John Cribb

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John Ernest Cribb
Criminal charge
Murder x 3, Rape x 3, Kidnapping x 2, False imprisonment x 2, Armed robbery x 9 , Escaping lawful custody
Criminal penalty
3 x life imprisonment + 45 years
Criminal status Incarcerated

John Ernest Cribb is an Australian triple murderer from Sydney, New South Wales, currently serving three consecutive sentences of life imprisonment plus 45 years for the rape and murder of Valda Connell and the murder of her children Sally and Damien at Swansea on 11 August 1978 [1] and numerous other offences.[2]

In August 1978, Cribb was on parole after having served six years of a nine-year sentence for armed robbery. He broke into the Connells' Baulkham Hills home and when he came out at about 3pm, Valda Connell, 39, had just come home in her car with two of her six children, Sally, 10, and Damien, 4. Cribb kidnapped them and drove north. He later rang Valda's husband, Paul, from a phonebox and said he had been having an affair with Valda, who had now run away with him to Queensland. Police originally believed Cribb's story, despite its implausibility; the Connells were a strong church-going family, and said the rosary every night.

They heard nothing until they were on their way to church on Sunday morning; Paul Connell and his other children learned the bodies of Valda, Sally and Damien had been found in a car boot near Swansea. Cribb had raped Valda and then killed her children and her with a knife, later being arrested after a ten-hour siege.

After his arrest, Cribb was placed in a ward for the criminally insane at Morisset Hospital, from where he escaped with convicted armed robber William Munday, who was serving a 28-year sentence. Before they were recaptured, they had committed eight armed robberies, and had kidnapped two 17-year-old schoolgirls from outside the Hakoah Club in Bondi, taken them to a hotel, held them hostage, and repeatedly sexually assaulted them over a 35-hour period; Cribb later sent the girls Christmas cards from prison. Both men were sentenced to an additional 30 years for the crime spree, while Cribb was sentenced to a further 12 years for rape and three consecutive life terms for the murders.

Cribb applied for a non-parole period to be set in 1993, with the application heard by Justice Peter Newman. Cribb had become a Christian in 1982, and several psychiatrists and psychologists reported he was a reformed character, as did a number of Christian ministers, prison visitors (Cribb married one of his visitors, who was now gravely ill) and prison officers. One Christian minister said Cribb would work with him if he got out of jail.

However, a letter Cribb had written to the court came to light, claiming he had not raped Valda at all, and that the murders had been "instigated" by her refusal to admit Sally was his daughter. Justice Newman found these claims to be "grotesque lies" that contradicted the claim Cribb had reformed, and represented "an attempt to manipulate a situation where the prisoner might obtain his release" and a "lack of contrition". They indicated that "well-meaning persons from the community who have supported his application have probably been duped by the applicant's claims of reformation", and Newman dismissed the application.

Cribb withdrew a second application for a non-parole period to be set in 2008, and it is expected that Cribb should die in custody.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A never-ending crime". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  2. ^ "CRIBB v REGINA (2008) NSWSC 265 (7 March 2008)". Australasian Legal Information Institute. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2009-04-21.