‘One down, four to go’: Vile murderer who gang-raped and killed beauty queen and nurse Anita Cobby in horrific crime that shocked Australia dies from cancer in jail
- Michael Murphy, 65, was one of five men who raped and murdered Anita Cobby
- The notorious inmate died of cancer in Sydney’s Long Bay jail on Thursday night
- Ms Cobby’s widower John was delighted with the news: ‘One down, four to go’
Michael Murphy, One of the men who raped and murdered Anita Cobby in a horrific crime that shocked Australia, has died of cancer
One of the men who raped and murdered Anita Cobby in a horrific crime that shocked Australia has died of cancer.
Michael Murphy, 65, was convicted along with four other men – including two of his brothers – for the vicious killing of the beauty queen and nurse in 1986.
Murphy died in Long Bay jail on Thursday night. He had been suffering liver cancer.
Ms Cobby’s widower John was delighted with the news.
‘I hope it was painful for him,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
‘One down, four to go.’
Murphy had been in an out of hospital and was recently asked if he would apologise to Ms Cobby’s family.
He was remorseless until the end.
‘Why would I f**king apologise to anyone while you b******s leave me in this f**king [hospital] room and treat me like this?’ he barked.
Anita Cobby (pictured left and right) was killed in a horrific crime that shocked Australia in 1986
An undated image obtained in 2016 of Sydney woman Anita Cobby’s parents Gary and Grace at her grave site
A Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman confirmed Murphy died at about 11.55pm on Thursday.
‘The Corrective Services Investigation Unit, which is part of the NSW Police Force, is investigating and will prepare a report on the death,’ she said on Friday.
‘All deaths in custody are subject to a coronial inquest, including deaths resulting from natural causes.’
The death comes 32 years after the heinous crime sparked national rage and widespread calls for the attackers to be hanged.
Ms Cobby had been walking home late at night in Blacktown, in Sydney’s west, when she was abducted by five men.
She was taken to a rural farm about 5km away in Prospect where she was savagely tortured, raped and beaten.
Ms Cobby (right) is seen she posing for a photo with her younger sister Kathryn Szyszka (left)
Her body was discovered naked and face down, with her eyes still open, in a field two days later.
Murphy, then 33, his brothers Leslie, 22, and Gary, 28, as well as Michael Murdoch, 19, and John Travers, 18 – were convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in jail.
The confession of Travers, considered the ringleader of the group who slit Ms Cobby’s throat, was secretly recorded.
‘We were all drunk and she f***ing seen all of us. So I just cut her,’ Travers said.
All five were arrested about three weeks after the attack.
THE VILE ATTACK THAT SHOCKED AUSTRALIA
Ms Cobby was walking home late at night in Blacktown, in Sydney’s west, when she was abducted by five men, before she was savagely tortured, raped, and beaten
Shortly before 10pm on February 2, 1986, Anita Cobby, 26, was snatched from Newton Road in Blacktown by John Travers, Michael Murdoch and brothers Mick, Les and Gary Murphy.
She was repeatedly bashed and sexually assaulted in a stolen car before the five men drove her to a cow paddock at Reen Road in Prospect, dragging her through barbed wire fences.
Ms Cobby would be further subjected to a horrific sexual ordeal, with the five men taking turns raping her on the farm.
Her attackers then argued over who would cut her throat, a heinous act which would be carried out by Travers, chosen because he had previously done so with animals.
Ms Cobby’s brutalised body was found two days later by a local farmer, sparking a manhunt which would see all five suspects arrested about three weeks later.
The crime was so horrific there were widespread calls to hang the men, who were arrested after police captured them on secret tapes confessing to the brutal murder.
All five were convicted in 1987 and sentenced to life in jail, never to be released.