Discarded Clothing

Five days after the murders a police officer discovered some discarded clothing in the burnt out lounge room — a long sleeve navy Canterbury brand football jumper, blue T-shirt and joggers were found.  They were identified by Jeff’s girlfriend as what he was wearing earlier that evening, however they had no blood on them.

The Prosecution argued Jeff had hastily removed his clothes before attacking his family so they would not get blood on them, and that he intended for them to be burned in the fire.  There is nothing to indicate that this is any more than wild speculation since Jeff was wearing only a pair of shorts when he raised the alarm on the morning of the murders. This was consistent with his account that he had been woken and had come up from the boathouse in response to hearing his mother’s screams over the intercom.  Surely if he had intended for them to be burnt, he would have done a better job of putting them actually in the fire.

While Jeff used the boatshed for sleeping and studying, he ate meals and watched TV upstairs with the rest of the family and kept most of his clothes in his old bedroom in the main house.  As Helen did the family laundry, Jeff was in the habit of taking off his clothes and showering each night at the main house before taking clean clothes down to the boatshed before he went to bed.

The clothes found on the living room floor were not hidden and they were well away from the main area of the fire.  They were in a place consistent with Jeff having taken them off as he finished watching TV prior to showering for the evening.  This shows that Jeff was a typically untidy young man, who had a habit of removing his clothes and leaving them on the floor.

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