Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: October-November 1986
Method of murder: Strangulation, Stabbing
Location: Perth, Western Australia
A depraved killer couple, David and Catherine Birnie are among Australia’s most notorious serial killers, responsible for the deaths of four young women ranging in age from 15 to 35. Each of the victims was either lured or forced back to the Birnies’ home in Perth, Western Australia. There, they were subjected to prolonged rape and torture before being murdered. Three of the victims were strangled to death, the fourth was brutally stabbed and bludgeoned with an axe.
How long the Birnies might have continued their campaign of murder, and how many victims they might have claimed, is frightening to contemplate. But on November 10, 1986 intended fifth victim Kate Moir, 17, managed to escape from the house. She ran naked to a nearby grocery store, where staff called the police. Once in custody, Catherine Birnie held tough, while David quickly cracked and admitted to four murders. He later led police to the graves of the victims.
Convicted on all counts the Birnies each received four consecutive life sentences. David Birnie committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell on October 7, 2005.