The host of a popular evening news show has revealed she grew up in fear of walking home, with a serial killer loose in the area at the time.
On Wednesday night, Carrie Bickmore revealed she was “honestly terrified” as a young woman in Perth in the 1990s as authorities warned about the dangers of going out while a serial killer was walking free among the general public.
Between 1996-97, three women – Sarah Spiers, 18, Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27 – went missing.
Over two decades later, the man responsible for their disappearances and deaths, Bradley Robert Edwards, was arrested for what would later be called the “Claremont serial killings”.
Edwards, a former Telstra technician, was found guilty of murder over the deaths of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, but was acquitted of Ms Spiers’ death as her remains were never found.
On Wednesday evening’s The Project, Ms Bickmore spoke with former homicide Detective Paul Ferguson, who lead the investigation into the Claremont killings.
“As a young person who went out in that area, that’s where we would go nightclubbing,” Ms Bickmore said.
“You’d be out walking around a bit with your girlfriends late at night, catching cabs, we didn’t know who it was, where it was.
“There was a lot of fear in the community,” she said.
She asked Detective Ferguson if he recalled the fear which engulfed the city as Edwards hadn’t yet been caught.
“Certainly, we generated some of that because when Jane (Ms Rimmer) went missing, we were concerned for the young ladies and tried to get the message out there,” Detective Ferguson said.
“Do not hitchhike, keep your friends informed as to what you’re doing.
“It was a terrifying time for the inquiry team.”
He was asked if he felt pressure to solve the horrifying case, as the killings gained mass media coverage.
“There’s so many people relying upon you to get to the bottom of what happened to their loved one,” he said.
“The outcome for me, and I’m sure I’m talking on behalf of 200, 300, 400 police officers that worked on the file over the 23 years, was a sense of satisfaction.”
He said despite the guilty verdict which Edwards received, along with a 40-year prison sentence, he was “disappointed for the Spiers family” who still don’t know the whereabouts of their loved one.
Ms Bickmore recently announced she would be leaving the hit show after 13 years.