Tasmanian Times


‘SNF: Top barrister handed over explosive file on murder – he didn’t foresee reaction’

First published August 24

From the Sydney Morning Herald …

‘On May 11, Victoria’s leading criminal barrister, Robert Richter QC, met with Tasmania’s Premier, Will Hodgman and handed him a confidential dossier known as the ‘white paper’

‘The explosive file revealed that a potential teenage witness to one of Tasmania’s most notorious crimes had signed a statutory declaration which casts doubt on the conviction of a woman who has spent the past seven years behind bars for her partner’s murder.

‘Mr Richter’s white paper suggests Chappell was killed when he disturbed a homeless girl and other vagrants, who had boarded the Four Winds planning to steal from it. The dossier names two men with extensive criminal records who may be involved in the murder.

‘Hodgman and Groom declined to read the white paper but agreed that Solicitor-general Michael O’Farrell SC should review it. Richter flew back to Melbourne and waited for a reaction.

‘It came this month, although not in the manner Richter expected.

‘Witnesses named in the white paper who helped compile or corroborate aspects of a homeless girl’s statement – her associate Karen Keefe, a lawyer Jeff Thompson, and another man who must remain anonymous, Witness X – have all been arrested by Tasmanian police and charged with perverting the course of justice.’

For the complete news article please read the Sydney Morning Herald article HERE

Also see HERE

*Dr Peter Lozo is a researcher and a consultant in the field of neural models of visual perception and object recognition. He is a former Dept of Defence scientist at Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, South Australia. During his defence career he has worked on servo-control systems, microprocessor based design, digital image processing, automatic target recognition, land robotics, and computational modelling of neural network models/circuits for object recognition and visual perception. He has a BSc (majoring in Physics) and a PhD (on the modelling of selective visual attention and object recognition) from the University of Adelaide. He has held an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow position at the University of South Australia, and has contributed to the supervision of postgraduate engineering students there and at the University of Adelaide. Peter has a hobby of researching cases that are believed to be a miscarriage of justice. He has contributed to TT comments on the Susan Neill-Fraser case since April 2015.

Examiner: New Neill-Fraser appeal set for October 30

ABC: Sue Neill-Fraser: Karen Keefe pleads not guilty to perverting course of justice

The Age: Death on the Derwent: in search of the truth In the gardens of a Hobart prison, away from the cinder blocks and corrugated iron and the prying of guards and inmates, an alleged plan to free murderer Sue Neill-Fraser was born. As she wandered between the raised beds last November, police suspect Neill-Fraser spoke to a fellow inmate. The suspected contents of these conversations would, months later, lead to one of the most controversial Tasmanian police investigations in recent history …

Mercury: The appeal of Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction puts the Tasmanian legal system on trial

Matthew Denholm, The Australian: Bob Chappell mystery: conspiracies collide in case that won’t die

Mercury: New person interviewed by detectives in connection to appeal over Bob Chappell death

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    November 26, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Police raid a TV production company and obtain hours of video footage

    “A Police raid on a leading TV production company, seizing footage for a Seven Network “true crime” series, has dramatically escalated an inquiry into an alleged conspiracy to pervert the course of a murder appeal.

    The NSW Police raid on CJZ productions in Chippendale, Sydney, in recent weeks, is part of an ongoing Tasmania Police investigation into an alleged conspiracy to pervert justice in the appeal ­application by convicted killer Susan Neill-Fraser.

    Two people have been charged and Tasmania Police — now viewing the hundreds of hours of footage seized in the Sydney raid — have flagged the potential for further charges.


    “Acting on behalf of Tasmania Police, a NSW detective with a warrant seized CJZ footage of ­interactions between people ­potentially caught up in the investigation, which police allege ­involves a plot to present false evidence to Neill-Fraser’s current appeal application.

    The Australian understands the footage was sourced from filmmaker Eve Ash’s company, Seven Dimensions. Ms Ash has interviewed a number of people claiming to have new information about Chappell’s disappearance, while another filmmaker and former policeman, Colin McLaren, has helped dig up allegedly new information.

    Mr Campbell would not say whether the video seized was of interviews conducted by Ms Ash but confirmed Ms Ash and her company provided material for the series. Ms Ash did not respond to requests for comment. Mr McLaren could not be contacted.”

    For further details see


  2. Dr Peter Lozo

    November 13, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Vass or Neill-Fraser: My proposal for a formal lie detection test

    1. #482




  3. Dr Peter Lozo

    November 5, 2017 at 4:56 am

    A human ‘guinea pig’ for the winching experiment

    I understand that a winching ‘re-enactment’ video was shown to the Court on Wednesday. I am also aware that the defence claim is that the re-enactment wasn’t scientific and that their “silver bullet” expert witness is a “winching expert”. I looked at Dr Mark Reynolds’ CV (it is available on Dr Mole’s website Networked Knowledge) and noted that Dr Reynolds is a biological forensic scientist and is a crime scene expert whose specialty is the science of blood splatter analysis. But he is expected to provide expert opinion in March on technical matters (winching a body) that I consider to be within the domain of physical science (applied physics) and mechanical engineering (these two disciplines deal with the issues that are relevant to winching and moving a weight across various surfaces and angles – forces, stresses, friction, geometry, mechanics, linear and rotational motion, vibrations, mechanical advantage provided by winches, pulleys, etc)!

    I haven’t seen the re-enactment video but based on a brief summary I read on Dr Bob Moles’ website I would currently tentatively agree with the defence claim that the re-enactment isn’t scientific. I am hoping to get a detailed description of what was done so that I can analyse the re-enactment to see whether it is realistic, complete and scientific. Based on Dr Moles’ summary, I don’t think that the re-enactment proved that a physically weak person is capable to carry out the whole task to completion. By the whole task I mean the following:

    – winching a 65kg weight from below the deck onto the deck;

    – moving the weight across the deck to a suitable location for lowering the weight onto the dinghy;

    – lowering the weight in a controlled manner and positioning it onto the dinghy in such a way that it would enable the perpetrator to easily push the weight overboard with minimum risk to the perpetrator of falling overboard.

    For the purpose of the re-enactment I consider a physically weak person as someone who can’t lift 1/3 of 65 kg weight and hold it in air for at least 15 seconds.

    To make the re-enactment more complete, realistic and scientific I am willing to donate myself as the ‘human guinea pig’ to the defence “winching expert” on whom he can test the police theory as well as the validity of my proposed three-phase winching scenario (summarised below) for a physically weak person (as long as my body is well padded and I get to wear a helmet; and the cost of my travel and accommodation is covered). Sometimes scientists do crazy things to test their hypothesis by testing it on themselves, all for the benefit of science!

    In the near future I will provide a comprehensive analysis and description of the winching scenario as I envisage it so will just briefly summarise it here (I have written a lot on the winching issue over the past 10-12 months on a number of TT blogs on the case; those interested can scan the relevant TT blogs ).

    My analysis of the problem led me to conclude that three different phases of using the winch are required for a physically weak perpetrator to get a 65 kg body from below the deck and then onto the dinghy (via the stern gate; the reason for the stern gate will be addressed in the near future). Each phase requires a different arrangement of the rope. The first phase is concerned in getting the body from below the deck onto the deck next to the winch. The second phase is concerned in getting the body from there to the edge of the stern gate. The third phase is concerned in getting the body lowered and positioned onto the dinghy for subsequent easy push into the water. The whole process is technically simple enough and is physically sufficiently easy to do for someone who is experienced with the yacht, its winches and its dinghy but it takes a lot of time to set up and execute.

    In the near future I will explain why I am of opinion that, on the basis of the physical geometry of the yacht and the fact that the drum on the relevant winch rotates clockwise, the third phase is the riskiest phase for injuries to the perpetrator and in particular to the perpetrator’s left wrist. I will also in the near future discuss what I visually perceive to be an asymmetric pattern of luminol positive reaction in the photograph of the dinghy (and why this is an important observation and is relevant to the third phase of my scenario) as well as the problems associated with the lighting levels during the winching operation (the winching was supposed to have occurred late at night).

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, SA

  4. Dr Peter Lozo

    November 5, 2017 at 3:33 am

    #96 Moo

    So far I talked about hippocampus, amygdala and the frontal cortex!

    Now about the statement of Mr Hughes during the trial. When I read that he saw a “female figure” on a motorised inflatable dinghy I wasn’t thinking about the length of the hair on the person but the size of breasts because that is one thing that would indicate a “female figure” profile from the side silhouette he would have seen given the geometrical perspective of where he was and the direction in which the dinghy was travelling past the rowing shed where he was parked. It seems that the defence claim is that the person that was seen is likely to have been a slim man who had a long hair on that night and was on a wooden dinghy (looks very different in shape to an inflatable dinghy; I saw the photograph) that he propelled manually with one row. He didn’t have a motor on his dinghy! But the witness at the trial stated that he did hear a motor. The media reports do not say anything about the actual time during which this new witness was out on his wooden dinghy and towing past the rowing shed.

    Have you been to the Court to see the video of the winching re-enactment? I am after certain information on the winching video. If you know anyone who saw the video please let me know. I would like to have a detailed description of the winching re-enactment so that I can analyse whether the re-enactment was complete, realistic and scientific.


  5. Moo

    September 21, 2017 at 1:14 am

    #66…Sir! You are no gentleman! Referring to a respectable, middle class lady’s hippocampus in a public forum goes too far. Desist!

    …BTW I notice Ms Neill Fraser is now claiming to have been in shock ‘for months’ after Mr Chappells murder. This happy circumstance presumably accounts for her changing story during those months.

    There is a very noticable implicit snobbery among some on this thread:

    Baddies: Homeless people, lower middle class women,
    former criminals.
    Goodies: Middle class yacht owning professionals their families and supporters.

    I see that one overheated supporter is trying to pre-empt the inevitable finding that there is no ‘new and compelling evidence’ by calling for a Commission of Enquiry.

  6. Johann Hulz

    September 7, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    #91 It may be worthwhile for you to review some other circumstancial court cases. I think the legal system would be interested in your thoughts on the lack of reliability of circumstanical cases that don’t prove cases beyond all doubt.

