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Jules Pierre Nicholas MIKUS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: June 19, 1987
Date of arrest: February 26, 2002 (15 years later)
Date of birth: September 28, 1958
Victim profile: Teresa Maida Cormack, 6
Method of murder: Suffocation
Location: Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on October 8, 2002

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Jules Pierre Nicholas Mikus (born September 28, 1958) is the convicted killer of six-year-old, Teresa Cormack, who was murdered the day after her birthday in New Zealand in 1987. He has also committed other sex crimes when he was a teenager.

The day Cormack's body was found, pubic hairs and semen were found on the body. However, DNA testing was not advanced enough to find the girl's killer. Mikus had been questioned by the police and even gave samples of his saliva and blood. He provided an alibi for the time of Cormack's abduction and was excluded as a possible suspect in the murder.

The case was re-opened in 1998 and new testing was done at a crime lab in the United States. The hairs found on Teresa's body matched the samples Mikus had given to police. He was arrested in February of 2002. He pleaded not guilty to Teresa's murder, however, a jury found him guilty of kidnapping, rape, sexual assault and murder.


Teresa Maida Cormack

18 June 1981 - 19 June 1987

Born in Napier, New Zealand on June 18 1981 was Teresa Maida Cormack. The first child for proud parents Kelly and Ross.

On June 18 1987 Teresa turned 6 years of age, she celebrated with a nice little party full of her favourite foods and lots of presents! The following morning [June 19] she told her mother she didn't want to go to school. Teresa pulled on an oversized red raincoat and left her home to walk the short distance to Richmond School. Teresa never made it to school. Some time around 9am Teresa vanished from the Maraenui street.

Her body was found 8 days later in a shallow shingel grave by a woman walking her dog on Whiraniki beach, 16kms from Napier. Teresa Cormack had been sexually assualted and suffocated. 3 pubic hairs were found on Teresa as well as semen taken from her body but in 1987 DNA tests were just being introduced and they DNA taken from her wasn't enough to be tested so that then wasn't a means to identify her killer.

Detective Sergeant Brian Schaab made a vow to Teresa as he guarded her body on the beach to find her killer. In 1993 Schaab was put in charge of the case that for over 6 years still remained a mystery - yet he did not give up, he kept the faith and focus of his promise to Teresa Cormack.

With DNA becoming a popular way of indentification the pubic hairs were tested and a DNA profile of the killer was founded. The long list of suspects narrowed down as suspects were eleminated and one name remained - Jules Mikus.

The road was long - nearly 15 years, but finally justice was dealt and a promise kept. Teresa Cormacks killer was arrested on Febuary 26 2002. The court trial started on September 30th 2002.

On October 8th the trial finished and it took a grand jury less than 2 hours to find Jules Mikus guilty on her abduction, rape, sexual assualt and murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, preventive detention for rape, 14 years for sexual assualt and 14 years for abduction. Mikus has shown no remorse.


Justice for Teresa

By Alison Horwood and Paula Oliver -

Wednesday October 09, 2002

It was the moment for which they had waited 15 years.

Teresa Cormack's parents clasped hands, bowed their heads, and softly whispered "yes" as a jury last night convicted Jules Pierre Nicolas Mikus of the rape and murder of their 6-year-old daughter.

Father Ross Cormack gulped as he heard the jury foreman read "guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty".

Mr Cormack caught the eye of a female juror and mouthed "thanks".

Beside him Kelly Pigott, who last saw her daughter as she left home in an oversized red raincoat at 8.25am on the morning of June 19, 1987, kept a protective arm around her daughter Hannah.

Not realising the enormity of the moment, Hannah, who is a little older than Teresa was when she disappeared, asked her mother: "Are we going now?"

Ms Pigott replied: "Soon."

"Mummy are you crying?" the little girl asked.

"Tears of joy," she answered.

Mikus, a 44-year-old Lower Hutt sickness beneficiary and father of at least seven children, was found guilty of abducting Teresa from a Napier street.

He was also found guilty of raping, sexually violating and murdering her.

Her partially clothed body was found face-down in a shallow grave on Whirinaki Beach after an eight-day search involving a big team of police and thousands of volunteers.

