Transcript: 5. The Butcher of Wollongong (Mark Valera) | Australia

This is The Evidence Locker.

Our cases have been researched using open source and archive materials. It deals with true crimes and real people. Each episode is produced with the utmost respect to the victims, their families and loved ones. 

It was a quiet morning on Saturday 13 June 1998 at Lake Illawarra in Australia’s seaside state of New South Wales. The Kanahooka Road corner shop was closed when locals turned up to get the morning newspaper and some coffee. This was very unusual, the corner shop’s owner, 60-year old David O’Hearn was a creature of habit and the shop always opened punctually at 7am.

A concerned friend alerted David’s family who immediately went to his Albion Park home to check on him. No-one could ever have imagined the horrific scene that awaited them. When they arrived, they found that the front door was unlocked. As David’s sister, Kris, entered the townhouse where David lived alone, his badly mutilated body was laying on the living room floor, right by the front door. She left the house screaming in horror and waited for police to arrive.

David had been dismembered, decapitated and disemboweled. Police found his intestines resting on a silver tray close to his body. His dismembered hand was cast aside and ended up on the sofa. A pentagram, an inverted cross and the word ‘SATAN’ were smeared onto the walls in the victim’s own blood.

As first responders walked through this diabolical scene, they found David O’Hearn’s decapitated head staring back at them from the kitchen sink. This murder was to become one of the most heinous killings ever committed in Australia. 

>>Intro Music

After the discovery of shopkeeper, David O’Hearn’s body in June 1998 his family was stumped. David was a beloved man, who always tried to help people in whatever way he could. He was always up for a friendly chinwag when customers came into is Kanahooka Road Corner Shop. If someone couldn’t pay, he would simply put the amount on a tab, no questions asked.

Lake Illawarra was given its name by the traditional custodians of the land, the Tharrawal people. It translates to “a pleasant place near the sea.” And that pretty much sums it up. It is a place where urbanites flock down from Sydney to unwind on weekends and where pensioners choose to retire. 

David was good-looking with a sun-tanned complexion and silver hair, always smiling. His family suspected that he might have been gay, but he was never openly gay and never had a male partner that they knew of. Although he was personable, David was quite shy and didn’t talk about his personal life much.

He was an habitual person who loved his routine. On Friday the 12th of June, he closed his corner shop, as usual, at 5pm. He lived in Dapto, about 6 miles (or 10 kilometres) from his shop and stopped at a market store to buy groceries on his way home. Around 5:35 he bumped into a friend of his 89-year old mother’s. He mentioned that he would pop in to see his mom the next day. As an afterthought he said: tell her I love her. 


When David arrived home he parked his Hyundai in the garage, but he never unpacked the grocery bags. It was still in his car when his body was found the next day. With no signs of forced entry, police were wondering if the person arrived home with him? Perhaps there was a knock at the door, and David let the person in. It was very much in David’s nature to welcome visitors or to speak to anyone who needed something.

The following day, as forensic services meticulously worked their way through the murder scene, they found it to be a treasure trove of evidence. The house was turned upside down, like there had been a robbery, but nothing seemed to be missing. 

Technicians bagged four knives, a cork screw, a small saw and a razor that were in close proximity to the body. Similar knives and tools were found in the kitchen. Next to the decapitated head in the sink was a pair of fingerless black gloves turned inside-out. All of the items belonged to David. This murder could not have been pre-meditated, but rather a murder of opportunity – the killer didn’t have a set method, he used whatever was at hand.

There was blood splatter all over the living room. It indicated that most of the blows were to the victim’s head while he was laying down. The official cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and the murder weapon was a crystal decanter covered in blood. Most of the mutilation occurred after David was dead, as hardly any blood could be associated with the dismembered parts of his body.

Further analysis found a fingerprint on the lid of the bloodied crystal decanter. When technicians ran the print through the system, there was no match to any previous offenders. This was unsettling to Police: Someone with absolutely no criminal history, not even a petty thief, or previous assault launched into a life of crime by committing the most violent and disturbing murder. 

