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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Thrill killing - Rape - Torture
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: November 3/7, 1973
Date of arrest: November 13, 1973
Date of birth: 1948
Victims profile: Ian James Lamb, 43 / Virginia Morse, 35
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Narrabri/Collanerebri, New South Wales, Australia
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment plus 55 years in 1974

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Baker v. The Queen

Kevin Crump and Allan Baker are notorious Australian rapists and murderers who are currently serving life sentences in jail.


On 3 November 1973, Kevin Crump and Allan Baker used a .308 rifle to murder Ian James Lamb, 43, who was sleeping in his car next to the road to save accommodation costs while he was in the area to look for seasonal work. The murder appeared to be a thrill killing as the pair did not know Lamb.

Three days later they camped near the home of Brian and Virginia Morse in Collarenebri, where one of them had previously worked for as a migrant farm labourer. After watching the house for two days, they abducted 35 year old Virginia Morse when her husband and their three children left the property. The men drove via back roads towards Queensland, stopping at hotels and garages along the way, and buying beer and petrol with the $30 they had stolen from the Morse homestead. They drove mainly at night to avoid detection. During the journey, Morse sobbed and pleaded for her life. The men stopped south of the Queensland border, tied Virginia Morse to a tree and took turns raping her repeatedly. They then threw her back in the car and continued on their journey.

When they stopped by the Weir River near Moonie they again tied Virginia Morse to a tree. They raped and tortured her repeatedly before one of the men shot her between the eyes in an execution style killing. They rolled her body into the river, burnt her clothes then drove back to their campsite.

Arrest and trial

On November 13, ten days after Lamb's murder, the pair headed towards the Hunter Region, intending to commit a burglary. However after their stolen vehicle was spotted near Maitland, the pair took flight from the scene.

A police vehicle responding to the attempted burglary intercepted their vehicle en route and a high speed chase ensued. The police car was rammed off the road, and the chase taken up by a second police unit. A police officer in this vehicle was seriously injured when the fugitives shot him in the face. The car chase culminated at a police roadblock at Woodville, where the pair took to foot, shooting at police as they fled into the bush. An intensive ground and air search of the area followed, and the two men were eventually arrested in a nearby river three hours later.

After their capture, Crump tried to evade responsibility for Morse's murder in his police statement. "I was forced to kill Mrs. Morse by Baker, because he wanted me to be in as deep as him. He said he was going to kill me if I didn't. I admit that I was prepared to kidnap Mrs. Morse and even to sleep with her, but once again, as with Mr. Lamb, I did not want to be a part of her death...It was a choice of either me or Mrs. Morse." Even though there was compelling evidence that Crump had murdered Virginia Morse, he was not charged with this crime, as she had been murdered in Queensland, outside the jurisdiction of the Government of New South Wales. However he was charged with the murder of Ian James Lamb and with rape and conspiracy to murder Virginia Morse.

At their trial, Crump and Baker pleaded not guilty to the four charges of murdering Ian James Lamb, conspiracy to murder Virginia Morse, maliciously wounding a police officer with intent to prevent lawful apprehension and shooting at police with intent to prevent lawful apprehension. It took the jury one hour and forty-five minutes to convict Baker and Crump on all charges. Baker showed no emotion at the verdict, while Crump appeared to stare at the floor and shudder.

Mr. Justice Taylor then sentenced both men to life imprisonment plus 55 years. The judge said: "You have outraged all accepted standards of the behaviour of men. The description of 'men' ill becomes you. You would be more aptly described as animals, and obscene animals at that. I believe that you should spend the rest of your lives in jail and there you should die. If ever there was a case where life imprisonment should mean what it says— imprisonment for the whole of your lives— this is it."[this quote needs a citation] Details of the torture Virginia Morse endured at the hands of Baker and Crump was suppressed during the trial as the information was deemed too graphic and disturbing for the public.

High Court appeals

In 1997 the NSW government passed legislation that was set to ensure that both Baker and Crump would remain incarcerated for the rest of their lives. Allan Baker challenged this legislation in the High Court of Australia. In Oct 2004, Baker lost his challenge, the high court ruling the legitimacy of the NSW Parliament's sentencing laws with respect to life imprisonment. Kevin Crump had his sentence set at a minimum of 30 years back in 1997 but has had three parole applications rejected.

In May 2012 the High Court ruled that Crump had no grounds to appeal the law keeping him in jail until he is physically incapacitated or close to death.


Notorious killer Kevin Crump to die behind bars

May 4, 2012

ONE of the country's most notorious killers, Kevin Crump, will die behind bars after the High Court this morning rejected his latest bid to seek parole.

Crump, 63, was jailed for life with the recommendation he never be released for murdering a cotton-picker Ian Lamb and abducting Virginia Morse from the family's northwest NSW property in 1973. Crump and accomplice Allan Baker, 63, tortured the mother of three before shooting her.

In 1997, a judge redetermined Crump's sentence at 30 years, making him eligible for parole in 2003.

But new laws were passed in 2001 keeping him locked up until he dies.

Funded by Legal Aid through the Prisoners Legal Service, Crump argued in the High Court that the 2001 laws were unconstitutional as they relate to him because they stopped the parole board from hearing his application and he wanted that overturned.

The state government opposed his bid.

This morning the High Court unanimously threw out his appeal.

“Neither the substance nor the form of the 1997 Supreme Court determination had created any right or entitlement for the plaintiff to be released on parole,” the judges said.


Virginia Morse's murderer Kevin Crump loses High Court parole bid

May 4, 2012

CONVICTED murderer Kevin Crump will remain in jail until he is close to death or incapacitated after he lost a High Court challenge.

