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Detective who inspected Claremont body has ‘never forgotten the smell’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A detective has told the Claremont serial killings trial he will never forget the smell of Ciara Glennon’s dumped body, which he initially thought was a kangaroo.

A detective has told the Claremont serial killings trial he will never forget the smell of Ciara Glennon's dumped body, which he initially thought was a kangaroo.

Former Telstra technician and confessed rapist Bradley Robert Edwards, 51, is fighting allegations he murdered secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, childcare worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and solicitor Ms Glennon, 27, in 1996 and 1997.

Detectives Charles Carver and Edward Besson were called to bushland in Eglington in April 1997 after Jason Atkinson, who had been searching for cannabis plants, discovered Ms Glennon's body weeks after her disappearance.

Mr Besson said they walked on salt bushes to avoid a nearby limestone track and thought they would find a dead kangaroo.

"The smell didn't smell like a dead kangaroo," he told the Western Australia Supreme Court on Wednesday.

"We were aware that we had to keep the scene pristine and that's exactly what we did.

"We didn't get too close... I could see that the person had what appeared to be long, blondish hair."

The Claremont killings victims: Sarah Spiers, Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer.

Mr Besson also saw black clothing, which he thought may have been a mini-skirt.

"I noticed that particular site and the smell - I'll never forget it, I can still visualise it now," he said.

"It affected me in the way that I saw it and was shocked by it and haven't forgotten it in 20-odd years."

Mr Besson said he did not get closer than 15 feet from the body.

He added he and Mr Carver were given a commissioner's commendation for preserving the site but Justice Stephen Hall interrupted him, saying he only needed to answer questions from the lawyers.

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Mr Carver previously testified a journalist was arrested for breaching the cordon.

"We had many issues with the media... in relation to trying to get into the scene and people sneaking over sand dunes," he said.

"There was a whole lot of things happening. It was just mayhem."

An officer who filmed the sites where Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon were dumped and the post-mortem examinations, Michael Teraci, also testified on Wednesday.

Ms Rimmer was found in Wellard by a mother picking death lilies 55 days after she vanished and Mr Teraci said he did not think the body could be seen with the naked eye from the road.

Mr Teraci's videos were played but Justice Hall previously ruled it unnecessary for the public to view such distressing content.

Rather than closing the court, a large white board has been erected behind the bar table to shield the public from all graphic material.

Mr Teraci said his job was "behind the camera lens" and he never had reason to touch or go near the bodies.

He said he stood a couple of metres away and used the zoom function.

Although not trained as a forensic technician, Mr Teraci said he had attended "hundreds" of crime scenes and knew the importance of avoiding contamination despite DNA science being less sophisticated at the time.

Other officers have also denied contaminating evidence but the defence argues it is an issue.

In Wellard, Mr Teraci wore blue overalls but nothing protecting his feet, hands or head.

In Eglinton, he did not wear any protective gear.

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There was a 15-minute period where Mr Teraci was not filming in Eglington, during which several items were collected, and he said he was likely changing the camera battery.

During the testimony of forensic supervisor Robert Hemelaar, video was played of the collection of exhibits from Ms Rimmer's body, which was also concealed from public view.

Source: 9News

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