The attack was extremely violent and the mutilation vicious. The perpetrator was clearly very angry. Interviews with David’s family and friends did not yield any clues: David was well-liked and had no known enemies. 

Police looked into the Satanic angle and learnt about a local man called Keith Schreiber. Schreiber was known to dabble in Satanism. He also lived close to the victim, in fact only a couple of houses down the same street.

When police knocked on the door, Schreiber wasn’t home, but his house mate let them in and gave them permission to look through Schreiber’s room. They hit pay-dirt: investigators found Satanic drawings of figures who had been decapitated and disemboweled. The elements in Schreiber’s personal drawings were eerily similar to the acts of mutilation at the crime scene. Wasting no time, they set out to talk to Keith Schreiber and. When they found him at work, he was on the job at the fish market: filleting fish with a razor sharp knife with quick precision. 

Keith Schreiber was a very strong suspect: he was a neighbour of David O’Hearn’s, which could be why David let him into his home. Schreiber was also a professed Satanist who knew how to work with a knife. It could have been a slam dunk, except for one thing: on the night of David O’Hearn’s murder, Keith Schreiber had an alibi. His boss said that Schreiber slept at his home before a night of early Saturday morning delivery to the Sydney Fish Markets. Schreiber went to his boss’ home straight after work on the Friday. Schreiber could not possibly have committed this murder at the time it occurred, he was not the perpetrator. 

On the 26th of June 1998, two weeks after the murder of David O’Hearn, the investigation was still in its early stages. When the call came in to alert police that there was another murder in the Wollongong-area, they raced to the scene. 

This time the victim was a well-known public figure. Wollongong’s ex-Mayor and former member of the New South Wales State Parliament, Frank Arkell. Like David O’Hearn, Frank Arkell was killed inside his own home. There were no signs of forced entry and chances were that Frank had invited his killer into his home.

The scene at Frank Arkell’s West Wollongong home was not dissimilar to the crime scene they processed two weeks before. Frank’s body was found in a granny flat behind the house, where he lived. There was a lot of blood at the scene and splatter on the walls. Frank Arkell died because of a substantial head injury. He was struck on the head multiple times with a lamp – like David O’Hearn was with his decanter – and the cord from the lamp was tied around his neck. Again, the offender used whatever he could find at the crime scene – this too was a crime of opportunity rather than a planned out murder.

Frank Arkell was also mutilated after his death. Three tie pins were inserted into his face. Two were sewn through his eyelids and a third was wedged deep into his cheek. Police had a strong feeling that both crimes were committed by the same person.

In the mayhem of the scene police found a pair of black Nike tracksuit pants that and a pair of blood stained Colorado hiking boots that seemed out of place. Frank Arkell was usually seen wearing business suits and collar shirts. The Nike pants were turned inside out as if someone changed out of it in a hurry. With the help of Frank’s housekeeper police could determine that some of Frank’s clothing were missing too. This could be the evidence to tie a suspect to the murder, should they ever find him.

A fingerprint was present on an old lunch box with tie pins found at the scene. The print wasn’t an exact match to the print at David O Hearn’s house, but then it was from a different finger. It also didn’t match any known offendors on police database.

The next best starting point was the pair of Colorado hiking boots. Investigators found batch numbers from manufacturers and found out where locals could purchase it. They followed up all sales records and found six credit card slips. All six owners were eliminated, some were in fact wearing the boots when police knocked on the door. The blood stained pair at Frank Arkell’s house must have been a cash purchase, which made it much harder, near impossible, to track down. 

By looking into the victim’s background, a pandora’s box of possible suspects opened up. Frank Arkell was once known as “Mr Wonderful Wollongong” because of his efforts as a politician to promote the city. Six months prior to his death, Frank Arkell was acquitted of sex offences involving boys and men. It was reported that he drugged his victims and forced them to have sex with him. So all round, not quite “Mr Wonderful”. After his acquittal,  more and more charges were being filed against him: all charges related to paedophilia and child pornography.

