77. Whatever happened to…?
Simon's ashes can be found in Site 11, Row HR, Eastern Niche Wall No. 2 at the Enfield Memorial Park cemetery in Adelaide.
James’ remains are buried in the Griffith Lawn Cemetery in Griffith, New South Wales.
Les and Sandra Annetts
Les and Sandra tried every trick in the book to get Loder in court where he could be cross-examined. Their personal calendars stopped on the day they were told their son was missing. While their children and grandchildren thrive they still wait for someone to come forward and say what really happened. But these days their phone rings less and the calls of interest are becoming fewer and fewer.
Andrew Tanion Beezley
Andrew was last living in Brisbane with his wife, Vicki. He worked four and a half years at Flora Valley, during which he was run over by the bull catcher, a 4WD with a special cage on the front. The broken bones and damaged vertebrae, and subsequent osteo-arthritis, now prevent him from working at physically demanding jobs.
Shane Edward Baites
Shane left the Western Australian police and now works for Rio Tinto near Karratha. He lives in Roebourne and is a keen gardener.
John retired as manager of Ruby Plains station and lives in Coober Pedy near one of his daughters. He complains of memory loss and lack of money, and still wears tight jeans over his bowlegs.
Jungarri T. Bradshaw
Bradshaw passed away on 24 January1991, still a young man, from a kidney and liver ailment. Patrick Bradshaw regretted his father drank the contents of so many flagons. John Drummond described him as the best of the young trackers and a man of word.
When I asked Patrick how to spell his father’s skin name he referred me to his mother-in-law, but for cultural reasons couldn’t name her. He asked his wife to name her and she did while carefully avoiding my eyes.
Andrew Patrick Brett
Andy continued his career in exploration and became a supervisor with Terrex Seismic. He later returned to Victoria and with his wife and son bought a coffee shop in Torquay. But amidst the crackling steam from the coffee machine the alluring siren of the desert calls him back.
Daniel denies being the White Knight who legally rescued the Annetts. He names Tim Robertson, Kevin Murray and others as heroes of the story then laughs as if readjusting his mind to the epithet of White Knight, not an inaccurate description.
John owns and operates a petrol station with his wife in Williams, a small town south of Perth. He is also the parts manager for Kimberley Quarries at Karratha. He plans an early retirement followed by a life travelling the outback in a converted bus.
Peter is an accomplished and cantankerous artist. He lives near Salt Lake in Victoria.
Simon Amos’ mother lives in the Adelaide suburb of Paradise and retains her determination not to speak about the case. Like her daughter, Sarah Amos, she believes Simon died from misadventure and not murder.
Murray retired from the police in 2005 after serving 27 years then was elected member of the Legislative Assembly in Western Australia, representing the Murray Wellington District. He is now the Minister of Corrections.
In his maiden speech to the Western Australian Parliament he said “I have risked my life searching for the missing stockmen Amos and Annetts in the Great Sandy Desert.”
He believes the parents of both boys failed to adequately ensure the boys would be looked after when they went to the Kimberley. And that the Annetts were ungrateful to the police who had risked their lives venturing into remote country looking for their son.
He still believes that James and Simon had accumulated fuel then taken the Datsun ute to return home and that it was only a navigational error that led to their demise.
When Debbie’s marriage to John Davis ended she became involved with a church in Halls Creek and told others she would become a medical doctor. She returned to Melbourne and qualified as a General Practitioner under the name of Deborah Maree Blackmore then worked in Liberia with Medicine without Borders. She currently practices in Melbourne.
John shot himself in Darwin in the early 1990's. Three hundred people attended his funeral in Darwin and then his body was flown by helicopter to Billawheela where another five hundred paid their last respects. Peter Carmichael said all “these big tough cowboys standing around all bawling their eyes out.” He was a loved man.
