Hey, y’all. Thanks for stopping by. Today, I have a case from my nightmares. In late 1977 and early 1978, seven women were raped and murdered around bushlands in Truro, Australia. More murders would have been committed if not for a deadly car crash, and the accomplice sang like a canary (kind of). How much responsibility does the man who never actually physically touched the victims hold? This is the story of the Truro murders.
We have a serial killer
In 1978, in Truro, Australia, which is near Adelaide, a pair of brothers found a bone while looking for mushrooms, which is a thing some people do I guess. The brothers believed it was the leg bone of a cow, but they noticed the leg had a shoe on it. Cows don’t wear shoes the last time I checked.
Anyway, inside the shoe was skin and clearly painted toenails. Near the spot where the found the bone, the brothers also found clothes with blood stains and more bones.
Police identified the victim as 18-year-old Veronica Knight who had gone missing a few months before the discovery. Initially, this death was believed to have been an accident. Veronica must have lost her way and died of thirst or exposure to the elements.
But then, about a year later, another body was discovered close to the location of Veronica. This body was Sylvia Pittmann, a 16 year old. She had gone missing around the same time that Veronica had.
Meanwhile, five other women had been reported in Adelaide at the time and police began to fear the worst. They were justified in their fears unfortunately, and all seven victims’ remains were found.
Christopher Worrell and James Miller
In 1977, Christopher Worrell was 23 years old. He was described as charismatic, and I’m so tired of killers being described with that word. I know it’s probably true, but I think it’s linked to that weird obsession some people in the true crime community have with killers. Think Ted Bundy or Richard Ramirez. Or Jeffrey Dahmer since Netflix released two series about him. I actually wrote a blog about this phenomenon.
Worrell also could have violent mood swings and sometimes turned very dark.
I couldn’t find a lot about James Miller’s history. I know that he was 38 at the time of the murders and he spent time in prison for breaking and entering. He was homosexual, which I only mention because it’s relevant to his relationship with Worrell.
Worrell and Miller met in prison. Miller was there for breaking and entering while Worrell was in for rape and armed robbery.
After being released they formed a friendship. Well, sort of a friendship. I mentioned that Miller was gay but Worrell was not. Apparently Miller had a crush on or an infatuation with Worrell. For reasons not really clear to me, Worrell indulged Miller in this desire and the two started a sexual relationship.
Basically, Miller would perform oral sex on Worrell while Worrell would read pornographic magazines out loud. The magazines were mostly bondage publications. By the time of the murders, the two were no longer in a sexual relationship.
What does all of this have to do with a series of murders? Miller was so in love with Worrell that he tolerated Worrell raping and killing women. Miller even helped with disposing of the victims’ bodies.
The best car crash ever
Worrell, Miller, and a female were in a car wreck in 1979. Worrell and the female friend were killed in the car accident while Miller survived. The accident was caused when a tire blew and the car flipped. They all ended up out of the car and on the road. Miller only had a broken shoulder blade.
Miller did not take Worrell’s death well. It seems clear to me that he was obsessed with him, which is probably why he helped with the crimes. But anyway, one of Worrell’s ex-girlfriends named Amelia told Miller that doctors think that Worrell had a blood clot in his brain.
Miller, not being a very good criminal, tells the ex that the blood clot might have been the reason that Worrell was obsessed with killing and his dark mood swings.
Amelia spills the beans
If you had this info, wouldn’t you immediately tell the police that your ex was a serial killer? I know I would. But Amelia didn’t report this information until 1979, two years after the funeral of Worrell.
Miller was arrested and Amelia collected a cool $30,000.00 for the lead on the murders. $30,000.00 in 1979 is equivalent to $122,647.93 in 2022 due to inflation. So she did pretty well for herself.
I do wish she had come forward immediately though.
Miller published an autobiography that was ghostwritten entitled Don’t Call Me Killer, which annoys me. Like don’t tell me what to do, Miller. So anyway most of the info about the order of events are all according to Miller from the autobiography. Take that as you will, but it makes me a little suspect of the details.
- Date of murder: December 23, 1976
Veronica Knight was 18 years old when she accepted a ride from Miller and Worrell after shopping with friends. Worrell was left alone in the car with Veronica while Miller took a walk.