Police interviewed all of his known victims as any one of them would have a good motive for killing Frank. But one by one, all of Frank Arkell’s alleged sex crime victims were excluded. 

Police and the media tried to find a link between the two David O’Hearn and Frank Arkell. Both were homosexual and in their 60’s but that was about it. David  lived a quiet life and did not like to draw attention to himself. Frank was a high profile politician in the midst of a scandal. 

David O’Hearn did not have anything in his past that would suggest that he ever was a paedophile. He was a closet gay, but he never hurt anybody. When the media hinted at the fact that he was involved in Frank Arkell’s child pornography ring it infuriated his family and anyone who knew him. He was a kind-hearted, gentle man, not a pervert.

Police looked into other unsolved murders in the State, especially homosexual murders. That is when the case of Trevor Parkin came onto their radar. Trevor was brutally killed six months before in Glebe, near Sydney’s city center. Sydney is 50 miles or 80 kilometres to the north of Wollongong.

With trains and highways connecting the two cities, it is not uncommon for people from Wollongong to find work in the larger city of Sydney. And when some of Trevor Parkin’s belongings were found on a train at Waterfall train station – a station on the railway line connecting the two cities – investigators concluded that the killer most likely lived in the Wollongong area. 

At the murder scene in Trevor Parkin’s home in Glebe, there was a whole hand print on the wall. The prints could not be linked to anyone. Forensic technicians tried to match the fingerprints taken at David O’Hearn and Frank Arkell’s crime scenes, but it didn’t match either. 

The case had to be solved before the killer struck again. Law enforcement appealed to the public for information and it paid off. A witness called crime stoppers and said that he saw a red car leaving Frank Arkell’s house on the night of his murder. The witness couldn’t say for sure if the car came from Frank’s driveway or a neighbour’s , but it was unusual for a car to be driving around on a quiet street in the early morning hours.

The witness agreed to use guided hypnosis, hoping that he would remember anything that could reveal more about the car and its driver. With the second interview, under hypnosis, the witness said that the red Nissan Skyline did in fact drive out of Frank Arkell’s driveway. It was driven by one person, there wasn’t a passenger in the car. The witness provided a clear description of the driver and a sketch artist was able to draw a composite sketch. The witness said the sketch was a 75% likeness of the person he saw that night.

On Sunday the 4th of August, about a week after Frank Arkell’s murder, police found a red Nissan Skyline in bushland in Mount Ousley (pronounce: OOZE-LEY). The car was stripped and smashed. But no forensic link could be found between items in the Nissan Skyline and the crime scene of either David O’Hearn or Frank Arkell.

But investigators weren’t about to give up. They asked the media to help them distribute images of the black Nike tracksuit pants and Colorado hiking boots found in Frank Arkell’s house. And it paid off: A woman called police and identified the clothing. She said her ex-boyfriend used to wear a similar combo of Nike pants and Colorado boots all the time. When he suddenly stopped wearing it, she had asked him about it, and he was agitated. She also claimed that her ex took a keen interest into the murders of David O’Hearn and Frank Arkell, and followed news articles religiously.

The ex-boyfriend the woman was talking about was a young man called Mark van Krevel. He was unemployed but had worked in Sydney in the past. Fearing that he was the man responsible for the brutal killings, police put out surveillance on him. 

Mark Van Krevel had recently changed his name to Mark Valera via Deed poll. In order to change your name legally in Australia, you’ll have to pay more than 150 Australian Dollar. You must return all of your original documents such as birth certificate and drivers’ license. For someone with no job and who drifted between homes, it was peculiar that he spent this amount of cash on legally changing his name.

