The case involves a 23-year-old girl named Elizabeth “Beth” Barnard. Beth resided at her parent’s house on Phillip Island, southeast of Melbourne, Australia. She worked as a farmhand for the Cameron family, a well-known and popular family; she shortly started a romance with Fergus Cameron.
On the night of September 22, 1986, Fergus visited Beth at her parent’s house (her parents were not living there at the time). Fergus left her house at around 9pm; he was the last individual to notice her alive. Some time later that night, an anonymous individual entered the house and attacked Beth. Beth was able to snatch the knife but was incapable to avoid the attack. After stabbing her to demise, Beth’s murderer left the knife and rubbed Beth’s blood on her own corpse. The murderer then washed the blood off in Beth’s sink. The murderer also smoked a few cigarettes before leaving.
The following morning, Beth’s corpse was found. Her throat had been slash, she had been stabbed numerous times, and, most shockingly, the letter “A” was carved into her chest. From the start, authorities thought that the “A” stood for “adulterer” and that it was in reference to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.
Vivienne Cameron Relation With Beth
Authorities learned from Beth’s companions about her connection with Fergus Cameron and how Fergus was wedded to another woman, Vivienne Cameron. On the night of September 22, 1986, Fergus came back from Beth’s home at around 9:20pm. Fergus and Vivienne got into an argument which led to Fergus admitting to his connection with Beth.
In a moment of anger, Vivienne whacked her wine glass into Fergus’s head and back. She then took Fergus to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, Fergus’s sister Marnie and her spouse Ian watched Fergus and Vivienne’s kids while the couple went to the hospital. Marnie and Ian discovered blood throughout the house, but they elected to clean everything up.
At around 12:30 am, Fergus and Vivienne came back from the hospital; after a conversation, the two determined that they would divorce. They also decided that Fergus would live on Phillip Island with the kids while Vivienne would go back to live with her parents in Melbourne. After their conversation, Vivienne took Fergus to his sister Marnie’s house; she then returned to their house.
At 3 AM
At 3am, Vivienne called her friend Robin Dixon; Robin’s spouse answered the phone. She asked for them to come watch her kids. Authorities think that Vivienne then went into their Toyota Landcrusier and drove to Beth’s house. At 3:30am, Beth’s neighbor reported glimpsing a Landcruiser reaching the Barnard property. A 5am, the Landcruiser was sighted next to the Phillip Island Bridge. Authorities speculate that after murdering her husband’s lover, Vivienne Cameron committed suicide by jumping off the bridge.
The following morning, Vivienne’s friend Robin called Fergus after she had not arrive to pick up the kids. Fergus could not get in contact with Beth; he begged his brother Don and brother-in-law Ian to check on her. When they reached, the two found Beth’s corpse and called the police. The Cameron’s Landcruiser was found around 3pm.
When authorities assessed the Cameron’s Landcrusier, they discovered Vivienne’s handbag, cigarettes, a carving knife, and a blood-stained rag. Vivienne became the main suspect in the case and assumed that she had committed suicide; nonetheless, despite various searches of the surrounding region, no body was ever discovered.
One year after Beth’s killing, a coroner’s inquest asserted that Beth was murdered by Vivienne; another inquest two years later stated that Vivienne had committed suicide.
An open-and-shut case, right? Well, perhaps not.
Suspicions on the Official Ruling
Glenda Frost, a companion of Vivienne’s, allegedly received a phone call from her around 10am on September 23, 1986, six hours after she allegedly committed suicide. Vivienne was seemingly asking questions about prizes for another friend that was leaving. Glenda did not notice anything extraordinary. Authorities thought that Glenda did receive a phone call from Vivienne, but was blundered about the date. Nonetheless, Glenda’s friend Pam was with her at the time and substantiated that Vivienne had called her on that day.
Glenda was not the only individual that was suspicious of the official story. Journalist Richard Schmeiszl had known everyone involved in the case. It was seemingly well-known that the Camerons had marital problems. Vivienne told Richard that if she would leave Fergus, she would take the boys with her. Richard did not think that she would commit this crime because she would not like to wreck her kids’s lives. Many of Vivienne’s friends agreed with Richard and did not think that she was eligible of this crime.
The Philip Island Murder
Author Vikki Petraitis examined the case for two years and wrote a book about it named The Phillip Island Murder. For unfamiliar reasons, Vikki’s book and other tales about the case were not authorized to be published on Phillip Island.
When DNA technology came to be more readily accessible in the 1990s, an indication from the Barnard crime spectacle was re-examined. Forensic scientists inferred that Vivienne’s blood was discovered on the handle of the knife discovered at Beth’s home. The authorities declared that the DNA evidence substantiated the coroner’s conclusions that Vivienne was responsible. Nonetheless, Vikki Petraitis reached a forensic scientist who assessed the evidence back in 1986 and he was not sure that the knife discovered at Beth’s house was the murder weapon.
He pointed out that there were unusual double cuts on Beth’s clothing and he did not think that the knife discovered could have made those cuts. Vikki spoke to a knife specialist who said a knife, famous in the 1980s, could have made the double cuts. The knife had a straight blade and two prongs near the handle; Vikki thinks that this was the knife that was used in the killing.
Police contended that the 1995 DNA testing substantiated that Fergus Cameron did not murder Beth Barnard. Nonetheless, some think that Fergus may have been the actual murderer and that he also murdered his wife Vivienne and framed her for the crime. Richard Schmeiszl thinks that there may have been a cover-up involved in the case because of the Cameron family’s significance. In fact, many residents think that the police did not do a thorough inquiry into the case.
They think that authorities concentrated on one theory and did not look at any other guides in the case. No definitive indication has been discovered to support that Fergus was responsible or that a cover-up was committed, nonetheless.
A private detective was brought in by Sensing Murder to look at the case. He discovered evidence that appeared to point away from Vivienne’s guilt.
First, he found that a towel discovered in Beth’s bathroom had only Vivienne’s blood on it. Yet, when the murderer rubbed blood on Beth’s legs, presumably to get it off his or her hands, only Beth’s blood was wiped off, not Vivienne’s.
Next, he realized that no one had ever successfully committed suicide by jumping off the Phillip Island Bridge.
Then, he discovered recordings of Beth in which she interpreted a man whom she had dated that was seemingly stalking her before her killing. This man was never queried; he left the island a quick time later.
The investigator also pointed out that huge amounts of indication in the case have gone missing or do not fit the official story. He realized that Vivienne was not treated for any traumas while at the hospital with Fergus on the night of the killing. Nonetheless, enormous amounts of blood were discovered in the Cameron house, suggesting that the injury occurred after the incident with Fergus.
Eventually, the private investigator discovered that a piece of paper in another home on the island had Beth’s blood on it.
A witness substantiated that he had glimpsed this piece of paper with blood on it before midnight. Neither Vivienne nor Fergus could have committed the killing before midnight because they were at the hospital at the time. Nonetheless, neither the witness nor the home was recognized for formal reasons, so the precise witness statement cannot be substantiated.