleads guilty to Prue Bird murder
The infamous Bega schoolgirls killer, Leslie Alfred Camilleri, pleads guilty to the 20-year-old murder of teenager Prue Bird.PT0M50S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2b4tk 620 349 December 10, 2012
THE infamous Bega schoolgirls killer, Leslie Alfred Camilleri, has pleaded guilty to the 20-year-old murder of teenager Prue Bird.
In a brief hearing before Justice Elizabeth Curtain at Victoria's Supreme Court on Monday, Camilleri, 43, pleaded guilty to murdering Prue, 13, between February 2 and 11, 1992, after she disappeared from her Glenroy home.
Prue's mother, Jenny, was in court for the brief hearing.
Clockwise from centre: Murdered teenager Prue Bird; her confessed killer, Leslie Alfred Camilleri at a hearing several years ago; police search for Prue's body in East Gippsland; Prue’s mother, Jennifer Bird, with a picture of her daughter.
Prue has not been seen or heard from since February 2, 1992.
Her mother left home that morning, leaving Prue with a family friend at the house.
Prue was preparing lunch in the kitchen when she was last seen. When the friend returned to the house after packing boxes in the garage, the front door was open, the television was on and a hot meal was sitting uneaten on the table.
Police have claimed in court that there were another four people of interest apart from Camilleri in their investigation of her murder.
Three of the four people of interest were in custody, but the fourth remained at large, most likely interstate.
Homicide detectives were granted permission in February to interview Russell Street bomber Craig Minogue over Prue's murder.
Detective Sergeant Brent Fisher, of the homicide squad, told an earlier court hearing that the motive for Prue's abduction and murder revolved around payback over police statements made against the men who bombed the Russell Street police building in 1986.
Prue's grandmother, Julie, and her partner, Paul Kurt Hetzel, gave statements to police about the fatal bombing.
But prosecutor Michele Williams, SC, told the court the Crown no longer wished to argue the motive for the murder was payback for the bombing.
Camilleri, dressed in a green jumper and grey tracksuit pants, stood with his hands behind his back. He was softly spoken when he told the court he was ''guilty''.
His pre-sentence plea hearing has been adjourned to February 4, 2013.
Prue's body has never been found. Police conducted a three-day search for her remains near Flat Rock Creek, north of the town of Cann River in far East Gippsland, in February. But the search was called off after officers found nothing.
The site is near where the bodies of schoolgirls Lauren Barry and Nichole Collins were found in 1997.
The girls were kidnapped by Camilleri and an accomplice in Bega, New South Wales, and driven across the border to the isolated region where they were repeatedly raped and killed.
Camilleri is serving life without parole for those murders.