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Anita Cobby Murder

On February 2, 1986, 26-year-old nurse Anita Cobby was abducted as she walked home along Newton Road in Blacktown, Sydney. Her brutalised body was found in a farmer’s field in Prospect two days later. Within a month, five men — John Travers, Michael Murdoch and brothers Leslie, Michael and Gary Murphy — were taken into custody suspected of the horrific sexual assault and murder. Cobby's murder caused widespread outrage in the community, with many campaigning for the reinstatement of capital punishment. During the trial, Justice Alan Maxwell described the crime as 'one of the most horrifying physical and sexual assaults. This was a calculated killing done in cold blood. The Executive should grant the same degree of mercy they bestowed on their victim.' The five men were convicted of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, without any possibility of parole. Anita Cobby's murder deeply scarred the community and profoundly changed how violence against women was viewed in Australia.

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