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The Crawford family murder was the 1970 killing of pregnant mother Therese Crawford and her three children: Kathryn, 13, James, 8, and Karen, 6. The family car was located at the bottom of a cliff at Loch Ard Gorge in Port Campbell, Victoria, Australia on 2 July 1970. The bodies of Therese and her children were still inside.[1]

Inquest[edit]

A July 1971 coroner's inquest found that Elmer Crawford murdered his wife and three children in their Glenroy home. Crawford had constructed an electrocution device, using a 15 metre length of electrical lead and alligator clips. He attached the alligator clips to his wife's ears while she slept and electrocuted her. He then beat his children to death, presumably using a hammer,[2] then loaded their bodies into the family's FE Holden vehicle. He then drove them 200 km to Port Campbell where he pushed the car containing the bodies over the cliff edge in an effort to make the crime look like murder-suicide.[3]

Two weeks before the murders, Elmer and his wife drafted new wills that would leave a considerable fortune to Elmer Crawford in the event of his family's death.[2] Crawford has been missing since the murders. A reward of A$100,000 was offered in 2008 for information leading to his arrest.[1]

In July 2010 Victorian Police announced that they were, in conjunction with the FBI, attempting to identify a man who died in 2005 in San Angelo, Texas (USA) that they believed to be Elmer Kyle Crawford. It was announced on 27 August 2010 that comparison of DNA from a Crawford blood relative ruled out any connection to the body in Texas.[4]

Cultural references[edit]

An episode of Sensing Murder titled Almost Perfect which aired on 30 May 2006 featured the crime.[5]

Greg Fogarty lived in the same street as the Crawfords. In 1996 he wrote the book Almost Perfect, which detailed his lifelong obsession with finding out the truth about the case.

References[edit]


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