Man find disturbing letter of Queensland crime hidden behind sketch

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A sketch of a man had been hanging on a wall for more than a year before a pair of Queensland brothers discovered it was concealing a “disturbing letter” detailing the murder of two young children.

In a recent post on Reddit, a social media user shared his brother had purchased a sketch, depicting an unidentified Indigenous man, at an op shop a couple of years ago.

“He did say something really drew him to it but he couldn’t really put his finger on it,” the Reddit user wrote.

After purchasing the portrait, his brother hung it on the dining room wall for more than a year. But when they recently removed it to renovate, they discovered a letter attached to the back of the drawing which dated back nearly 30 years and detailed “a truly heinous crime”.

The letter, written by a woman named Germaine Blair-Quigg, spoke of the killings of two young children committed by Dexter Wilkinson in the rural town of Bell in 1994.

Reddit users suggested Ms Blair-Quigg, who wrote to newspapers about tougher sentences for crimes, had written the letter to a journalist.

It’s believed the man depicted in the sketch has no relation to the murder case or the letter.

In the letter, Ms Blair-Quigg slammed the leniency of the sentence handed down to Wilkinson’s wife Kathleen Lister over the deaths of her two children.

“What she and her partner did to those two children was monstrous and far beyond my comprehension,” Ms Blair-Quigg wrote.

“Before I came to Australia I was told about the covert side of Australian society the wife bashing/syndrome; the child cruelty; the statistics on rape; the alcoholism: the deeply ingrained racism; the inherent weakness of character masquerading as camaraderie,” she continued.

“And I was sceptical. I chose to believe that the gentle larrikins who had tamed that vast sunburnt land had to be basically a good people. Matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, good. And kind.

“I am sick to the stomach reading of the constant nightmare Kimberley and Jimmy were subjected to – and all because the adults around them did NOTHING.”

The 1994 killings of Jimmy and Kimberley

Jimmy, 11, and Kimberley, nine, were killed by Wilkinson in the days leading up to Christmas in 1994.

Wilkinson, who is not the children’s father, had been living in a defacto relationship with Lister, for a year before the children were killed.

“Wilkinson was an extremely violent, mentally unstable man who physically abused all the other residents in the house, especially the children, whom he beat regularly, causing severe bruises to their faces, bodies and arms,” 1996 court documents claim.

Wilkinson violently assaulted Jimmy on December 22, throwing “him around the veranda of the house” which “caused him to strike his head on the floor and lose consciousness”.

The 11-year-old was later taken to his bed unconscious. He died from his head injuries the following day.

Lister later helped Wilkinson bury her son.

A day after Jimmy’s death, Wilkinson killed Kimberley after ordering her to complete a task in the backyard.

Wilkinson told the nine-year-old she was being too slow and yelled at her.

According to Lister, Wilkinson then violently threw Kimberley to the ground close to a concrete path and kicked her in the stomach. She died almost immediately.

“Lister wiped Kimberley’s face and tried to revive her, but there was no pulse and no response,” the court documents state.

“Wilkinson said, ‘Leave the f***ing b**** where she is, she got what she deserved. She should have been the one to go first’.” According to Lister, Wilkinson hated Kimberley and called her “the devil’s child”.

Lister and Wilkinson buried Kimberley in a shallow grave on Christmas morning.

Guests later arrived at the house and were told the children were away with their biological father.

Some guests stayed over that night, sleeping in the children’s bunk beds.

“Two or three days later, odour emanated from the graves, particularly the shallower grave in which Kimberley’s body was buried,” the court documents read.

“Wilkinson decided that the bodies would have to be burned and he, his father and Lister set about exhuming and burying them.”

Court documents state Lister went back and forth fetching beer in the house while her son’s body were burning.

Wilkinson is also understood to have cut Kimberley’s legs to fit in the drum for burning.

Lister said she was obliged to help “because of a threat by Wilkinson that otherwise he would kill her too”.

Less than two months later, in February 1995, Wilkinson died in a car accident having never been held accountable for the crimes.

Lister later “let slip” her children had been killed when speaking to a woman from church. The local pastor was later notified before Lister spoke to police, during which her “terrible secret emerged”.

After her arrest, a judge found Lister had “assisted [Wilkinson] over an extended period and in substantial ways to escape punishment knowing that he had committed two killings”.

“You made no attempt whatsoever to leave him and report the matter after the children died. You continued to cover up in every respect with him until the stage when he could never have been apprehended because of his death and indeed some time afterwards.”

The judge also acknowledged Lister had shown genuine remorse over the crimes and had been dominated by Wilkinson.

“But not to the extent that you were totally overwhelmed and controlled by him.”

She was eventually found guilty of being an accessory after the fact to manslaughter and an accessory after the fact to murder.

Lister was sentenced to two years in prison on the first count and nine years on the latter, with the sentences ordered to be served concurrently.

Her imprisonment was backdated to start from March 1995 after her 1996 trial. She was ordered to serve five years before she became eligible for release on parole.

Almost 30 years on from her children’s deaths, it’s not known where Lister, who is now aged 75, currently resides.

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