October 17, 2017 at 2:48 am #128
Melinda Freeman was a 27 year old mum of a baby boy when she was discovered bashed to death in her own home in Whittlesea Victoria, on 4th of October 1991. Her body was discovered by her husband on his return home from a card game at King Lake, where he had gone for the evening with their baby son, leaving Melinda at home alone while she studied for an upcoming test. Allegedly she was bashed to death during a break-in at her home, and a blue bag containing around $2,000.00 in electrical goods was missing from the home. The blue bag and electrical goods were never located by police, and police have alleged the burglary evidence looked contrived. A coroners inquest in June 1997 resulted in an open finding, which has done little to help Melinda’s family, who suspected her husband was responsible for her death and said so during the hearing. Coroner Jacinta Heffey in 1997 found no evidence that Melinda’s husband was responsible, and stated she could not make a ruling based on impressions, conjecture and speculation. Melinda’s husband chose not to testify at the hearing to avoid incriminating himself. Clearly there are a lot of factors involved here, but sadly, no closure for Melinda’s family. There is very little information on this case on the internet, which is interesting. I remember it well as I too was a 27 year old mother of a young baby at that time, and this tragic event resonated with me. There are a few interesting aspects to the case that I have gleaned, including Melinda’s husband Craig was having an affair at the time of her death, and that after Melinda’s death he went on to work as a male stripper and was crowned Mr Nude Australia or something similar a couple of years later. It would be great to see some more information out here on this case, which continues to be a mystery. Who killed Melinda? Would anyone kill a young woman home alone for a couple of thousand dollars worth of electrical goods? Just over 26 years later, we still don’t have an answer.
January 7, 2018 at 2:37 am #150
I wrote a post on Melinda Freeman and it seems to have mysteriously disappeared. There was a reason that I doubted her husband’s story but I can’t remember what it was now. I’ll try to find my notes to see what it was
January 7, 2018 at 3:40 am #151
Ok I found my notes and this information comes from an article published in the Age in May 1997. A woman named Sharon Norris spoke to Melinda at approx, 6pm so, if this time is correct, we know Melinda was still alive at 6pm. Her husband Craig says he rang the people he was supposed to be visiting that night at 7.30pm then left to drive there. He said he rang to tell them he was going to be late. Marjorie Grey was the next person to call Melinda but Melinda never answered. This was at 8.45pm. To me, this would likely mean that Melinda was killed sometime between 6pm and 8.45pm.
The thing that really bothered me is that Craig took a nine month old baby out on a 13 degree night with no food and no nappies. Who does that? I am a mother and I never left the house for a second without the necessary supplies. You always take nappies and bottles. Would Melinda have let Craig take the baby without food and nappies? It’s hard to believe so. Maybe she let the baby leave the house without supplies because she was already dead when Craig and that baby left the house.
I’m interested to hear if anyone else has a theory as to why someone would do that.
January 16, 2018 at 1:44 am #156
I agree with all of your points. I too was surprised to hear Craig left the house with no supplies for the baby on a winters night. As you say, its not something a mother would ever do, and Melinda sounds like someone who was on top of everything to do with her home and family, so it seems so unlikely that she would allow Craig to leave without a bag of the necessary gear to look after a baby for a few hours. I’m not sure how many hours Craig was gone from the house with the baby, do we know that? Another strange thing that was reported in the newspapers at the time is that Melinda was wearing a black lace “Teddy” or something similar when her body was discovered. That is a strange thing to be wearing when home alone, just hanging out or studying or whatever it is claimed she was doing that evening. This raises questions in my mind. It was reported that the investigation uncovered no evidence that Melinda was having an affair, but it was revealed Craig was having an affair, did Melinda know about Craig’s affair? Was she trying to stop Craig from going out that evening? I don’t know if the information about Melinda’s attire that night is right, but if so, it does sound like strange attire for an evening home alone. This is such a sad case, a murder that left a son without his mum, and a family without their daughter and sister, and so many years later there are no answers. If there had been mobile phones at the time, it might be a different story, as more compelling evidence might be found. You have to ask yourself, in this situation where a normal wife, mother, daughter and sister, living an everyday life in outer suburban Melbourne, is found randomly murdered, who had the most to gain from her death?
January 17, 2018 at 2:08 am #158
He says he left their house between 7.30 and 7.45pm and he left the card game between 10.30 and 11.00pm, arriving home at 11.30pm. So he was gone for about 4 hours. You’d definitely need bottles and nappies in that time. Even if you didn’t need them, you take them anyway just in case. She was also breastfeeding so I think that makes it more likely that she would have sent him off with a bottle.
I also heard she was wearing a black lace teddy which means she was having someone over or, like you said, maybe she was trying to get him to stay home. Maybe she knew about the affair and thought he was going over there.
