Episode 014: Derek Ernest Percy, Part 1

on January 28, 2011 in Podcast Episodes, Serial Killers by

July 20, 1969 – Warneet, Westernport Bay, Victoria, Australia, about 45 minutes outside Melbourne. 11-year-old Shane Spiller is going to Ski Beach with his friend, 12-year-old Yvonne Tuohy.

Shane thinks Yvonne is ok for a girl. She is kind of a tomboy, and doesn’t ever want to play with dolls.

He’s bringing everything they might need for a trip to the beach, matches, a water canteen, food, and a hatchet. “Just in case”, he says.

They head off at about 10:30am. It takes more than an hour to get to the beach.

Being the middle of the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, the beach is deserted except for an empty station wagon and a second car with a man sitting it in. The second car is also a station wagon, but smaller. A Datsun or something.

Shane is really into cars, and notices that the second car is a light color, with a luggage rack on top. As they walk by, he notices what seems to be a couple of rugs in the back, and a parking sticker with the word “Navy” printed on it in the window.

The driver glances at them as they walk by.

The two children argue about which direction to go, and Shane heads off to the right on his own. When he realizes that Yvonne isn’t following him, her turns to walk back to her.

The man from the car is now standing behind Yvonne. He has a knife at her throat. Yvonne is petrified, in sheer, silent terror.

Shane grabs his hatchet and holds it over his head, like he might throw it. “Put that down or I’ll hurt the girl,” the man says in a high-pitched voice.

What scares Shane even more is the calm, detached manner the man has.

Loudly, he hisses to Yvonne, “Tell your friend to come back here.”

Shane is frozen for about two seconds, and then breaks into a dead run into the bush to get help.

Shane’s movement brings Yvonne back to her senses, and she cries out, “Shane, Shane, help!”

The man drags her along for thirty or forty yards, following Shane, and then gives up the chase.

As Shane runs away, he hears Yvonne cry out again, “Shane, Shane, help! He’s going to cut my throat!”

Unfortunately, for Yvonne, help does not come in time.

You can also download the episode directly.

Skip to Derek Ernest Percy, Part 2.

And feel free to use the comments below for episode discussion.


  • ma cieb says:

    He used to play football behind his mothers back.got other mothers to wash the football clothes. He drova ford cortina sedan cream colour when. He was a recruit january 1968 bought it ij canberra september 1967.the other recruits used to give it flat tyres.they didn’t like him parking around the back of the barracks.where it wasn’t supposed to be parked.

    • Mark Dunn says:

      Hi ma cieb, I’m a journalist who covers some of the Percy court cases. I’m trying to verify any precise details about the vehicles linked to Percy in 1968. You say he had a Cortina. Have you any details about the model/year etc or memory of the Datsun wagon he was also driving in that period, many thanks, Mark.

  • Di says:

    Thanks for an interesting piece on Derek Percy. I would certainly consider him to be one of the most dangerous people currently in our prison system.
    Quite a few years ago I was involved with a community group who were invited to visit Beechworth Gaol. It is only recently that I discovered that Derek Percy was an inmate there at the time. Particularly chilling when I remembered that one member of our group was a 9 year old girl!

  • Rebecca says:

    Thanks, I’d never heard of this guy and I live in Australia.

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