1993 Cangai siege
In March 1993 murderers Leonard Leabeater, Robert Steele and Raymond Bassett went on a nine-day rampage across Queensland and New South Wales, resulting in their taking hostages in a siege in a farmhouse at Hanging Rock Station, Cangai, near Grafton, New South Wales, and threatening to kill people indiscriminately. The trio had boasted about having killed five people in a two-state murder spree.
The murderous trio kidnapped four children: Lorraine, Trevor, Tonia, and Robert Lasserre, but Lorraine and Robert were left by the side of the road unharmed. At the end of a siege where Trevor and Tonia were held hostage, they were released unharmed.
While on the run for five days, the trio murdered five people after kidnapping the children.
Leabeater shot and killed himself the following day, while Steele and Bassett surrendered to police. Steele was later sentenced to five consecutive life sentences plus 25 years without parole; he hanged himself in his cell in Goulburn Jail on 23 December 1994.
Bassett was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for being an accessory to the NSW murders, and consecutive sentences of life imprisonment for the Queensland murders, with the Queensland sentencing judge ordering him to serve a total non-parole period of 34 years.
The siege is also infamous for the actions of news reporters Mike Willesee, who was heavily criticised for telephoning the gunman and speaking with the children being held hostage whilst live on air and Mike Munro, who with his news crew landed a helicopter close to the homestead despite an exclusion on such flights.
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