Under surveillance, police saw Van Krevel, well Valera, hanging out with friends. One of Valera’s friends, in particular, caught their attention: it was Keith Schreiber. 

Schreiber was the initial suspect in David O’Hearn’s case. The fish filleter who lived down the road from David and painted graphic Satanic art. The new suspect in law enforcement’s visor, Valera, lived with Schreiber from time to time. Thinking back to their first visit to Schreiber’s house investigators realised that it was Valera who opened the door and let them inside to look around Schreiber’s room.

That day Valera went into police station to provide an alibi statement for his friend, Keith Schreiber. The statement was typed up and Valera had signed it. It was then places straight into a plastic sleeve and filed. The idea came to test the actual statement document for fingerprints. The prints that came up matched the prints present at the David O’Hearn and Frank Arkell murder scenes.

To be 100% sure the prints did in fact belong to Valera, police kept surveillance on him. When he discarded an empty soft drink bottle, police collected it and had it tested for prints. The prints ended up matching the prints on the alibi statement as well as the prints at the crime scenes.

They had their guy and it was time to arrest him and build a case against him. But they had to get the necessary evidence lined up before an arrest could be made. During this time, Mark Valera decided to confess to the murders to his Tae Kwon Do instructor.

Three months after the first murder, Mark Valera walked into Rodney Day’s Dojo and admitted to committing the brutal murders of David O’Hearn and Frank Arkell. Rodney didn’t believe him, but felt if someone merely talked about committing such heinous crimes, something was seriously wrong. Although Valera confessed, he did not want to go to the police. Rodney Day felt he had to get Valera out of his Dojo and away from other students, so he took him for a drive. 

He wasn’t sure if the kid was telling the truth or not, perhaps he was just looking for attention. He never had any problems with him before – he was a good student who had been training with him for a couple of years. 

Rodney Day pulled up at a café in close proximity to the Wollongong police station. The two men went inside for a cup of coffee. Rodney’s head was racing: how was he going to get Valera to the police. He used his position of authority as his Tae Kwon Do instructor and ordered Mark to do the right thing and go to the police. Valera was agitated, but conceded in the end. 

But first, he wanted to go past his home and collect some weapons like knives and swords he wanted Rodney to have. As Valera went inside, Rodney had a terrible feeling that he could be the next victim. He opened the trunk of his car, moved a safe distance away and watched as Valera came back out of his residence. Valera was amused and assured Rodney that he wouldn’t hurt him, but Rodney told him to place the weapons in the trunk, no questions asked.

Both men got back into the car and they made it into the Wollongong Police Station. Rodney prompted him at first and Valera said that he was ready to confess to tow murders. He was taken in for questioning and interrogation lasted all night. 

When asked why he killed David O’Hearn, Valera simply said:

“I had in my mind that I wanted to kill someone that day. I was really angry, I said to myself: I could kill someone.” 

The murder was random, unprovoked, unmotivated, he simply wanted to kill someone and David was the person who ended up on the wrong side of Mark Valera. Valera said he had a lot of stress and needed to kill.

He went to David’s house at 6pm on Friday night June 12th, knocked at the door and David let him in. Valera said he needed a place to stay and asked if David knew about any boarding houses in the area, or if he perhaps had a spare room to let out. David didn’t have a place for Valera, but invited him in and offered a drink of orange juice. He and offered to call some youth hostels in the area to hear if they had accommodation for Mark. To the end, David was the kind and helpful man that everyone knew. 

Valera’s confession tied up with the evidence collected at the scene. He said hit David over the head with ‘a fancy bottle’, meaning the blood-covered decanter. He walked police through David’s house, showed that he found the knives he used to mutilate David’s body in the kitchen drawer. A hacksaw and a hammer were in the cupboard above the fridge.

A man on a mission to experiment, Valera used the saw to cut off David’s head first, then he proceeded removing his victim’s hand. He used the dismembered hand to draw the Satanic symbols on the wall, dipping it in blood like a paintbrush. Valera spent the best part of two hours with O'Hearn's body, slicing it up, placing body parts around the house and stopping from time to time to admire his handy work. 

