- Allegations made in 1986 and 1987 that I made threats to a child were proven to be lies in a Supreme Court trial in 1988 when a jury acquitted me of charges which were based on those allegations.
- Allegations made in 2012-2013 that I was at a crime scene in February 1992 are proven to be lies because I have been in prison since May of 1986.
- Witnesses who are visited by ghosts and recover memories under hypnosis almost 20 years after the events in question, are not in the least bit credible.
- Any suggestion that there is a connection between me and men said to be involved in a crime in 1992 are proven to be lies by the facts which have been well tested by the Courts in the distant past.
- Allegations that I have committed a sex offence are proven to be lies by the fact I have NEVER committed such an offence, I have NEVER been question by the Police for such an offence, and I have NEVER been charged or convicted of such an offence.
The Facts art these
In February 1992 Prue Bird disappeared from her Glenroy home under
inexplicable circumstances. Prue’s mother, Jenny Bird, has said that the initial
response of the Police was dismissive. As time dragged on, speculation, conspiracy
theories and urban-myths grew around Prue’s disappearance to fill the void left by
a lack of action by the Police. Speculative theories and “memories” of events were
invented in an attempt to understand and explain what had happened.
Ms Bird deserves justice for her daughter and for there to be some type of
resolution of this tragedy. My thoughts and sympathy are with Ms Bird. Sadly,
however, Ms Bird has been the victim of people acting corruptly, abusing their
power and telling lies for their own petty personal motives which have nothing
to do with the truth or justice. Some of those lies have been about me.
The facts are these:
Paul and Julie Hetzel, Prue Bird’s grandparents, were co-offenders of mine in
the mid-1980s, and when they were arrested the Hetzel’s told a pack of lies to excuse
their crimes by blaming others. Part of that blaming others was to lie that
threats had been made against their grandchild by me and others.
I have never at any time threatened any child, and anyone who claims I did is
The facts on the record are, the evidence of Paul and Julie Hetzel against me
was proven to be false and it was rejected by the jury in the Russell Street
bombing trial. The fact is that I was acquitted of the charges which directly
related to their evidence and their claims that members of their family were
threatened. Yes, that is a fact! The claims of threats to Paul and Julie
Hetzel’s family members were proven beyond doubt to be a pack of lies and they
were no relied upon by the Crown at the closing of the trial.
Please keep in mind that I really do not want to be revisiting these long past
issues, other people have dragged me into this for their own reasons. Apart from
apologising and expressing my regret at my actions, I have not spoken or written
anything about the crimes of my past on my website or in the 42 articles I have
The deputy head of the Russell Street bombing taskforce Gary Ayres has said on
record that: “Mr Hetzel was a career criminal who…knew how to manipulate people,
which made it difficult for his [police] minders” (Sunday Age 10 April 1994). In the same article it goes on to say: “The men who minded Hetzel [in witness protection] had an added frustration: they were at the beck and call of a man they believed was involved in the murder of a colleague, Constable Angela Taylor, who died as a result of the Russell Street bombing. They simply hated the bastard. But they had to smile and try and keep him happy”, one policeman said. (Sunday Age 10 April 1994)
It became obvious to everyone at the trial in 1988 that Paul and Julie Hetzel were
involved in the bombing and murder of Angela Taylor and other crimes, but they were
shifting blame from themselves to others by the use of lies and their protected
witness status. But the facts of this history are being re-written 25 years later
with no regard for the truth.
Sadly, something did happen to Paul and Julie Hetzel’s grandchild, but this coincidence
with one of the lies which the Hetzel’s invented to get themselves out of trouble by
blaming others, is just a coincidence and it does not make causation.
A man named Leslie Camilleri has claimed that he is responsible for the disappearance
and murder of Prue Bird. The facts are that I have never had any contact with this man in
any way whatsoever. I am advised that Leslie Camilleri was a 14 year old Ward of the State in NSW when I came to prison in May of 1986, and he did not come to prison in Victoria until 1997, which is 5 years after the disappearance of Prue Bird. Any person who claims here is any connection at all between me and Leslie Camilleri is telling lies.
