This is an analysis of the information provided by Wendy Roles and Greg McInerney in the book The Family Murders: Dissected
25 Aug (Sat)
• Michael B sees band-aid on Neil’s leg at the methadone clinic during the day. At night he goes to a few pubs with BVE and Sarah Novak.
26 Aug (Sun)
• Seen at a pub in Ridleyton with Millhouse. They left together between 5 and 7pm
26 Aug (Sun)
• Millhouse later claims his car ran out of petrol on this date.
27 Aug (Mon)
• Many witness saw him in Hindley St. Neil was seen with Millhouse between 2.30pm and 3pm. This is the last time anyone admits to seeing him.
28 Aug (Tues)
• Body found approx 2.30pm. 14 feet from the wharf
• Two acquaintences of Dr Millhouse, Stephen and Alan visit Millhouse asking for drugs (they have borrowed a man named Ramadani’s car) . Millhouse writes half a cheque when police arrive. Stephen and Alan get taken to police station for question. Stephen does not tell police that Millhouse confessed to him. He later contacts police and makes a statement.
• A police officer in attendance says he saw Millhouse’s car
• Ramadani goes and picks up his car and also notices Millhouse’s car
#1 – Millhouse was sick of Neil begging for drugs. He openly resented him in front of Neil’s drug using friends.
#2 – Millhouse had come to the attention of the police for writing fake scripts and risked being de-registered. Neil was a liability.
- A band-aid was found inside the package that contained Neil Muir’s dissected body. Roles and McInerney use a variety of language such as “consistent” and “matched”. These two terms forensically mean two different things. “Consistent” means that “those fibres came from a rug similar to the one in Millhouse’s house, but we can’t definitely say it came from that specific rug”. “Matched” means “those fibres have been proven to come from that specific rug in Millhouse’s house”. The wording used by Roles and McInerney is open to interpretation. We don’t know if the fibres were “similar”, “came from the same model/make of rug but can’t prove it was actually Millhouse’s rug”, or “the fibres came from Millhouse’s rug and can’t have come from anyone else who owned the same model rug”. We also don’t know how common the rug was. Was it a common rug bought from an outlet like IKEA, or was it imported from the mountains in Bali?
- According to Roles and McInerney, there were also brown and white human head hairs found on that band-aid. Bevan von Einem had white hair and was definitely known to Muir and most likely known to Millhouse.
- Neil Muir’s dissected and mutilated body was held together with a piece of clothesline. Multiple witnesses claim that around the time of the murder Millhouse’s clothesline had a loose piece of cord hanging off it. That piece of cord went missing at some stage around when the murders happened.
- Roles and McInerney use language such as “consistent” and “the same or very similar”. They don’t use the word “match”. The term “very similar” is telling. It means “we can’t even determine if this is the same make of clothesline”.
The plastic bin bags
- Neil was packaged in bin bags “the same or similar” to ones Millhouse had at his house. Bin bags are common in nearly every household. There was no evidence these bags came from Millhouse’s house.
- Going by what Roles and McInerney have said, the prosecution didn’t even bother determining if they came from the same manufacturer.
- Roles and McInerney claim that “bin bags would go missing by the night’s end”. They couldn’t possibly know this. All this does is show their lack of objectivity and intention to paint a picture that suits their theory.
- A day after Muir’s murder two heroin addicts named Stephen and Alan, who are known to Millhouse arrive at his back door asking for drugs. Millhouse initially thinks they’re prowlers and calls police. Police come and arrest Stephen and Alan. There is no mention of a confession during the arrest.
- Sometime later, Stephen contacts police and alleges Millhouse told him at his back door that he murdered Muir.
- When the trial came Stephen denied even being there. Alan said he was there but didn’t hear any confession.
The false statement
- When Millhouse was first interviewed by police regarding Muir’s murder, he denied knowing him. This was clearly a lie.
