Belinda Van Krevel is one of Australia’s most notorious criminals, but to understand her story, you need to understand her family.
Mark Van Krevel is a double murderer.
At 19, he was the youngest inmate in Australia’s highest security prison. His sister Belinda is one of Australia’s most notorious criminals. She orchestrated their father’s murder, and brutally stabbed her partner. Her actions have earned her the nickname- Belinda Van Evil.
But as she told Allison Langdon on tonight’s episode of 60 Minutes, it’s not a title that concerns her.
“Are you evil?” asked Langdon.
“No, of course I’m not,” Van Krevel replied.
To even begin to understand Belinda’s story, it is necessary to go back in time. Back to the 12th of June 1998, when 63-year-old shopkeeper David O’Hearn was beaten to death with a wine decanter in his home near Wollongong in NSW. Police arrived at the scene and found O’Hearn’s decapitated head in the kitchen sink, satanic markings drawn on the walls in blood.
Two weeks later, Frank Arkell, a former Mayor who was embroiled in paedophilia and child pornography scandals, was beaten and strangled in his home. Similar ritualistic mutilations had been carried out on his body.
Four months after that, amid a growing sense of fear in the local community, police began closing in on 19-year-old Mark Van Krevel. Mark came forward willingly, and confessed to both murders.
Is there any reason why you did it?
MARK VAN KREVEL:
Why I killed David O’Hearn?
MARK VAN KREVEL:
Not really, no. I mean I was angry that day but… No particular reason, no.
Why did you go to his house?
MARK VAN KREVEL:
Because I had in my mind that I wanted to kill someone that day. And banged him on the head and he slumped down there. He slumped like that.
Mark was mild-mannered. He was calm as he described decapitating O’Hearn to police. “I was going to keep his skull as a trophy…”
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Belinda doesn’t see her brother as evil. On the contrary, she believes him to be entirely innocent. “Oh, I love my brother, ” she says, visibly emotional. “It doesn’t bother me what other people think. I know my brother and I know he’s a good person.” Belinda sees one cause and one cause only for her brothers actions – and for her own: Their father, Jack.
Belinda and Mark’s mother walked out when the children were two and three respectively. The pair were raised by their father, Jack. Jack was consistently and brutally violent to his children.”He’d beat me every day,” says Belinda. “I thought he would kill me. Every day I lived in fear, I thought I was dead, he’d end up killing me. He was a sadist, I believe. He got off on what he did and it wasn’t going to stop.”
WATCH: ‘Can people feel safe with you out in the community?’ Belinda Van Krevel on 60 Minutes. (Post continues after video):
But even Belinda wasn’t aware of the full extent of the alleged abuse. She didn’t find out until her brother’s trial. Mark stood in front of the court and told the jury that his father had repeatedly raped him. The jury didn’t believe him, and Mark was sent away to Supermax, Australia’s highest security prison, with his file labelled ‘never to be released’.
The court didn’t buy it, but his sister did.
“I know what happened,” she tells Langdon. “Why would a 19-year-old kid, boy, get up in front of the whole world and say that his father had raped him every day of his life if it’s not true? So he can what, make a fool of himself and embarrass himself? No 19-year-old boy’s going to say that.”
“He drove him to do what he did. He’s the one that should be in jail. Not my brother.”
“So you blamed him for all the monstrous things that Mark did”, asked Langdon in the 60 Minutes interview.
“Yep,” she replied emphatically. “Mark’s innocent, Mark’s the innocent one. He was the victim, not David O’Hearn, not Frank Arkell, Mark.”
Belinda blamed her father for her brother’s wrongs, and became fixated on seeking revenge. She asked Keith Schreiber, Mark’s best friend with whom she had a sexual relationship, to murder her father.
On the 18th of August 2000, Keith Schreiber snuck into Jack’s Albion Park home. After climbing through an open window, Schreiber grabbed an axe which leant against the garage door. The 48-year-old woke up, foiling Schreiber’s plan to kill him while he slept. The attack became frenzied, and Jack was struck 25 times with the axe, and stabbed with a knife a further 16 times. Schreiber then carved up the body.
Throughout the attack, Belinda and her four-year-old daughter lay in bed in the room next door.“What’s happening to Poppy?” the young girl asked while Belinda covered her ears and held her.
“He deserved what he got. As far as I was concerned, there was no other way out. I was just happy that Jack wasn’t alive anymore,” said Belinda.
Police promptly arrested Schreiber, who didn’t take long to confess to the crime.”I told him this was for Mark,” he said to police. “You fucking paedophile bastard. You’ll never molest another kid again.”
Although she denied her involvement, police soon found it had been Belinda who gave the order for Jack’s murder. Keith Schreiber was sentenced to 16 years jail and Belinda was sentenced to six years for orchestrating the murder of her father. She lost her daughter, and her freedom, but she is resolute she made the right choice.
“Without a doubt it was worth it,” she told 60 Minutes.
Belinda was released from prison. She fell in love, and had a baby boy with a carpet salesman named Marshall Gould. But it was not long until the Van Krevel family’s violent history reared its head again. Marshall was to be Belinda’s next victim.
“I just remember her eyes, they just went black.” Marshall Gould recalls what was undoubtedly the most horrific night of his life.
“Just went like that. The colour of her eyes just disappear, just like that. It was just black.”
In July of 2013, Belinda Van Krevel stabbed her partner six times. In a psychotic state, intoxicated by a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol, she nearly killed him.
“She just started belting straight into me and telling me she wanted to kill me and I couldn’t work out what was going on. And then she ran to the kitchen, and she grabbed a knife, and she came running out of the kitchen and she just started with, ‘I’m going to effing kill you, Jack,’ you know…”
“Jack? The name of her father?” asks Langdon.
“Jack. The name of her father.”
Gould was rushed to hospital by his father. The next morning, Belinda called Gould’s father Wayne to find out where he was. She claimed to be completely unaware of the attack.
A few weeks ago, Belinda was released from prison for a second time. She is a free woman, again. Despite everything that has come to light, there is one thing, one deeply disturbing aspect of her brother’s life that she didn’t know.
Detective Inspector Russell Oxford investigated Mark Van Krevel in 1998. He gained some insight into Mark’s disturbed mind through one of his most valued possessions: An encyclopaedia of serial killers.
“Throughout the book you’ll find his ramblings and his writings but most bizarrely is the opening page when he talks about who he was going to kill next – ‘who’s going to be my next victim?’ Quite clearly you can see his father’s name there.” And right below it, his sister Belinda’s.
In all these years, Belinda has never seen this book. At first, when Langdon presents it to her, she says, “I’m just glad that you have something of his…”
But what is more surprising, is Belinda’s reaction when Langdon points out that her name is on a list of people her brother – a double murder who tortured and mutilated his victims – wanted to kill.
“This is just him being angry,” Belinda explains.
Despite the horrifying revelation that she was likely to be her brother’s next victim, Belinda remains fiercely loyal to her brother. She wants to put this history of extreme violence behind her. Langdon questioned whether Belinda has dealt with everything she has gone through, and unsurprisingly she says she hasn’t. But she is determined to move forward.
“Can people feel safe with you out in the community again?” Langdon finally asked.
“Absolutely. Yeah. Yep.”