After he had taken off the fingerless gloves and washed the blood off his hands, he simply left and calmly walked away. When he arrived at his home, a short stroll from David O’Hearn’s place, his girlfriend was there. He kissed her, went upstairs to have a shower and loaded his clothes into the washing machine. His girlfriend remembered him being in a good mood, happier than usual. The rest of the night was as normal as any other: they watched a movie, smoked a bong and hung out with Valera’s mate Keith Schreiber.

When police interrogated Valera, he claimed that he was not Satanic, but was inspired by the music he used to listen to. He also had countless conversations with his friend, Keith Schreiber about how to torture people and what the best way would be to dissect a human body. They would listen to death-metal music by Cannibal Corpse, whose hits include “Hammer Smashed Face”, “Split Wide Open” and “An Experiment in Homicide”. Their lyrics are explicit and graphic and encourage brutality. Many of their album covers have illustrations of disembowelled bodies. On The Cannibal Corpse album, Vile, there is the face of a man, pierced with barbed wire – the inspiration behind Valera’s plan to insert tie pins into Frank Arkell’s face. 

Valera said that he didn’t know Frank personally, but knew that he was a paedophile. Pretty much everybody in Australia knew that. Valera and his friends managed to get a hold of Frank’s home number and would prank call him, calling him a ‘poofter’ or a ‘faggot’ or a ‘molester’ before hanging up, giggling with delight.  

Valera had in his mind that he wanted to kill Frank Arkell because he didn’t like him. He felt that someone should have killed him for what he had done to boys and young men. So Valera called Frank up once more, pretended to be a gay man called John looking for a sexual encounter. Frank couldn’t resist and invited Valera around.

When Valera arrived, Frank let him inside. Valera didn’t waste any time and rammed Frank into the wall as soon as they were inside. He knocked his victim to the ground and kicked him repeatedly. He grabbed a lamp that was close-by, wrapped the cord around Frank’s neck and the proceeded to beat him over the head with the lamp. According to Valera he hit Frank more than 40 times, exactly what the medical examiner concluded.

When it was all done, Valera was swearing at himself because he got blood on his boots and pants. What a mess. That is why he changed out of his clothes and found a pair of Frank’s trousers to wear home.

Police retrieved pants from Valera’s father’s house that belonged to Arkell. In a hostel where Valera was also known to stay, they found a gold neck chain that belonged to David O’Hearn. David always wore the chain and was very fond of it, but when his body was found, it wasn’t on him. On Valera’s nightstand, there was a book called: A-Z of Serial Killers. Inside there was a hit list of names. The list included the names of his two victims, as well as the name of his own father, Jack van Krevel. A chilling mantra was scratched on more than one page:

“Who will be my Number Three?”

Valera was also suspected of killing Trevor Parkin in Sydney. At the time of Parkin’s murder Valera worked as a dishwasher at Planet Hollywood in Sydney. A discarded matchbook from Planet Hollywood was found at the murder scene. But a young man called Christopher Robinson came forward, confessing to the murder. His palm print matched the print left against the wall in Trevor’s apartment. Valera had nothing to do with it.

Back in Wollongong, as a handcuffed Mark Valera was escorted into police transport, camera crews were eager to catch a glimpse of the man who had been nicknamed “The Butcher of Wollongong”. He was upbeat and smiling and simply said “Hello Sensei, if you’re watching.” Clearly still idolising the man who forced him to confess, Rodney Day.

At trial Valera changed his story somewhat, saying both incidents were rather manslaughter than murder. According to Valera, both men provoked him sexually. He told the court that his father had sexually abused him as a child and that when the men offered sex, he had traumatic flashbacks to being abused and snapped.

According to Valera his father physically and sexually abused him and his sister Belinda through most of their childhood years.

