Crime Investigation doco in media storm

Perth media is in a flurry over a seemingly cosy deal between producers of Crime Investigation Australia and the WA Police Force.

The attention centres on previously unseen closed-circuit TV footage in the unsolved murders known as The Claremont Murders. Three young women were abducted and murdered in a 14-month period, in what is Perth’s most notorious set of unsolved murders.

The CCTV footage is of a man talking to Jane Rimmer just before she vanished about midnight on June 9, 1996. It is hoped the footage will trigger new evidence.

But media are unhappy that the footage will screen in an upcoming episode of CIA later this month.

“The question now is why the Macro Taskforce has waited to do what may have been a logical step a decade ago: Release the pictures through the media and appeal for the public’s help,” writes Colleen Egan at news.com.au.

“And why did they choose to promote it via a pay TV program with a fraction of the audience that could be reached by general release?”

An editorial in the Sunday Times adds, “Police say it will be released this month shortly before it is aired as part of a pay-TV documentary.

“We are taught to trust our police. But sometimes their actions seem to defy all logic. This appears to be such a case.”

The State Opposition Leader Colin Barnett has voiced his concern, saying, “Look I find it surprising that any footage that could help to solve these crimes has not been made public and I find it really staggering that it would only be released to one media outlet,” he said.

As Egan suggests: “It looks suspiciously like this: A documentary team comes in to feature a cold case, asks if there’s any footage and someone dusts off an old piece of evidence.

“Let’s hope this supposition is far from the truth.

“None of us outside the inquiry can know for sure.”

Crime Investigation Australia will air on Thursday, August 28 on the CI Network.

Sources: ABC, News.com.au, Sunday Times

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