The shocking places human bodies have been found in Australia
*WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT*
IT'S often a final act of cruelty that sees many killers dispose of or hide the bodies of their victims in the most shocking places and ways.
Sometimes it's to conceal their crimes. On other occasions it's to satisfy their sadistic minds.
Grieving loved ones and the public are kept away from the site by police tape and officers who stand guard to protect it while forensic examinations are carried out. Later, crime scene photos are censored and or suppressed completely, never seeing the light of day outside of the courts. But for detectives and emergency services who are commonly called to the scene of suspicious deaths, the gruesome reality of discovering a human dumping ground is impossible to ignore.
Sometimes the bodies of murder victims are found in parks, rivers, homes and business places.
On Wednesday, a man's body was found in the back of a white 1990s Ford Laser, in the Sydney beachside suburb of Maroubra. Police said he had sustained multiple injuries and declared his death suspicious. The victim hasn't yet been identified and investigations are continuing.
In some of Australia's most baffling and notorious cases, human bodies have been found stuffed into suitcases, barrels, bins, freezers and even a mailbag.
The screams of a garbage truck driver could be heard throughout the street when he discovered a man's dead body while emptying a rubbish bin in Melbourne's north last month.
The council worker watched on his TV monitor as a human body dropped into the back of the garbage truck while he was emptying bins in Preston on May 27.
Authorities were called to the scene at the intersection of Young and Butler streets not long after. The victim was later identified as 44-year-old Ashley Phillips from Broadmeadows.
The bin, which did not belong to any residents on the street, was on a nature strip for more than 24 hours before it was collected.
A resident noticed the bin and had called the council to have it removed.
A 35-year-old Preston man and a 26-year-old Preston woman were charged on June 8 with murdering Mr Phillips.
Police are yet to describe the condition of the body or release any details about how he may have died.
PACKED INTO A SUITCASE
When the contents of a weathered suitcase dumped beside a South Australian highway in June turned out to be the body of a little girl, the nation reeled in horror.
Who was she? Where was she from? Why did nobody report her missing?
She was crammed inside the suitcase no wider than 40cm with clothes and shoes imprinted with pictures of popular cartoon characters and teddy bears. This was a little girl who loved Dora the Explorer and danced around in a black tutu.
She had died a violent death at the hands of her killer.
Detectives described her as "a little girl lost" and dubbed her 'Angel' until she was later identified as two-year-old Khandalyce Pearce-Stevenson.
HANGING FROM MEAT HOOKS
Seventeen years ago Katherine Knight, an abattoir worker from the NSW Hunter Valley, murdered her de facto partner. She skinned the corpse of John Price and hung his skin from meat hooks.
Her motive was revenge but Knight also derived a sick and sadistic pleasure from Price's death. She planned it days in advance, tortured her victim until his final moments and, with forensic detail and great care, and took his head as a souvenir.
It was March 1, 2000, when police found the victim's body in the home the couple shared. Slices of his buttocks had been prepared for dinner for Price's children; the meat to be served with vegetables and gravy.
Police intervened before the children got home from school. They observed that the victim's head was boiling in a pot on the stove top and that he had attempted to escape. There were bloodstains on the floor of the house.
During sentencing, Justice Barry O'Keefe said Price would have suffered immeasurably.
"The last minutes of his life must have been a time of abject terror for him, as they were a time of utter enjoyment for her," Mr O'Keefe said.
Knight was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
STUFFED INTO BARRELS
The name of South Australian farming borough Snowtown is synonymous with death.
The place will forever be remembered for the multiple dismembered bodies found in six barrels hidden in a disused bank vault in May 1999.
John Bunting and Robert Wagner were charged with 12 murders between 1992 and 1999 - with Wagner eventually convicted of 10 and Bunting 11 murders following South Australia's longest criminal trial.
The vile serial killing spree culminated in Wagner and Bunting cooking and eating the flesh of their final victim, David Johnson, who was murdered inside the Snowtown bank vault where police discovered the remains of eight victims inside six barrels.
LOCKED IN THE FREEZER
The partly clothed body of lawyer Derrance Stevenson was found wrapped in two garbage bags hidden inside his freezer on June 4, 1979.
Mr Stevenson, 44, had been shot through the back of the head with a .22 calibre rifle.
The highly regarded lawyer had been living in the Adelaide house with his lover, David Szach, then 19, who was convicted of the killing and sentenced to a non-parole period of 18 years and three months. He was released on parole 14 years later but has maintained his innocence.
The site of one the state's most bizarre and shocking murders at 189 Greenhill Rd, Parkside, was demolished in 2008.
SEALED IN A MAILBAG
It's been 50 years since a dead baby boy with a stocking tied tightly around his neck was put in a mailbag and posted from Melbourne to Darwin.
It's one of the most sickening cases to have taken place in Australia, yet the newborn's identity and the circumstances surrounding his death remain a mystery.
The case has long gone cold but at least one man, retired detective Denver Marchant - who worked on the case as a young constable for the Northern Territory police - hasn't been able to let it go.
Now based in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Mr Marchant, 75, is still haunted by the "the baby in the mailbag" and recalls the incident vividly.
On May 3, 1965, the package was sent to the old post office in Knuckey St, Darwin, from Russell St in Melbourne, with a return address of JF Barnes, 2 Woolridge Ave, Mentone, Victoria.
Darwin postal clerk John Polishuk - who has since died - noticed the parcel had "started to weep and emit a putrid smell" after addressee "J Anderson" failed to collect it from the post office.
Mr Polishuk opened the mailbag and made the gruesome discovery on May 11.
"He undid it then saw a child inside," Mr Marchant told news.com.au.
"He was horrified and called us.
"It badly affected John."
The baby's naked body was stuffed inside the mailbag without a note, clothing or any other items.
PLACED ON THE BEACH
The Somerton Man in South Australia. His epitaph reads: "Here lies the unknown man who was found at Somerton Beach 1st Dec. 1948".
The mystery first came to attention at 6.45am on December 1, 1948, when two jockeys found the body of a man slumped against a sea wall on Somerton Beach in Adelaide.
Despite the warm weather, he was dressed in an expensive suit and tie but the labels were removed from his clothes. A half-smoked cigarette rested on his shirt collar. There were no signs of violence to his body, no signs of a struggle.
The sand around him was dry and undisturbed.
The pathologist was unable to establish a cause of death. He suspected the man had been poisoned but found no trace of poison in his system. The case of the Somerton Man remains one of the state's most enduring mysteries which has ensured that - while no one knows who this man was - he will long be remembered.