By: KOCH A Source: QNP

WHY did an 18-year-old youth, in the presence of senior detectives, write a confession to murdering his father?
You won't find the answer in the report of the expensive investigation conducted by the Queensland Police Complaints Tribunal.
That report was tabled in State Parliament yesterday by the Police Minister, Mr Gunn.
It details 60 pages of interrogation by the tribunal of Barry Mannix. He was interviewed for five days by the three-member tribunal in New Zealand where he had fled on the advice of his legal counsel concerned he would be harassed by police.
Color pictures of the murder victim, police interview rooms and strippers are included.
But what is not included is one line of any interrogation by the tribunal of the police involved.
The evidence is apparently covered in the report's covering letter, written by the tribunal chairman, Judge Pratt.
He says: ""To these charges and allegations the police officers concerned have sworn they are not guilty. Each has been examined at length during the course of our efforts to discover evidence which would tend to prove or disprove the elements of any offence.''
Judge Pratt said the tribunal concluded that no charge against any police officer, based on Barry Mannix's complaint, could possibly succeed.
The events which led to the tribunal investigation started with the discovery of the body of Kevin John Mannix, 40, outside his Palm Beach unit on June 22, 1984. His head was bound with masking tape and his throat had been cut.
A clue to the murder was the absence of his white Toyota Supra sports car.
The victim was the proprietor of a sex shop at Tweed Heads.
On July 21, 1984, Barry Mannix was charged with his father's murder.
In a statement tendered to the court, Mannix allegedly said he gagged and bound his father after he killed him to make it look as if he had not done it. The statement said he then carried his father to the bottom of the back steps where he cut his throat and threw the knife into the sea.
Mannix allegedly told police he took his father's Toyota Supra car, drove towards Burleigh Heads and left it with the ignition on in a car park.
In cross-examination by Mr Des Sturgess, for Mannix, the investigating officer, Sgt Frohmuller, said he believed an argument over the purchase of a Celica sports car was the motive for the killing.
Mr Sturgess suggested to Sgt Frohmuller that Mannix's confession was inconsistent with some facts about the murder.
Mannix was remanded in custody. On November 9, 1984, three Gold Coast men were charged with the murder of Mannix and Gold Coast prostitute Lovina Cunningham. Two were later convicted of murder. The other, and another accomplice, were convicted of other charges.
Mannix, cleared of the charges, fled to New Zealand and filed complaints against police who, he alleged, assaulted him and forced him to make a false confession.
The Police Complaints Tribunal began its investigation on November 16, 1984.
A precis of the ""established events'' of July 6 and July 7, 1984, according to the tribunal, was that Barry Mannix was taken to the Broadbeach police station on July 6, where an interview conducted by Sgt O'Brien began at 2 p.m. He was further interviewed by police officers Glancy and Stafford about 5 p.m. and interviews by Sgt Frohmuller began at 6.15 p.m., 7.35 p.m. and again at 8.25 p.m. when Barry Mannix confessed.
""By way of contrast, Barry Mannix's version of events of July 6 and 7 indicates that at no time during that day did any proper interviews of him take place,'' the report said.
It said: ""Barry Mannix's responses to Frohmuller's version can be shown in attached statements. Barry Mannix was given every opportunity to consider the apparent cohesion of the events revealed in the accounts of the police officers concerned and to make any comment he chose.
""The examination of Barry Mannix in New Zealand lasted until well into the fifth day and he had his legal adviser with him throughout.
Although Barry Mannix accepted that many of the questions contained in Frohmuller's notes were asked, he denied they were put by Frohmuller and was unable to say by whom they were asked.
""Generally, he rejected Frohmuller's account of the interviews commencing at 6.15 p.m. and 7.35 p.m. and claimed that he did not really converse with anybody during the whole day, and that he was being told what he had done.
""Mannix's version paints a picture of improper police pressure being applied to him almost continuously from 1.30 p.m. until he confessed, a time of some seven hours, and amounts to a denial of anything in the nature of a proper police interrogation.''
The report said it was clear that the scene at and about the Broadbeach CIB on July 6 was one of intense activity. Several lines of inquiry were followed and statements were taken from several non-police personnel.
Significant information came to hand and led police to focus their attention more and more on Barry Mannix.
""We think it is inconceivable, in the circumstances set out, that attention would have been focused on Barry Mannix as early as 1.30 p.m. and that the police would have failed or neglected properly to put these matters to him in an interview later that afternoon,'' the report said.
The tribunal established a set of events and compared it with Mannix's accounts.
The comparison showed that instead of the continuous oppressive interrogation about which Mannix complained, he was left to wait for hours.
He was interviewed for short periods on four occasions before he began to dictate his false confession.
During that period Mannix said he was not allowed to ring his mother. He did not have legal representation.
The report said the investigation took a new turn when Jan Hurst, one-time stripper at the sex shop, telephoned police to report that Anthony Rau, with whom she had argued, was driving a stolen Mazda.
""On November 7, 1984, Rau entered into a record of interview at 3.50 p.m. with Frohmuller and Hocken in the presence of his solicitor,'' it said.
""At 7.30 p.m. Rau detailed the murder of Mannix. He named Craig McConnell, Nigel Andrews and Nicholas Abela as his accomplices. Rau also confessed to involvement in the murder of Cunningham.''
Mannix is living in Queensland under an assumed name.
BARRY MANNIX . . . false confession. KEVIN MANNIX . . . throat cut. ANTHONY RAU . . . detailed murder. CRAIG McCONNELL . . . named as accomplice. NIGEL ANDREWS . . . named by Rau.