‘Missing Presumed Dead’ by Mark Tedeschi

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

Australians Dorothy Davis and Kerry Whelan had a lot in common – they both came from middle class, happy families and were well off financially. Unfortunately for them, they also both knew Bruce Burrell. When Dorothy disappeared in 1995 after leaving her home to visit a friend, police had very little to go on. Initially suspecting Burrell, an alibi seemed to put him in the clear. Two years later, when Kerry also disappeared, the police soon got on his tail. Trouble is, with no bodies, how could they prove the women were murdered?

Former Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC reveals the story of how Bruce Burrell was eventually brought to trial, despite the fact that the bodies of Kerry Whelan and Dorothy Davis remained missing. Though all the evidence was circumstantial, it clearly pointed to Burrell’s involvement, especially considering his odd behaviour leading up to Kerry’s abduction.

Tedeschi’s account is an intriguing insight into the police investigation and the subsequent trials. While for the most part it is well written and engaging, some elements of the trial transcripts are repeated (in some instances, several times), which is a little irritating. Also, the decision to have the narrator doing a ‘this is me being the barrister’ bit became tedious. That aside, the book is a fascinating account of how circumstantial evidence and the lack of a body can still result in a conviction.

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  2 comments for “‘Missing Presumed Dead’ by Mark Tedeschi

  1. 16/06/2022 at 6:44 PM

    This kind of book really makes me feel creeped out, Colin. There are a lot of crazy people out there in the world.


    • 16/06/2022 at 7:53 PM

      It almost makes it worse that the killer was such an idiot.


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