Tag Archives: bomb

Remembering Victoria Police Russell Street Headquarters Bombing

On March 27th, 1986 and one day before Good Friday, at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, Constable Angela Taylor left the Russell Street Police Complex in Melbourne to get lunch, but never returned. As Constable Taylor was crossing Russel street, a vehicle packed with gelignite exploded. The events that unfolded later also claimed the life of Detective Sergeant Mark Wylie.


The explosion was caused by a car bomb hidden in a stolen 1979 Holden Commodore. The blast seriously injured 21-year-old Constable Angela Taylor, who died 24 days later on 20 April, becoming the first Australian female officer to be killed in the line of duty. 22 other people were injured, many still carrying physical and psychological scars to this day.

The explosion caused massive amounts of damage to the police HQ and surrounding buildings, estimated at more than A$1 million. A newspaper, The Age, reported that the blast had had such an impact because the open-floor design of the offices had acted like a Claymore mine, sending more shrapnel as the blast ripped through the floors, seemingly adding more pressure to the blast as it followed its path.

Russel St and La Trobe St
Russel St and La Trobe St – Google Maps

Investigation and Trial

In the course of the investigation, a group of people including Craig Minogue, Rodney Minogue, Stan Taylor, and Peter Reed were apprehended. The motive for the bombing seems to have been revenge against the police, as the bombers had previously been arrested and still ‘resented their jail terms’. In court, Taylor, Reed and Craig Minogue were convicted; Rodney Minogue was eventually acquitted on appeal.

On 7 October 1985, gelignite and detonators were stolen from the Tryconnel Mine at Blackwood. On 25 March 1986, a Holden Commodore was stolen. Both crimes were later found to provide equipment needed for the construction of the bomb.

On 25 April 1986, ten Victoria Police officers raided the Kallista home of Peter Michael Reed at 5.45 am. It was alleged that upon attempting to enforce the arrest by forcing entry to the premises, Reed produced a .455 Smith & Wesson revolver and fired at police, seriously injuring Detective Sergeant Wylie. Shot through the chest, Wylie nearly died at the scene and again on the operating table, but his elite fitness and stubbornness helped him defy the odds. Reed was then fired upon by Detective Sergeant Quinsee and arrested.

Reed was charged with attempted murder, recklessly causing serious injury, using a firearm to prevent apprehension and possessing explosives in suspicious circumstances in addition to charges related to the Russell Street bombing.

The Crown did not allege that any person played any particular role in the bombing, but that each of them were members of a team which planned the bombing and caused the bomb to explode. Evidence against the accused was as follows:

  • Gelignite and detonators used in the construction of the bomb were of the same type as those stolen from Tryconnel Mine.
  • Gelignite was found at Reed’s house wrapped in newspaper containing fingerprints belonging to Rodney Minogue.
  • Craig Minogue owned a pair of side cutters which produced cuts similar to those found on detonator wires.
  • a file with traces of brass deposits matched with brass deposits found at the bomb site.
  • a block of wood from which a wooden part of the bomb had been sawn was found at Craig Minogue’s premises.
  • tinned copper wire, similar to that used with detonators found at the bomb site, was found at Craig Minogue’s premises.
  • residue of gelignite matched residue found at a previous address of Craig Minogue in Lower Templestowe.
  • evidence from a witness that Craig Minogue called around Easter 1986, to ask about the use of detonators.
  • a witness testified that Craig Minogue was seen driving a 1979 Holden Commodore around the CBD prior to the explosion.

Stanley Brian Taylor and Craig William Minogue were ultimately convicted of the murder of Angela Taylor and other armed robberies and sentenced to life. Peter Michael Reed was acquitted of the bombing but sentenced to 12 years for armed robberies.

Detective Sergeant Mark Wylie could not cope with psychological injuries and took his own life in 2014.

In 1995, police headquarters moved to the Victoria Police Centre with the old headquarters many years later redeveloped into an apartment complex.

Note: content adapted from Wikipedia article under CC licence.

