Monday, July 7, 2008

'Two boasted' about actress killing

TWO people of interest to police in the "bizarre" death in Sydney of American actress Joyce Germain allegedly boasted they were responsible, an inquest has been told.

Ms Germain, 59, was found in the bathroom of her apartment in the suburb of Darlinghurst when police broke down her door on April 26, 2006.
Her body was badly decomposed and she had been dead for up to six days.
Counsel assisting the inquest into her death, Rebbecca Becroft, today described the scene as "strange and bizarre".
Ms Germain's dress had been lifted above her shoulders and a clothes peg attached to her genitals.
Her body was buried beneath towels, cushions, a foot spa and a construction hat, and an electrical cord was wrapped around her neck.
Lipstick was smeared around the bathroom and on the body, and a toaster hung from the shower railing.
A knife and razor blade were found near her body but Sergeant Becroft said there were no apparent wounds.
Two autopsies could not determine the cause of death.
The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Constable Lawrence Milburn, told Glebe Coroners Court two of the four persons of interest had bragged about killing Ms Germain.
On the day of her funeral, prostitute Kim Sharwood told two other women she had to go to the service because she "did the old girl over", Det Snr Const Milburn told the inquest.
Ms Sharwood had been staying with Ms Germain in the months before her death but had left after a dispute.
Det Snr Const Milburn said she appeared excessively emotional at the funeral.
John Adrian Marsh, a second person of interest, also attracted police attention at the funeral, staring at officers throughout the eulogy.
Mr Marsh, known around Darlinghurst as Kiwi John, had been friends with Ms Germain and police found a letter in her mailbox warning her to beware of the New Zealander.
In the months after Ms Germain's death, witnesses told police Mr Marsh was threatening people by claiming he had killed her and was saying, "anyone who didn't comply with his demands would end up like Joyce Germain", Det Snr Const Milburn told the inquest.
The allegations came from a third person of interest, Robert Kamminga, who told police he "knew who did it", then propositioned an officer who went to question him.
"You can be my master any time, come round after work," Mr Kamminga allegedly said.
His apartment was adorned with whips, chains, leather and sex toys and he was a fan of sado-masochism, Det Snr Const Milburn said.
Mr Kamminga and Mr Marsh are believed to have supplied the fourth person of interest, Chady Wazir, with drugs on the day of Ms Germain's death.
Mr Wazir told police he had taken the drug ice in her apartment while it was empty on the morning of the day she died.
When he returned later that day, Mr Wazir said, he found Ms Germain's body and trashed her apartment in an ice rage.
His DNA was found on the toaster, construction hat and knife handle, as well as on a used syringe in the bathroom.
Mr Wazir told police he injected ice into himself as he sat beside the corpse and did not call police or report his discovery.
The body was not discovered for another five days.

Det Snr Const Milburn said the neighbourhood was notorious for sex workers, drug takers and robberies.
Ms Germain had ongoing mental health issues, resulting from heavy LSD use in the 1960s, but was living a stable, normal life at the time of her death, the court was told.


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