Crump had challenged laws introduced in NSW that prevent prisoners marked "never to be released" from being granted parole until death is imminent or they are incapacitated.

Crump's file was marked "never to be released" in 1974 when he was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to murder mother of three Virginia Morse, whom he tortured and raped, and for murdering Ian Lamb.

Mrs Morse was kidnapped from her farmhouse in NSW and taken to Queensland bushland where she was raped, tortured and shot dead on November 7, 1973.

The details of her murder were so grisly they have remained suppressed.

In 1997, Crump appealed to the NSW Supreme Court to redetermine his life sentence under new laws which allowed a court to impose a minimum sentence or non-parole period.

Crump was then sentenced to 30 years' jail by Justice Peter McInerney, making him eligible for release on parole in November 2003.

However after that ruling, NSW parole laws were changed to say a prisoner who was marked "never to be released" could be granted parole only if their death was imminent or they posed no risk to the community because of incapacitation.

Crump's lawyers argued these laws overruled the judicial order made by Justice McInerney that Crump be eligible for parole.

Handing down its judgment, the High Court rejected Crump's submissions.

It found neither the substance nor the form of the 1997 Supreme Court determination had "created any right or entitlement for the plaintiff to be released on parole".

A victims of crime spokesman said it was necessary, in some cases, to create sentencing legislation that could not be challenged in order to ensure justice was properly served.

Howard Brown, from the Victims of Crime Assistance League, said politicians across the country must learn from the High Court ruling.

"They should not legislate in haste," he told AAP.

"Sometimes we need to step back a little bit and ensure that the legislation we enshrine is such that it cannot be challenged.

"The truth-in-sentencing legislation was flawed because it was rushed."

Mr Brown paid tribute to Brian Morse for his determination to ensure his wife's killer would never be released.

"He's worked diligently, has lobbied politicians extensively, to ensure that these matters were vigorously defended," he said.

"I give the guy 10 out of 10 for what he's done."


Police hero fights release of 'animal' Crump

By Jane Parsons -

September 23, 2011

BILL Millward still carries the scars from his run-in with one of Australia’s most callous killers. Not that he cares.

He just wants to make sure that Kevin Crump is shown no mercy as he makes a final plea for freedom.

The bullet scar on his head speaks volumes about why Mr Millward, a young Cessnock police officer at the time of Crump’s murderous rampage, wants the killer kept behind bars. But it’s the impact felt by Crump’s victims that drives him most.

The former highway patrolman was shot in the face while in pursuit of the man he says should never be released from jail.

Crump and his co-accused Allan Baker were given life sentences for the murder of Ian Lamb and for the rape and conspiracy to murder mother-of-three Virginia Morse 38 years ago.

Crump, now 64, will make a final plea for freedom at a High Court hearing on November 16.

He argues that it is unconstitutional to stop him applying for parole after his 30-year life sentence expired in 2003.

‘‘He shouldn’t be able to keep appealing like this and I think the pathetic creep should have been given the death penalty in the first place,’’ Mr Millward said.

‘‘All this stirs up the emotions and sadness of everyone involved, particularly his victims’ family. It’s not right.’’

In November 1973, Mr Millward was a senior constable and the father of two young children when he was put in the firing line of Crump and Baker as they tried to avoid capture for what police first thought was a break and enter and car theft.

But the day took a sinister turn when it was realised they were desperate men on the run from brutal crimes.

Crump and Baker were later charged with maliciously wounding a police officer [Millward] with intent to prevent lawful apprehension.

Mr Millward had known Crump, a Cessnock resident, from his highway patrol duties.

‘‘Our paths had crossed, I knew him personally from when I had to defect his cars,’’ he said.

‘‘I thought he was undesirable, a part-time crim you could say, but nothing like it all ended up.

‘‘I was surprised like everyone else that he had this evil in him.’’

Mr Millward’s work day had started like any other with little warning that fate would push the Bellbird man into the annals of one of Australia’s most darkest and gruesome criminal chapters.

‘‘I had been on the highway patrol for seven years and a few fisticuffs and an irate drunken driver was the most I would have expected,’’ he said.

‘‘We gave chase to the offenders from Stanford Merthyr to Maitland but before long a volley of shots rang out.

‘‘One hit me in the centre of my forehead and I had to pull [the car] over.

‘‘Blood was spurting out of this wound and also from where the bullet had passed out near my ear.’’

Mr Millward said it ‘‘never entered his head’’ to think whether he would live or die.

‘‘We had a job to do and I just thought whether they would get them [culprits] or not.’’

He spent four days in hospital and was back at work in 12.

‘‘There was no such thing as stress leave or counselling back then. The best thing I did was go back to work with my comrades,’’ he said.

‘‘They told me the one that got me was number 13 fired from the gun, because of the empty shells.’’

Police colleagues also told him of the ‘‘ghastly’’ injuries Mrs Morse received before she was killed, and of the ‘‘thrill-style’’ killing of Mr Lamb.

‘‘You know it was so bad that the court wouldn’t even release the documents about how they tortured Mrs Morse before killing her,’’ he said.

‘‘The judge called them obscene animals.

‘‘How can they let this man out of prison?’’

Now retired and living on the Mid-North Coast, Mr Millward has been reminded of the incident repeatedly over the past four decades and admits he was ‘‘a bit touchy’’ for a while afterwards.

‘‘... but that was nothing compared to what Brian Morse [Virginia Morse’s husband] has had to struggle with,’’ he said.

‘‘My heart goes out to all of them.

‘‘Even now he faces this new appeal by Crump before the High Court. They really should put a finish to it once and for all.’’

By 1981 Mr Millward had left the force to return to working in the coalmines. He has since been awarded both the Queen’s and police medals for his bravery in 1973.



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