Debi Marshall

Debi Marshall’s Ned Kelly Award Speech 2022

Ned Kelly Awards

Hi. It is an honour to have won this award and I would like to acknowledge my co-authors for their incredible work. True crime is a hard space to work in!

Poet Robert Louis Stephenson said that Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.’ Well, Adelaide – your banquet is served.

The Family Murders. Five serial killings, that we know of between 1979 and 1983. Victims aged between 14 and 25. Abducted, drugged, held captive. All subjected to unspeakable savagery before their murders.

Four of the five Family murders remain unsolved. Only one man, bookkeeper and mummy’s boy, Bevan Spencer von Einem, whom I interviewed in prison has been convicted for one murder.  But was he simply the fall-guy for ‘The Family’? What was going on in SA?

Banquet was a challenging, heartbreaking and sometimes dangerous story to write. I chased paedophiles and sexual predators, challenged police and the judiciary. I am calling for an enquiry in South Australia to see just how far this rot has its roots in elite soil and to try and find justice for victims and their families, to whom the batons of grief have passed for four decades.  It is, as my lovely late mother, Monnie said, time to break the silence that keeps the truth hidden.

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