I don’t think we can totally rule out that Melinda was having an affair of her own. My gut tells me no but that doesn’t mean anything. In 1991, there were no mobiles or email so I would assume it was much easier to hide an affair. Just because the police didn’t find anything doesn’t mean it wasn’t going on. It might also have been new. But that still leaves the fact that Craig went off without baby items which really bugs me.
There could have been an argument about the affair and things got out of hand. If her husband did do it, I’m not sure it was intentional. I think he lost the plot, beat her then panicked. There are signs that whoever did it tried to make it look like a burglary like stealing the electrical equipment and putting a belt around her legs. It sounded panicky and not well thought through. I think if he had planned it he probably would have prepared the baby stuff.
I’ve never heard anything about the mistress. Is she the one he married?
January 18, 2018 at 4:28 am #159
I guess we cannot rule out an affair for Melinda, but as you say, it seems unlikely. With a young baby and running the household, who has the time and energy?? But I suppose it is possible. My gut feel is the black lace teddy was an attempt by Melinda to get her relationship with Craig back on track, because as a young woman with a young baby and a husband you adore, you might suspect something is not quite right, or Melinda may have been aware of the affair, and was trying to resolve what ever the problems were between them. Bearing in mind Craig was a fitness fanatic and went on to compete in the Mr Nude Australia Body Building title thingy that he eventually won, and he also worked as a male stripper at Crystal T’s nightclub after Melinda’s death, all indications are that married family life might not have been living the dream for him, but we can only speculate.
I too think it is very strange that he took the baby out for around 4 hours without all the gear you usually need, and I feel that Melinda would have packed the bag for the baby before Craig left, he she was still alive to do so.
During reporting on the inquest in 1997, The Age said on June 17th, that Craig’s lover, a lady called Pamela Gilmour, testified as a witness at the inquest regarding his temperament and the relationship or affair they had been having at the time of Melinda’s death. This doesn’t seem to be the woman Craig later married, as at the conclusion of the inquest on June 30th, The Age photographed Craig leaving the court with his new wife, Terri.
It is just such a sad story. If Craig did kill Melinda, it might have been an unplanned terrible event that occurred, and given the circumstances of their relationship at that time, it does seem like it could have resulted in a dramatic conclusion at some stage. But it does make you wonder if someone like Craig could even do such a thing, and then go on to live a normal quiet life for decades afterward. Just so mysterious.
January 28, 2018 at 9:52 pm #161
Plenty of people do horrible things and go on to live relatively quiet, normal lives. Do you know what Pamela said about his temperament?
January 29, 2018 at 2:24 am #162
According to the Age Newspaper, in an article dated June 17th 1997 during their coverage of the inquest into Melinda’s death, Pamela gave evidence that Craig had said to her the only way they could be together was if his wife was dead, during a discussion they had about being together in the future in August 1991. Apparently Craig made this comment after Pamela told him she felt Melinda would always be in his life, and she did not think she would be able to handle an ex wife coming around and being on the scene. Allegedly after Melinda’s death, Pamela asked Craig if he remembered saying this and he said he did, and asked her not to tell the police what he said. There was also some talk that Craig told a friend of Pamela’s that it would be very easy to just push Melinda down the stairs, but Pamela could not confirm hearing that comment said by anyone, although didn’t think her friend would “make it up”. Pamela gave evidence that she and Craig had a sexual relationship off and on from 1990 and for a time after Melinda’s death, until 1992. It all sounds a bit Bi Polar as Pamela says she remember 3 times when Craig was aggressive towards her including breaking a phone she was using and injuring her hand on one occasion, and threatening to kill a man who was checking if she was OK when she was leaving a nightclub with Craig in 1992. Pamela said that Craig told her he would give up his young son to be with her at one point during the relationship. Then she went on to say she had no intention of leaving her husband and that Craig had told her he was happy in his marriage with Melinda and would never do anything to jeopardize it or his relationship with his son. This all sounds a bit smoke and mirrors to me. According to this newspaper article, Pamela had given the police an initial statement in 1992 that supported Craig and showed him to be of good character (apart from the extramarital affair and associated lies ha ha) but completely turned this around in 1993 when she gave another statement to police as after processing everything she felt that Craig had something to do with Melinda’s death. Maybe Craig called the relationship off and that influenced Pamela’s 1993 statement, but who knows. Just a really sad story with lots of twists and turns, but as Craig has never been charged with anything in relation to this crime, there was clearly no evidence that he was involved, so all speculation. Its hard not to wonder how his family relationships have been over the years, and if he was a loving and supportive father to his son Brent and his subsequent wife and family, only they will know Craig well enough to say, but it looks like he has lived an exemplary life since this terrible event, and there is no evidence he was involved in Melinda’s death in any way. No justice for Melinda, her family and especially her young son in this situation.
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