Murder of Sheree Beasley

Sheree Joy Beasley (25 February 1985 – 29 June 1991) was an Australian schoolgirl from Rosebud, an outer suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.

Sheree Beasley
Sheree Beasley in her school uniform
Sheree Joy Beasley

25 February 1985
Died29 June 1991(1991-06-29) (aged 6)
Cause of deathHomicide by asphyxia
Body discoveredRed Hill, Victoria, Australia
Resting placeMornington Cemetery, Mount Martha, Victoria, Australia[1]
Known forMurder victim
  • Kerri Greenhill[2] (mother)

Six-year-old Beasley was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Robert Arthur Selby Lowe in June 1991.[3] Her body was found three months later on 24 September in a stormwater drain.[4]

One of the leading items that led to Lowe's incarceration was based on patient care sessions that were recorded by police investigators and later by his psychotherapist.

On the 24th anniversary of her murder, a memorial service was held at her grave, which many members of the community attended.[1][2]

Murder edit

Beasley rode her bicycle to a nearby milk bar, where she was abducted by Robert Lowe, a Sunday school teacher, church elder and travelling salesman.[5][6]

Lowe had apparently targeted Beasley because he had seen her alone on several previous occasions. A possible explanation for the lack of supervision was that Beasley had been transferred several times between the custody of her mother and the custody of her maternal and paternal grandparents.[3]

After the abduction, several witnesses said that they had seen a middle-aged man driving a car containing a "distressed child".[1][4]

Lowe had a history of crimes involving children. Before Beasley's murder, he had had multiple offences for indecent exposure, which had been aimed at young girls.[4]

Months after the murder, he was seeing a psychotherapist because he was having marital problems. His therapist, Margaret Hobbs, eventually began to suspect that he was involved in the murder of Beasley. Lowe had given suspicious statements, saying that he did not remember where he was on the day Beasley died and that he felt police were closing in on him.

The police had interviewed Lowe after the abduction, and they later tape-recorded some of his sessions with Hobbs (initially without her knowledge). After being informed of the recording, Hobbs gave her permission for more taping, as she was disturbed by Lowe's statements.[4]

Trial and conviction edit

Those representing Lowe during his trial objected to the manner in which recorded evidence was obtained from his therapy sessions with Hobbs. They asserted that the recordings were a violation of a confidentiality policy. The court dismissed this and came to the consensus that the evidence was appropriate for the protection of the public.[4]

Hobbs stated that Lowe had discussed several suspicious details related to Beasley's murder. Such statements were concerned with a desire to "build an alibi" and with the consequences of pleading guilty to manslaughter. Lowe eventually stated in April 1992 that he had given Beasley a ride in his car and had manually strangled her.[4] During his trial, he admitted his guilt. He said that he had "choked the girl".[5] Lowe was subsequently convicted of kidnapping and murder, and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 15 years without parole.[7][8]

Aftermath edit

After Lowe was sent to prison for murdering Beasley, he stated that he was innocent. In August 2014, he wrote that he believed law enforcement was using him as a scapegoat because of their failure to find those who were responsible for the crime. The police and the family of the victim did not believe this, and said they were "sickened" by his assertions.[5][9]

After Lowe's conviction, his psychotherapist Margaret Hobbs began writing a book based on her experience. She died in a vehicle accident in 1996; her book was later completed and published by Andrew Rule.[3][10]

Lowe is believed to have been involved with a large amount of child pornography that had been smuggled into the prison in which he was incarcerated. It is believed that persons who were visiting inmates were the source of this material.[11]

He died on 4 November 2021.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Morton, Eddie (24 June 2015). "Mornington Peninsula unites to remember Rosebud murder victim Sheree Beasley on anniversary of her death". Herald Sun. Leader Community Newspapers. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Mortin, Eddie (30 June 2015). "Change for Sheree - Call for Tougher Laws on Sexual Abuse". Mornington Peninsula Leader. p. 1. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "The Evil: Inside the Mind of a Child Killer". True Crime Reader. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f McMahon, Marilyn (1998). "Confidentiality & disclosure of crime related information" (PDF). Australian Psychological Society. The Australian Psychological Society Limited. pp. 12–13, 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Quist, Jackie (6 August 2014). "Child killer Robert Arthur Selby Lowe pleads innocence from behind bars". Yahoo 7 News. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  6. ^ Silvester, John (8 March 2014). "The daily grind of a rotting soul". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  7. ^ Anderson, Paul (21 June 2015). "Sheree Beasley murder: Why paedophile Robert Arthur Selby Lowe and 'Mr Cruel' changed suburban life". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  8. ^ "MAKO/Files Online | # Robert Arthur Selby Lowe". MAKO/Files online. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  9. ^ Roberts, Brendan (7 August 2014). "Sheree Beasley's mother disgusted by killer's claims of innocence". 7News Melbourne. publisher yahoo7. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  10. ^ Hobbs, Margaret; Rule, Andrew (1997). The Evil: Inside the Mind of a Child Killer. Kew, Vic.: Mandarin. ISBN 1863305513. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  11. ^ Flower, Wayne (6 December 2010). "Evil killer Robert Arthur Selby Lowe running jail sex ring". Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 January 2015.

Bibliography edit

  • Miller, Wayne Charles, The Murder of Sheree Beasley, Wilkinson Books, 1996, ISBN 186350219X

External links edit