When Miller came back to the car, Veronica was dead. Miller claims he was upset about the whole thing but that Worrell threatened to kill him with a knife if he wouldn’t help to cover up the murder and dispose of Veronica’s body. So Miller helped and her body was left in Truro.
- Date of murder: January 2, 1977
Only about a week later, the pair picked up another woman named Tania Kenny who was hitchhiking. Again, Miller claims he went for a walk and came back to the car to find Tania dead. Did I mention that Tania was only 15? Because she was only 15. I hate these two.
Same thing happened when Miller returned. Worrell threatened him and they disposed of her body in Wingfield.
- Date of murder: January 21, 1977
We have another teenager. This time it was Juliet Mykyta who was only 16 years onld when Worrell offered her a ride home from her part-time job. He didn’t take her home and instead pulled the car over.
Miller saw Worrell tie Mykyta up, which he didn’t find alarming because Worrell was into BDSM. He then went for another walk. This man loved to walk. He heard a commotion and returned to the car to see Worrell strangling Juliet.
Miller said he tried to stop Worrell but that he wasn’t strong enough to pull him off of Juliet. Can you hear me not believing this for a second? Her body was also left in Truro.
Sylvia Michelle Pittmann
- Date of murder: February 6, 1977
Another teenage victim and she isn’t the last one. Same story. Sylvia Pittman was 16 years old when she took a ride with Worrell and Miller. Miller went for a walk and came back to find Sylvia dead.
They disposed of the body in Truro.
- Date of murder: February 7, 1977
Miller wasn’t with Worrell when Worrell picked up 26-year-old Vickie Howell. They were already together when Miller joined them. He went for a walk and returned to the car. This time there wasn’t anything unusual such as a dead woman’s body, so he took another walk, longer this time.
Guess what he found when he returned the second time? That’s right. Vickie was dead and Worrell was irate. According to Miller, he attacked Worrell and expected Worrell to kill him but he didn’t retaliate or respond to the verbal and physical attacks.
Vickie’s remains were left in Truro.
- Date of murder: February 9, 1977
Connie Iordanides was 16 years old when she accepted a ride home from Miller and Worrell. She freaked out when she realized they weren’t going in the direction of her home. So Miller who was driving pulled the car over but this time he witnessed Worrell forcing her into the back seat of a car while she was begging and screaming for help. And then he went for his usual walk.
Connie’s body was exposed of in Truro.
- Date of murder: February 12, 1977
Miller and Worrell picked up 20-year old Deborah Lamb who was hitchhiking. When Miller came back from his walk, Deborah was no where to be seen and he says that Worrell was using his foot to push sand into a hole.
This is awful to even type, but Deborah had been buried alive by Worrell.
A very unreliable narrator
It’s so annoying how Miller was always conveniently on a walk while it was Worrell who carried out the crimes. And luckily for Miller, Worrell isn’t alive to contradict him.
Here’s what doesn’t make sense. He says that Worrell didn’t rape any of the women, but all except one (Tania Kenny) had actually been raped. He claimed that he didn’t know that Worrell was going to kill anyone ahead of time and that Worrell often picked up women for hookups and didn’t kill them. So Miller never knew when it would happen and when it wouldn’t.
I’m sorry, but the first time my friend kills and rapes a girl he picked up, I’m not hanging out with him anymore.
And according to Miller, the murders began occurring more and more frequently. Worrell was clearly escalating and the only reason he stopped was because of his death.
The cause of death for all the victims was strangulation except for Deborah Lamb who was buried alive.
Did Miller suffer any consequences?
Yes, he did. Allegedly, Miller hadn’t touch any of the victims but he was found guilty of murder for all of the seven victims except one in 1980. He was sentenced to six consecutive life terms.
James Miller died in 2008 from liver failure at the age of 68.
When I research cases I want to investigate, I try to choose cases that aren’t as well known. Maybe Worrell is more known in Australia, but I had never heard of him or the Truro murders.
Let me know your thoughts on the case down below. And if there’s another case you think I should cover, drop that in the comments as well.
The Killer Queen
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