In the Supreme Court of Western Australia on Thursday, two grieving mothers embraced with tears falling down their cheeks.
Both Carol Spiers and Una Glennon have lost a daughter. Both have watched the hunt for the person responsible ebb in and out of the media. Both have sat in court, metres from the person who was finally accused. And both have spent years waiting to hear a judge say a single word.
Yet on Thursday, only one of them did.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Hall found Bradley Robert Edwards guilty of murdering Ciara Glennon, 27, and Jane Rimmer, 23, but acquitted him of killing 18-year-old secretary Sarah Spiers.
All three women vanished while on nights out in the affluent Perth suburb of Claremont between 1996 and 1997. The remains of Ciara and Jane were later recovered in bushland outside the city, but Sarah's have never been found.
The forensic evidence — critically, DNA and fibres — that linked the former Telstra technician to the first two women was lacking in Sarah's case, and Justice Hall said the prosecution had failed to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Instead, her family must live with a bittersweet concession, a phrase uttered by the judge during his decision: that Bradley Edwards was Sarah Spiers' "probable killer".
The 51-year-old will face sentencing in December over the two murders, as well as the 1995 rape of another teenager at Karrakatta Cemetery and an earlier assault on a teenager in Huntingdale.
Meanwhile, Sarah's case remains open.