Cowboy serial killer to be freed in weeks
One of NSW's most notorious serial killers, Reginald Arthurell, is expected to walk free within weeks after the State Parole Authority told the family of one of his victims it intends to release him a year before his sentence expires.
Paul Quinn, who found his sister, Venet Mulhall, in 1995 after she was beaten to death by Arthurell said he received a letter from the SPA last month saying they intended to grant the self-styled killer cowboy parole on May 24.
"This man must stay in jail," Mr Quinn said.
"When he killed my sister he was on parole for killing another person and is still suspected of killing many others right across Australia over the past few decades."
Before killing Ms Mulhall, 54, he had admitted to stabbing his stepfather, Thomas Thornton, to death in 1974 in Sydney and also fatally bashing a 19-year-old sailor, Ross Browning, in the Northern Territory in 1981. At the time of Ms Mulhall's killing he was still on parole for his stepfather's death.
Mr Quinn said he will plead with the parole authority not to release Arthurell when there is a public hearing on May 21. However, he believes it is clear from the letter that it intends to and he has now asked Attorney-General Mark Speakman to apply for a Continued Detention Order to allow the state to keep Arthurell in jail after his sentence expires on May 20, 2021.
Arthurell, who followed the rodeo circuit and called himself Tex, is still the prime suspect in the murder of 82-year-old Catherine Page, who was bashed to death in her Coonamble home in 1971.
Senior police sources have told the Telegraph that Arthurell is also a suspect in other murders across the country.
Mr Quinn has previously opposed Arthurell's parole in 2015 and 2017. It was denied on both occasions.
But this time the parole authority has said it intends to release the convicted triple killer on very strict conditions including electronic monitoring. If parole is refused and he is released at the end of his 24-year sentence next year, no monitoring can take place.
"He must never get out," Mr Quinn said. Mr Speakman said he sympathised with Mr Quinn and was aware that if paroled, the killer would be heavily monitored. "If the circumstances require, consideration of an extended supervision order will occur within the time frames required by law."
An extended supervision order would allow Arthurell to be monitored for at least five years after his sentence expires and can be renewed if the court allows after that time.
In November 1981, Arthurell was arrested in the north Queensland town of Mareeba, and avoided a murder charge by pleading guilty to Browning's manslaughter.
In May, 1988, he was released from jail after serving six and a half years of a 12-year sentence and extradited to Sydney. Once there, he pleaded guilty to Thornton's manslaughter, claiming his stepfather provoked him, and was jailed for a minimum of four and a half years, with Justice Peter McInerney saying Arthurell had made a "remarkable transformation" in jail, becoming a Christian.
Less than three years later in April, 1991, he was released on parole after befriending the deeply religious Ms Mulhall, who started writing to him while he was in jail in Darwin. They were eventually engaged. He was jailed for her death in 1997.
Originally published as Cowboy serial killer to be freed in weeks