Teresa Cormack's mid-morning disappearance from a suburban street shocked the nation and changed the way many parents took their children to school.

In the Wellington High Court last night, the jury took a little over two hours to reach its verdict.

Throughout his seven-day trial, Mikus remained calm and his eyes - described by one witness as "evil" - were fixed firmly forward.

His only supporter was his partner, Shirley Te Kooti, who sat behind him from the start of the trial to its finish.

The Crown's case was that Mikus went to a primary school at playtime to find a child.

He found Teresa, and enticed her into his red Vauxhall Viva stationwagon with a pink jube lolly.

He drove for 20 minutes to a remote part of Whirinaki Beach, where a witness saw him playing in the sand and picking Teresa up.

He violated her, then smothered her by putting his hand across her nose and mouth.

Crown prosecutor Russell Collins told the jury that Mikus had kept his hideous secret for 15 years.

"He handled it."

Mr Collins described Mikus as a man "science had caught up with".

DNA testing was in its infancy in 1987, but this year semen and pubic hairs found on Teresa's body were forensically linked to Mikus.

The semen was 60 million times more likely to belong to Mikus than any other man in New Zealand.

Closing the Crown case, Mr Collins compared the forensic evidence to a steam roller.

"It couldn't be stopped, and the defence couldn't get out of the way."

Closing the defence case, lawyer Steve Gill told the court Mikus was not the right man.

He was investigated fully in 1987, his house and car were searched, and he gave blood for comparison to semen on Teresa's body.

"That is as valid today as it was in 1987."

The jury retired at 3.13pm. The extended Cormack family spent the next two hours pacing the courthouse and chatting with reporters and police.

When word came that the jury had reached a decision, they rushed for the courtroom door.

Inside, they took the same seats they had during the trial, only three metres from where the man about to be named as the killer of Teresa stood in the dock.

Mikus showed little emotion during the reading of the verdicts.

He briefly squeezed his eyes shut, while behind him Shirley Te Kooti sought comfort from a Salvation Army volunteer.

Justice Warwick Gendall remanded Mikus in custody for sentencing early next month.

He also requested psychology and psychiatry reports because Mikus was eligible for preventive detention.

Justice Gendall thanked the jury on behalf of the community and said it was not easy listening to such "terrible and sad" evidence involving a child.

"To the mother and father of Teresa," he said. "You have agonised for 5600 days wondering whether the killer of your child will ever be brought to justice."

Turning to the jury, he said: "You have seen to that."

As Mikus was led away, Teresa's family embraced.

They had been told earlier by court staff to restrain from any outbursts until Mikus had gone.

As the public gallery emptied, inquiry head Detective Sergeant Brian Schaab remained to embrace the family, including sister Sara, who was two when Teresa went missing.

Mr Schaab has been involved in the investigation since 1987.

The family had a private 15 minutes together before talking to reporters outside the court.

Ms Pigott said hearing the verdicts had been "worth the wait".

Asked what they were feeling, Mr Cormack said, "elation, relief ... and all those other words".

Parts of the evidence were hard to hear, said Ms Pigott, but had been necessary.

'Teresa needed it to be known and I was there for her.

"Off and on I couldn't help but look at him - but he's gone now."

Asked what she would say to Mikus if she had the opportunity, Ms Pigott paused.

"I have never heard him speak so I don't think he would answer anything. And what I have are questions.

"Nothing brings her back, but we can hopefully take back those good memories of the laughing, happy girl we had, and put the ugliness back on to Jules."


Mikus gets maximum sentence

Nov 1, 2002

The High Court in Wellington has sentenced the man convicted of the abduction, rape and murder of Teresa Cormack to the maximum available under the law in 1987.

The Napier school girl disappeared while walking to school in June 1987 and her body was found in a shallow grave on a beach north of Napier eight days later.

Justice Gendall sentenced sickness beneficiary Jules Mikus, 44, to life for murder, preventive detention for rape and 14 years each for abduction and sexual violation.

Gendall stressed that the safety of the community requires that Mikus serve a sentence that has no set release date.

He also said psychiatric reports show Mikus poses a high risk of re-offending.

