UNCOVER THE PAST: Dr Louise Steding and University of Swinburne students investigated the Murphys Murders cold case in Gatton over the weekend.
UNCOVER THE PAST: Dr Louise Steding and University of Swinburne students investigated the Murphys Murders cold case in Gatton over the weekend. Dominic Elsome

Students delve into cold case from 1898

STUDENTS from around the country descended on Gatton at the weekend to investigate a long unsolved cold case in the region.

The Murphys Murders, also known as the Gatton Murders, was a triple homicide of the Murphy siblings that occurred on the evening of December 26, 1898 in Gatton.

The case was never officially solved.

Students in forensics, criminology and police from Swinburne University came to town to investigate the chilling case, and were able to apply the skills and techniques they had learned in class in a real world setting.

Lecturer Dr Louise Steding said the group wasn't trying to solve the case, but it was vital experience for the students.

"It's an opportunity for them to network and an opportunity for them to listen to expert speakers,” Dr Steding said.

"It's also an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and their perspective to a case that really happened.”

The group also attended talks from the Queensland Police Service, toured the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre and participated in a re-enactment of part of the inquest into the murders performed by the Lockyer Regional Performing Arts group.

They also spent time searching an area close to where the murders took place 120 years ago, using techniques to analyse the landscape and identify relevant evidence.

Dr Steding said the three-day event had been a huge success and thanked the local community, historical societies and Lockyer Valley Regional Council for their assistance.


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