View Full Version : Some crimes are destined never to be solved

4th Oct 2006, 23:12
I suspect this is one of them.



Townsfolk dance as molester's home burns
Padraic Murphy
October 05, 2006
THERE are some crimes, such as a possible vigilante attack on thehouse of a pedophile, that even the police do not seem keen to solve.
Armed with Eskies, the residents of the Victorian town of Meringur danced and drank beer as they watched flames engulf the home of Terrence Allan Ellis last Sunday night.

For the town's tiny population of 16, this was the type of justice the legal system couldn't deliver, and they wanted to celebrate.

Ellis, a 52-year-old alcoholic and former vagrant, was convicted two weeks ago of raping a young girl.

Police have quizzed residents over the arson attack and confirmed the fire was suspicious.

While nobody in Meringur is owning up to the crime, as many as 40 people from the area celebrated at the time.

Even the victim, whom Ellis had threatened to kill if she told anyone about the assault, and who still lives nearby, came out to watch the timber cottage burn.

"You couldn't wipe the smile off her face," her father said yesterday.

Victorian police have interviewed residents.

"I don't think they'll get very far," one resident said yesterday. The fire started just after 6.30pm on Sunday, soon after an open day at the town's one and only business, a pioneer park, had closed for the day.

"It certainly was a bit of a party," the victim's brother said.

Her father said yesterday he was not responsible for the blaze, but added that the house was a constant reminder of the crime and he was not losing any sleep over its loss.

"It's coming up to a year since (my daughter) was assaulted, so the fire gives us a bit of a full stop on it," the father said. "I didn't do it, but I can't say it hadn't crossed my mind.

"I don't reckon the police will be working too hard to solve it."

A fire investigator said the heat was too intense to identify an ignition point.

"That's a shame," said the father, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

A long-haul truck driver, he was travelling back from Brisbane last December when his wife rang to say Ellis had assaulted their daughter.

"It was just before Christmas. I mean, could you imagine that? We'd helped Terry over the years, I could just kick myself," he said.

Ellis, who had lived in the town for the past eight years, drove the girl to the outskirts of the town and raped her in the rear of a ute.

In cities, sexual assault victims can remain anonymous - but not in the Milewa district, just west of Mildura.

By the time police arrested Ellis, he was lucky locals had not already taken matters into their own hands.
"I was going to drive my truck into his house, I was that angry," the father said.

The victim, who has since returned to school, has required counselling and is eligible to receive $7000 in crimes compensation. Ellis was sentenced to a minimum 3 1/2 years jail last month in the Victorian County Court and could be out in less than 2 1/2 years with time already served.

"Where's the justice in that?" her mother said yesterday. "He gets a virtual holiday and we're stuck with a life sentence. We saw him at the court. He looks healthier than he ever did when he was living around here."

The destroyed house, which is believed to have been part-owned by Ellis, is expected to be bulldozed.


5th Oct 2006, 01:13
Wasn't there a movie on this very subject were the victim came back after all the children?

I think the guy's name was Freddie something?:uhoh:

Capt. Queeg
5th Oct 2006, 02:10
Yeah but this guy didn't go up with the house..... those hick Mexicans will have to have another go at 'im.

Yawn.... :zzz:

5th Oct 2006, 03:10

Drop and Stop
5th Oct 2006, 05:21

Infidels from south of the border...

Farmer 1
5th Oct 2006, 07:48
Oh, Sassenachs, you mean.

5th Oct 2006, 08:09
Yeah, kind of French-like.:cool:

Howard Hughes
5th Oct 2006, 08:32
Jerricho would probably call them yanks....:ok:

5th Oct 2006, 08:51
Brilliant. Let's bring back lynch law then.

Tony Blair can rename it community justice, or some such.

I despair sometimes.

5th Oct 2006, 09:23
Let's bring back lynch law then.
Bett Lynch or Bert Lynch (or are you not that old?)?
I never knew Bett was a magistrate though . . .

Flying Lawyer
5th Oct 2006, 09:34
Bert Lynch?
That's a name from the past - I'm old enough to remember the first episode. :)

(U_R's old enough to remember the first episode of Dixon. ;) )

5th Oct 2006, 10:03

So two wrongs make a right now do they ?

Did any of you see the bit where the house was part owned by Ellis ? Kinda tough for whoever owns the rest of it.

And what if some poor animal or an innocent person (maybe even a child ?) was inside the house burning to death as they danced and drank beer ? Don't suppose the torches-and-pitchforks brigade ever thought of that :yuk:

Tell you what, I wouldn't like to be a paediatrician in Meringur right about now.

