Tuesday, 9 May 2017

 The Parkside Body in the Freezer Case: Death (part 1)

The Parkside Body in the Freezer Case: Death (part 1)

In July 1979, well known Adelaide lawyer, Mr Derrance Stevenson was found dead in his own freezer. He was dressed in a shirt, underpants and socks, his head and body wrapped in two plastic garbage bags, with a .22 calibre rifle wound to the back of his head.
The lid of the freezer had been glued shut.

Thus, began a murder case that had links to Bevan Spencer Von Einem, The Family Murders, Adelaide’s gay scene, allegations of police corruption and cover-ups, and the jailing of a possibly innocent young man, who to this day, almost 40 years later, still proclaims his innocence!
Flamboyant Adelaide Lawyer
Derrance Stevenson (circa 1978)
Derrance Stevenson was a flamboyant Adelaide lawyer who loved to represent clients in weird and unusual cases. He was also well known in Adelaide’s gay scene in the late 1970’s, and often had lovers much younger than himself visit his home, including teenagers.
In 1976, the 41-year-old Stevenson began to have a sexual relationship with 16-year-old David Szach, a young man procured at the age of 16 for him by friend and associate, Mr Gino "Luigi" Gambardella. Their sexual relationship was not monogamous,

 "There were times that he wouldn't want me to be there, so I rang beforehand and that was usually on a Friday or so," Szach said in an interview on ABC Radio in 2016 (Carrick, 2016)

 “I just accepted the fact that given his position and my circumstances that he still valued me on that basis”

“I never had really a relationship as such with my father. I think this is just one of those things that, you're a young teenager, someone expresses an interest and values [you], and it's something that you become or feel comfortable in becoming."
Notorious sex-murderer:
Bevan Spencer Von Einem
Stevenson had been part of a secret group that procured young men for sex, usually by offering illegal drugs. The group also made sex tapes which they allegedly sold in black-market groups. It is also alleged that Stevenson may have taken part, or been offered a role, in several “snuff” movies. 

 It is alleged that Stevenson wanted to leave the group in 1979 – and this led to his murder.

Interestingly, Stevenson had represented an “unnamed witness” at the inquest of Dr George Duncan ( The Duncan Affair - http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/the-duncan-affair.html) a gay man who was thrown into the Torrens river and drowned. (Bevan Spencer Von Einem had been a witness to the murder of Dr Duncan, again tying him and the family to Stevenson).

Police stated that any connection with ‘The Family’ was complete speculation.
David Szach was arrested for the murder of his older lover Derrance Stevenson the following day. He had driven Stevenson’s much loved red Datsun 260z sports car to Coober Pedy, where he was arrested by Police, the day after Stevenson’s body had been discovered.

Next Week: The Parkside Body in the Freezer Case: Innocence (part 2)

(Bibliography in the final blog post of this series)