Australian mass murder case finally resolved?

I think I dimly recall seeing a website years ago about this notorious family annihilation case out of Australia. A man named Elmer Crawford pulled a Robert Fisher: he murdered his pregnant wife and three children, put their bodies in a van, pushed it off a cliff and vanished off the face of the earth. That was forty years ago.

Well, now the police believe they’ve found him. They think an elderly man who died of a heart attack in San Angelo, Texas in 2005 may be Crawford. Facial recognition experts say he is. Certainly the man was hiding from something: his fingerprints had been burned off and he was carrying ID in four different names (including that of an imprisoned murderer). If the guy is Elmer, he would have been 75 at the time of his death. DNA will be required to try and identify him.

The cops will, if necessary, exhume one of his murdered children’s bodies to get the DNA, but right now they’re hoping a living relative will provide it. There’s one woman who claims to be Crawford’s illegitimate daughter and one who believes she’s his half-sister, but neither of their claims are 100% solid. He might have some cousins in Northern Ireland.

The Herald Sun
The Herald Sun again
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Age
The Houston Chronicle

8 thoughts on “Australian mass murder case finally resolved?

  1. CarlK90245 July 17, 2010 / 11:43 pm


    If they compare DNA from one of those two, and if it turns out negative, it isn’t conclusive of anything. However, if it turns out positive, that is pretty close to 100% solid.

    The chances of this guy being related to either of these two women by coincidence is nearly zero.

    • Meaghan July 18, 2010 / 12:56 am

      I totally agree. But in criminal cases, “pretty close to 100%” and “nearly zero” is not enough.

    • Trisha Crawford January 16, 2013 / 5:21 pm

      Well, you have got it completely wrong. I am his daughter and my Aunt is his sister and we can prove it.

  2. marycarney July 18, 2010 / 4:27 am

    As unpleasant as it is, the correct thing to do would be exhume one of his victims/children and match that DNA. That will put the matter to rest once and for ALL. What a horrendous crime.
    Have never understood how one could butcher their own children. I mean, I can kind of understand being angry enough with a spouse – another adult – but your own flesh and blood child? Chilling.

  3. Sara July 18, 2010 / 5:58 am

    Ugh, the details of his crimes are horrifying. I wonder if they will ever be able to figure out where he was for the missing 35 years and how he ended up in Texas. I hope there are no more victims out there.

    • Trisha Crawford January 16, 2013 / 5:23 pm

      Sara, You may have heard by now that the man in Texas was not my father.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s