5th Oct 2006, 10:18
For the town's tiny population of 16 Just a thought, but they might just have an idea where everybody else and their pets were.... :hmm:

5th Oct 2006, 10:44
What confuses me - of course, that doesn't take a lot these days - is that the town has a

tiny population of 16

and yet

as many as 40 people from the area celebrated at the time


Does this mean that they issued invitations to nearby towns? Or was it pay-per-view? :confused:

Kinda tough for whoever owns the rest of it.

Wouldn't be surprised if the owner of the other part really wanted to remain so after finding out about the paedophelia bit.... Likely that (s)he lit the first match :E

5th Oct 2006, 10:49
. . . everybody else and their pets were . . .Really ? If you have a cat do you know where it is all the time ? Well never mind pets, you'd be happy for a family of birds nesting in the roof with young hatchlings to be incinerated would you ? Or a raccoon bedding down for the night ?

I know some people don't care about animals. Well shame on you.

For those of you who don't mind a bit of barbecued wildlife let's stick with humans. So a homeless person passing through town who'd spotted an empty house and just snuck in there for a bit of overnight shelter would be fair game ?

5th Oct 2006, 11:05
So a homeless person passing through town who'd spotted an empty house and just snuck in there for a bit of overnight shelter would be fair game ?

Probably thats who started the fire, some old homeless wino with a carelessly discarded cigarette.

As for the cat, it was more likely to be in my garden S****ing in the flowerbeds like all the others in this world who seem to do so.

5th Oct 2006, 11:08
And if it were a homeless old wino and his cigarette, it would be OK for people to stand around partying while he died would it ?

5th Oct 2006, 11:14
Don't think I ever said I looked on what happened with approval, Grainger, just a mild prod at your red herring is all.

5th Oct 2006, 11:16
The guy wasn't necessarily a paedophile. He WAS, however a RAPIST!

5th Oct 2006, 11:19
This sort of thing has happened before.
Not far from where I used to live a known paedophile's house was fire-bombed, he got out alive, his latest target, a fouteen year old girl was not so lucky. Fire-fighters found her upstairs, dead.
As far as I know this was never solved, either.

I can offer no thoughts on motives for either crime just sadness for the human condition.


5th Oct 2006, 11:25
Tee-hee, fair enough D-B. I'll consider my herring well and truly prodded, although given what VnV's just mentioned, perhaps it wasn't so red after all.

Enjoy the fishy smell on the end of your finger though ! :p

5th Oct 2006, 12:13
A couple of points here for the likes of Bombay Duck, who probably can't conceive of a town with a population of 16. These are not towns per se, just a collection of farmhouses in relatively close formation, and when I say collection, it probably comes to no more than six. This is a community which almost certainly doesn't have a police station, a pub, a post office or even a store, and this is probably the only crime recorded there in fifty years. You bet the surrounding areas would know about the rape of an underage girl by one of the locals, and you bet they wouldn't be too worried about the sensibilities of city dwellers or the niceties of law as discussed over a cafe latte.

Out in those parts you pays your money and you takes your chances; the fact that the perpetrator (not alleged, mind you) only lost his house could be considered a little surprising. If the locals had a few beers and a celebratory dance at old fashioned community justice being administered, I'm not remotely surprised. Wild west values? Maybe. Play by the prevailing rules of the society you live in, however microcosmic that may be, and you probably won't have your person or belongings attacked.

I'd have to check the Meringur Yellow Pages to be sure, but I think the odds are against their being many paediatricians in the vicinity, though I'm aware of the incident referred to. This is not a marauding gang of violent drug crazed bikies wreaking havoc upon the innocent; it is an apparently peaceful community shattered by a horrific act by one of their own upon one of their own. I don't need a lecture from a member of the legal fraternity to tell me who the "sicko" was in this instance. Moaning about the possible demise of a cat is a herring of the most crimson variety.

5th Oct 2006, 12:40
I have to tip my hat to this application of frontier justice.

Three and a half years is a poor accounting for the damage done to a young girl's life. This small town society determined that such a man was a lesion on the body of its social framework, and took it upon itself to excise it. Good for them!

In our sophistacated, urbane world, we have let our capacity to control such behavior lapse, and this endangers us. People like this creep are the reason why I have a .45 semi, and if it were my daughter...

