Archive for July 31st, 2011

Serial Killer’s Family Tries to Make Sure He Stays locked Up

FRANKSTON serial killer Paul Denyer’s estranged brother and sister-in-law plan to return to Australia and have vowed to fight to ensure one of the state’s most despised criminals is never released from prison.

For almost 20 years the couple and their family have lived in hiding in Britain overshadowed by Paul Denyer’s evil acts.

They fled their Mt Eliza home in 1992 just a year before Denyer embarked on a random killing spree murdering three women – student Elizabeth Stevens, 18, young mum Debra Fream, 22, and schoolgirl Natalie Jayne Russell, 17, – in what a shocked state came to know as the Frankston murders.

The Denyers moved to the other side of the world after Paul Denyer threatened to kill Ms Denyer and her children.

“It’s almost as if our life was moving along so well … and then suddenly it stopped,” Mr Denyer said from Britain yesterday.

“We want to come back and pick our life up from where it was so many years ago. It’s where we always wanted to be.

“We’re determined not to let this ruin our lives anymore.”

Mr Denyer said he planned to confront his brother in prison for the first time in 18 years to ask what triggered the vile crimes. A previous attempt to meet the murderer was blocked after Paul Denyer refused his brother’s request to see him. Mr Denyer said he was concerned his brother, sentenced to life in jail with a minimum of 30 years, would be eligible for parole in just 12 years.

“I’ve never tried to justify his actions. He deserves everything he gets. He should stay in prison and he should never be allowed to re-enter society ever,” an emotional Mr Denyer said.

“I’m a firm believer that you pay for the things that you’ve done. He’s taken away three lives of three young women and he’s taken part of the lives away from all their relatives.

“For that he should have his life, his freedom, taken away. His freedom to be part of society should be taken away because he’s taken it away from somebody else.”

He would campaign “without question” to make sure his brother stayed behind bars. Wife Julie, originally from England, said she missed her home here.

“I am 50 this year, and wish to retire in Australia, the place I miss with all my heart … what Paul did was life-changing for me, and to this day effects my life in so many ways,” she said.

“This started in my 20s, when I was full of hope to live my dream in Australia. I would like the chance to relive that dream taken from me by a monster.”

Ms Denyer said the family’s plans had been stalled. They were denied a victim payout for counselling because of a bureaucratic bungle.

Vital police and court documents were lost which stopped a claim for fair compensation from the Victims of Crime Assistance program. The documents have never been recovered.

“The only way I will have a chance is to physically come out there myself and look for the paperwork myself,” Ms Denyer said.“If he is eligible for parole he’ll be 54 when he’s released. And that’s why, I’m determined not to let that happen.”

Full Story

Another story showing how wide spread the damage done by a serial killer is.

I hope this family can go home and live happily.

I hope that Paul Denyer never gets released. Even his own flesh and blood knows what a threat he is and wants him to remain in prison.

Why we defend the indefensible

By Sue Carlton, Times columnist
In Print: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How do you defend the indefensible?

This week, a lawyer in Norway named Geir Lippestad answered questions from the press about his new client, accused in a case so terrible it’s still hard to grasp.

Asked if Anders Behring Breivik showed any empathy for the young victims in the mass shooting last week, the lawyer answered: “No.”

Another reporter asked if he had hesitated to take this case.

Yes, at first, he said. But he decided, “If I said no to this job, I said no to democracy.”

Which seems like a pretty good answer.

How do you defend the indefensible? Criminal defense lawyers on the worst cases, the accused child killers, serial rapists or mass murderers, must hear that question in their sleep: How do you do what you do? How do you represent the best interests of someone like Julie Schenecker, the Tampa woman accused of shooting her own teenage son and daughter dead in their home in the suburbs?

I called Byron Hileman, who has handled many murder cases in his 35 years at it, more than 20 involving the death penalty and some “pretty bad folks.” He represents Dontae Morris, charged in the murders of Tampa police Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab, as well as three other Tampa men. Yes, Hileman is familiar with the question.

Years back, he told a mentor he was tired of the system. “I’m sick of all the nastiness and so forth, the games that are played, the problems the system has,” Hileman remembers saying. “I don’t know if I want to do this kind of work.”

His mentor told him: “If you’re going to be a member of the church, you have to believe in God.” It took a minute to get it.

“You can’t have a commitment you turn on and off,” he says now.

He calls the system imperfect and also the best that exists, the cases “terribly sad.” No one wins. But without the structure of our system, “we’d have the law of the jungle, or lynch mob justice.”

Longtime defense lawyer Robert Fraser, defending Julie Schenecker, says the question speaks to how little we’re taught in American civics about how the criminal court system is supposed to work.

Lawyers new to the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender’s Office are given an analogy about a different profession: “Trauma surgeons are highly trained and have a specific skill,” says Public Defender Bob Dillinger. “When someone is wheeled in on a gurney, no one says, ‘This is a good person — work hard’ or ‘This is a bad person — don’t do so much.’ ”

“We’re defending the Constitution,” Dillinger says. “They don’t let you pick and choose what part of the Constitution you want to defend.”

Dillinger was once on the defense team for Oba Chandler, convicted of killing an Ohio mother and her two daughters and dumping their bodies in Tampa Bay. But the heaviest disapproval Dillinger remembers was when he represented a man charged with the triple murder of a grandmother, mother and an 11-year-old.

When people ask how he sleeps at night, representing guilty people, he always tells them it’s the innocent ones that keep you up.

Which seems like a pretty good answer, too. Why defend the indefensible? Because for you or me to be innocent until proven guilty, somebody has to.


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