  7. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 7, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    #91 Dear Steve

    Someone said this in response to a Steve over 3 years ago (I assume you were the Steve):

    “Don’t mess with horsey women!”



    This is what I say:

         Don’t mess with physicists!

    Now seriously did you really all these years since you first started commenting on this case believe that it is significant whether or not it was Sue driving that car given what followed a few days after Sue’s daughters were shown the photo?? Did it not strike you that the significant thing is the effect that photo had on Sue and her changing story? No wonder I doubted your problem solving skills. Now you are listing other issues that you do not seem to be able to reason about so are leaving it for us to engage in a discussion on the various issues you listed. I won’t bother other than to direct your attention to the following which is an indicator to me of where you are stuck and why:

    You say

    “There’s not even any proof that a murder occurred!”

    I don’t know what your definition of proof is but given the way you have worded your statement I am led to question your understanding that in circumstantial cases it is open to the jury to make inferences based on the evidence even though that evidence might be incomplete and is indirect.

    For your convenience, here I provide a definition of the word inference:

    “a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.”

    Note that I emphasised the word ‘reasoning’ in the above definition. I infer on the basis of the nature of your comments that you aren’t reasoning about the evidence to discover if there are  any links between them so that you can make a reasonable decision, a higher order decision, regarding the matters of this case.

    All the best.


  8. Richard Kopf

    September 7, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    #91 SNF is guilty. The evidence clearly points to that conclusion. The jury believed so. The appeal outcome supported that conclusion.
    Why sink the yacht? It possibly contained evidence of a brutal crime linking it to SNF. Why not divorce? Possibly SNF did not wish to share her assets Do you know who was the wealthier? Or a spontaneous angry reaction. Don’t forget she had attempted to previously have Mr Triffet encase Bob in chicken wire and weights and sink him to the bottom. Coincidence?
    Ridiculous crime? Ridiculous defence more likely!

  9. Johann Hulz

    September 7, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    #91 “As I have previously stated, none of the evidence on which you rely is evidence of murder, or of anything else criminal for that matter.”

    Interesting – maybe you should point that out to the DPP who decided to prosecute the case, the judge who could have intervened and directed the jury not to convict (as there was not enough evidence), the court of criminal appeal and the Coroner.

    If there was no evidence to support a crime has occurred, as you say, then no gets charged!

  10. Steve

    September 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    #90; Sorry Johann, I wasn’t intending to try and present an argument from authority. I was replying to Peter’s rather patronising comment. A hurried and clumsily addressed comment on my behalf!
    With regard to the discussion at hand, I would suggest that the prosecution argument was most definitely based on “what is the most likely explanation”. There’s not even any proof that a murder occurred! I agree that is highly likely that it did, but we’re back to that “likely” word.
    I think the reason I am failing to get my point across is that we are discussing the subject on different planes. You consider that SNF is guilty, as does Peter. I don’t have an opinion on this, however I do consider that if our justice system is going to lock someone up for twenty plus years, it should be based on a lot more than a “likelihood”.
    As I have previously stated, none of the evidence on which you rely is evidence of murder, or of anything else criminal for that matter. I totally agree that it’s suspicious but all it actually corroborates is a hypothetical put forward by the prosecution. Other evidence, such as DNA that shouldn’t be there or witnesses who saw other dinghies is dismissed because it doesn’t fit with the hypothetical.
    Logical questions, such as why would she sink the yacht, or why would anyone plan such a ridiculous crime, remain unanswered. Why murder a husband when you can divorce them? I don’t buy the financial imperative. They were hardly on the breadline, she’d still have done quite well out of a divorce.

  11. Johann Hulz

    September 7, 2017 at 10:36 am

    #89 – Of course the legal system has a presumption of innocence. As it should be. The issue is was there enough evidence when you take all the pieces collectively to provide reasonable grounds to believe that person is guilty.

    You don’t believe so, but don’t suggest that others are just relying on “what is the most likely explanation”. And spare us the “people pay me a lot of money to solve problems” therefore my opinion is beyond reproach comments.

    When you take all the evidence of SNF’s, place it together with evidence of having a prior intention. The fact that she has the most to gain from BCs disappearance, the fact that she told lies about her movements (the reasonable proposition is that the truth would incriminate her) etc. etc.

    I suggest the decision the jury made was a reasonable one. They had time to not only consider the evidence, but the reliability of witnesses and the accused.

  12. Steve

    September 7, 2017 at 12:53 am

    #87; You continue to consider the question as one of problem solving. People pay me a lot of money for my problem solving abilities and one of the first thing one has to do with a problem is put it into context.
    In this instance the context is a legal system with a presumption of innocence. It is not a context of “what is the most likely explanation”.

  13. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 7, 2017 at 12:07 am

    #81 Steve

    Does it matter whose car that was at 12:25 am given the chain of events that followed when that photo was shown to Sue’s daughters?

    That photo was the critical piece of evidence without which Sue most likely wouldn’t have finally admitted to going out to the riverbank. We can therefore place her as most likely being the person on that dinghy at around midnight and returning home at around 3 am.

    I can see that you aren’t looking at the relationships as things had evolved in time, space and activity but are still tackling one piece at a time. Good luck with your approach in problem solving

  14. Johann Hulz

    September 6, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    #86 “The “evidence” as you choose to call it, is not really evidence”.

    A bit of an oxymoron don’t you think.

    Another way to look at is if you approach the evidence from a preconceived idea that SNF is innocent you disregard the evidence.

    Of course the car on its own is not significant. It is interesting to note that this resulted in a change in accounts – it was certainly perceived by her and others as being hers.

    I agree – I think you are failing to get your point across.

  15. Steve

    September 6, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    #81 etc: Sorry for the delayed response but I have been traveling and I have a weakness for Qwerty.
    I think I’m failing to get my point across, which is a pity as I believe it to be quite valid. The “evidence” as you choose to call it, is not really evidence unless you approach it with a preconceived idea that SNF is guilty.
    A car similar to hers is noted on CCTV. Ummm, yes, but also similar to quite a few other cars…?
    A “female figure”. Exactly what percentage of the human race are “female”?
    Essentially, all the arguments presented above revolve around the basic premise that “she told lies, therefore she is guilty and look; we’ve all this corroborative evidence”. Consider all the posts above that I have argued against, they all mention her “lies”.
    In reality, there’s no body, no weapon, no credible motive. There is a spouse who has been presented as behaving strangely and telling lies and everyone knows that statistically people are generally murdered by their spouses.
    I introduced that felonious personage, Joe Badun, to try and make the point that if you put someone up before a jury, prove they are telling lies and won’t/can’t present an alibi, there’s every chance a jury will convict, unless the judge or the defence manages to get the presumption of innocence across.
    Most people, in their day to day affairs, do not presume innocence. The simple act of lying would be enough to prove guilt to the average “jury of peers”. In this case, any doubts held would have been quashed by the glowing dinghy and the prosecution theories.

  16. Johann Hulz

    September 5, 2017 at 10:27 am

    #82 – Nicely summed up.

  17. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 5, 2017 at 7:21 am

    “Death on the Derwent: Key witness ‘plans to withdraw statement, faces charges'”


    Looks like that MV is represented by a lawyer and could be withdrawing her Stat Dec of 27th April.

  18. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 5, 2017 at 12:59 am

    Continuation to my last post #82

    The following few events are highly indicative of Sue returning to the yacht sometime around midnight  and then returning home at around 3 am:

    EVENT 1: An ATM photo from 12:25 am emerges and it shows a car that resembles a car that Sue drove at that period of time. A few days later (after this photo is shown to Sue’s daughters) Sue calls Bob’s sister on 8th or 10th March to tell her that she did go to the riverbank late at night: before that Sue declared in her Stat Dec of 28th Jan that she stayed home the whole night.

    EVENT 2: An eyewitness emerges and tells the police that he saw a “female figure” on a motorised dinghy going past the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed (and in the general direction of the Four Winds).

    EVENT 3:  Within a few days of EVENT 3 Sue changes her story couple of times and comes up with a story where she walks late at night for approx 75 minutes to pick up her car from the riverbank and to check on the yacht (but without a single phone call to her mobile phone to check on Bob).

    EVENT 4: Sue dials *10# at 3:08 am to check the last caller.

    EVENT 5: Sue’s dinghy is found early next morning next to the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed.

  19. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 4, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    #77 & #78


    There are two ways to process the evidence in a wholly circumstantial case such as this one. Either one looks at the individual pieces of evidence or one looks at the temporal and physical inter-relationships between the various bits of the evidence. You are looking at each piece of evidence to test if it implicates Susan Neill-Fraser (or another party). That is OK but don’t you think that it is possible for you  to look at the the various bits of the circumstantial evidence as being related to one another in both the timing and the physical aspect?

  20. johann Hulz

    September 4, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    #80 – Re: likelihood.

    A jury decision of guilty is based on the premise of beyond reasonable doubt.

    Very few people would be convicted if a decision was based on the premise of beyond all doubt.

    Whether you agree with the jury decision or not, I suggest that it was open for them to find a guilty verdict in this case.

    This is where I think the attack of the verdict is faulty. Just because someone has an alternative view of the weight of evidence doesn’t make their decision wrong.

  21. Steve

    September 4, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    It’s that word “likelihood” that concerns me. Doesn’t sit very well with “proven”.

  22. Johann Hulz

    September 3, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    #78 – Luckily, unlike you, I have time to be brief.

    I note that you don’t make much of the elements on their own. Of course a conversation some time ago has little meaning on its own, but when you put it with all the other factors it has meaning.

    You can always speculate that something else happened, but a jury has to take into account the likelihood against all those other factors.

