Broken Lives by Estelle Blackburn

By Estelle Blackburn

Eric Edgar Cooke used to be the final guy to hold in Western Australia. among 1958 and his catch in September 1963, Cooke devoted 22 murders and tried murders that without end replaced the face of Perth from a pleasant significant nation city to a urban of suspicion and worry. His fantasies and delusions led him to devote a sequence of sexual perversions and crimes, together with robbery, planned hit-and-runs, vicious assaults on girls of their beds and homicide - through capturing, stabbing and strangling. while blameless males have been convicted and jailed for crimes devoted through Cooke, journalist Estelle Blackburn begun an exhaustive research which lasted six years. 'Broken Lives' is the award-winning, compelling and thought-provoking results of her relentless look for the reality. Blackburn unearths the lifetime of a social misfit with a wish to damage others, and the tales of the folks whose lives he intruded upon...

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It’s still used for solitary confinement and as a last holding cell before execution. The gallows is only ten yards away. m. from Death Row, further away in New Division, where he’d spent the past thirteen months. He now waits out his final two hours with the prison chaplain and his spiritual adviser. He is Eric Edgar Cooke, 33 years old, a married truck driver of seven children. He has murdered at least five people, blasted away the useful life of another and injured at least a further ten. Through random shootings in the elite western suburbs, he held Perth in the grip of fear for seven months in 1963.

Broken Lives is factual, a result of my investigations over six years involving original research and interviews with more than 160 people. At points where I have found conflicting evidence, I have chosen the version that I find to be most acceptable. Source material consists of: • Police files of Eric Edgar Cooke and John Button: Police Service Records and State Archives WAS: 1473 pt01 • Prison file of Eric Edgar Cooke: State Archives WAS: 511 • Prison file of John Button: Ministry of Justice file 63/00303 • Legal file of Eric Edgar Cooke: Minter Ellison • Occurrence Books – Condemned Cells: State Archives WAS: 707 • Regulations – Public Executioner and Flagellation – Appointment of: State Archives WAS: 511 • Instructions for Carrying Out an Execution: State Archives WAS: 511 • Government Gazettes, 24/1/1964 and 30/10/1964: Battye Library • Legal Executions in Western Australia by Brian Purdue, Foundation Press 1993: The Library and Information Service of WA • Tape recording of John Button’s trial: The Supreme Court of Western Australia • Transcript of Counsels’ addresses to the jury and Judge’s summing up, Button’s trial: Director of Public Prosecutions • Papers for the Judges in the High Court of Australia No.

But conditions in the north of England during the Depression had taken a toll on his health, which prompted a decision to move to a drier climate. They decided on Australia, with Charlie going first to establish himself. He left in 1954, sailing from Southampton to start a new life, despite being 56. Lilly was left to manage the four children on her own – Margaret aged fifteen, Peter thirteen, John ten and Jimmy seven. There was some income from renting out rooms of their big house, and Lilly supplemented their income by cooking for the Stork Club, leaving the children alone more than she would have liked.

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