A chess teacher once suspected of being the infamous Mr Cruel has backed the call for detectives to interview a woman who claims to know where the real killer lives.
Karmein Chan, a 13-year-old private school girl who was snatched from her home after her sisters were forced into a wardrobe, was shot three times in the head by a man later dubbed Mr Cruel.
Christian Bennett had taught both Karmein and Nicola Lynas – who was kidnapped and released by Mr Cruel – chess lessons at Presbyterian Ladies College in the 1980s.
Mr. Cruel’s victims never saw his face. He always wore a signature black balaclava
Karmein Chan (pictured) was executed by Mr Cruel after being kidnapped from her home
A $1 million reward was offered in 2016 for information leading to Mr Cruel’s conviction
He was an early suspect in the case due to his ability to speak the two Chinese languages spoken by Karmein, he was known to have visited Hong Kong many times and had a Cantonese girlfriend from Hong Kong at the time of the crimes.
“Needless to say this caused a lot of excitement for the police, but luckily I had alibis for the last two crimes,” Mr Bennett told Daily Mail Australia.
Daily Mail Australia reported this month that a woman, who believes she lived next door to the killer, claims she is being ignored by ‘stubborn’ homicide detectives.
“Even if they thought the information was not credible, it is a fundamental failure to do their job,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.
It can be revealed that the woman’s claims are part of a 6,000-word statement she provided to Crime Stoppers three years ago in hopes that Victoria Police homicide detectives would interview her about the cold case.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia that a homicide detective had spoken to the woman on the phone but was determined that the information she had provided through Crime Stoppers was unable to proceed with the investigation. research.
Mr Bennett, who revealed last year that the official 1991 Victoria Police and FBI profile was flawed, claimed Victorian detectives should interview the woman.
“The police should have checked this lady’s story. Just as a matter of good public relations, the police should have done more to verify her story,” he said.
“I have complained to several police chiefs that a do-nothing approach defaults to losing the story to others.
Since 2016, almost all announcements and discoveries about the Mr Cruel cases have been made by private investigators, the general public, witnesses and or media. The police did little and were sometimes an obstacle to information.’
A woman believes she saw Karmein Chan (pictured) lead to her death
HOW JOINT PROFILE OF MR CRUEL GOT IT WRONG
Investigators had been working under the false claim that the home invasion and three kidnappings had all taken place during school holidays.
Christian Bennett said the 1991 profile was used for years and had only recently destroyed its credibility in a Announce sun article by legendary crime reporter Andrew Rule.
‘I have written an 800 page MSS on the Mr Cruel cold case crimes, of which the Victoria Police have a copy (probably gathering dust).
“It covers physical evidence, such as railroad tracks (closed, planned, or operating) that are near most crime scenes, to things off the field, such as apparent indirect connections to popular media such as books and TV shows.” , he said.
Mr Bennett said he had ‘paid the price’ for making public his views on Mr Cruel’s investigation.
“Almost every serious investigator in the Mr Cruel case has been targeted by trolls, including myself,” he said.
On April 13, 1991, John and Phyllis Chan were working in their Chinese restaurant, leaving their daughters Karmein (13), Karly (9) and Karen (7) in Templestowe, northeast of Melbourne.
Armed with a knife, Mr Cruel forced Karly and Karen into a wardrobe and disappeared with Karmein into the night.
Karmein’s remains were found about a year after her disappearance near a substation known as the Thomastown Terminal Station.
Mr. Cruel’s first victim was not taken from her home and instead was attacked just feet away from her parents, who were bound and gagged.
But the next three were all kidnapped, two would return home, but Karmein would never be seen again.
The new “witness” told Daily Mail Australia that she had buried the traumatic events of the time deep within herself for decades until it all came back.
“It’s definitely a match for Karmein. There’s no other way,’ said the woman. “Anyway, why didn’t the police question me?”
In 2016, Victoria Police announced a $1 million reward for anyone who could provide information that could lead to the conviction of Karmein’s killer.
The woman believes that the reward combined with the historical costs of the Mr Cruel investigation underlie the homicide commission’s decision.
“Money now seems to be the real pressure point in this investigation,” the woman said. “They’re paranoid about people just wanting to get the reward.”
Mr. Cruel’s brutal attacks were so carefully planned and executed in such a calculated manner that he was initially known as “Mr Cool.”
This map showed the locations where Mr Cruel attacked and kidnapped children, where he released them and where Karmein Chan’s body was dumped.
This sketch of Mr. Cruel’s bathroom was created with the help of one of his underage victims. Mr. Cruel held the first child he abducted for 18 hours and the second for 50 hours. The last child he kidnapped, Karmein Chan, was found dead a year after her disappearance. She had been shot in the head
Karmein Chan’s parents, John and Phyllis Chan (pictured), appeared on national television calling for their daughter to be returned. They were working in their Chinese restaurant when the 13-year-old girl was kidnapped while babysitting her younger sisters Karly and Karen.
None of the surviving victims ever saw Mr. Cruel’s face, which was hidden behind a hideous black balaclava with white stitching around the eyes and mouth.
The woman claims that Mr. Cruel did not act alone and believes his accomplice is the man detectives believe is Mr. Cruel.
Mr Bennett’s personal investigation into Mr Cruel was broadcast in part on Channel Nine’s last year In research program.
The program produced an image of a man believed to be Mr. Cruel, suggesting he may have worked or posed as a substation employee, or lived nearby.
The home detective correctly determined that each of the four attacks appeared to have occurred near power lines or substations.
Mr Bennett said he had had great difficulty getting Victoria Police to accept information and ‘correct its own mistakes’.
“I and countless others have found that when they bring something up to the police – which they may not even want to think about – they will use mistakes to discredit the submission,” he said.
“I have advised a number of people who want to pass information on to the police to have it independently checked for everything from spelling errors to factual errors.”
Mr Bennett claimed that some police had doubts about the kidnapping of Karmein Chan due to Mr Cruel’s apparent lack of sophistication.
‘Believe me, when two journalists say in a book called Rats that the perpetrator left with Karmein, over the wall to Church Road, the people who lived opposite him could only see him, with great difficulty, through the only small window. on that side of their house, that was in their bedroom. This house has long since been demolished,” he said.
Another police complaint was that the only reasonable escape route (to them) was from Church Road to Foote Street. This seemed like an unnecessary risk, as the offender would not be able to see over the hill and could potentially run into a roadblock.
“There must have been some embarrassment when I pointed out in 2013/14 that the offender may have been using an unmarked SEC power road, which doubled as a walking trail but was not marked in the Melway Street Directory at the time.”
Mr Bennet claimed the killer could have circled back via Sarah Crescent, crossed Serpells Road onto the apparently closed road network that started at County Terrace before following the SEC power lines, which could also prevent low-flying helicopters from getting too close.
“This route makes more sense if the perpetrator goes south,” he said.
The police have long believed that the killer had gone north.
Anyone with information is urged to call crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.