  23. Steve

    September 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    #76; Johann, I think I was trying to step back a bit from a direct comparison of fruits and take more of an arboreal overview, but much of your post covers points about which I am uneasy.
    In no particular order; the specialist knowledge. This is one of those flights of logic. Just because one person knows something, it does not follow that no-one else knows. I would expect to find the sea cocks on a yacht, and just because one was obscure and disused, it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t have found it. The bilge pumps are more interesting but I don’t believe I have seen any details on how they were disabled. Can anyone help?
    The discussions regarding intentions, some years previously, could be taken another way. Even back then SNF did not consider herself physically capable of the crime discussed? In my hypothetical comparison, would the prosecution have got any traction from an alleged conversation, ten years previously?
    Enquiring as to the time period for declaring someone dead is somewhat different to canvassing for offers on stolen jewellery. At the time the enquiry was made, SNF had a husband missing under circumstances that suggested he might well be dead.
    Telling the police your fingerprints might be somewhere is the sort of thing lots of people might do. Indicative of an overly helpful nature, not necessarily a guilty conscience. In the context of my hypothetical, perhaps Badun had been into the shop as a legitimate customer?
    The injury to the hand is meaningless, unless it can be tied to something. Was there anything about the injury that suggested it happened winching a dead body about? If I remember correctly, the whole injury thing is a bit vague.
    With regard to the “parting ways”. Again meaningless. Plenty of couples have been separating since a few weeks after they married. Twenty years later, they are still together, still arguing, still separating.
    “Female in a dinghy” Bit vague. There are also others who mention a different dinghy. If you allow one vague sighting, you have to allow others, despite Peter Lozo’s thoughts.
    The point I am making is that none of the apparent evidence connects SNF to the disappearance of her husband. Yes, it can be made to look like it does, in the same way that a dinghy glowing with luminol can be made to look as though it transported a bleeding corpse. It can also be made to look totally innocuous.
    Is there one bit of evidence that shows that some person unknown did not board the boat, have an unplanned fatal confrontation with BC, slip the body over the side and scuttle the yacht to hide any traces?
    Sorry if this is a bit long winded. I don’t have time to be brief and I also don’t have time to go back and research details, so if I’m factually wrong anywhere, happy to be corrected.

  24. Steve

    September 3, 2017 at 11:26 am

    #73; Peter, I mistrust this case because the prosecution’s case was speculation, based on a belief that SNF was guilty. You must remember that this is claimed to have been premeditated, not a domestic gone wrong,followed by a clumsy cover up, but premeditated; all planned out before hand.
    Why on earth would she bother? It is possible to divorce husbands, or, if she was dead set on homicide, why not a couple of valium in his coffee and a nudge over the side, 20 km’s off shore? Who’d plan such a risky, messy business?
    I’m totally with you on the subject of eye witnesses, but it depends on the circumstance. If the witness is identifying a person or object with which they are familiar, I would say it’s very reliable but identifying a stranger that you’ve only seen once before?

  25. Johann Hulz

    September 2, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    #72 -How about the following Burglary scenario with a nexus to the SNF case.

    Burglary at a Jewellers overnight (nexus – murder of BC)

    No DNA / No fingerprints of Badun (as you alluded to)

    A witness comes forward and states that “Badun” told him of his intentions to commit a burglary of another jewellery store and then later of committing a burglary at this store. (nexus – witness who stated that SNF told him of intentions to harm her brother and later BC)

    Badun provides an account to police that he went to a hardware store and then went home and spent the rest of the night at home. (I think this nexus is pretty self explanatory)

    He later tells a reporter that he lied to police and he wasn’t home until much later. (self explanatory nexus)

    Telephone records show that he made a *10# call on his phone in the early hours of the morning. (self explanatory nexus (SEN for short hereafter))

    Badun changes his story and admits going near the jewellery store, but says he saw a few homeless people hanging around the area. No other witnesses spoken to state that they saw any homeless people. (SEN)

    There was damage to the store on the night of the burglary to gain entry. Badun is seen with no injury the day before the burglary and an injury to his hand the day after the burglary. (SEN)

    Despite no DNA or fingerprints linking Badun to the burglary, when spoken to by police Badun states that his fingerprints are probably in the store anyway because he had been there before. (nexus – SNF referred to her fingerprints potentially being there – interesting why she would raise that specifically isn’t it, but maybe I am just being too suspicious)

    There is evidence that the way the alarm was disabled would require specialist knowledge. Knowledge that police can prove Badun had. (Nexus to SNF who had specialist knowledge that related to scuttling the boat)

    There is evidence that Badun made enquiries as to what someone would get for jewellery similar to that which was stolen from the burglary. (Nexus SNF who enquired about how long before she could declare BC deceased)

    This doesn’t include other elements that related to SNF which were difficult to weave into your scenario (such as the evidence from a number of witnesses that SNF had stated that BC and her were parting ways, and a witness who believed they saw a female in a dinghy later in the night).

    After all you are comparing apples with pears, but at least I have tried to provide some alternative considerations.

  26. Johann Hulz

    September 2, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    #72 – “That’s why I ask for some central bit of evidence that ties SNF to the crime.”

    Interesting analogy. A circumstancial case is one that has a series of facts that lead to a reasonable conclusion, not a central piece of evidence that ties someone to a crime. In a case where there is direct evidence of which I think you are alluding to supports a conclusion directly.

    Many cases are circumstancial and in this case the jury had a series of facts that they could either make a conclusion about or decide there was a reasonable doubt.

    #72 – “there’d be every chance he’d be found guilty, especially if prior convictions found their way into the jury’s ken”

    Prior convictions are not admitted into evidence against an accused person. Prejudicial value outweighs the probative value.

    I think your comparison would be more valid if you used a wider range of facts.

  27. Richard Kopf

    September 2, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    The Mercury. “Phillip Paul Thomas Triffett dropped a bombshell at the trial — Neill-Fraser had asked him to help kill her brother and later Bob Chappell in the 1990s. Both murders were to be carried out on boats, the bodies thrown overboard and the vessels sunk. She proposed wrapping Bob’s body in chicken wire, he said.”
    Defenders of her innocence. Is this relevant? Are there any more skeletons on the seabed?

  28. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 2, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    #70 Steve

    “In the case of SNF, the prosecution managed to turn the lack of evidence into a positive. Tim Ellis … speculated scenarios ….”

    The above statement of yours caught my attention. I don’t know whether you meant it the way I understand it but here we go:  it seems to me that you do not trust the outcome of this case because there was no direct evidence, such as having a witness to the crime. Dr Robert Moles, having researched many cases, can tell you that eyewitnesses can be wrong. There are many  examples where people were wrongfully convicted on the basis of misidentification by an eyewitness. It was DNA evidence that helped set them free. I am researching one such case where in 1985 a man had at least 15 people provide him an alibi that he was elsewhere at the time of a sexual assault and attempted murder. He even had a receipt from a shop to prove that he was elsewhere. But the testimony of the victim was unshakable. She even spoke about how she was focused on her attacker’s face in case she survived so that she can identify  him. There was a re-enactment during the trial as to how she was attacked. She was absolutely sure that her attacker was the person who was on the trial. But 18 or so years later DNA evidence proved that someone else was responsible for attacking her. The convicted man was freed in 2003. But the sad thing is that two years later he killed  a young woman and was convicted and sentenced in 2007 to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. His name is Steven Avery of Wisconsin, USA.

  29. Steve

    September 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    #71; Happy to expand my point.
    The burglary was committed at a Launceston jewellers. The thief did a perfect job. Disabled the alarms, blanked the cameras and left no fingerprints or detectable DNA. Investigating officers have had experience of this quality of break in, having previously encountered such events in Hobart. In that instance they caught the perpetrator when he was selling his loot. His name was Joe Badun.
    Investigations show that Joe Badun was in Launceston at the time of the recent offence. When asked where he was, he gives a story that is proved false. He then refuses to give any more information. Searching his home reveals nothing more than that he appears to be living well beyond his apparent means. Asking questions about the place turns up one Bill Sneaky, who recals a conversation with Joe Badun, in which the Launceston jewellers was discussed.
    I would suggest that if Joe Badun was arrested and tried before a jury, in the same manner as SNF was, there’d be every chance he’d be found guilty, especially if prior convictions found their way into the jury’s ken. He’d discussed the crime previously, he was in the right place, he lied about where he was. It’d be up to the judge to hammer home the “innocent until proven guilty” bit, otherwise the jury wouldn’t hesitate. Joe’s refusal to say where he was would be enough to convict him in most people’s eyes.
    However, there could be another story. Joe might have been up to something completely different (“..arms of his best friends wife”, to quote Lefty Frizzel) and some entirely different person committed the crime. That’s why I ask for some central bit of evidence that ties SNF to the crime.

  30. Johann Hulz

    September 1, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    #70. Very interesting logic.

    Liked the analogy of Monopoly.

    In respect of the Burglary – Be interested for you to expand on what you mean by “police know perfectly well who did it”. Is that intuitively or based on some form of evidence.

    Are you suggesting that the only evidence against SNF was her inconsistencies??

  31. Steve

    September 1, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    The interesting thing about this case is when you consider how it was handled as compared to other offences.
    Consider the situation where a burglary has been committed. The police know perfectly well who did it and they can demonstrate that the offender is lying about their whereabouts when the crime was committed. They can show that the offender has been spending more money than they can account for. However, if they couldn’t prove that the crime was committed by their suspect, they’d never get a conviction. That is because there is a basic legal principle that states that someone is innocent until proven guilty.
    In the case of SNF, the prosecution managed to turn the lack of evidence into a positive. Tim Ellis … speculated scenarios ….

    Will this be the way of the law in the future? “We know you did it, you can’t say where you were at the time, we’ve demonstrated that you are lying; Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200”.

    There is absolutely nothing to say that someone else didn’t happen along and do everything the prosecution alleged SNF did.

    (anonymous comment edited)

  32. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 1, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    #67 & #68 Johann,

    1. The homeless people around a fire

    The eyewitness who was parked next to the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed at around 11:30 pm – midnight did not report seeing any fire but he reported seeing a “female figure” on a motorised dinghy. The police officers and the other people who turned up the next morning did not notice any remnants of there being a fire (not that they were looking for it).

    I refer you to Mr Ellis’s point no 7 in his TT article


    If Sue did see any people around a fire then surely she would have reported this to the police the very first thing the next morning when it was discovered that Bob was missing and that the yacht was sabotaged.

    2. There are some things we can tell based on the factual data that is available to us. But we can also infer some things on the basis of the circumstantial evidence. The question is whether in our mind (after understanding the Crown’s case correctly) we can infer beyond reasonable doubt that Bob is dead and that he was killed by Sue.


