The bodies-in-the-barrel case was the theme of the Jason Kurzell film Snowtown.

ADELAIDE GETS NOTORIETY FROM MACABRE SERIAL MURDERS: Truro, 'The Family' and Snowtown in the 1970s through to the 1990s 


ADELAIDE WAS CALLED "MURDER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD" in the British TV documentary The trials of Joanne Lees in 2002.

Statistically, this is absurd, with Adelaide’s murder rate mostly below the national average. But a string of bizarre serial homicides gave Adelaide notoriety.

They were:

• The Truro murders, named after the discovery in 1978-79  of the remains of two young women in bushland east of the town Truro. Later, the remains of seven women were discovered: five at Truro, one at Wingfield at  and one at Port Gawler. The women had been murdered over two months in 1976-77. Christopher Worrall and James Miller died before they could be charged.

• The Family was the name given to a close-knit group of men believed to be involved in the kidnapping, drugging, sexual abuse and, at times, torture of young men and teenage boys in Adelaide and surrounding areas throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. This followed the murder of five teenagers between 1979 and 1983. The high-profile occupations of some suspects led to claims of an alleged high-society conspiracy.

• The Snowtown murders (also known as the bodies-in-barrels murders) were homicides (not at Snowtown) by John Bunting, Robert Wagner, and James Vlassakis between 1992 and 1999. Mark Haydon was convicted for helping dispose of the bodies at Snowton. The trial was one of the longest and most publicised in Australian legal history.

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