- Millhouse claimed that his car ran out of petrol on Barnard St (on the other side of North Adelaide) before the murder so couldn’t have murdered Muir because he had no transport to dump the body. Multiple witnesses say his car was outside his house on the night after the murder as well as not being present in Barnard St until after the murder.
- Neil Muir died as a result of blood loss by an object being forcefully inserted into his anus and splitting the lining
- Dr Britten-Jones and state pathologist Ross James both agreed that blood would have spurted between two and five feet from Muir’s anus causing immediate death, if not soon after
- A small amount of blood had been found in Millhouse’s bathroom and nearby laundry
- Both the bathroom and laundry had been extensively cleaned using chlorine which in turn made blood samples unable to be matched
- Millhouse’s cleaner came by to do her weekly clean on the day after Muir’s murder but the key wasn’t in the usual spot so she left without cleaning. When she came the next week she noticed Millhouse’s house was very clean
- Investigators showed that the drains were unusually dry, even in the bottom of the u-bends. They speculated the drains may have been sucked dry.
The pine needles
- Roles and McInerney disclosed that pine needles were found inside the package of Muir’s body
The murder window
- Everyone agrees Muir was murdered on the 27th. Last seen with Millhouse at 3pm on the 27th. Murdered same night.
- Roles and McInerney use tidal charts to ascertain Muir cannot have been dumped after midnight, leaving a seven hour window (5pm – 12am) to have sex with, murder, cut up, mutilate, package and dump him.
- Roles and McInerney have a theory they were working towards – that the time line was so thin they must have had a highly skilled surgeon do the cutting. Their suppositions regarding tides is deeply flawed.
- The murder window is from 4pm (an hour after Muir’s last confirmed sighting) to 5am. That is thirteen hours.
- Neil’s body was cut in 4 sections – just above the knees, immediately above the hips, and at the neck.
- His internal organs had been removed. They were never found.
- The scrotum had been cut open, the testicles cut off, the head of the penis cut off, and the penis shaft had been neatly cut down the mid-line. It is speculated this has aspects of a sex-change procedure.
- A finger was dis-articulated up to the wrist joint
- Disarticulation of the hip bones with no scoring on the bone ends which would have been difficult and showed significant surgical expertise
- An aborted abdominal procedure to gain access to the genitals from inside
Required Surgical Skills
- Dr Britten-Jones testified at committal hearing that surgical skills and anatomy knowledge were needed. A skilled person would need 4 hours, unskilled or semi skilled, 12 hours.
- There is evidence of sub-standard surgery. Dr Britten-Jones suggests fatigue or blunt instruments were the cause.
Surgical Ability of Millhouse
- Millhouse had 18 years experience as a doctor
- A nurse based in Gladstone witnessed Millhouse assisting with surgery on many occasions
- He worked 11 months as a treating physician in an emergency ward
Tools and Resources Needed
- Solid steel slab
- Sufficient lighting
- Sufficient drainage
- Someone with anatomical knowledge and surgery skills – a doctor, possible a butcher
- Sharp instruments including a fine malleable saw
- Water and amenities to clean up and dispose of blood and organs
- Privacy for between 4 and 12 hours
- Were those white head hairs found on the band-aid tested to see if they matched von Einem? Von Einem was arrested for the murder of Richard Kelvin four years later. If those fibres matched, surely we would know about it? If they weren’t compared, then why not?
- Did Millhouse’s rug get tested for Bevan von Einem’s head hair?
- Why could they not determine whether or not the clothesline came from the same manufacturer? Was this selective presentation by the prosecution? Was it sloppy work by the prosecution? Is it selective presentation by Roles and McInerney?
- Why didn’t the prosecution at least get a model match with the bin bags? Is it sloppy case work, or desperation?
- How accurate is Dr Britten-Jones’ testimony regarding an experienced surgeon being needed? I would love to hear the opinions of some other experts.
- Where did the pine needle come from? What genus were they? How big were they? How many were there? How did they find their way into the package? What pine tree/s did they come from?
