1. Gold Coast mother charged with the murder of two of her children, which she allegedly ‘framed as suicides for financial gain’.
A mother has been charged with the murders of her 18-year-old daughter and 26-year-old son - who both had severe disabilities - five years apart on the Gold Coast.
According to AAP, police arrested 51-year-old Maree Crabtree in the south Brisbane suburb of Coorparoo on Wednesday morning and spent several hours questioning her before formally charging her over the deaths.
It's alleged she was responsible for killing her son, 26-year-old Jonathan, whose body was found at an Upper Coomera home on July 18 last year.
Eighteen-year-old daughter Erin's body was found at a Maudsland home on September 4, 2012, where the accused was living at the time.
At the time, both deaths were treated as suicides, but police will allege the siblings' deaths were actually calculated murders committed by the hands of their own mother.
Crabtree is also accused of seriously assaulting her 25-year-old daughter on a number of occasions over several years.
Investigators believe the Queensland mother carried out the killings for insurance payouts, forcing her children to take prescription medication that worsened their conditions and contributed to their deaths.
"These acts haven't been compassionate acts of a stressed mother at her end," Detective Inspector Mark Thompson told reporters after her arrest.
"It was calculated, it was planned and it was executed with an end goal in mind."
Det Insp Thompson would not be drawn on whether Crabtree caused the children's disabilities but said the "family dynamic" was harmful to them.
"The health and wellbeing of these children, we believe, were impacted because of the guidance the children have received from their matriarch, their mother," he said.
Court documents show she allegedly dishonestly received an insurance payout of $567,863, a total permanent disability claim for $238,800 and had attempted to fraudulently obtain a superannuation death benefit of $125,000.