Bonnie and Malcolm sold their supermarket. Bonnie currently translates for the Kimberley Language Centre and works on projects for the betterment of Aboriginal people at the Bungle Bungles and elsewhere. She is also a professional speaker. She was asked to stand for parliament to replace the retiring Carolyn Martin in Broome, but declined. She frequently visits Nicholson Station where she was born in the creek bed back of the homestead.
Malcolm is the President of the Halls Creek Shire and works for the government.
Bruce and Jackie Farrands
Bruce and Jackie closed Rabbit Flat. They are both over seventy and Jackie has health issues. Business had suffered from loss of neighbours; government restrictions on alcohol sales; restrictions on gun ownership and Bruce was generally fed up with the “bullshit”. They’ve blocked off the driveway with drums and live in seclusion amongst their orchard. They sell preserves and souvenirs via the internet.
Colin lives in Derby where he works for the Western Australia Department of Agriculture helping indigenous people run their own cattle stations.
After his encounter with Giles Loder he worked at Bonnie and Malcolm Edwards’ supermarket then later moved to Wungu, the old Flora Valley station homestead. He lived with Sandra Sturt in an off and on relationship until 2009 when he went shopping in Halls Creek and was never seen again by his friends at Halls Creek.
James Richard Guy
First Class Sergeant Guy hasn’t forgotten being “canned” by Coroner David McCann. Despite the botched search for James and Simon he was soon promoted to officer-in-charge of the Western Australia Police Emergency Operations Unit. He retired in 2003 with the rank of Superintendent. He was recently studying at Murdoch University, working as a security consultant and as a parcel courier.
John Stuart Hatton
John died of cancer in Perth on 30 May 2003, aged 58.
The Horses of Sturt Creek
After years of prevarication by the Aboriginals at Billiluna the government finally took action in late 2013 against the wild horses in the Sturt Creek basin. Officials and some environmentalists said the horses were damaging the environment with their hooves.
Snipers from a helicopter shot seven thousand of the animals. They plan to return next year to kill the other three thousand. Those that survive the bullets will thrive from uncontested pasture.
Anthony Scott Hunter
Tony left the Western Australia police and now works for Rio Tinto near Karratha. He lives in Perth.
Gudia Matt has survived as manager at Balgo despite rumblings in Halls Creek where a “black knight” is being sought to depose him.
Shane Francis Kendall
Shane finished his short stint in the pastoral industry a few weeks after the boys' disappearance. He worked on the roads for the Broome council then went into the concrete business. He currently lives in Perth with his wife, Julie, and works in a mine.
John is 80 and lives in retirement in Western Australia.
George is no longer chairman of Wirrimanu Aboriginal Corporation. Rotation is frequent to allow multiple groups to represent their clans. George was recently taken to the health clinic for heart problems from tension caused when a man named Brown arrived from the east with the declared intention of killing him with a knife.
Six-months after searching with Jim Guy, Peter’s next claim to fame came while mustering cattle near Fitzroy Crossing when he spotted Joseph Swab’s camouflaged vehicle beneath a bauhinia tree on Jubilee Downs. Swab was a German tourist who had shot five people and was himself killed by the police tactical response group.
Peter was working at Liveringa station on the day the media announced the discovery of the bodies and James and Simon. A teenage jackeroo told him that same day during a smoke break that it would have been a horrible way to have died. That afternoon the boy fell from his horse and was himself killed.
Peter runs Napier Downs station east of Derby and is a member of the Pastoral Lands Board.
Her last known address was in Darwin where she lived with her son, Brock.
Giles Munro Loder
Loder's services were no longer required when Heytesbury Holdings took over Sherwin Pastoral Company in a hostile takeover. He subsequently worked in a welding shop in Darwin and kept a low profile that verged on hiding. He lives in the Brisbane suburb of Taringa with his second wife, Carolyn.
First Class Constable Main participated in the first two days of the search before going on holidays. He secured the death scene in the desert where he counted and picked up the bones. He wrote the well researched sudden death report on the boys' deaths. He left the police to work for Hamersley Iron then rejoined the Western Australia Police and is stationed at Geraldton maintaining his rank of First Class Constable.
