Fears Valmae Beck killed other 'blonde virgins'
May 10, 2008 03:15am
DETECTIVES believe child killer Valmae Beck may secretly hold the key to the disappearance of Brisbane shop assistant Sharron Phillips - one of Queensland's most enduring murder mysteries - as well as several unsolved interstate cases involving missing "petite blonde virgins".
In an unthinkable crime spree in the 80s, Australia's most reviled female inmate and her child rapist former husband Barrie Watts stalked young female victims who fitted the image of their sick, sacrificial virgin fantasy.
Both were jailed for life for the abduction, torture, rape and murder of schoolgirl innocent Sian Kingi, 12, and the morbidly obese mother-of-six has admitted they killed and burnt the body of mother-of-one Helen Feeney.
Yesterday the 64-year-old high-security prisoner showed slight signs of improvement in Townsville Hospital's intensive care ward, offering a glimmer of hope to investigators that the critically ill patient may emerge from an induced coma and make a deathbed confession "about the others".
Prison sources have revealed her health went into serious decline and she was put on suicide watch when questioned about her possible links to the murders of Phillips, 20, in Brisbane's outer west; Stella Mary Farrugia, 19, and Louise Bell, 10, in Adelaide; and Sophie Woodman, 14, of Western Australia.
The missing girls are among half a dozen cases listed on the Australian Federal Police website fitting the profile revealed by child killers Beck and Watts of their obsession with "pretty little virgins". Most are petite, young and blonde.
Townsville's Regional Crime Co-ordinator Detective Inspector Warren Webber, who has detectives on standby to take a confession if Beck shows signs of waking, said they hoped she might want to absolve her guilt before dying.
Insp Webber said the pair could be linked to several unsolved attempted abductions and murders, including the baffling disappearance of Phillips.
"There were a quite a few abductions and young girls who went missing in the 80s," he said.
"There is a great deal of interest in Beck because she may hold the key to solving a number of unsolved crimes and helping us locate their bodies.
"We can only hope she has an epiphany while lying on her death bed and comes clean.
"Whether or not she has anything to add is up to her."
He said interstate police independently interviewed Beck about her knowledge of other sex murders.
The husband-and-wife killers moved from Western Australia to Queensland before they were caught for the horrific rape and killing of Sian on November 27, 1987. Taped conversations after they were arrested caught the pair asking each other if they had confessed to police "about the others".
Phillips was last heard of late on May 8, 1986, when she telephoned her boyfriend to help her after her car ran out of petrol at Wacol.