A photo of Garry Dubois from the '70s
A photo of Garry Dubois from the '70s Contributed

McCulkin killer Garry Dubois had raped before

THE man convicted of raping and murdering 13-year-old Vicki McCulkin and her 11-year-old sister Leanne spent eight years in jail for an unrelated rape.

Two years after leaving prison in 1972, Garry Reginald 'Shorty' Dubois helped abduct and kill the McCulkin girls and their 34-year-old mother Barbara on January 16, 1974.

A Brisbane Supreme Court jury on Monday convicted Dubois of the rape and murder of Vicki and Leanne, the manslaughter of Barbara and the abduction of all three victims.

The 69-year-old Torbanlea man will be sentenced after the trial of his co-accused Vincent O'Dempsey, a 79-year-old Warwick resident, in May next year.

ARM Newsdesk can reveal that Dubois was locked up for eight years in 1964 when he was 17 years old.

He claimed police set him up on the rape charge but a subsequent appeal was overturned.

He also has convictions for other crimes.

Over the past three weeks, the jury heard Dubois ran with a small gang of criminals who were involved in a range of offences including the torching of a Fortitude Valley nightclub in 1973.

Graham Ogden, brother of Barbara McCulkin, leaves the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Garry Dubois has been found guilty of the 1974 murders of sisters Vicki and Leanne McCulkin and the manslaughter of their mother, Barbara.
Graham Ogden, brother of Barbara McCulkin, leaves the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Garry Dubois has been found guilty of the 1974 murders of sisters Vicki and Leanne McCulkin and the manslaughter of their mother, Barbara.

One of Dubois's former crime mates provided testimony that was key to the Crown's case against the killer.

Peter Hall, who was part of Dubois's criminal circle in the 1970s, revealed the murderer made a chilling confession within days of the McCulkins disappearing.

Mr Hall told the court Dubois said he and Mr O'Dempsey drove Mrs McCulkin and her daughters to the bush where Mr O'Dempsey allegedly "separated the mother from the daughters into the darkness".

"He (Dubois) believes he (Mr O'Dempsey) strangled her," Mr Hall said.

"He said there were gurgling sounds and O'Dempsey seemed to be gone for what seemed to be a long period of time.

"After the sound stopped he (O'Dempsey) came down and proceeded to rape one of the girls."

Mr Hall said Mr O'Dempsey allegedly told Dubois to "rape the other one, which he had trouble doing".

"He (Dubois) said he didn't feel real good but he eventually complied.

"After that was over, O'Dempsey killed one (of the sisters) and asked him to kill the other.

"He said he couldn't do it so O'Dempsey killed the other (girl).

"They waited til dawn then they buried the bodies.

"He (Dubois) said once the sun come up and he looked at them it was an horrific sight."

The McCulkins' relatives and Dubois's wife and daughter were in the courtroom on Monday to watch the jury deliver the verdict.

Mrs McCulkin's brother Graham Ogden declined to speak but Queensland homicide squad Detective Inspector Mick Dowie delivered a prepared statement following the verdict.

"On behalf of the investigation team and more importantly the Ogden and McCulkin families we wish to advise that we welcome the verdicts of guilty," Detective Inspector Dowie said.

Jan Dubois and her daughter Nicole refused to comment, but Dubois's defence barrister Dennis Lynch said his client and his family were sad and they were looking at their options. - ARM NEWSDESK

The scene from court seven

GARRY Reginald 'Shorty' Dubois spent three weeks in a Brisbane Supreme Court dock looking remarkably relaxed as he faced charges of abduction, rape and murder.

Wearing ill-fitting tan slacks and a variety of loud shirts reminiscent of 1970s disco fashion, the short slender and balding 68-year-old petty criminal spent hour on hour staring straight ahead with arms crossed as 44 witnesses took the the oath and testified.

Every now and then Dubois would lean forward, watching intently as Justice Peter Applegarth, Crown prosecutor David Meredith and defence barrister Dennis Lynch went about their jobs before the seven men and five women on the 12-member jury.

Dubois did not show any emotion as the jury found him guilty on Monday of depriving Barbara, Vicki and Leanne McCulkin of their liberty, the manslaughter of Mrs McCulkin and the rapes and murders of Vicki and Leanne.

Jan Dubois and her daughter Nicole sat silently behind their husband and father during the nine days of evidence and three days of closing arguments and summing up.

The trio would exchange small intimate comments as corrections officers waited to lead Mr Dubois back to cells during court breaks.

Nicole Dubois sobbed quietly when the guilty verdicts were delivered but her mother showed no emotion.

For much of the trial, the very modern courtroom with flat-screen TVs, computer and audio systems stepped back 42 years to the day the McCulkin disappeared.

In 1974, police scribbled notes on paper notepads, recorded statements using typewriters and copied documents with photostat machines.

Many of the witnesses over the past three weeks were elderly and some didn't make it to the courtroom, having died long before the trial.

A photo of the McCulkin family home in Highgate Hill in Brisbane.
A photo of the McCulkin family home in Highgate Hill in Brisbane. Queensland Supreme Court


·       Sisters Janet and Juneen Gayton saw men called "Shorty" and "Vince" at the home of Barbara, Vicki and Leanne McCulkins on January 16, 1974.

·       The family left their home willingly that evening with Garry Reginald 'Shorty' Dubois and Vincent O'Dempsey.

·       On the way to a bush location, possibly near Warwick, the men tied them up.

·       Once there, Mr O'Dempsey separated Mrs McCulkin from her daughters and strangled her to death.

·       The men raped the girls and Dubois watched as Mr O'Dempsey killed the children.

·       The men buried the family.

·       The Crown's case was that even though Dubois did not kill the trio, he knew what would happen and was therefore responsible for their deaths.



Janet Gayton (friend of McCulkin girls): "I don't remember seeing them (the men) arrive - when I got there they were already there. Vicki and Leanne were inside so I whistled for them to come out. Vicki said friends of her dad were there - Vince and Shorty."

Peter Hall (friend of Garry Dubois): "(Dubois) could hear the gurgling sounds, he said it made him feel sick and it seemed to take forever. He said he knew the kids were going to be killed. He didn't say specifically how the girls were killed."

Paul Dubois (brother of Dubois): "Garry said Vince O'Dempsey did it. He said she (Mrs McCulkin) had information on O'Dempsey that he felt would have got him 20 years and this was how he dealt with it. He (O'Dempsey) said she was blackmailing him. Vince said they (Vicky and Leanne) weren't supposed to be there."

Peter Nisbet (neighbour of McCulkins): "She (Mrs McCulkin) had shared with me ... that her husband had beaten her up or mistreated her."

Trevor McGrath (neighbour of Dubois): "Dubois said that he had done time and got out on insufficient evidence - that he was charged with murder. (He said ) they review it (the murder) every five years but they'll never find the bodies."

James Munro (former SA police officer as Dubois waited to be extradited to Queensland): "I said 'Hey cut it out Garry, I can hear you'. He said 'F**king you don't know him - he's f**king mad. If I talk, I'm dead'."'He's a f**king dog. I'll never see Jan (wife) again'."

Douglas Meredith (former associate of Dubois):  "We'd (Meredith and friend Tommy Hamilton) been on the drink and smoking pot ... for quite some period of time. Vincent O'Dempsey's name came up. Tommy said 'He murdered the McCulkins. And they raped the children'. He (Hamilton) told me Vincent O'Dempsey murdered them and he and Shorty raped the children".

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