Valera said David O’Hearn pulled his own pants down and invited him to engage in sex. But the prosecution was able to poke a hole into this statement. Forensic evidence found blood splatter on the outside back pockets of David’s jeans, which shows that he was attacked while his pants were pulled up. Valera had pulled David’s pants down after David had died.

Another statement that was shot down was the claim Valera made that when he went to David O'Hearn's house, David had played a gay pornographic video as a prelude to sex. Police’s search of the property did find a video in the player, but it was a documentary about Queen Elizabeth the II. Under cross-examination, Valera could not back up his statement about the pornography.

The jury also didn’t believe the sexual abuse angle, and found Valera’s father, Jack van Krevel believable when he admitted to being hard on his son and physically abusing him, but swore that he never abused him sexually. Jack van Krevel’s brother has publically stated that Jack cared about his children and looked after them best he could. He could not imagine that he would ever violate them.

The jury sentenced Mark Valera, also known as Mark van Krevel to two life sentences. There was a note attached to his sentence: Never to be released. He is the youngest life-sentenced inmate in the New South Wales prison system, ever. 

Valera’s sister Belinda van Krevel spoke out in his defence after the trial and felt strongly that their father drove Mark to do what he did. She corroborated his allegations of abuse and said that he was not a bad person, just someone that was pushed over the edge by an abusive father.

Their mother, Elizabeth Carrol, resurfaced for the trial and was furious when she heard the allegations against her ex-husband. How could he do this to his own children?

The allegations were made and the scars remained. To the outsider it looked like Jack van Krevel, a single father was trying his best to give his children anything he could: they always had the best designer clothing, whatever trend was going. When Mark got into motorcycles, he bought him a very good bike and only the best safety gear.

After Mark and Belinda’s mother left, Jack van Krevel raised his two children alone. They were still very young, toddlers in fact. Jack was a hard working builder and the expansion of Wollongong city meant he always had work. Money was good, but reportedly Jack was rather tight fisted. Friends commented on the fact that Jack made them share a tea bag if they ever stopped by for tea. 

A neighbour came forward stating that Jack always tried to be a good father and even booked himself into self-help courses to learn more about parenting. He always tried to pick the kids up from school, especially when they were younger. When his son, Mark, struggled at school he took him to a private tutor. By all accounts, Jack van Krevel did his best as a single dad.

But the children told a different story. They said they grew up in fear of their despotic father. According to Belinda van Krevel, she fell victim to her dad’s violence, receiving punches and kicks for no apparent reason. She also claims that her father once hit Mark so hard he had to be hospitalised. There was blood in their home every day. She says her dad once held a gun to Mark’s head threatening to blow his brains out.

When he sexually abused them he interfered with their genitals and attacked their eyes. Which was echoed in Valera’s murderous method of mutilation, expressing anger and rage that was meant for his father.

When Valera was psychologically assessed before the trial, forensic psychiatrist, Rod Milton felt that there were inconsistencies in Valera’s claims of sexual abuse. Milton saw this as a story concocted by Valera’s defence team to gain sympathy from the jury for their client.

During Valera’s trial, Valera’s sister Belinda and his good friend Keith Schreiber started spending more and more time together. They were both affected by the loss of a brother and friend and comforted each other.

On Friday, 18 August 2000, only two weeks after Valera was found guilty, tragedy struck again. Belinda van Krevel and her 2-year-old daughter Tia had escaped their house in the dark of night after Jack van Krevel was attacked in his bedroom. They drove to a police station and raised the alarm.

When police arrived at 48-year-old Jack van Krevel’s house at Centenary Street, Albion Park, they found his body kneeling beside his bed. There was a large amount of blood on the bed and it splattered on the curtains. There were three weapons, neatly laid out on the bed, side to side: a tomahawk, a knife and a fire poker. 

Forensics sprayed luminol, which showed bloody footprints of where attacker had moved around the house.