At sixty-seven Mark Moora is still a respected and cantankerous elder living at Balgo. He remains a Yagga Yagga separatist and is trying to negotiate exclusive mining contracts for his kinship group.
Sean was a renowned pilot rumoured to have such bad eyesight that a wheel on his plane hit a man on horseback. The impact was so hard that the wheel fell off and a crowd subsequently gathered at the airport to watch him land with one wheel missing.
He was also considered a hero who flew in the dark and landed between fires lit alongside the airstrip at Louisa Downs to rescue Sheryl McCorry’s son, Kelly. The boy had been sitting on the bull bar when he slipped off and was run over by the vehicle that snapped his upper spine. He died as Sean landed.
Sean was also a stock inspector and owned two stations included Burk’s Park that he bought from Les and Jan Verdon.
Sean’s English wife, Ruth, was the hairdresser at Halls Creek who died in 1988 leaving him with two teenage girls and an eight-year-old son.
Sean died at the age of forty in 1990 when his helicopter crashed due to a defective rotor blade. He was mustering cattle on Balfour Plains, south of Port Hedland with Barry Lang who also died in the crash.
The former Army major, raconteur and barrister died in 1991 at the age of 60, from cancer, before Coroner David McCann brought down his Decision.
‘Gelignite Jim’ died on 15 August 2011 from a stroke. He founded the Kimberley Echo newspaper in 1980 with Brian W. Cole. In the months before his death his vitriol towards the Annetts changed to empathy, even regret that their son had died.
Aged eighty Sherwin is reported to be dying from cancer, but has been quoted as saying: "They said I was dying twenty years ago and I'm still alive."
She had four children with Greg Commens, but recently divorced and returned home claiming to be an alcoholic requiring plastic surgery.
Robert Noel Tones
Tones career didn’t falter and he was later featured on a television documentary about road train drivers. He died in 2010.
Martin found the white ute that contained rotting meat covered in brush on a track between Sturt Creek and Gordon Downs Roads. He died in 2004 at the age of 77 and is buried near Stan and Clare Tremlett in the Halls Creek cemetery.
Clare Therese Tremlett
Clare died in January 1988 and is buried in the Halls Creek next to her husband, Stan. One of her sons, Russell, works as a jackeroo on stations near Halls Creek while one of their daughters, Robyn Long, works for the Better Life program and is a Shire Councilor and former Administrator of the Halls Creek hospital.
Stanley Robert Tremlett
Stan was the senior groundsman at the Halls Creek airport and is buried next to Clare and near their son, Mervyn Ross Ehrin, who died from a seizure at the age of 22 on the 14th of June, 1981.
At seventy-eight John lives in retirement in Albany, Western Australia after a career that included working in the police club in Perth. When he moved into the retirement village he threw his journalistic records in the rubbish. He continues writing and produces the monthly retirement village newsletter.
Jan died from blood cancer nine-months before the death of her husband, Les Verdon in 2009.
Les shot and hung himself in Derby in early 2009, the day after being charged with possession of a gram of cannabis mixed in a tin of tobacco. There were various explanations for his suicide.
An anti-alcohol campaigner said he’d been pursued by government departments for trading dope for underage sex. “Smoke for a poke,” was how she described it. Lee Scott-Virtue described Les as a good friend and a brilliant story teller. Bonnie Edwards held him in high regard. Les Annetts remembers him with gratitude. Ashley Verdon says his father was persecuted.
Danny Cornelius Verschuuren
Danny worked with Bridgestone Truck Centre in Townsville from where he repaired truck and semi-trailer tyres on location. "Danny was pissed off the way the manager treated everyone. These two kids were really getting picked on bad by him," his brother, David, remembers him saying. Danny hung himself on 13 December 1997. His body was cremated and the ashes are located in an urn in his mother's living room.
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