The Truro Murders (Part 8): How They Captured a Murderer
Christopher Robin Worrell died in a car accident near Millicent, this ended the killing spree known as the “The Truro Murders”. The murders had stopped, but the women killed were still considered missing persons, and to their families and the police, could still be very much alive.
James Miller, while at the funeral of his lover and best friend, Worrell, made a surprising remark to Worrell’s grieving girlfriend Amelia. Miller told Amelia that Worrell had a blood clot on his brain. This opened up a conversation with Amelia, where Miller confessed to his part in the murders, and his suspicion that Worrell’s murderous killing spree was in part, because of the blood clot.
Two years later, the police had their first report of a skeletal remains outside Truro, and it wasn’t long until more remains were found. A reward was offered to the public for information on the murders leading to an arrest, the reward totaled $40, 000 and was offered by The Advertiser newspaper and the Government.
Amelia came forward under the name “Angela” and offered information. He call would eventually solve the murderous spree, that otherwise, could of went totally unsolved.
In her official police statement, Amelia accused Miller of saying that the victims “were only rags and weren’t worth much”, which Miller, during the ensuing court case, strenuously denied
Police began to watch Miller, even they had no real evidence of him being involved in the murders, and only the hear-say of a witness. It wasn’t long until they picked him up for questioning. Miller would make no admission to the murders and gave vague misleading answers. Eventually he succumbed to the pressure applied when shown a photo of himself and Amelia together, a person he claimed her had never met. After six long hours of questioning and pressure from the police, Miller finally said:
“If I can clear this up will everyone else be left out of it? I suppose I’ve got nothing else to look forward to whatever way it goes. I guess I’m the one who got mixed up in all of this. Where do you want me to start?”
“I drove around with Chris and we picked up girls around the city. Chris would talk to the girls and get them into the car and we would take them for a drive and take them to Truro and Chris would rape them and kill them. But you’ve got to believe that I had nothing to do with the actual killings of those girls.”
Miller then confessed to knowing where the bodies of three more young women lay.
The same evening, at about 10pm, the police drove Miller from Adelaide, to Truro to show them where the bodies are buried. Someone leaked the journey to media, and two reporters were waiting in Truro for the police convoy to arrive.
Their next stop was Port Gawler, where Miller pointed out the burial place of Deborah Lamb. Police extracted her body and took away for forensic examination.
The last body Miller took the police too was that of Tania Kenny who was buried near Gillman. It took police quite some time to find Tania’s body in the area Miller had described, but eventually her remains were uncovered and identified.
Miller was charged with four counts of murder, and after further examination, three more counts were added to his charges.
The trial lasted 6 weeks, and on March 12th 1980, Miller was found guilty of six charges of murder, but acquitted for the murder of Veronica Knight. Despite this, Miller claimed he was innocent of murder.
“I was there at the time and for that I am guilty of an unforgivable felony, I fully deserve the life sentences I am currently serving. I am serving out a life sentence for Chris. But I never killed any of those girls. That’s the truth.”
“They can give me life for knowing about the murders and not reporting them. But they charged me with murder as a payback for not informing on Worrell. It’s a load of bullshit. At least one of the jurists at my trials knows the truth. In 1987 he paid a couple of hundred dollars out of his own pocket to help hire a lawyer to petition the Attorney-General for a retrial. If a jurist does this, he must have a fair idea of what really happened.”
“Nobody turns into a cold-blooded murderer overnight or helps commit murder. I’m just an ordinary thief, no killer. I have never been a violent man.”
Miller eventually died in custody after being removed from the Yatala Prison to the Mary Potter Hospice due to the complications of the cancer he was suffering.
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