Anita Cobby: The Full Story

true crime conversations

03 Mar 2021 · 31 minutes

Anita Cobby: The Full Story
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True Crime Conversations explores the world's most notorious crimes by speaking to the people who know the most about them. This month we’re focusing in on Australia’s most notorious crimes...

It’s the morning of February 6, 1986. 

Australia as a nation, but more specifically New South Wales, is in a state of shock.

Two days prior, the body of 26 year old nurse Anita Cobby had been found in a paddock in Prospect, 32 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD. The news had broken that Anita had been murdered.

But on the 6th of February, a morning radio host named John Laws obtained a leaked copy of the young woman’s autopsy report. All morning, he said, he considered whether or not to broadcast the details. He ultimately decided to.

Laws shared explicit details about Anita Cobby’s injuries and the nature of her death, as Sydney siders drove to work or as they dropped their children at school. For a generation, those details would be imprinted on their psyche - a woman murdered in a manner beyond what any of us could ever imagine. 

The events of February 2, the night Anita was murdered by strangers, has come to be understood as the most savage murder this state has ever known.

When her killers were sentenced Justice Alan Maxwell described their crime as, "One of the most horrifying physical and sexual assaults. This was a calculated killing done in cold blood.”

It remains a crime Australia won’t ever forget.



Guest: Julia Sheppard

Host: Jessie Stephens

Audio Producer: Ian Camilleri

Producer: Gia Moylan



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Mamamia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we have recorded this podcast on, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

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