Seven News Special: Perth's 'Night Caller'

Title:
Seven News Special: Perth's 'Night Caller'
NFSA ID:
1140018
Year:
1993
Courtesy:
Seven Network
Category:
Access fees

This report from Seven News marks 30 years since Perth was terrorised by a serial killer who murdered 8 victims in total, and attempted to murder 14 others, from 1959 to 1963. 

Eric Edgar Cooke, the 'Night Caller' or 'Nedlands Monster' as he became known, was an opportunistic killer and had no obvious modus operandi. His victims did not share any common characteristics and he used different methods to commit his crimes, including shooting, stabbing and strangling, plus hit-and-run attacks.

It has been widely reported that Cooke had a troubled childhood. He had a violent, alcoholic father who abused him and his mother, and he was bullied at school for his facial deformity caused by a harelip.

At trial, his defence lawyers used these events from his childhood as part of an insanity plea. However, he was deemed sane by the state's mental health professionals and convicted of wilful murder on 28 November 1963. Cooke was sentenced to death by hanging and was the last man hanged in Western Australia.