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Shirley's inquest told police chief that Bernie Johnson had made a bedroom confession; for murder



Updated

April 02, 2019 00:04:01

The inquest into a bridging bride action madam 1975 action from Shirley Finn's marriage has heard allegations made by former sub-squad Bernie Johnson's "bedroom confession" to the killing.

Key points:

  • A witness who witnessed Bernie Johnson's ex-partner told him about the confession
  • Shirley Finn was found in her car on the Perth Royal Golf platform in 1975
  • Mr Johnson died last year, but his ex-partner has been called back to give evidence

After an eight-month break, the inquest at Perth Coroner's Court resumed and heard from a witness who said that Mr Johnson's former partner, Carolyn Langan, had told him of the murder confession in the late 1980s.

Craig Klauber, CSIRO scientist, said Ms Langan, who started working in the administration at the CSIRO in Perth in 1986, said to her office one morning and told him, "Bernie told me in bed last night that he had killed Shirley Finn. "

Ms Finn was shot four times in the head, and her body was found slipping over her white Dodge Phoenix wheel on the Royal Perth Golf Course on June morning in 1975.

He was killed just two days before a tax hearing, where he had been threatening to blow the whistle on illegal transactions by high profile politicians, businessmen and police.

Dr Klauber told the court he had no information about the murder or the madam brothel at the time.

But he said once Ms Langan explained the background, it was "chilled".

She said that Ms Langan, who she considered to be a close friend, had told him not to tell anyone else, and said that he believed that she had trusted her as a safety measure, in case anything happened to her. .

In April last year, Mr Johnson, who has been associated with Ms Finn's murder, died from a number of the 50 witnesses the inquest has already heard from.

Threats prevented me from going to the police: a witness

Dr Klauber later said that Ms Langan had come into her office "boring and very distressed", telling him that Mr Johnson had threatened him with a gun to the face the night before.

"My advice was then to leave Bernie," he told the court.

"She was obviously very scared then.

"But she said, 'Bernie won't hurt me, Bernie won't hurt me."

When asked why he hadn't gone to the police, Dr Klauber said he felt he was "too far away from the events to be credible".

He also said that Mr Johnson had spoken to them later on two occasions in what he suggested as threats, and decided that it was safe for him not to go to the police.

"After Bernie's threats, I assumed if I didn't do anything and say nothing else I'd be fine," he said.

Ms Langan's lawyer, Louis Durand, told Dr Klauber that his client did not recall any of the claims and denied all of them.

The former police partner called to give evidence

This is not the first time the inquest has heard Ms Langan's allegations about Mr Johnson's alleged association with Ms Finn's murder.

Last year Ross Stone and Errol Stone gave second-hand accounts of what Gratton Stone – Ross's father and Errol's brother – told them when Ms Langan lived with him at the beginning of the 2000s.

Ms Langan also denied those allegations.

But Dr Klauber said he heard Ms Langan's evidence in July, which she said was unreasonable, which forced her to come forward with what she had to tell him every year. back.

"I don't understand what she has to earn by not telling the truth," she said.

Ms Langan, who said she was employed for Mr Johnson and dated for about 15 years, has been recalled to give evidence to the inquest on Thursday.

Allegations of gold have been buried

The inquest also heard from Joan Wilson, who said Dr Klauber was also involved with Mr Johnson at the same time as Ms Langan and that the detective was married to his wife, Christine.

Dr Klauber said he had become close friends with Ms Wilson's daughter, Amanda Marzo, in 1989 after being hired as her riding instructor.

He told the court that he was invited to his home one night in December of that year, when Ms Wilson asked him, as a scientist, what he knew about gold processing.

He said she went on to talk about how $ 300,000 worth of gold was sold on a property owned by Mr Johnson in Gidgegannup.

Ms Wilson denied the allegations and told the court that although she had not been on certain dates with Mr Johnson, she did not know Carolyn Langan and had never met Dr Klauber.

But counsel who supported coroner Toby Bishop said Ms Wilson had told police during a phone call last August that she was "very aware of Craig Klauber".

Topics:

law-crime-and-justice, t

murder-and-manslaughter,

crime,

courts and trials, t

hedge-6000,

wa

First published

April 01, 2019 22:27:15


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