Silk–Miller police murders

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Gary Silk and Rodney Miller

The Silk–Miller murders (also known as the Moorabbin Police murders) was the name given to the murders of Victoria Police Officers Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller in Cochranes Road, Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia on 16 August 1998.

On the night of the murders, the Police Officers were staking out the Silky Emperor Restaurant near the corner of Cochranes and Warrigal Roads, Moorabbin at approximately midnight when they were gunned down at close range.

Operation Lorimer[edit]

Police investigations into the murders were named Operation Lorimer. Victorian Police Minister Andre Haermeyer announced an A$500,000 reward for information on the murders, and later said he would consider increasing the reward.[1]

Evidence left at the scene of the crime included pieces of glass, suspected to be from the getaway car used by the killers. Police tested this glass and discovered it came from a late model Hyundai hatchback. After extensive investigations, which took the team to the Hyundai factory in South Korea to obtain vital prosecution evidence, Police narrowed down the exact make and model of the vehicle involved in the shootings from the glass samples. The vehicle was registered to the daughter of known criminal, Bandali Debs.

Arrests[edit]

On 24 September 2001, Bandali Debs, a father of five from Narre Warren, Victoria and Jason Joseph Roberts, an apprentice builder, of Cranbourne, Victoria faced charges relating to the murders of Silk and Miller as well as 13 other charges of armed robbery relating to offences alleged to have occurred between March and July 1998.

Guilty verdict[edit]

Debs and Roberts were found guilty of the murders and sentenced to life imprisonment.[2] Both are currently serving their sentence with time spent at maximum security Victorian prisons HM Prison Barwon and Port Phillip Prison.

Aftermath[edit]

The Silk-Miller Memorial Plaque in the garden at the Prahran Police Station, Malvern Road, Prahran

Former Police Officer Joe D'Alo was a member of the task force investigating the shootings. He left the Force and authored a controversial book titled One Down, One Missing (ISBN 1-74066-141-9) about the crime.[3] Assistant Commissioner of Crime, Simon Overland said of the book,

"Victoria Police does not endorse or support this book. We were only told of the book after it had been written and the deal finalised with the publisher. We're extremely disappointed that a serving Police Officer would be involved in this publication without the knowledge or support of many of his task force colleagues."

Further convictions – Debs[edit]

In May 2007, Debs was convicted of a third murder of an intellectually handicapped teenager named Kristy Mary Harty in Beaconsfield Upper, Victoria around June 1997. This led to his term in prison being without the possibility of parole.[4] Debs was also found guilty of the April 1995 murder of Donna Ann Hicks, a mother of three from New South Wales, on 12 December 2011.[5]

Blue Ribbon Cup[edit]

Australian rules football clubs Hawthorn and St Kilda have played off for the Blue Ribbon Cup since 1999. The cup is dedicated to those who have lost their lives while on duty. The best player from the match receives the Silk-Miller Medal. Both men were passionate supporters of the sport. This annual game ensures that the legacy of the two men continues to live on in the lives of Victorians.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]