    I hope that the readers do watch the youtube video on memory I provided in #66, particularly the lecture/seminar by Prof Longo. I saw it several times and was totally fascinated even though I learned most of the science (and about patient HM) years earlier when I undertook a PhD in a closely related field.

  33. Johann Hulz

    September 1, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    The prosecutor’s consideration of the various accounts, the *10# etc.

    “How late in the day was it that Mr Chappell was still alive, one person knows and that’s the person who killed him. And how late was it that Ms Neill-Fraser was still on board that day, one person knows and she’s never given a straight account of it. Not once has there been a consistent account, one that can be verified by other
    facts, verified by other witnesses, not one such account has come from her….

    All we can tell, reliably on the evidence, is at 9:17 she was at her house and that’s all we can tell. And we can tell that at about a quarter past three in the morning she was in her house, checking to see who might have phoned while she was away.”

  34. Johann Hulz

    September 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Re: #65 and the homeless people.

    – The question that comes to mind – were there actually any homeless people around a fire that evening?

    From a defence perspective one would say it can’t be disproven.

    From a prosecution perspective one would ask why all other witnesses, who provided accounts of what they did and didn’t see that night, didn’t provide any recollection of people around a fire that night.

    One might also question why someone would add the word homeless to people around a fire. A slip of the tongue maybe or an additional element added in an attempt to provide authenticity to a an account?

    I also note that SNF said the following in account to the court:

    TE: Now you told police officers that you believe there were – I think you described them – are you right there?
    SNF: Yes, yes.
    TE: That there were homeless people around the area?
    SNF: Yes, I’m sure 5 there were, I saw them. They were standing around some sort of a –
    either a fire pot or something, I don’t know what it was.
    TE: Do you have a memory of that?
    SNF: I have a clear memory of that.

  35. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I think that the followers of the Susan Neill-Fraser will find these two (and related) youtube video talks about the human memory interesting and relevant:

    1. Learning and Memory: How it works and When it Fails (by Professor Frank Longo):


    2. Here is another relevant youtube documentary about memory (particulary the hippocampus)


  36. Dr Peter Lozo

    September 1, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    #58 Steve

    It is possible that Sue dialled *10# without later having any recollection. There are examples of people doing complex tasks during sleepwalking and not remembering anything about it later.

    One has to look at Sue’s other ‘forgetful’ events and assess them within the context of Sue’s persistent lies, which (according to the Trial Transcript) started during the yacht’s delivery to Hobart when she told the sailors that she and Bob had separated. Here are a few other things Sue couldn’t recall:

    (1) how she got the cut on her thumb (which occurred after 11 am on Australia  Day but before 7:30 am the next morning);

    (2) where was she between 4 pm and 9 pm on the Australia Day;

    (3) whether she headed for Bunnings or for home after leaving the yacht in the afternoon or evening of the Australia Day;

    (4) how she got home (driving or walking) after leaving the yacht in the aftermoon or evening of the Australian Day;

    (5) where was her car parked (at home or somewhere on the riverbank);

    (6) that the red jacked looked like what she and Bob owned and that it therefore could have been hers or Bob’s jacket;


    But here is something Sue claimed to have seen (and therefore remembered 6 weeks later in March):

    (1) homeless people around a fire on the evening when she returned to the riverbank.

    But, Sue ‘forgot’ to mention this critical bit of relevant information to the Police. The first ever mention of the homeless people around the fire was during face to face interview with a radio reporter. Had it not been for the fact that the reporter (as part of her story on the case) also later interviewed the then Chief Inspector Peter Powell the Police probably wouldn’t have known about this. But there was no sign of fire! Note that the Women’s Weekly reporter in 2015 asked Mr Ellis about the homeless people. You can read his response to that issue in his 2015 TT article.

    Either Sue had a total breakdown in how her brain functioned (in particular her hippocampus) between 4 pm 26th Jan and 3am 27th Jan or she simply lied about everything other than about the three phone conversations she had between 9 pm and 10:30 pm. Given that Sue perfectly recalled (18 months later!) her phone conversation with Mr  King it is highly unlikely (from the neuropsychological perspective) that her memory for few hours before and for few hours after that phone conversation would not have registered to be later accessible to her for later conscious recall and awareness (given that her arousal would have increased as a result of the nature of her conversation with Mr King).

    #61 John

    There is no information in relation to your good question.

  37. Johann Hulz

    September 1, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    #61. Interesting question and one can only speculate in response.

    I suggest that the defence could have asked the prosecution to address this issue or question relevant witnesses about that.

    The fact they didn’t could have been they didn’t think of it or there wasn’t such a record.

    It is highly likely that records were obtained leading up to BC’s disappearance and after. These would have been disclosed to the defence.

  38. John Wiseman

    September 1, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    With the *10# call, did the records of phone calls show the murderer had a history of calling this number?
    Or was the night her husband went missing the only night she called the *10#?

  39. Andrew

    August 31, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    56-60 – Thank you for clarifying those points. I can now see the significance of the call.

  40. Steve

    August 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    #59; “The possibility you raise here can be excluded on the basis that there was no record of any call coming in.”
    I can’t agree with the automatic exclusion of this possibility. It does not require an incoming call for someone to awake suddenly, thinking they just missed a call.

  41. Mark Hawkes

    August 31, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Ellis Vs SNF pg1351

    [But in fact you weren’t back until about 3:15, were you?……..I don’t
    know what time I got back, but I walked down—
    When you – when you dialed the star 10 hatch number to see if
    anyone else had rung and found you not at home?……..I don’t recall
    making any calls that night.
    It’s an agreed fact that one such one was made to check what
    numbers had been called……..I can’t – I don’t – I have no
    explanation for that.
    There was no-one else in the house that could have made the
    call?…….Nobody else was in the house.]

  42. Johann Hulz

    August 31, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    55 – Although there are answers at 56 and 57 I chose to answer your questions directly. The responses at 56 and 57 contain further information, but also the theories of that contributor.

    “Doesn’t *10# just tell you the number of the last person that rang”

    Answer: Yes

    “What use was that to her – what was she checking?”

    Answer: That’s a good question. Obviously using *10# doesn’t tell you why she was conducting that check. It is a piece of evidence that needs to be considered in light of other evidence. Prosecution suggests that it is a reasonable hypothesis that she returned home and checked to see if she had a call.

    “Was another possibility that she had actually been asleep but had missed a call and then used the *10# to find out who had called her?”

    The possibility you raise here can be excluded on the basis that there was no record of any call coming in.

  43. Steve

    August 31, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    #57; A person could also awaken from a deep sleep, mistakenly thinking they have been woken by the phone, dial *10#, find nothing and go back to sleep, without recalling the event in the morning.
    I also fail to see why she would be concerned about someone having rung. Not answering the phone in the middle of the night does not mean you are not at home and few people would assume that.

  44. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 31, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    #55 Andrew

    I don’t think that Sue provided an explanation (I seem to recall reading somewhere that she did not recall dialling *10#).

    The following is in the closing argument by the prosecutor,  Mr Ellis: Trial Transcript bottom of page 1510 through to the top of page 1511:

    “The – there’s – the evidence in the agreed facts, P17, that at 3:08am Ms Neill-Fraser rang star ten hash and that that will give a 
    Telstra subscriber information as to the last unanswered call. She had no explanation for that. If she hadn’t been out why did she 
    ring star ten hash at 3:08am, you might like to consider that. The Crown suggests that she had been out; that she’d been out getting rid of Mr Chappell’s body, or possibly killing him and getting rid of his body on that – both in the same expedition, and that what she was doing was seeing whether anyone had tried to ring while she was out to see whether she – anyone had discovered that she didn’t answer the phone while she was out.”

    I too concluded to the same effect as the State (on the the basis of my previously stated analysis, taking into account the fact that there were no calls to or from Sue’s mobile phone from 2pm until 7am nor were there calls to or from Sue’s landline between 10:35pm and 3am). I am of opinion that Sue was in the presence of her mobile phone the whole time until she left the yacht after midnight but she wasn’t in the presence of her landline phone from around 11pm to about 3am. I concluded that Sue wanted to know if anyone called her home during her absence between 11 pm and 3am. I think that once she discovered that no-one called and because she didn’t think that she was spotted when out on the riverbank that therefore she decided to keep quiet about going out late that night. But the ATM photo tripped her. Then several weeks later she again was forced to re-adjust her story after hearing that the police had a witness who spotted a person on a dinghy at around midnight.

  45. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 31, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    #55 Andrew

    Sue stated that she did not remember dialling *10# (I will later today search for the reference).

    Within the context of what I summarised above (together with my relevant comments from 2015 & 2016) I concluded that Sue was away from home after her phone conversation with Mr King and got home at around 3am. Since there was no calls to or from her mobile phone the whole evening (nor were there any calls to or from her landline phone between 10:35 pm and 3am) and because she was away from home for several hours I formed the opinion that Sue wanted to know whether anyone called her home during the hours she was away. Since there were no phone calls she would likely have assumed that no-one knew that she was out and because she didn’t notice anyone seeing her when she was out, I formed the opinion that Sue didn’t want anyone to know that she went out. But the ATM photo tripped her. She then changed her story. But then a few weeks later (after the police released a statement about a person being spotted on a dinghy late at night) she started to change her story again.

    Sue’s supporters obviously have a different explanation. But why did Sue claim not to remember dialling *10# at around 3 in the morning? That is the question that Sue’s friends and family ought to ask.

  46. Andrew

    August 31, 2017 at 11:11 am

    #51 & 52. Thanks. So I assume that one scenario was that Ms Neill-Fraser got home in the early hours after disposing of Mr Chappell’s body, then made the *10# call at around 3am. But was any theory advanced about why she made such a call after coming home? Doesn’t *10# just tell you the number of the last person that rang? What use was that to her – what was she checking? Was another possibility that she had actually been asleep but had missed a call and then used the *10# to find out who had called her? Did she offer any explanation during her police interviews about why she made the call?

  47. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 31, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Correction to my #52

    Version 3 should be: drove to the river, left her car there and then walked back home.

