Anita Cobby Bio
Anita Lorraine Cobby (2 November 1959 – 2 February 1986) was a 26-year-old Australian registered nurse and beauty pageant winner who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered while walking home from Blacktown railway station after dining out with two Sydney Hospital colleagues in Surry Hills, New South Wales, just before 10:00 p.m. on 2 February 1986. Two days after being reported missing, Cobby’s body was discovered on a rural farm in Prospect. Investigations led to the arrest of five men who were later convicted of her abduction, rape and murder on 10 June 1987 and each sentenced to life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole, on 16 June 1987.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) June 25, 2019
At the time of the killing, Cobby sustained multiple knife wounds and lacerations from barbed wire; her death was a result of a slit throat. The murder received widespread media coverage, condemnation, and attention.
Anita Cobby Age
She was 27 Years old.
Anita Cobby Early Life
Anita Lynch was born in Sydney on 2 November 1959, to Garry Bernard Lynch, a graphic artist with the Royal Australian Air Force, and Grace “Peggy” Lynch, a nurse. As a teenager, she participated in beauty pageants, including winning the Miss Western Suburbs Pageant in November 1979, and had a promising career as a model. However, she decided instead to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a nurse.
She met her future husband, John Cobby, while studying for her nursing degree at Sydney Hospital. They married on 27 March 1982. At the time of Cobby’s murder in 1986, the couple had separated and Cobby was living with her parents in Blacktown, New South Wales. According to John Cobby, he and Anita were on good terms and, when she was murdered, had been planning to reconcile.
Anita Cobby Murder
Cobby worked in Sydney and commuted daily from her home in Blacktown. On the day of the murder, she finished work at Sydney Hospital at 3 p.m. and met friends for dinner in nearby Redfern. Cobby then caught a train from Central railway station to Blacktown station. Arriving at Blacktown, she would usually ring her father who would pick her up. On the day of her death, she most likely decided to walk home after finding the phone to be out of order and no taxis available at the taxi rank Aside from her killers, only two witnesses saw Cobby after she left the train station.
Cobby was walking alone from the station along Newton Road, Blacktown around 10 p.m., when the gang of five men drove up beside her and stopped their stolen white HT Holden Kingswood. Two men leaped from the car and dragged her into the vehicle, kicking and screaming. A 13-year-old boy, his younger sister and mother heard someone screaming from their house directly opposite and had gone outside in time to see Cobby forced into the attackers’ car.The boy ran across the road to help, but the car drove off before he reached it. Returning home he telephoned the police to report what he had seen. A few minutes later, their neighbour and his girlfriend arrived home and, after being told of the abduction, drove off to search for the car. They eventually drove down Reen Road (now known as Peter Brock Drive), Prospect and stopped by the now-empty Holden, where he used a spot light to search the adjacent paddock. Seeing nothing in the paddock and believing the car he was looking for was a different model Holden, he decided to return home. The attackers later stated that they had hidden in the long grass to avoid the spotlight and waited for the man to leave.
Once inside the car on Newton Road, Cobby had been ordered to strip off her clothes but refused, begging her attackers to let her go and saying she was married and also menstruating. Her attackers punched Cobby repeatedly, breaking her nose and both cheekbones, before forcing her to perform fellatio on all five men. The attackers then drove to a service station to purchase fuel using money stolen from Cobby’s purse. Cobby was then driven down Reen Road to the secluded paddock, while being held down in the car, raped repeatedly, and being continually beaten by her five attackers. They then dragged the brutally beaten Cobby into the paddock along a barbed wire fence, where they dumped her and continued to sexually and physically abuse her for some time. According to his taped confession, one of the attackers, John Travers, then became concerned that Cobby could identify them because she had seen their faces and heard their names, and convinced the other attackers to kill her. Urged on by the others, Travers slit her throat, almost severing her head.
Anita Cobby Murder Police investigation
When Cobby did not return home, her family initially thought she was staying overnight with a friend, but after learning that she failed to appear at work the next day, they reported her missing on 3 February. On the morning of 4 February, her nude body was found in the paddock by a farmer investigating what his cows were milling around. Cobby’s body was initially identified by her distinctive wedding ring, which was still on her finger when she was found. Her estranged husband John was initially suspected of her murder, but was quickly cleared.