It is claimed that a man named Mark McConville, now deceased, was involved in the
disappearance, and murder, of Prue Bird. The facts are, I have never had any contact with
this man in any way whatsoever. I am advised that Mark McConville was in prison prior
to my coming to prison in 1986, and our paths never crossed in prison before he was released. Any person who claims there is any connection at all between me and this man is telling lies.
It has been claimed a witness overheard part of a conversation between Leslie Camilleri and Mark McConville “saying something about doing something”. My name was not mentioned and the “something” was not specified. The facts are, any speculation drawn from such vague evidence which is said to implicate me, is absolute nonsense.
It has been claimed by a witness under oath in Court, that she was visited by the ghost of
Prue Bird and told to come forward with what she knew. With the help of a hypnotherapist
arranged by the police the witness recovered a memory under hypnosis of me standing on the doorstep of the Bird’s Glenroy home in February 1992. This evidence was allowed to be given in Court despite the incontrovertible fact that I have been in prison since May 1986.
Such speculative evidence and such obvious lies which people have claimed implicates me in the Prue Bird matter are absolute nonsense. And it is scandalous nonsense on such a level that it raises serious questions about the propriety of any legal process which would allow such lies to be spoken.
Any person who makes any claims, or reports claims that I had involvement in the disappearance of Prue Bird in 1992 are obviously involved in telling lies on a grand scale for their own personal motives which have nothing at all to do with justice for Prue or Jenny Bird.
As for other lies in the media and the urban myth about me let me say this for the record:
I have never committed rape, and anyone who claims I have is telling lies. The incontrovertible facts are that I have never been questioned by the police for the crime of rape. And I have never been charged with rape. And I have never been convicted of rape. These are the facts and any person who says anything contrary to these facts is telling lies for their own personal motives.
It is embarrassing and shameful to me that I have to make such statements. but I am faced with a situation where there are people who have an improper motive for telling lies about me with impunity and they are given voice in the public discourse. Please consider what you would do. You made some mistakes in your life and have worked very hard to move past those mistakes and reinvent yourself, and then people start telling whopping great tall stories on the back of those mistakes? Perhaps like me you would feel that you are torn between trying to maintain a dignified silence in the face of such ridiculous untruths, or you defend yourself and become exposed to more attacks. What to do?
I have been dragged into this matter which I have nothing to do with by lies and urban-myth, and by police abusing their power in an act of revenge against me. However, if Jenny Bird would like to contact me and meet me in person, then I would be more than willing to offer her my sympathy and explain the facts associated with my having no involvement in the disappearance of her daughter, and to explain how she has been re-victimised by people acting corruptly for their own personal motives which have nothing
to do with justice for her or her daughter.
I ask that people look behind the emotive claims and consider that many police officers, especially those who were in the police force at the time of my crime against that force, have a powerful personal motivation to drag me down by any means fair or foul. The police have a vested interest in keeping the real and the imagined versions, and my role as an evil spectre alive in the public imagination. I too have a vested interest, and that is to rehabilitate, reinvent and try to redeem myself from the public disgrace that was my life in the early 1980s. I have had a choice about how I behaved in prison and I made that choice in 1990 to rehabilitate and reinvent myself.
My crime was a very public one, so it is reasonable that my apology for it and my work at rehabilitating, reinventing and hopefully redeeming myself is made public as well. Part of my undertaking this personally and socially responsible project is the website about my work. But, there are people who have a short sighted and selfish vested interest in keeping me down as the bad guy when I am trying to rise up and transcend my past mistakes. So before making any judgement, please think about the motivations of the speakers; I am trying to make good, and they are trying to make me bad, which do you think is a better outcome for everyone?
Finally I need to say that I have been reluctant to dignify the lies about me by a response. The problem for me is that the police and the media have taken a When did you stop beating your wife?” approach, which carries as assumption of guilt in the way it is phrased, and any response can be dismissed as “Well, of course he says he’s not beating his wife”. I wrote to people in my support network and I defended myself when the story first broke, then I wished I had not done that because I was giving the nonsense more credence than it credibly deserved. I feel as if I am damned if I respond or not. However, some of the people who support me feel that I have not done enough, and that a dignified silence is just not adequate. The lies about me are out there in the public domain, and so now is my factual response which is available for people to consider for themselves.
Craig Minogue, August 2013