Case against Farquharson far fetched

Andrew L. Urban

In The Science of Murder, the 60 Minutes investigation on Sunday June 2, 2024, the science in question was medical science: how new evidence to support Robert Farquharson’s claim of cough syncope as the cause of the accident that led to the drowning of his three sons in a dam should trigger a new look at his murder conviction. But one question 60 Minutes did not explore – and neither had the police. 

In our previous reports on this case, relying entirely on the superb book by Chris Brook, Road to Damnation, we referred to errors in the police investigation, including the reconstruction failures outlined with scientific exactitude by Brook.

This was echoed in the 60 Minutes story, as was the way Farquharson’s coughing fit was downplayed at his two trials, with robust evidence from a medical expert presented in 60 Minutes confirming how likely it was to have played a critical role in the accident.

But the one element of the police case that was not canvassed in 60 Minutes was how to reconcile the allegation that underpins the whole case. Police insist that Farquharson murdered his beloved three little boys as an act of revenge for his then wife going off with another man. As we have previously noted, the question that arises from that assumption (no evidence was shown in support) makes the suggestion far fetched: it supposes that Farquharson risked his own life by driving into the dam on purpose, not knowing whether he could survive – which he barely did.

Did any of the two juries – 24 people -wonder about this, even if no-one else in court did?

As another expert interviewed by 60 Minutes explained, the car sank very quickly because the dam was deep. In shallower water, where the car’s nose reached bottom and slowed its descent, it would take longer, as police reconstruction showed. That reconstruction was executed in shallow water.

Anna-Maria Arabia, Chief Executive of The Australian Academy of Science, was prominently interviewed on 60 Minutes, concerned that evidence in the case did not meet the required scientific standards. As she has previously, she repeated her call for the establishment of a Criminal Cases Review Commission, to tackle cases such as Farquharson’s.

This tragic case, with three dead little boys and their father in jail for life, seems to confirm the view by those wrongfully convicted that the police are like a hammer to a (targeted suspect) a nail, instead of a magnifying glass looking for the facts.

More on the Farquharson case at menu on the right.


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3 Responses to Case against Farquharson far fetched

  1. Heinrich says:

    Andrew- have just been given a challenge – give even ONE example of a successful appeal against an obvious wrongful conviction-other than when an appeals court fountain of wisdom and justice has been shamed by public “shouting”and ridicule – even that “noise” doesn’t achieve justice in the tinpot outfits like South Australia /Tasmania . SueNeil-Fraser -Derick Bromley.
    One thing pompous judges can’t handle is the truth and common sense decency- with the resulting shaming ridicule from the peasants – but just don’t expect an Appology (poor Michael Chamberlain) That would choke in the troat !

  2. Heinrich says:

    Yes but – if the police prosecutors give to a jury, the facts- they may not get the satisfaction of a wrongful conviction – using torture techniques ( 15 hours of shouting interrogation and threats) the police often uncover and recognise the facts. eg. Ray Bailey was not at the murder scene – Queensland detective Hallahan admitted to his friends- he knew that Ray was innocent. However, he went ahead anyway, and got Ray Bailey murdered by the gullible South Australian Judge . The Queensland police in fact, knew the guilty person involved- from detailed vehicle description etc. As in the case of SNF- the facts were known, but it didn’t suit the police agenda . This description of events suits many cases of Wrongful Conviction. The facts can be a dam nuisance and must be concealed –
    – like a blue DNA cloth.

  3. Owen Allen says:

    Cough Syncope. I have commented before and will again. I have experienced it, probably recovering from a heavy cold as I am right not. Thick plegm in the chest during recovery. I was driving an HC and I was coughing from time to time, and I had a coughing fit like I have never experienced. I started to black out, lose consciousness and fought it off to recover. It was like a oxygen loss to the brain.
    Like as kids at school there was a phase of deep breathing and then somebody squeezing and you would drop to the ground, oxygen deprivation. I may have managed to control the situation because I have experienced high G Loads, in excess of 4G in an aerobatic aircraft. This is a true an honest account. Owen.

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