  48. Johann Hulz

    August 30, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Re: 51. That should be received about BC’s daughter’s concerns.

  49. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 30, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Sue or the “vagrant” men: further analysis Part I

    In this (and in forthcoming posts) I will analyse and compare the evidence against Sue versus the evidence concerning the possibility that someone else committed the crime of murder (i.e. the “vagrant” men as proposed in Mr Richter’s dossier).

    1. It is my well founded (analytical) opinion that the central component (the “sun gear”) that glues all the cogs together into a picture  of Sue’s guilt are the many lies told by Sue. If one just looks at her changing story about what she did that night (Australia Day late evening/early the following day) you will find 4 different versions:

    Version 1: stayed home the whole night; 

    Version 2: drove to the riverbank and then drove back;

    Version 3: walked down to the river, left her car there and then walked back home; 

    Version 4: walked to the river to pick up her car from there but on arriving there she found she had farm keys and not the car keys and had to walk back to Allison Street to collect them and return once again to the car,  sometime later she drove home.

    When I combined the above lies about what Sue did that night with: 

    (1) the sighting of a “female figure” at around 11:30pm-12:00am (on a motorised dinghy heading out towards the area of Four Winds);


    (2) the 3:08 am dial to *10#

    I concluded over two years ago without any doubt in my mind that Sue was on the yacht after midnight to dispose of the body.

    Had there been no sighting of a person on a dinghy at around 11:30pm-12:00am, Sue most likely wouldn’t have gone from Version 2 to Version 3 and then to Version 4.  I concluded that Sue discarded Versions 2 and 3 in favour of Version 4 because it would have put her outside the 11:30 pm-12:00 am time-frame of being the person who was spotted on a dinghy around midnight (it takes about 75 minutes do the walks for Version 4). 

    My complete analysis of the above (with the reason as to what I also concluded to be the real reason for Sue initially discarding Version 1 in favour of Version 2 a few days after the police showed (to Sue’s daughters) the 12:25 ATM photo of a car that looked like Sue’s) can be found at:

    Comments #577 & #578:



     #8 at




  50. Johann Hulz

    August 30, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    #50 I suspect the answers you receive will depend upon which camp the responder sits in.

    The *10# call doesn’t incriminate SNF. It cast doubt on her version that she was at home all night as she had first alluded to.

    There were a few differing accounts for her movements. She did receive a call from BCs daughter who was apparently concerned for him and that was the reason she gave for going to the waterfront later in the night to check on the boat from shore. You might wonder, why she didn’t simply ring BC to check on his welfare, as she had left the mobile phone with him.

  51. Andrew

    August 30, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    This is an interesting case. Could somebody who is familiar with the details please explain how the *10# call incriminated Ms Neill-Fraser (as was alleged) and also what was the explanation for her incorrect account of her movements? I have read that it was to protect a family member – how did it do that? Thanks.

  52. Richard Kopf

    August 30, 2017 at 3:37 pm

  53. Isla MacGregor

    August 30, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Only a Commission of Inquiry can uncover what I see as the web of injustices, corruption and collusion in this tragic case in which an innocent woman, in my view, continues to be imprisoned for a crime allegedly committed for which there never has been any evidence, in my view.


  54. Richard Kopf

    August 29, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    #40 Using your theory, the way to carry out the perfect murder is to hide the body. No body, no crime. If that became the law I am sure that the missing persons’ statistics would soar.
    The following is pure supposition but to kill a spouse and avoid a murder charge, claiming self defence would have posed an option for SNF. But if the body was repeatedly violated in a frenzied attack, this option could not be available. What then? Dispose of the body!

  55. Steve

    August 29, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    #42; “Venting my frustration”? What on earth have I got to be frustrated about? The reality is that I’ve spent the last week recovering from the flue and have had time available to respond to some of the nonsense you spout on this subject.
    Unlike yourself, I don’t have a firm opinion on whether SNF is innocent or guilty. I do however think her conviction was based far more on a sell job by the prosecution than on any facts; inferred or otherwise.
    Given the nature of the case against SNF, it is difficult to critically analyse it as there really is nothing to analyse. Hence I point out the logical failures. It is easy to state that she knew about yachts, so was able to use a winch and a seacock, but it’s harder to take the next step and say that if she knew about yachts, she’d also know that sinking the yacht was likely to be a very fast way to draw attention to the fact that something was amiss. To the experienced eye, a moored yacht taking water is obvious and is a prompt for immediate action, whether it be a phone call or some more practical action.
    “James” (#43)suggests that sinking the yacht was a reliable means of destroying DNA evidence. Why would SNF have been concerned about DNA on her own yacht? Her best hope for removing evidence was for no-one to go near the yacht until she’d had a good look around in daylight.
    BTW, the “sun gear” was in response to Peter’s “cogs”. It’s the large central gear in a planetary gear system, around which minor gears rotate. I believe the metaphor to be apt, as all the little bits of circumstantial evidence in this case are like cogs. Mesh them together and they make a case, however due to the lack of any solid central piece of evidence, they can be dismantled and re-arranged to make a different case. This is why I believe the conviction to be unsound as there are other credible alternatives.

  56. Johann Hulz

    August 29, 2017 at 9:58 am

    #40 – “How can anyone be guilty under those circumstances? Who could say Bob couldn’t still be alive?”

    Your premise that no one can be guilty when there are no witnesses to the murder and there is no body is a common proposition that is provided against the conviction. Many murder cases involve an emotional element and a death occurring in the “heat of the moment”. Therefore a body is located and there is often a straightforward nexus between the death and the perpetrator. It is not uncommon that there are no witnesses to a murder, especially domestic murders.

    There are a number of cases where no body is found. Concealing the body does create difficulties for an investigation, but that doesn’t mean that circumstancial evidence cannot be used to create a case that can satisfy a court beyond reasonable doubt that a murder occurred. It is not that uncommon that a body is not located but a trial and conviction can still occur (Refer to the NSW case involving Bruce Burrell and the NT case involving Bradley Murdoch – to name just two cases).

    As to Bob still being alive – again the probability of his death needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The circumstances the boat was found in without him present, the fact that there was no evidence ever obtained of him having left Tasmania, he had not accessed any money and it was unheard of that he would not contact family or friends etc. This must have satisfied the jury that there was no other explanation. (NB: coronial cases involving missing people who were suicidal often find that the person must have died on a similar basis). Even SNF accepted in her evidence in court that he could not still be alive.

    In recent posts there has also been debate about forensic evidence. The CSI effect appears to be alive and well amongst some of the contributers, especially when they start talking about testing for SNF’s DNA on locations where you would expect her DNA to be present in any event. Most cases, as does this one, rely heavily on other forms of evidence. (That doesn’t mean forensic evidence should be discarded).

  57. Invicta

    August 29, 2017 at 2:14 am

    # 40 Mr Chappell could, indeed, still be alive. As I’ve noted previously, none of the myriad ‘armchair expert’ opinions on this case that purport to ‘prove’ Ms Neill-Fraser’s guilt, have successfully addressed the prosecution’s failure to establish that guilt ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.

    There was a reasonable alternative explanation for the events on the Four Winds – which may, or may not have included Mr Chappell’s murder – and that arose from the presence of DNA on the yacht belonging to a homeless person with known criminal connections.

    The conviction was patently unsafe, according to the relevant standard of proof.

  58. James

    August 29, 2017 at 1:36 am

    #38 Steve
    The central “sun gear,” as you unusually describe it, was Neill-Fraser’s repeated dishonesty throughout the entire case. She lied, and lied, and lied, during police interviews from day one, and during her testimony in the trial itself. And she never came up with any coherent explanations for any of her lies.

    Downplaying or ignoring Neill-Fraser’s repeated self-serving lies is the key to believing that she’s innocent.

    #41 Steve
    If the yacht drifted or just washed up on the shore, the DNA and blood evidence wouldn’t have been contaminated. Your theory is clearly sub-par when compared to sinking the yacht and flooding the cabin.

  59. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 29, 2017 at 1:19 am

    #41 Steve

    1. I stated my personal opinion on Sue’s guilt as a comment to another TT article over two years ago after my initial analysis of the trial evidence and the RTI information discovered by Barbara Etter. I do not need to keep restating the obvious.

    2. I also stated about a year ago that I concluded that SNF supporters have a lot of misconception about the evidence in this case.

    See #1


    3. This current article is about the ‘explosive’ developments of this year. I am hoping that people who are submitting comments to this article focus on this rather than on what had been dealt with quite extensively on TT over the past few years.


    [Ps: I don’t see any value in rambling comments that aren’t focussed but briefly skip over a number of issues without providing a detailed analysis on any. I think that you are just venting your frustration and are submitting comments that I perceive as non-analytical and currently irrelevant to the issue at hand].

  60. Steve

    August 28, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    #39; C’mon Peter. You really are clutching at straws. I wouldn’t mind if you just came out and stated that your personal opinion is that she is guilty but you keep pretending there’s some sort of scientific logic to your viewpoint.
    In my younger years I spent a period of time in the professional fishing industry. As a side line, I used to do a bit of salvage work. I’d spent most of my life messing about with boats and it was a bit of fun. It also gave me a pretty good insight into the world of marine insurance, something most experienced boat owners would also be aware of.
    It’s not like cars, where a few good scratches and a shudder in the steering is a write-off. Sink your yacht, they’ll re-float it, tidy it back up to how it was and hand it back to you. If SNF was after an insurance write-off, she’d have set fire to it or left the gas on. Let’s face it, if the objective was to get rid of the husband and claim insurance on the yacht, there’s better places to do it than on moorings!
    The big advantage of sinking a yacht is that it is quiet and discrete. Works very well for people who have no right to be there and want to destroy evidence of their presence. Were it a car, they’d drive it up a bush track somewhere and torch it, but it’s hard to do that inconspicuously with a yacht on moorings.
    If SNF were the guilty party, she’d have been better served by slipping the mooring and letting the yacht drift. That’d be more likely to write it off than a gentle immersion at moorings. Yacht ends up on the shore somewhere. No sign of owner who presumably went over the side trying to save the yacht.

