Saturday, June 7, 2014

Commentary: David Harold Eastman; (Aftermath 11; Inquiry report); Paul Daley writes in Guardian that inquiry "opens fresh can of worms as murder mystery deepens." Quotes retired journalist who covered the first inquest into Winchester's murder as saying "Significant circumstantial evidence does implicate the volatile Eastman"..."But the Calabrian mafia had an even stronger motive..." (Must Read. HL);

STORY:  "David Eastman inquiry opens fresh can of worms as murder mystery deepens," by Paul Daley, published by the Guardian on June 6, 2014.

SUB-HEADING: "An inquiry has found Eastman did not receive a fair trial over Colin Winchester's death. And so begins the postscript to more than two decades of speculation that has gripped Australia."

PHOTO CAPTION: "David Harold Eastman, a former public servant, was convicted largely on the basis of circumstantial evidence."

GIST:  "Jeremy Thompson, a retired journalist who covered the first inquest into Winchester’s murder and has followed the case closely since, says he has always doubted Eastman’s capacity to kill. “I never thought Eastman had it in him to kill anyone. In his quest to get his public service job back he harassed many journalists, mostly women, and his temper and threats were legendary. As far as I'm aware, though, he never followed through – he was known as an unpleasant, loud, aggressive blowhard,” Thompson says. “Significant circumstantial evidence does implicate the volatile Eastman: he had a grudge against Winchester because he would not drop an assault charge against Eastman which may have hindered his bid to re-enter the public service; various witnesses heard Eastman make threats against Winchester; Eastman bought two guns in 1988 – because he feared a neighbour he was in dispute with, he said, and, interviewed the day after the murder, he could not account for his movements the night before. “But the Calabrian mafia had an even stronger motive – they assumed Winchester was a corrupt cop who was protecting them from prosecution for growing marijuana at Bungendore and Guyra. In fact Winchester was overseeing a sting operation against the criminals. When 11 Calabrians were arrested they must have felt betrayed. They were due for trial in early February 1989 – but Winchester, who was to testify against them, was killed in January. The trial was abandoned when the state's prime witness refused to testify.”
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