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As has been said, the plot of this true story -which also interested me as I knew the area in which the events took place, Sydney's tough Western suburbs - is about the almost 2 decades of investigation into the murder of Tom Keir's wives. His first wife, Jeannie, disappeared when she was returned home after trying to get a boyfriend of short acquaintance to take her in. She had been driven to desperation by Tom's extreme possessiveness (he didn't even like their baby boy touching her breast when feeding)and had tried to escape him by climbing through a public toilet window, but the 'boyfriend' wanted nothing to do with it.Taking her home was taking her to her death.
Her mother Christine, who never stopped hoping that her dear daughter would be found -either alive or dead -rang the police every year to find out how the investigation was going. It was she and her fmily who reported her missing, not Tom.
Then, 3 years after Jeannie's disppearance, Tom had remarried and his second wife was found strangled and burned in their house. In spite of compelling evidence, he was acquitted of this murder and this as mush as anything, made Peter Seymour (Detective in charge of the case at the start, and co-author of this book) even more determined to bring Keir to justice.
While Keir was on remand for the murder of Rosaline , his second wife, he told his cellmate and another prisoner that he had killed his first wife, and where he'd buried her. One of the prisoners was willing to tell what he knew in exchange for a letter to support his parole hearing. Although he gave the police the wrong date of his hearing and so was not released, he was still willing to testify in the later trials.
This information caused the police to discover 7 small bones and these were sent to Melbourne for DNA testing (this was in early days of DNA evidence). Their report was not certain and they recommended to send the remains to USA or England. Time passed and years later, Peter was now working in the Coroner's office. He asked the coroner of the time if the bones could be sent to USA. This was done and the proof was positive. They belonged to the child of Jeannie's parents.
It still took 2 trials by jury (one dismissed due to a technicality and one because the jurors looked up Keir on the Net and discovered his history re his second wife). Finally he appeared before a judge and evidence was presented for a final time and Keir was found guilty. He remains in prison.
The courage of Jeannie's parent and the persitence of Peter Seymour shone though this whole book. Christine's courage and belief spurred the police on and inspired the prosecutor.
This book is about the evils of 'domestic violence' and how it can lead to murder which is just as serious as any other murder.
I loved the Aussie speech and the atmosphere of the book and it will live in my memory for some time.
I really enjoyed this and I'm pleased to see justice was FINALLY done. It was a long journey (16 years) before poor Jean could find peace. I was sad about him getting away with murdering Rosalina, though. That's not right. I just looked for updates on Google and see they've abolished double jeopardy there the same as we have so there's still hope for her. This is set in Australia in the late 80's, early 90's. A husband taken to court and prosecuted for the murder of his wife. His previous wife had disappeared 3 years before. Very sad and in places had me sobbing. It's told by the main detective in charge of bringing their husband in and gathering all the evidence to do so. I liked that the prison informants stuck to their words and gave evidence too. They may not have got him banged to rights if not for them. He did use the odd repeated phrase a little too often such as "no dramas" and "leave their brains at home" and there were some apostrophe mistakes and the odd lost speechmarks and words missed but overall it was very good. That was a lovely photo of Jean and her son included in the photos too. So sad she never saw him grow up. I read he has kids now she never got to meet too.
Australian Detective Peter Seymour's dedication and determination and what his gut feelings were telling him to solve this Historical Australian True Crime story is amazing. This story was recommended to me by a friend and I started to read it and got so engrossed and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention SS. Peter thank you for sharing this story with us and for never giving up !! You are a special person!!
I read this true crime on my Kindle and was thrilled that pictures were shown of Jean and Rosaline and the 7 bones were shone also. A bit creepy when one is looking at real evidence compared to reading a fiction crime with no pictures, just your imagination. My heart goes out to the parents and Jeans son, all the relatives and friends of these 2 woman. Absolutely a heart breaking tragedy. Thanks and kudos to Peter Seymour and his family for the years it took with all the interruptions of not being able to spend quality time as a family during the long hours and time it took to get Tom Keir put away.
I have been following a case on live court TV here in the states that is very similar to Seven Bones, Two Wives Two Violent Murders. In this book Thomas Keir was married 2 times. His 1st wife Jean let some relatives know the abuse she was getting from Thomas who claims that Jean left him and their son for another man. Thomas was charged with the murder of his 2nd wife Rosaline but went free.
The live case I am watching is a Police Sergeant, Drew Peterson who was married 4 times. He claims that his is young 4th wife left him for another man and she hasn't been found anywhere nor have any of her relatives, young children or friends heard from her. Drew said that his 3rd wife died by slipping getting into her bath tub, mind you there was no water, no towel to use when she got out of the tub, no soap scum in tub just blood. Her body was exhumed a few years ago and there was enough evidence to charge Drew with killing her. He has been in jail for 3 years and it has just come to live court. Peter Seymour we need you big time in the states. My gut feeling is that Drew will walk. :<( I am sure that there will be a book written in the future.
I must also say that I love reading new/indie Australian authors and love each and every Australianism word you use. I have 3 Aussie slang sites in my favorites so I can quickly check out each and every Australian word that I am not familiar with. It has brought a whole new wonderful reading experience to me. So please don't substitute your idioms :>)
I recommend Seven Bones, Two Wives Two Violent Murders, a fight for justice.
This book details the literally years long and very dogged fight by one detective (and his considerable team) to bring a double wife murderer to justice. They win in the end but, boy, is it a long slog. I am gobsmacked that this man was acquitted of the murder of his second wife - a more perfect circumstantial case I could not imagine and I have no idea what the jury was possibly thinking. This book could do with better editing for cliched writing style but the story is so absorbing that you stop noticing. I've never read a book that more realistically portrays the way that Australian blokes talk to each other and if you were a linguist studying Australian vernacular, then this is the book for you. This book leaves you glad that there are police officers like Peter Seymour out there. Truly focussed on justice, endlessly sympathetic to the family of the victims, despite considerable personal cost Peter Seymour and his team worked tenaciously to find the evidence to convict Thomas Keir of the murder of his wife Jean, even if they could not convict him of the murder of his wife Rosalina (unbelievable!). An extraordinary story that makes it clear the ends the police will go to get their man despite the many impediments thrown in their way.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when both my wives end up deceased." - Seven Bones, Two Wives Two Violent Murders, a fight for justice
Australian Thomas Andrew Keir was acquitted of murdering his second wife, and his conviction for killing his first wife was twice overturned.
This is a case I've followed over the years, even to the extent of reading court transcripts, so I was more than a little interested in reading this book, especially as it's told from the viewpoint of one of the detectives involved in the case, Peter Seymour.
The prologue wasn't quite as strong as it could have been. For example, I find it hard to imagine a psychopath like Keir thinking "dammit" when the phone goes in the middle of burying his wife. However, the rest of the book made for compelling reading and gave invaluable insight into an intriguing case. If it weren't for the perseverance of a dedicated police officer, Keir would have got away with not just one but two murders.
The book also has a wonderful Aussie flavour. Blokes and mates abound.
This is a great true crime novel told by the detective that spent years on the case. This novel was different for me because it is about the victims and their lives instead of about the killer. That made it a more special kind of true crime to me and I will remember it for a long time