  61. Russell

    August 28, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Invicta. As far as I am aware there were no witnesses and no body at the time of the trial. How can anyone be given guilty under those circumstances? Who could say Bob couldn’t still be alive?

  62. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    #36 Steve

    If you read the trial transcript carefully you will find that the yacht was insured.

    To my mind, Sue had at least two very good reasons to scuttle the yacht (or attempt to scuttle the yacht):

    1. To destroy whatever forensic evidence she thought may lead to the discovery of what exactly occurred below the deck.

    2. The yacht had lots of mechanical problems during and after its delivery to Hobart. Bob and Sue has spent around $45K on various repairs by the 26 Jan 2009, and (allegedly) the yacht still had some problems that Bob was attending to on that fateful afternoon. The yacht was too problematic but it was insured.

    3. By sinking the yacht, Sue would have solved both of the above problems and could have been paid out from the insurance company.

  63. Steve

    August 28, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    #37; I don’t believe the jacket in question was specifically a personal garment belonging to SNF. Having owned a reasonable size boat myself, you have all sorts of jackets and the such like kicking about. A nice day when you were on shore can be something else when you’re out on the water and miscellaneous outer garments are very useful. My impression is that the jacket fell under this category, rather than being a fashionable item worn exclusively by SNF.
    The problem with this case, composed of small cogs of circumstantial evidence, is that there is no central “sun gear” tying them all together, apart from a belief in her guilt. This belief appears to be generally founded on the logic that innocent people don’t tell lies. The problem with this logic is that sometimes innocent people do tell lies. They may be genuinely mistaken, they may be flustered and confused, they may be covering up something shameful that has no connection with the crime or they might be covering for someone else.
    Telling lies, owning a jacket, making a call to *10# and touching a winch on her own boat are not proof of murder and don’t come within coeee of being “beyond reasonable doubt”, let alone “no other credible alternative”.
    To get over the BRD line you need a court that allows flights of fancy from the prosecution, pictures of dinghies glowing with luminol and a lot of “innocent people don’t tell lies” rhetoric.

  64. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 28, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    #35 John

    – Forensic evidence means scientific evidence.

    – Forensic evidence (DNA) from the red jacked proves that SNF was in contact with that jacket but it doesn’t link Sue to the crime.

    – The circumstances concerning that red jacket (where it was found and when; Sue’s DNA on it, and the fact that Sue initially denied it being hers) is just another small cog of circumstantial evidence that needs to be integrated with the rest of the circumstantial evidence that makes a strong (but complex) case for Sue’s guilt.

    – Since Sue has been on Four Winds many times before Bob’s disappearance one cannot argue that whatever DNA evidence (if any) from her was found on the winch that it was deposited during the winching of the body. But her actions of touching it when told by the police not to touch anything can be taken to mean that she was probably trying to justify presence of her DNA on the winch. I don’t think the forensic scientists recovered any of her DNA from the winch (or any other area they looked at, if I recall correctly).

    – since Sue used her landline many times before 3:08 am on 27th Jan (the last being several hours earlier when talking to her daughter, mother, Mr King) the presence of her DNA on her landline phone would have been expected anyway and thus it cannot be used to say that it was her who dialled *10# at 3:08 am (someone else could have worn gloves and dialled). But the circumstance was that no-one else was with her at her home that night. So, the implication is that it was her who dialled *10# at 3:08 am. Just another clog in a complex circumstantial case.

  65. Steve

    August 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    #35; DNA test is scientific. Scientific is also circumstantial.
    A jacket on a fence is a jacket on a fence. It does not prove the owner committed murder, it merely suggests that someone who had access to where the jacket was stored, most likely left it there.
    Fingerprints aren’t time and date stamped. Soon you’ll be saying that her DNA on the yacht is evidence! While you consider that, perhaps consider why SNF would have bothered to sink the yacht that apparently was the motive for the crime?
    Criminals generally burn cars, sink boats etc, to destroy the evidence of their presence. SNF had no need to do that. Had the boat not been sinking, she could have pottered out there the next morning, tidied up any loose ends in daylight and left it to the afternoon to begin worrying about her husband. Remember, she was the last person to see him alive (apart from whoever killed him). Had she been the murderer, she could have come up with any number of stories to explain why she didn’t expect to see him on the yacht in the morning.
    Most murderers are encumbered by the body and the proximity of other people. No body, boat on mooring and the last person to speak to the victim. Why would anyone throw such an advantage away by sinking their own boat?

  66. John Wiseman

    August 28, 2017 at 2:54 am

    Yes got forensic mixed with scientific. Could I claim the dna test on SNF jacket in Margaret St as forensic? It proved she lied about ownership after it was left on the fence on the night she murdered her husband.
    Could I claim she destroyed forensic evidence by touching items on Four Winds under police escort?
    The telephone to call *10# at 3.00am would have had fingerprint tests to prove Sue Neill Fraser called surely? But of course its circumstantial why she called that number, everyone does it at 3.00am on the night their husband goes missing!
    No one answered me on the free the murderer case to inform me of the reason they believe SNF is innocent.

  67. William Boeder

    August 28, 2017 at 1:01 am

    I know of a course that has passed through this State’s Supreme Court that had the jury stacked with 2 persons of strong influencing demeanour that swung the rest of the jury from non-guilty to guilty.

  68. Steve

    August 27, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    #32; Interesting point Johann. I suspect I am guilty of using language loosely. You are quite correct, unless it’s direct evidence such as an eye witness or photographic, it’s all circumstantial.
    I shall re-phrase my question to John;

    #29; Wondering if you could list the extensive forensic evidence?

  69. Johann Hulz

    August 27, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    #30 – All forensic evidence is circumstantial as no forensic evidence points conclusivley to someone’s guilt.

  70. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 27, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    #29 John W

    “Forensic evidence is evidence obtained by scientific methods such as ballistics, blood test, and DNA test and used in court. Forensic evidence often helps to establish the guilt or innocence of possible suspects. … Forensic evidence can be used to link crimes that are thought to be related to one another.


    There is absolutely NO scientific evidence linking Sue to the crime; nor is there any scientific evidence linking the two “vagrant” men to the crime scene (the Four Winds yacht). But there is scientific evidence  (DNA) linking MV to the crime scene.

    The evidence against Sue is entirely circumstantial. Steve is correct.

  71. Steve

    August 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    #29; Wondering if you could list the extensive forensic evidence? If that’s too hard, perhaps just list any evidence that doesn’t fall under the description of circumstantial?

  72. John Wiseman

    August 27, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    #27 I support the conviction of the murder known as Sue Neill Fraser based on reading the transcript of the cout case, having a jury convict her and now seeing people associated with her support being charged with perverting the course of justice.
    When you say the courts conviction convinced the supporters of the prosecution, you show disregard for the jury, the prosecution, the police work, the extensive forensic evidence etc.
    When I read the transcript of the case I tried to stay neutral like a juror would start. Within a few pages of the case I gave up on the murdrer Sue Neill Fraser because she kept lying. The phone call *10# is one of the most crucial pieces of the time puzzle. The bandage seen by the police after the disappearance, with the photo of the previous day showing no bandage, etc etc.
    I could right pages of reasons why I believe I am very happy this murderer is in jail.
    Instead of questioniing the supporters of the convictions, think about why tv shows, libertarian lawyers, lower middle class women and people like yourself support the murderer Sue Neill Fraser. Ratings, feel good for a cause, family loyalty is understandable, but just because you are unhappy with another case like Lindy Chamberlain or Gay doesn’t hold value in this case.
    Think about the hurt you supporters of a murderer are doing to Bob Chappels family. Dr Lozo on this forum has more wisdom than myself and he’s right when none of you come up with any new compelling legally obtained evidence in your arguement.
    You are welcome to challenge me with your evidence If its because there’s no body or the homeless girls DNA was found thats not new. If its because you don’t like Tasmanian justice in THIS case explain why. But please do not reply because you saw another case you don’t like or you don’t think a woman in a wheelchair with tidy hair cannot murder her husband.

  73. Johann Hulz

    August 26, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    #27. What? Are you suggesting he was wrongly convicted also??

  74. john hayward

    August 26, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    All the supporters of the conviction seem to work on the presumption that the court’s decision was impeccably impartial and professional.

    Look at its record on the Gay judgment , etc.

    John Hayward

  75. Richard Kopf

    August 26, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    #20 Thanks for the correction.#25 your logic is sound, I agree. One doesn’t need endless trials to prove the obvious. I am sure their are deserving cases in Tasmania that could benefit from the wasted resources of the judicial system.

    I never cease to wonder at the motives of Neil-Fraser’s supporters.
    I first gained interest in this case by being asked to sign a petition for her release. I said, no, as I knew little of the case.
    I then did something unusual it seems. I read the transcript of the trial and became convinced that justice had been done.
    Are her supporters naive? Uncomfortable, that they have befriended a remorseless murderer and fervently wishing it is not so? Or like Charles Woolley and other similar hangers on, enhancing their professional lives through their pursuit, not of justice but media exposure.
    Or people who can’t believe middle class women can be murderers?

  76. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 26, 2017 at 2:50 am

    #19 Richard

    I agree. I am of opinion that more people you have involved in murder the higher the likelihood of someone leaving DNA and/or fingerprints. How is the defence going to deal with this issue of no physical evidence to link the men to the crime? All they have is an affidavit from an unreliable witness. I don’t know much about MV but I question whether the then 15 year homeless girl (who lived in a teenage shelter) would hang around and party with couple of middle aged men (vagrants) on some yacht and then the trio would get an idea to hop onto a dinghy and raid another yacht, kill a man but not steal anything (unless they fell in love with the 14kg fire extinguisher). There was no report of any alcohol missing but a fire extinguisher! A whole lot of work went into rigging the ropes and the winch (there is evidence that a winch was used to pull something from below the deck), scuttling the yacht, and then taking the body away!  Vagrants with lots of skill and knowledge who took so much  extra unnecessary  time on Four Winds just to steal a fire extinguisher – give me a break!

  77. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 26, 2017 at 2:16 am

    #23 John

    “The fact that Neill-Fraser’s guilt was not proven within a light year of beyond reasonable doubt,.. “

    Pardon my naivety in this matters but doesn’t the fact that Sue was convicted and sentenced mean that the jury (at least in their collective interpretation of the circumstantial evidence of the case and within their collective understanding of what BRD means) had in fact found her guilty BRD within the confines of the case evidence?

