Final clues into women's killings
THE stigma of a murder-suicide has attached itself to the Arnold and Leahy names, but it could be lifted today when the State Coroner hands downfindings from the third inquest into Far North Queensland's most mysterious crime.
In 1991, the bodies of Julie-Anne Leahy and Vicki Arnold were found in a 4WD in Cherry Tree Creek near Atherton. Police found Ms Arnold killed her friend then shot herself.
Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt, who in 2010 pressured then-attorney-general Cameron Dick for the third inquest into the crime, said neither he nor anyone he knew believed Ms Arnold shot and killed her friend before turning the gun on herself.
"To me the truth has always been that Vicki Arnold did not murder her friend," he said. "I don't know anyone at all that believes this was a murder-suicide.
"The family was always seeking an open finding.
"I'm hoping an open finding is a minimum that comes out of the coroner's handing down tomorrow.
"We would like to see the stigma removed of murder-suicide that has been surrounding the Arnold and Leahy families for some time."
He said previous inquests had heard the original police investigation was not handled as well as it could have been.
"We think this is a result that will be of great interest to Queenslanders," he said.
Mareeba author Robert Reid, who penned two books on the slayings and has drafted a third, is hoping theCoroner hands down a finding of murder by persons unknown.
"I have spoken to the family members ... and I think they have suffered enough over two decades plus and it is time for them to get some justice prevailing," he said.
During hearings in November 2011, experts shed doubt on the murder-suicide theory.
Evidence doubters pointed to was that Ms Arnold would have had to shoot herself in the head twice, as well as through the thigh.
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Mystery: Vicki Arnold who was found dead with Julie-Anne Leahy in a 4WD near Atherton in 1991.