Who Killed Leigh Leigh?

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Random House Australia, 1998 - Homicide investigation - 187 pages
This is a reverse detective story of sorts based on several years of extensive research into the rape and murder of a teenage girl at a beach party on the east coast of Australia in 1989. Criminologist Dr Kerry Carrington explores many unanswered questions about the case and particularly why the police failed to charge a number of boys with many serious matters relating to the crime despite having an abundance of compelling witnesses and forensic evidence available to them.There is no narrative closure to this disturbing book, no Hollywood ending, no justice and just lots of challenging questions. By asking these questions the author raises some profoundly worrying issues about the exercise of police discretion in criminal investigations, about the inability of our legal system to deal adequately with the concept of moral and collective responsibility, about the source of sexual danger and risk in our society, and about the popular indulgence of adolescent rituals involving a degree of sexual intimidation.SALES POINTS:*Currently very topical as a major investigation is underway in the exact same area (Newcastle) into bungling by detectives over other investigations into the disappearances of several young women. Questions are being widely asked about negligence.* Major investigation into this specific case has just resulted in no further arrests being made (which has outraged many) but in further inquiries into the police handling of the case at the time* Will be extracted in major newspapers* Early talks being held with 60 Minutes* Author is very well regarded and extremely articulate - she will be widely heard on media.*Very, very controversialABOUT THE AUTHOR:Dr Kerry Carrington is a criminologist and lectures at The University of Western Sydney. She first became interested in the Leigh Leigh case when she taught many students (at University of Newcastle) who had attended the ill-fated party or who had known Leigh and gone to school with her.

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I was sickened by eye-witness accounts of the treatment of Leigh by a group of drunk and stoned school boys. They encircled her, drinking beer and simulated vomiting on her with it, as she lay, paralytically drunk, on the ground. Kicking her, only moderately hard and laughing as she lay moaning, running her fingers through her hair and unable to save her self from this degrading humiliation. She is temporarily rescued by some girls.
The boys did this as a result of her distressed complaints that she had been 'taken' by one of them in the adjacent sand dunes. There was blood on her crotch and she was loudly claiming that she was pregnant. So Leigh had already been raped once at this party. It would not be the last time, prior to her murder a short while later. Why was Leigh so drunk at fourteen? Where were her friends at the party? What they and Leigh didnt know was that she had been set up. There was a sordid plan by some of the boys to get her drunk and gang rape her. She never stood a chance, poor bugger.
Extensively researched by Carrington, "Who killed Leigh Leigh" is well written, even if the wording is a little heavy going at times. It reads like an essay, with many salient points about inept, corrupt police as well as boys, drugs and alcohol and sexual violence. It is saved from complete academic dryness, by the author's warmth when communicating with individual family and community members of Stockton. I confess that along with Carrington herself, I too am disappointed that she backed away from an opportunity to receive Webster's 'honest' confession and so far he alone has taken the rap for Leigh's murder (but not rape). Finally, I dont believe that this male "....surfie youth sub-culture, and their objectification of women as little more than sex objects." is confined to Stockton, NSW, Australia, but the township, during the incident and the following investigations provided a fine example of it.

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