  78. john hayward

    August 26, 2017 at 12:09 am

    What is incredibly frustrating for a Tasmanian resident is that hearsay statements by various Justice Department officials are accepted as statements of fact.

    The fact that Neill-Fraser’s guilt was not proven within a light year of beyond reasonable doubt, combined with the lack of any real evidence that MV was not on the yacht that night, should have killed any conviction.

    Did anyone in the Tas system ever read about the Lindy Chamberlain case, or were they simply confident that no one would mention it?

    John Hayward

  79. Steve

    August 25, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    #20; Very sensible comment. The current situation is that people have been charged. The correct procedure is to wait until after the trial before going to town on speculation.
    I’m as interested as anyone as to what has gone on here but trial by media doesn’t help the justice process.

  80. Johann Hulz

    August 25, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Re: 11. charge of perverting justice – “This charge is premised on it being a true FACT that (MW) was NOT on the yacht.”

    Is this just an assumption? I would be very surprised if the charge is just based on what you have alluded to.

    We have an allegation that someone has attempted to pervert the course of justice, but I suggest we don’t know what premises that charge is based on at this time. Maybe we should wait until we know what evidence has been obtained, before concluding what the charge is based on.

  81. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 25, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    #19 Richard

    – the body of Bob Chappell.

  82. Richard Kopf

    August 25, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I find it difficult to comprehend the “evidence” that two thugs were successful in overpowering, killing and dumping the body of Neill-Fraser overboard, yet did so without leaving a trace of their DNA. How clever is that?

  83. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Further comments on “vagrants” and the defence “break-in theory gone wrong”

    I thought to push on further with respect to Mr Richter’s dossier because it appears that Mr Percy QC (Neill-Fraser’s barrister) will use its contents during the next hearing that is set for 4 days starting Oct 30th.

    I don’t have access to Mr Richther’s dossier (a 25 page paper) so I will here include some publicly available information regarding the possibility that two men (vagrants) got onto Four Winds for the purpose of burglary and ended committing murder.

    Below is a relevant extract from the Oct 2016 Background Briefing: Murder on the Derwent


    Damien Carrick: Soon after the laws were passed, Sue’s legal team filed an application for leave to appeal against conviction. The document contains a number of different grounds. One ground is that there is fresh evidence that, in addition to the teenage girl, two other people might have been involved in Bob’s murder. The two men have criminal histories, and Sarah Bowles says one of them was homeless at the time of Bob’s death and is now serving a jail sentence. Charged with attempted murder, he pleaded guilty to doing an unlawful act intended to cause physical harm.

    Sarah Bowles: One of them was known to Mum and Bob. He assisted them, manoeuvred the dinghy into the water going out to the yacht, knew which yacht was theirs. And I believe he was also ex-navy, so would have had some understanding of boats and water. The other character was living on or around a yacht that was moored close by to Four Winds at the time. He is also quite a shady character with a significant criminal history.

    Damien Carrick: Sarah Bowles won’t, without the information being first heard in open court, reveal the evidence that puts the two men in the frame.

    Sarah Bowles: Evidence has come to light that’s fairly compelling that suggests that one of these two people, if not both of them, were likely to have been involved in what occurred that night, if not responsible.

    Damien Carrick: But police investigator Peter Powell says there is no evidence of any kind that links either of these two men to Bob’s murder.

    Peter Powell: We were aware of the homeless man, and he was spoken to, I think on the morning the yacht was found sinking. There was nothing to suggest he was involved. He was then interviewed again after Sue was convicted. We were satisfied he wasn’t involved.

    Damien Carrick: The other man was also checked out.

    Peter Powell: They were friends in the past. They’re basically, in my view, a couple of middle-aged alcoholics. And I don’t think, knowing what their general state is, that either of them would be capable of doing anything in the way of a decent cover-up of a crime scene. It’s just another theory. Anyone can come up with a theory. Just because someone’s got a history doesn’t mean that they’re connected to this event.


    Here is a relevant extract from a 2014 Police statement:

    “The itinerant man who has been recorded under various spellings of the surname Roe (Wroe, Roe and Rowe.) became known to police but was never a suspect. After the conviction, he was identified as someone who may have been in the area on that night.  He was interviewed and volunteered his DNA.  His DNA and fingerprints were checked against any outstanding forensic exhibits from the ‘Four Winds’ – with no match.  This man informed police that he was leaving the state.

    See here


    It thus seems to me that the alleged conspiracy uncovered by the police this year was an elaborate scheme designed to bolster the evidence for the break in theory gone wrong. But will it succeed in the forthcoming hearing in couple of months?

  84. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 25, 2017 at 3:47 am

    A note about the eyewitness on Sunday Night’s program

    The witness who featured on Ch 7 Sunday Night was over 500 metres away from the location of Four Winds. Barbara Etter (on her blog) stated that she estimates it to be 600 metres. That witness stated that she saw a grey “aluminium” dinghy and that the dinghy was on Starboard side. It appears (based on what Etter was able to discover) that that witness  thought it to be an aluminium dinghy on the basis of its shape. 

    Read here


    It is my opinion that from that distance the human visual system wouldn’t be able to differentiate between an inflatable dinghy and an aluminium dinghy regardless of the features. I believe that this witness was looking at another yacht and dinghy that was much closer (she would have been looking approx in north-easterly direction and thus wouldn’t have experienced anywhere as much glare (some of which comes from the reflection of sun-rays from the surface of the water) as the other eyewitnesses who were looking at the port-side of Four Winds: the sun was behind her).

  85. Jane

    August 24, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    #Invicta I’m familiar with the law regarding circumstantial cases thanks. That is why I used the phrase ‘ruled out’. BRD is more onerous in circumstantial cases as other explanations (such as whether MV committed the murder) need to be ruled out. That is precisely what they did! Because MVs DNA was on there, they ruled her out as being not only unlikely, but incapable.

    The shelter contacted authorities during the trial – some time after MV was a resident. It is clear that they weren’t relying on memory but written record. If they said Unit 8 and 3:50 pm, they had written it down. Please don’t insult welfare workers by suggesting they cannot tell the time under stress. It doesn’t matter anyway. Even if she left the shelter at 2pm, she still wasn’t capable.

    Regarding your last sentence – too weird! Bob was killed that day, so at some point his body was on there! I don’t believe MV boarded the yacht that night, if at all. If she had, she might have seen Bob’s body after Sue killed him, or indeed interrupted her disposing of his body.

  86. Invicta

    August 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    #8 Jane

    Perhaps you need to speak to a competent legal professional or academic, and have them explain to you the concept of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ in criminal proceedings.

    The case against Ms Neill-Fraser was ENTIRELY circumstantial – there was no direct forensic evidence supporting her guilt, no witnesses to the crime, no credible motive, and, most importantly, Mr Chappell’s body has not been found. The murder scenario put to the jury by the DPP – that Ms Neill-Fraser struck Mr Chappell from behind with a heavy object, then winched his body overboard, rowed out into the river and disposed of it – was nothing more than supposition. There was NO evidence to support it.

    The presence on the yacht of DNA belonging to a person whose whereabouts at the time of Mr Chappell’s disappearance have not been definitively established, should have been sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt as to Ms Neill-Fraser’s guilt, in a properly directed jury.

    As for your comment about DNA and ‘murderers roaming free from one end of the state to the other’ – what utter nonsense. Most murders, in case you haven’t noticed, at least have a body to show for the accused’s efforts. Some even have a clear motive, or witnesses. The Neill-Fraser case had none of these evidentiary features.

    And, I’ve also worked in the community sector – with homeless persons, domestic violence victims, and people enduring countless other difficulties. It’s stressful work, and, although records were kept as a matter of procedure, we didn’t always record everything promptly. Sometimes, the records had to wait while we dealt with something more pressing – this is not a criticism, it was a fact of life in the job.

    Re: your comment – ‘if she boarded on the night she may well have found the body that Sue hadn’t disposed of yet’. I haven’t heard that proposition before. Do you know something the rest of us don’t?

  87. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 24, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    #13 Steve

    No problem.

    Here is something you did not notice:

    Even though the first two comments here are mine they did not show up for about two hours after Johh H posted his first comment! Thus, John’s comment #3 was shown as post #1 for the first few hours. I wonder whether John noticed something unusual going on.

  88. Steve

    August 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    #10; I’m happy to concede to your superior knowledge of the correct way to attribute quotations.
    I’m a simple soul. When I see an article with an apparent authors name at the top, details of the author at the bottom, I naively assume that the content of the article originated from the author named.

    Ed: Similarly …

  89. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 24, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    #8 Jane

    Excellent reply to Invicta’s poorly thought out comment that does not appear to be grounded on any background research!

  90. Ben Dean

    August 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    So now we have Karen Keefe charged and pleading not guilty with perverting the course of justice. This charge is premised on it being a true FACT that (MW) was NOT on the yacht. This ‘FACT’ remains a conjecture in which the Crown Prosecution and the police ‘believed’ MV’s DNA was not a primary deposit on the yacht, to which they have offering no proof, other than asserting this as a fact. So how will the Court now test this FACT by proving MV DNA was in fact a transfer, and to then prove a crime of perverting justice has occurred.

  91. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm


    I can prove via my email to TT when I submitted the article that my submission to TT had quotation marks at the beginning and at the end of the article because the paragraphs were copied (unchanged) by me directly from the SMH article!!!

    The ED must have removed the quotation marks (something I did not notice until you mentioned it).

    No plagiarism (on my behalf) here my friend. I think that the ED added the full name of your solicitor-general.

    Thanks for noticing this.

  92. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    #5 Invicta

    I answered the almost same scientifically nonsensical question (posed by John Biggs) quite some time ago!

    I need not have been there!

    A glare is a glare is a glare regardless where whether you are in Mvezo, Hobart or Adelaide!