"Female children must never be at risk from you again... preventive detention is the proper sentence for you," Gendall told Mikus.

"It is an indeterminate sentence and has no statutory release date, it remains for your life."

Because of the current law and the fact that the crimes occurred in 1987, Gendall was forced to impose a minimum non parole period of only seven years.

In his summing up the judge said there were no redeeming features about Mikus' offending.

"A much loved innocent and vibrant daughter, granddaughter and sister was taken without warning by your atrocities.

"You have given to them their own emotional life sentences which will remain forever.

"If you have any sense of decency or compassion you had better reflect on the dignity and courage of those two parents when you serve what will be a sentence that will be for the rest of your life.

"Their courage is in direct contrast to your cowardice."

Teresa Cormack's parents were present at the sentencing and expressed relief that the trial was finally over.

Appearing shaken by the ordeal, her father Ross Cormack said he could not really put his feelings into words.

Teresa's mother Kelly Pigott accepted the minimum non-parole period of seven years that Gendall was forced to impose, under 1987 law.

"It's a just a law, life is still life.

"It's still preventive detention, that's what the sentence really boils down to and the odds of him coming out are very very slim."


Real Crime Jules Mikus Beyond the Darklands

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Tonight’s episode of Real Crime: Beyond The Darklands reviewed the case of Jules Mikus, who served time for an attempted rape of a young Naenae girl and then, in 1987, for the rape and murder of 6 year old Teresa Cormack in Napier.

Because of errors in the police investigation, it took 14 years to bring him to justice and Mikus but in 2002 he was sentenced to life imprisonment. In light of the revelations in tonight’s show, it’s hard to understand how Mikus was interviewed, had a history of sexually abusing young girls, no alibi, but remained free for such a long time before being convicted on DNA evidence.

Resident psychologist Nigel Latta describes Jules Mikus as a career paedophile and repeat sex offender. True to form he looks sombre while delving into Mikus’ childhood, where he hunts for dysfunctional behaviour in the family. In this instance, he didn’t have to look far.

Mikus claims that he was sexually abused by his father from a young age. His father was portrayed by neighbours as threatening, scary and violent while his mother was plain whacky. One person described her stopping in the street, lifting her dress and whacking herself on the bottom. One wonders what went on in that household.

Nigel intones that child sex offending is a behaviour; a choice. It’s not inherited or inevitable. He goes on to describe Mikus as having a “predilection for deviant sexual offending” who he says “was never going to stop”.

The producers of the program found no shortage of volunteers prepared to talk about the “shy, quiet” boy and his family, including a harrowing tale from one of his victims. The descriptions of Mikus sexually violating, Esther, a young gal in the care of his partner, coupled with physical abuse, were gruesome, and gave clear evidence that Mikus should not be allowed to roam free.

Miss Prozac always wonders about the benefits of asking people about a man some 30 or so years after the event. You can just bet if they’d been asked at the time, they’d have said he was a lovely but shy boy, but ask them after the guy’s been sent to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and all of a sudden they describe him as an isolated outsider who doesn’t have a lot going for him.

Nigel reckons that Mikus was underestimated as a child. While people described him as “not very bright” Nigel thinks that this hid a cunning animal with street smarts and intelligence.

All in all it seems he was a bad egg, who got into trouble for sexual offences from as young as 14 years of age. Police in Lower Hutt said he was escalating in his offending and they were keeping a close watch on him. They knew he had moved to Napier, so why did it take so long to finger him? He was questioned at the time and released despite having no alibi. According, to the TV show advances in DNA technology allowed them to test the pubic hairs found at the scene of the crime to provide incontrovertible evidence.

Latta has the final word saying that Mikus will never admit to his crime, and describes him as an isolated inadequate man who will not stop, ever. However, the quote of the night goes to the police officer who described him an “insipid slime ball”.

Mikus was convicted of the abduction, rape and murder of Theresa Cormack. He is unlikely to ever be released. Miss Prozac is delighted he will never be back on the streets, but she does object to her tax dollars being spent to keep him warm, dry and fed. At times like this, with incontrovertible DNA evidence the sizzle of the electric chair look like an attractive option.



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