The Australian public reacted with anger upon hearing details of Cobby’s murder. On 6 February, the NSW state government posted a A$50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Cobby’s killers. Also on 6 February, morning radio host John Laws obtained a leaked copy of Cobby’s autopsy report, which contained explicit details of her injuries, and read it live on the air, both shocking and galvanising public sentiment. In a 2016 interview with Seven News, Laws said he did it because he felt “the general public ought to know” and that “it incited anger in the public that murders like this were happening and we weren’t being given the full details”.
On 9 February, police re-enacted Cobby’s movements on the night of her disappearance in the hope of jogging the memories of travellers or others who might have seen her. Constable Debbie Wallace wore similar clothing to Cobby and travelled the 9:12 p.m. train to Blacktown. Detectives interviewed the passengers and showed them photos of Cobby whilst Wallace walked the length of the train during the journey.
Following a tip-off from a police informant regarding the stolen Holden, police started searching for Travers, Michael Murdoch, and brothers Les, Michael and Gary Murphy after they discovered that some of them had a history of violence, and that Travers had a reputation for carrying a knife. On 21 February, police arrested Travers and Murdoch at the home of Travers’ uncle and Les Murphy at Travers’ own house. Murdoch and Murphy were charged with offences relating to stolen cars and released on police bail. Travers, who admitted that he had stolen a car, made conflicting statements about the murder and was detained in police custody. While in custody, he requested that a friend be called so she could bring him cigarettes. The phone number was handed to the investigating police who contacted the friend, a woman.
The woman, Travers’ aunt—eventually dubbed “Miss X”—agreed to help with the investigation, met with an officer, and gave him details of Travers’ background. Miss X was subsequently sent back in to talk to Travers, agreeing to hide a recording microphone device in her bra while she visited him in his cell and was able to obtain a confession. Miss X later went to Murdoch’s home while wearing the concealed recording device to capture his statements on tape as well. Eventually, five men were arrested and charged with the murder. Police were praised for their quick response in capturing all suspects involved. In total, 22 days had elapsed from the time of the murder to the time all suspects were taken into custody.
Anita Cobby Murder Trial
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) June 25, 2019
The trial began in Sydney on 16 March 1987. Before proceedings began, Travers changed his plea to guilty. Sydney newspaper The Sun published a front-page story on the day the trial began, carrying the headline “ANITA MURDER MAN GUILTY” alongside a large image of Travers. The news story also referred to Michael Murphy as an unemployed prison escapee of no fixed address, and another in the same paper detailed Murphy’s criminal convictions and his recent escape from Silverwater Correctional Centre, where he was serving a 25-year sentence for a string of burglaries and thefts. The jury was discharged due to the potentially prejudicial information published about Murphy.
According to the medical examiner’s report, Cobby’s body showed extensive bruising on her head, breasts, face, shoulders, groin, thighs and legs consistent with “a systematic beating”,a “blow of considerable force around the right eye”. She also had lacerations on her hips, thighs and legs from the barbed wire, several cuts to her neck resulting in the severing of her ear and windpipe and near decapitation, and many cuts to her hands and fingers, resulting in the near severing of three of her fingers, which likely occurred when she raised her hands to her face trying to protect herself from the knife. The medical examiner later testified that after Cobby’s throat was cut, she would have died within two minutes. The medical examiner later testified that some radio bulletins purportedly based on his own report contained misinformation about the type and extent of Cobby’s injuries. She was not mutilated apart from the slashing of her throat and hands, there had been no attack with a knife on her stomach or genitals, and her shoulders had not been dislocated.
The trial for the remaining members of the gang lasted 54 days, with the men’s defence relying on convincing the jury of their minimal involvement in the beating and murder. On 10 June 1987, all five were found guilty of sexual assault and murder. On 16 June, they were each sentenced in the Supreme Court of New South Wales to life imprisonment plus additional time without the possibility of parole. Justice Alan Maxwell described the crime as, “One of the most horrifying physical and sexual assaults. This was a calculated killing done in cold blood. The Executive should grant the same degree of mercy they bestowed on their victim.”
Anita Cobby Killer Gary Murphy Injured
One of Anita Cobby’s killers severely injured in jail bashing https://t.co/fIfxNKqbVu
— annemariee white owl (@BlondieRulz69) June 25, 2019