    I went online to check the location of the sun for the period 4-5 pm for 26th Jan 2009 as seen from the location where the Four Winds was moored; I noted the direction of the tide and the orientation of the Four Winds as listed in the trial transcript; I did some simple geometrical analysis to calculate whether the dinghy on the portside would be in the direct line of sight to the location of the sun or whether the yacht was in the way; I noted the weather for the day and the photo of that morning; I know about ‘mie scattering’; I know about the amplifying effect that mie scattering will have on the amount of total light that gets to the ground from sunlight that passes between the gaps in the clouds; I know how the eye and the visual cortex will process the contrast between the dinghy and its immediate background, etc, etc.

  93. Jane

    August 24, 2017 at 2:03 am


    1. The yacht arrived in Hobart just before Christmas. Unless you can establish (MW’s) DNA appeared on the yacht on the night Bob was murdered, your point of law means nothing. There could be 100 DNA profiles on the boat, deposited between Dec 24 and Jan 26. Prove it was put there on that day, then you can place her at the scene of a crime. In fact, if she boarded on the night she may well have found the body that Sue hadn’t disposed of yet. If we failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt based on the presence of DNA we’d have murderers roaming free from one end of the state to the other. She WAS ruled out as being capable of having murdered Bob and sinking a yacht in the method used.

    2. As somebody who has been homeless before, I think you’ll find shelters have sign in and sign out books plus books they keep staff notes in. I know because I read mine once. These record day, date and time. The shelter hosts minors and they’re required to keep good notes to know if residents are in or out. They provided good info on (MW), including the number of the non-existent unit.

    (Deleted as personally abusive observation)

  94. Steve

    August 23, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    My chuckle is an article that’s basically quoting a media report and the first three comments are from the “author” of the article.
    Is plagiarism spelt with “s” or a “z”?

  95. john hayward

    August 23, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    (Deleted as off-topic)

  96. Invicta

    August 23, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    It was obvious that innumerable ‘experts’ would come out of the woodwork and put forward their ideas on this case.

    This particular opinion – from an expert in visual perception and object recognition – is one of the more ill-conceived of those presented thus far.

    To re-iterate, as Mr Hayward notes at #3, the standard of proof in a criminal case in Tasmania (as in all similar legal jurisdictions) is that the jury must be persuaded of the accused person’s guilt ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. Since conviction of a criminal offence can bring very onerous consequences for the accused, the standard is high.

    In cases where the evidence is entirely circumstantial – that is to say, there is no direct evidence of guilt presented – the jury must be persuaded that there is NO alternative explanation for the crime other than the accused’s guilt.

    In the Neill-Fraser case, the presence of DNA belonging to Ms Vass, and another unknown person, on the yacht should have been sufficient to raise reasonable doubt as to Ms Neill-Fraser’s guilt. There could have been a reasonable alternative explanation for the disappearance of Mr Chappell to the one proposed by the DPP.

    Regardless of Ms Neill-Fraser’s true involvement in this matter, her conviction makes a mockery of the criminal standard of proof, and we should all be VERY concerned about it.

    The opinions of experts outside the legal field who make a ‘hobby’ out of researching cases such as these are a dangerous distraction from the core tenet of the criminal legal system.

    So, a white dinghy might look grey in certain lighting conditions. But was Dr Lozo present at Sandy Bay on the evening in question? Does he know the nuances of light in Tasmania – which differs from other parts of Australia in intensity and character?

    And, seriously, who trusts the records of a homeless shelter to be scrupulously accurate. The staff in those places are so stressed and overworked, it’s a wonder records are kept at all.

    Finally, re: your concluding question at #3, Mr Hayward – dream on!

  97. O'Brien

    August 23, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    #3 Hey, I thought it was just me…

    One Christmas a few years ago my car was broken into along with fifty or so others. The attending police officer told me, as he slouched on my kitchen bench; “We know who it is, we know where they live, and there is nothing we can do about it…”. Excuse me?

    I reported public service workplace threats of assault & allegations of corruption to my ex-police public service manager, who ignored me and suggested I resign. He also appointed his ex-police chum to a vacant position on the tassie M.E.R.I.T. principle in my area. I then followed the chain above his head to the departmental head, they all ignored me. I reported same to the then Labour/labor Minister Brian Wightman and his HR staffer, they ignored me. I then attempted to report it to our ersatz Labour/labor senator who gets votes on the grounds she’s a cut above the rest. Next thing a vicious cop deprived me of my liberty, locked me in a hole, attempted to menace me, fitted me up in cahoots with a sergeant. It was made abundantly clear where this would be heading next time. It takes time to build a body of evidence to get a conviction to lock someone away… Since then I have been busy in exile attempting to survive and bring these matters to light. Well folks forget it. Ministers of all parties and stripes will ignore you, or worse. Police will menace you. Commission for corruption will laugh at you. You are on your own just read “One flew over the kookaburra’s nest”:

    It’s simple folks there’s on group of people who accept the corrupt state of affairs they are to be found in Risdon prison, the public service, police force, or Parliament. Most simply ignore and refuse to believe it, go about their business intentionally oblivious. Then there are those the corrupt cabal attempt to silence through fear, or worse. Human life becomes cheap when there are billions of dollars involved. Perhaps it’s always been that way in Tassie? It was and remains a prison colony ever since the English sent their refuse to rot on these far flung shores at the end of the world.

  98. john hayward

    August 23, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    When you consider that a criminal conviction is supposed to be “beyond reasonable doubt”, the Neill-Fraser conviction and that the government suppressed the DNA evidence and Stat Dec admission of a delinquent minor known as a crim associate that she was present on the yacht on the night with three friends into robbery, your eyebrows tend to rise.

    I confess to being more suspicious than some people after I received a summons under the Federal Crimes Act for having allegedly threatened the wife of a pro-logging forestry agitator, which I simply hadn’t. There was later a nighttime visit from a Hobart criminal investigations cop who attempted to ramp up the menace.

    The cops were finally undone by the fact that there were no transcriptions or other evidence of the alleged calls, and by Telecom’s disclosure of my 43 calls over 5 years to the police about the logging lover’s breaches of his 5 year restraint order for stalking us, which the police hadn’t acknowledged.

    It would be nice to feel there is a baseline below which the professional integrity in our justice system cannot fall.

    John Hayward

  99. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 23, 2017 at 2:08 pm


    If two men (vagrants?) had committed the crime (as alleged in Mr Richter’s dossier) would they really bother in spending so much time on the yacht rigging the ropes and the winch and then winching the body out from below the deck? Why would they do that instead of simply carrying the body up the companionway of the yacht or using the rope to manually pull the body from below the deck?

  100. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Premier Will Hodgman recently stated:

    “It is inappropriate for me to provide running commentary on a matter that is live before the courts.

    I’ll say very clearly though that there is nothing before government that would warrant an independent inquiry.”


    Thus, Mr Richter’s attempt to convince the Tasmanian Government to establish an independent inquiry into Neill-Fraser’s case hasn’t had any success. 

    Now that Neill Fraser’s appeal is set to begin on October 30 it will be interesting to see how the case will proceed in light of the alleged perjured witnesses who had already been charged.

    Based on my research of this case, I very much doubt that MV (the homeless girl) was ever on-board the Four Winds yacht although a forensic expert (Prof Peter Gunn) recently stated (on Ch 7 Sunday Night program) that MV was more likely to have been on-board at some stage. How MV’s DNA got onto the yacht is a very puzzling aspect of the case. The information contained in the Trial Transcript indicates that MV couldn’t have been on the yacht at 4pm (the time when eyewitnesses saw a ‘grey’ dinghy at the portside of Four Winds) because the records at the Mara house (where she stayed) have her leaving there at 3:50 pm.

    This is the relevant extract from the Trial Transcript (753/25):

    “That on 26th January Meaghan had requested to have a sleep over at another residence and that she left the – Mara House at 3.50 pm and was to later phone with the phone number of the person she was staying with, and didn’t.

    I have previously provided an explanation as to why the ‘grey’ dinghy that was spotted at the portside of Four Winds at 3:55 pm and at 5:00 pm could have been Sue’s white dinghy but was perceived to be grey under the viewing conditions and geometry that faced the eyewitnesses who saw the dinghy that afternoon on the Australia Day 2009.

    Here is also a relevant statement by Peter Powell [Peter Powell on Background Briefing: Murder on the Derwent]:

    “It’s quite clear that some of the witnesses who saw dinghies and even saw the actual dinghy, Bob’s dinghy, gave all sorts of varying descriptions of what colour it was and what shape it was, what structure it was. And in fact I was only looking at a photo this morning, and photographs that were taken of the yacht out on the water, depending how overcast the sky is, I can see why people might think a dinghy that might be white is actually grey in the shadow of the yacht.”

    I like to stress that it isn’t only that the dinghy was most probably in the shadow of the Four Winds yacht but that the eyewitnesses were looking in the general direction of the sun and would have been affected by glare , thus reducing their ability to correctly percieve the true colour of the dinghy they were looking at on the portside of the yacht.

    There is also information (which was available to Neill-Fraser’s trial defence attorney) that was not used at the trial, to indicate that Neill-Fraser left the Four Winds yacht at around 7:45 – 8:30 pm. This information isn’t mentioned in the Trial Transcript. See Barbara Etter’s blog titled:

     “The “Weatherbeaten Man” in the Sue Neill-Fraser Case”


    Had Neill-Fraser left Four Winds sometime shortly after 8pm then this time is significant because it would mean that her arrival home would be about the time it was getting dark (the sunset was at around 8:40 pm). This arrival to her home correlates with her own statement (in her Stat Dec of 28th Jan) that she got home about the time it was starting to get dark. In the absence of any alibis from Neill-Fraser and in the light of the above, I am led to conclude that she was most likely on the yacht from about 2pm to about 8pm and arrived back home shortly before her first telephone call at 9:08 pm (to her daughter).

    I have also previously provided an explanation as to why it would have been easy (but quite time consuming) to winch a body of 65kg from below the deck with a yacht winch that had a power ratio of at least 20:1 and then (also using the winch) lower the body onto a dinghy (or just below the surface of the water and tied to the dinghy) for disposal elsewhere in the river. Elsewhere I had also addressed Neill-Fraser’s different versions as to what she did after her phone conversation with Mr King.


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