In October 1991 the body of 60 year old gay man, Francis Barry Arnoldt, was found stabbed to death outside a sporting pavilion in a suburban park in Melbourne. He had been murdered the previous night. Mr Arnoldt was a wealthy man, however he was suffering from leukaemia, and didn't have long to live.
The day prior to his death he had said he was intending to change his will. Victoria police investigated, and described his death as 'homosexually orientated', and the State Coroner found that Mr. Arnoldt had been killed at the park by a person, or persons unknown. Five and a half years later, in March 1997, another gay man, 28 year old Jamie Koeleman, a known teller of tall stories, told a former boyfriend a story in which he claimed to have killed Mr. Arnoldt during a sex act.
He later explained that he made up the story, basing it on media reports of the murder, and from scenes in the 1979 movie 'Cruising' starring Al Pacino. Despite his friend later saying he didn't believe the story, he nevertheless decided to report it to police. An extraordinary entrapment plan was put into place, resulting in the friend wearing a 'wire' and the introduction to Koeleman of an undercover police operative who would pose as a gay man with a fetish for knives and kinky sex.
Whilst under the influence of marijuana and alcohol, Koeleman was lead into retelling his story whilst being covertly recorded. Although virtually nothing he said matched the known facts of Arnoldt's death, and despite a total lack of hard evidence, Koeleman was convicted of the murder in the Supreme Court of Victoria and sentenced to 19 years jail. A support group was formed to raise funds for an appeal, however the appeal was unsuccessful, and Koeleman remains incarcerated.
The author, a former campaigner for the release of Lindy Chamberlain, believes that both the coroner and the Supreme Court were misled, and that vital evidence was withheld, which led to Jamie being convicted of a murder he did not commit.
Number Of Pages: 356
Published: 1st October 2007
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.0