Belinda and Tia were in her bedroom, next to the room where Jack was attacked, huddled up together. They were laying in bed, listening to the screams of Belinda’s father being murdered. Belinda was frightened by the awful sounds and froze, and gripped her daughter tightly. In her statement to police, Belinda said she heard her door open up and someone looked at them, but then turned and went away. Blood evidence on Belinda’s door confirmed the fact that the murderer had opened her door.

When the screaming stopped and her dad was dead, Belinda took her daughter, fled the house and drove to the police station.

Police had to consider that Mark Valera had orchestrated his father’s death from prison. When they went to interview him, he denied any involvement, but also showed no emotion about the news that his father was dead, brutally murdered.

Belinda van Krevel told police that Keith Schreiber would be the kind of friend to help Valera by killing their father. But then again, Valera always thought Schreiber was gutless. 

Police had a hunch that Belinda van Krevel probably knew more about the attack on her father than she was letting on. She was calm and clear in telling police her version of events and didn’t show any emotion about her father being slaughtered just hours before. She also wasn’t too concerned about finding her father’s killer, but openly spoke about her suspicions that her brother’s friend, Keith Schreiber had done it.

Police received a tip-off and Keith was arrested at the Albion Park train station the next day. They took him in to the police station for questioning. It didn’t take long before he admitted to the killing Jack van Krevel. The reason he gave was that he did it because of what Jack had done to Mark and Belinda, meaning the years of abuse.

To corroborate Schreiber’s confession, they walked him through the scene at the Van Krevel home in Dapto. Schreiber’s soles of his shoes matched the blood stained shoeprints that trampled through the house. During a walk-through of the crime scene, he showed them where he had found the axe, in the carport where Jack van Krevel usually kept it. Keith had spent a lot of time at the Van Krevel house before, so he knew where things were.

He climbed in a window and then made his way to Jack’s bed where he was asleep, snoring. He started hacking at him with the axe, but Jack wouldn’t die. In Schreiber’s interrogation he said that he felt lonely during the attack and wished Jack would turn on him instead and end his miserable life. But that is not what happened, Schreiber came to kill Jack and he wasn’t leaving before the job was done. When he realized the axe wasn’t going to work, he went to the kitchen to get a knife. 

Keith didn’t deny that since Mark’s arrest he has been close with Belinda. Belinda had told him that Jack didn’t only abuse Mark, but he abused her too. And worst of all, now her little daughter, Thea, were saying things that alluded to Jack interfering with her. Keith was furious. He knew Belinda wanted Jack done in.

The day before Jack’s murder, Van Krevel and Schreiber drove together to jail to see Valera, but because they had failed to make a prior arrangement, they were not allowed to see him. From there they drove to a shopping mall at Shellharbour where Belinda stayed in the car and Schreiber went inside to get something to eat.

At the mall, Schreiber also bought a pair of gloves. He was already planning on killing Jack van Krevel that night and bought the gloves so he wouldn’t leave any fingerprints at the scene. Belinda van Krevel has no recollection of ever seeing these gloves. 

When Schreiber returned to the car they sat and chatted about Mark Valera and Jack van Krevel and the whole tragedy that they were now a part of. Belinda van Krevel was adamant that it was her father’s abuse that drove her brother to carry out those horrific killings. And to make things worse, her daughter was starting to say weird things about her grandfather and Belinda feared that Jack van Krevel was interfering with his own granddaughter. Keith Schreiber was upset and said this about Jack: “He’s gotta go”. Belinda, concerned about her daughter’s safety simply said: “Yes.” 

It was a Friday night and Belinda van Krevel spent the night at home with her young daughter, a friend and her father. As the ladies were chatting, little Tia was playing ball with her grandfather in the living room. When the ball accidentally hit him in the face everybody laughed. The friend left before 9pm as the Van Krevels were getting ready for bed. This was the last time anyone saw Jack van Krevel alive.