5th Oct 2006, 13:08
Jerricho would probably call them yanks....:ok:

More like wanks................. :E :E

5th Oct 2006, 13:11
A year or two ago there was a similar tragedy in Scotland. Rowdies had been "watching and besetting" a terrified old woman who lived alone. The XXXX constabulary were baffled, baffled and ashamed that budgetary restrictions left them unable to protect the old lady. Soon after, though, an anonymous social committee visited the rowdies and reasoned with them.

They were quite upset by this, as they saw it, invasion of privacy, and complained to the said XXXX constabulary, who were, oddly enough, still baffled, still ashamed that budgetary restrictions still left them unable to protect, now, the rowdies. Just to be helpful the XXXX constabulary suggested the rowdies might think of leaving the village within, say, two hours, and never coming back. They thought about that, and did both.

Ever since, peace has reigned. None of it ever reached the newspapers. This may trouble the magistracy, but not, so much, me nor the commonwealth.

The magistrates are no more than the handmaidens of law, and if magistrates and law break down, as often appears, Justice, perhaps rough justice, will still be served.

5th Oct 2006, 13:12
it is an apparently peaceful community shattered by a horrific act by one of their own upon one of their ownwhich crime? there were two mentioned.

This has been an interesting thread, mostly because the replies were (mostly) not as expected. Perhaps Jesus could be paraphrased by saying "let he who is without sin light the first match" :hmm:

5th Oct 2006, 13:27
Since none of us, it can safely be assumed, is without sin, it appears by that reasoning that nobody will ever be held to account for their actions.

Two crimes? One crime that's been documented and an incident as yet unproven. Only one of them had the capacity to shatter the community.

And the replies not being as expected? I'm heartened by that, for surely it follows that there are those prepared to consider possibilities outside their normal comfort zone, instead of blind faith in man-made laws.

Capt. Queeg
5th Oct 2006, 14:07
which crime? there were two mentioned.Well I only see one. As (the fictional but nonetheless accurate) Prot once said, "Every being in the universe knows right from wrong."

This rapist knew.

If I was part owner of the (insured?) house, I'd sympathise with the mood of the unwashed mexican rabble, hold out my hand and take the cash.

Only one crime in that story. Anything else is political correctness at it's most sublime.

5th Oct 2006, 14:21
Think it was Oscar Wilde who said 'we are very quick to forget those crimes that are known only to ourselves....'

5th Oct 2006, 14:50
One final note for those who are still squeamish over the possibility of innocent lives of whatever species being accidentally extinguished in the blaze, remember that the perpetrator of the original crime is in jail, the house was empty and the nearest police station is probably a long way away. Nobody would have had to sneak in and out under cover of darkness.

The eskies (insulated beer coolers) could have been set up over the road beforehand, with everybody bringing their own chairs, chips and dip etc, perhaps the odd beach umbrella and a Merle Haggard CD. The whole local population could easily fit into the house, each with their own jerry can of fuel, explaining the intense heat that prevented a single ignition point being found and ensuring the house was indeed empty, then after the party was over, they could wander back home and an anonymous phone call would be made. Unless of course the local policeman had brought his own esky.

Now I may seem to be getting a little flippant here, but I'm not unfamiliar with the way things happen in small towns of 2000 or so. A tight knit local community of less than 50 with no chance of a loose word to police who aren't asking too many hard questions anyway has its own code, and that will prove inviolate in this case.

Case closed your honour. Or your worship as the case may be.

Capt. Queeg
5th Oct 2006, 15:06
And some sensibilities offended along the way. :D Not a bad day's work! :p

5th Oct 2006, 15:50
Hope you're not referring to me Queeg.

Not offended in the slightest, just rather depressed sometimes at human behaviour.

Also slightly disturbed to find myself agreeing with U_R :eek: but nowhere near as disturbed as by the lynchmob mentality on display here.

5th Oct 2006, 15:56
Binos, when you visit NYC I'll take you around to 100 Center Street (where courts operate 24 hours a day) in the wee hours of the morning to see perps being arraigned. We don't call that building "The Tombs" for nothing.

tony draper
5th Oct 2006, 16:16
That might be a big help here is scumbags faced the beak withing hours of comiting a offence instead of waiting six months before they get to see the bewigged social workers on the bench.

5th Oct 2006, 16:30
But our prisons are (or will be tomorrow) officially and actually full. NOW what are you going to do? :ugh:

5th Oct 2006, 16:33
For a while, when pressed for space, NYC put prisoners on barges moored in the surrounding rivers (this is a city of islands). One was a troop transport or barracks barge bought from the UK following the Falklands affair.