PETER KEOGH -
MURDERER OF VICKI CLEARY - COMMITS SUICIDE -
|Peter Keogh, covered in blood, in the aftermath of Vicki's
murder. How could judge George Hampel give him less than four
years in gaol?
Mystery lives as killer dies
By PHILIP CULLEN
MELBOURNE HERALD SUN -27 June 2001
A Key suspect in one of Melbourne's
most chilling murder mysteries is dead. Peter Raymond Keogh, a sadistic
serial criminal who killed the sister of former politician and football
star Phil Cleary in 1987, was interviewed over the 1980 murder of
Thornbury bookshop owner Maria James. Keogh is believed to have
killed himself in Northcote on Monday. He was also the prime suspect
for an arson attack this year on the home of a former partner, who
claimed Keogh stalked and harassed her.
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THE LIFE AND VIOLENT CRIMES OF PETER KEOGH
BY JOHN SILVESTER
The Melbourne Sunday Age
August 29 - 2001
There was something about
Peter Keogh that men didn't like. Perhaps it was the way his eyes
darted about - never returning a gaze. Perhaps it was the nervous
habit of shifting his weight from one foot to the other, as if deciding
whether to attack or run. There was something about Peter Keogh
that men didn't like. Perhaps it was the way his eyes darted about
- never returning a gaze. Perhaps it was the nervous habit of shifting
his weight from one foot to the other, as if deciding
whether to attack or run. Or perhaps it was the way he would grind
his teeth, as though he was only one misunderstanding away from
exploding into violence. Even bad men didn't like him.
When he was in jail, he needed protection from fellow criminals who
could see beyond the tough-guy tattoos to the inherent weakness
beneath. He needed a billiard cue, a broken glass or a knife to express his anger
and his targets were usually women - or sometimes little girls.
But some women could not see that side until it was too late. Not
the attractive bar worker, the single mother, the impressionable
teenager, or the younger sister of a star footballer who would later
enter federal politics. Keogh was short, shifty and
not too smart. He was unskilled - a drifter - the type many fathers
would describe as a "no hoper".
But the Cleary family didn't like
to make judgments, although they privately hoped Vicki would grow
out of her interest in the older man with a past and no future.
They were confident she would ultimately realise the man, 13 years
her senior, was a waste of time and effort.
|Vicki Cleary poses for her first day of school with her
big brother, Phil, in February 1967.
Her elder brother, Phil, VFA
footballer, political activist, media identity and future federal
MP, knew that expressing doubts about Vicki's partner would be useless.
He was confident she would conclude the relationship was not long
term. Better, he thought, to remain silent. He was not to know the man
he tried to tolerate for the sake of his sister was dangerous, obsessive
and a potential killer. "People knew things about him that they
did not divulge to us," he says. "I just wish I had known. He was
not just a knockabout bloke with a bit of a past.
TO BE CONTINUED........