The physical evidence also fitted Keith’s version of events, so the trial was straight forward and he was sentenced to 16 years in jail.

Keith killed Jack to avenge Mark and Belinda. He was a victim of abuse himself and wanted to show to Mark that he also had it in him to be the big man. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Police still felt that Belinda Van Krevel had more to do with it than what she let on. The crime scene suggested that Schreiber must have had some help. The window in her daughter’s bedroom was left open and her daughter did not sleep in her own bed, so as to clear the way.

Also when Schreiber walked police through the scene and was asked where he found the knife to stab Jack van Krevel with, Schreiber was he a bit confused as to the location. Police concluded that the knife may have been left out for him, or handed to him.

After the attack, Belinda van Krevel drove Warilla Police Station, 15 minutes away. Police wondered why she didn’t simply call TRIPLE ZERO (Australia’s 911) or why she didn’t alert the neighbours. It was also curious that she didn’t drive to Albion Park Police Station which was much closer to her home than Warilla. 

Jack van Krevel’s ex-wife Elizabeth Carrol warned him days before his death that he was in danger. She said that their daughter, Belinda had put out a $2000 contract on his life, and that contract was with Keith Schreiber. Jack did not contact police, because he didn’t take the threat seriously. According to his ex, Belinda had told her everything: the plan was for Schreiber to hack him up into little pieces and then throw his remains into the Kiama Blowhole. Kiama is a scenic coastal town about 30 minutes down the coast from Dapto.

Police uncovered a paper trail of letters to Keith and money paid to him by Belinda van Krevel. She also made admissions and had candid conversations with anyone who would listen that implied that she knew more about her father’s murder than she’d confessed to police.

When police interrogated Belinda Van Krevel again, they confronted with the money-evidence:  they found money orders and letters proving that Belinda had given Schreiber money. Van Krevel admitted giving Schreiber money, but denied that it was payment for killing her father. She also denied having a relationship with Schreiber, but letters between the two showed the contrary. When asked if they’d had a physical relationship, she first denied it, but later admitted to it. 

A letter from Belinda van Krevel to Schreiber read:

“You see Keith, the thing I love the most is that no-one really knows how much we trust and care about each other. I mean I’ve been so close to you for how many years and no-one could have done more for me than what you have… No-one will ever be as close to me as you are.”

When Belinda van Krevel was sentenced, she received the minimum penalty for solicitation to commit murder, which shows that the judge in her case took pity on what she had gone through as a victim of domestic abuse at the hand of her father. She was sent to jail for six years for soliciting her dad’s murder and went to Dilwynnia Correction Centre at South Windsor.

Belinda van Krevel’s mum, Elizabeth Carroll, said it haunted her how her daughter lay in the room next to Jack’s and listened without helping while Schreiber, killed her father.

Elizabeth Carrol said she was stunned her daughter escaped with six years in jail while Schreiber was serving 16 years.

In June 2007, Belinda van Krevel was released and said:

“I just want on get on with my life.”

She received close to $200 000 from her father’s estate after her release and was ready to make a new start. But she was in trouble with the law again in 2010 when she was charged with assault and theft. And in 2013 she was arrested yet again with the stabbing of her boyfriend. She has been nicknamed “Evil van Krevel.”

Schreiber was granted parole in August 2012, after serving a minimum 12 years’ jail for Jack Van Krevel’s murder. However, he was sent back to jail after three months after he could not adapt to normal community life and did not obey directions from his parole officer, which were conditions of his parole.

Mark Valera is still serving his life sentence in Goulbourn jail 75 miles, or 120 km inland from his hometown of Wollongong.

This was The Evidence Locker. Thanks for listening!

If you’d like to read up more about this case, have a look at the resources used for this episode in the show notes. Do read Bound by Blood: The True Story of the Wollongong Murders by John Suter Linton, you can find it for purchase on Amazon.

Thank you.

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