Explosives Used By Murder-Suicide Bomber Caused the Mt Isa Caravan Explosion

Police from Brisbane and Townsville flew to Mount Isa to investigate the caravan blast. Photo: Police via ABC News
Police from Brisbane and Townsville flew to Mount Isa to investigate the caravan blast. Photo: Police via ABC News
Queensland Police say explosives, not gas cylinders, sparked a fatal Mount Isa caravan explosion that claimed the life of a father and his two young children last week.

On Friday, police confirmed the deaths are being treated as a tragic case of murder-suicide.

Police believe that the father planned the explosion in a deliberate bid to take his own life and that of his son and daughter. Forensic examinations have led investigators believe explosives were used as an ignition point for the blast rather than gas bottles located at the scene. They also believe no one else was involved in the matter.

“While the circumstances surrounding the matter remain under investigation, police are treating the deaths of the two children as suspicious and the man’s death as non-suspicious,” the statement read.

The extent of the damage caused by the fatal caravan explosion is captured by a police drone.
The extent of the damage caused by the fatal caravan explosion is captured by a police drone.

Police have previously said it could take weeks, if not months, to fully complete the investigation.

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

Drop of Blood Led To Breakthrough Arrest In Sydney Family Court Bombing Case

A drop of blood found on a piece of cardboard at a crime scene more than 30 years ago gave ­detectives the vital breakthrough which led to the arrest of alleged Family Court bomber Leonard Warwick on Tuesday.

Coupled with new DNA techniques, the blood found on a fragment of cardboard at the 1985 bombing of a Jehovah’s Witness hall in Casula has allegedly linked the long-time suspect to the spate of four murders and five bombings that terrorised Sydney in the 1980s.

Former fireman Warwick, 68, was ­arrested at a gym in Campbelltown ­while teams of specialist police swooped on his home at Douglas Park, where he lives with his new family.

He is due to appear at Campbelltown Local Court this morning where he will face 32 charges including four counts of murder, attempted ­murder and two counts of damaging buildings with intent to murder.

Read more in The Advertiser.

Source: www.adelaidenow.com.au

Sydney Family Court Bombings: The Detectives That Never Gave Up

Persistence by NSW Police Force detectives leading to an arrest in a 30-year-old case is why anyone involved in murder should never think their case is closed, says Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas.

As Leonard John Warwick was being questioned by detectives at a south-western Sydney police station over a series of attacks he allegedly carried out three decades ago, Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas wanted to send a message.

“If you have been involved [in] … a murder that may be historic, you need to realise the door will never be closed on an investigation,” Mr Kaldas, a former homicide chief, told reporters.

Wednesday’s charging of Mr Warwick, 68, followed three years of intensive detective work by the NSW police’s elite homicide squad led by Detective Superintendent Michael Willing.

Within that squad exists the unsolved homicide unit, guided by Detective Chief Inspector John Lehman, that was established in 2004 to review cold case investigations.

Read more in The Age.

Source: www.theage.com.au

Man Released Over Bomb Left For Derry PSNI

A 27-year-old man arrested in connection with an attempted bomb attack on two married police officers in Londonderry has been released unconditionally.

He was arrested in the Eglinton area of Derry on Thursday evening and taken to Antrim police station for questioning.

Police confirmed he was freed without charge on Saturday.

An improvised explosive device was discovered on Thursday in the Glenrandel area of Eglinton in Londonderry.

It had been placed under a car belonging to a husband and wife who both serve in the PSNI.

Police described the incident as a “cold-blooded attempt to murder”.

Source: www.u.tv

Afghan Police Officer Praised for Defusing Over 6,000 Improvised Explosive Devices

An Afghan police officer was commended for exceptional courage while serving with the Afghan police and defusing over 6,000 Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

Deputy Interior Minister for Security Gen. Ayub Salangi greeted the young officer Abdul Ghafoor Afghan Yar for his exceptional service on Monday.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Afghan Yar was also granted a promotion for his long term service where he defused thousands of IEDs in restive Helmand province of Afghanistan.

Gen. Salangi also hailed the young officer for his commitment to continue saving innocent lives by serving with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

Read more in Khaama Press.

Source: www.khaama.com