- Blood would have spurted 2-5 feet from Muir’s anus. Between 2.5 and 4L of blood loss is needed to cause death. Why was their only a small trace of blood? Luminol would have shown investigators that there was a lot of blood, even if Neil was murdered in the bath.
- If Muir was murdered in the bath then it’s highly likely investigators would have found blood in the plumbing, regardless of how much cleaning had taken place. It’s also highly unlikely the murderers took apart Millhouse’s plumbing and cleaned out the blood. This is either incompetent investigating, or investigators knew that a proper examination would not support their case.
- Why did Millhouse clean his bathroom with bleach? What was he hiding?
- There’s only a limited amount of locations that would be available to perform the mutilation and surgery. Where could have it been?
- Where was Muir murdered?
- How did von Einem get involved?
- Who else was involved?
- How did they do it so quickly? If this was pre-meditated, they needed;
• A doctor with good surgical skills who could be called and would be okay with cutting up a murder victim.
• A place to do it with all the said resources – at short notice.
- It is most likely that the band-aid in the package came from Muir’s leg and the fibres on the band-aid came from Millhouse’s rug. Given the general consensus von Einem murdered Neil Muir due to similar fact, it’s likely those head hairs come from von Einem.
- The clothesline is unlikely to have come from Millhouse’s. It’s unlikely they would have not been able to determine that it came from the same manufacturer.
- “Muir was packaged in plastic bin bags similar to 500,000 other people living in Adelaide including Millhouse” is not really valid evidence.
- The most likely reason Stephen reneged on his claim that Millhouse made a confession is because it never happened and Stephen decided to do the right thing.
- While Millhouse’s false statement about not knowing Muir doesn’t prove anything, it is suspicious.
- Millhouse was clearly lying about his car running out of petrol. What was he hiding?
- Their suppositions regarding tides is deeply flawed. The murder window is from 4pm (an hour after Muir’s last confirmed sighting) to 5am. That is thirteen hours.
- Dr Britten Jones says the job would take a skilled surgeon 4 hours with full resources, 12 hours for a semi-skilled person. We can rule out an unskilled person. The murder window is 13 hours. That reduces because of travel time and incidental time. There is no one in von Einem’s social network that we know about who is a highly skilled surgeon. It is likely this work was done by a doctor (with a butcher being a rank outside chance) who is not a surgeon.
- When does a surgeon ever go into surgery and dis-articulate a hip bone? There’s not going to be too many surgeons with that experience apart from a pathologist and maybe a butcher. Also take into account their was some below par work, then it’s more than likely Dr Britten-Jones’ assumptions are over stated.
- It is more than likely that Millhouse would have had the surgical skills necessary to perform the surgery on Neil Muir
- The blood evidence suggests Muir was not murdered at Millhouses
- The band-aid – It’s likely Muir was at Millhouse’s at some stage while he had that same band-aid.
- The clothesline and garbage bags – this is poor evidence. The prosecution didn’t show a match going from Roles and McInerney’s book.
- The confession – it’s unlikely Millhouse confessed to Stephen.
- The lie, the car, and the cleaning – these all suggest Millhouse was hiding something
- The blood – the lack of blood trace suggests Muir was not murdered at Millhouse’s property
- Similar fact – Stogneff was also cut up into 3 sections like Muir. This suggests Bevan von Einem was responsible for Muir’s murder
- Continuing Murders – After his trial Millhouse moved back to Mt Gambier, a five hour drive away. He murders continued.
Dr Millhouse almost had to be involved in some way. The lie, the car, and cleaning show he was hiding something. Could he have panicked knowing he was the last confirmed person to be seen with Muir alive and covered his innocent tracks? Possible, but that would be very unusual. Muir had most likely been to Millhouse’s on the afternoon or night of his death but he was killed, mutilated, and cut up elsewhere. It is unlikely Millhouse was the surgeon. My best guess is Muir left Millhouse’s property alive with Bevan Spencer von Einem. Von Eine, returned the next day to help Millhouse clean any trace of Muir being there – which essentially set Millhouse up for the fall.