Mark Valera (previously Mark van Krevel)
(born 24 April 1979) was convicted in 2000 of the gruesome murders of
David O'Hearn and Frank Arkell at Wollongong, New South Wales.
David O'Hearn was brutally murdered in his Albion
Park home on 12 June 1998. His head was smashed in with a wine
decanter. He was then decapitated, with his head later found in the
kitchen sink. His hand was cut off, his trousers pulled down and his
penis mutilated, and he had been partially disembowled. Valera had
used O'Hearn's hand to draw several satanic pictures on the living
In his later police interviews Valera claimed that
O'Hearn had made sexual advances and had propositioned him. David
O'Hearn's family later confirmed that he was gay.
Frank Arkell (former Wollongong Mayor and former
member of the New South Wales State Parliament) was murdered in his
Wollongong home on 26 June 1998. His head had been smashed in with a
bedside lamp, the electric cord wrapped tightly around his neck. Tie
pins were stuck in Arkell's eyes and cheeks. Arkell had been mentioned
in the Wood Royal Commission's report; he had been embroiled in child
pornography and paedophilia scandals in the years leading up to his
death; and he had been acquitted of child sex offences six months
before his murder, but investigations were continuing with further
charges to be laid.
Confession and conviction
Three months after the two murders, Mark Valera
turned up at Wollongong Police Station to confess to the crimes.
Valera (previously known as Mark van Krevel) was a 19 year old local
who had never come under police investigations before. He lived in
different places around the area, including a house (with a friend)
just a few houses down the street from David O'Hearn.
At his trial in 2000, Valera claimed that his
father (Jack van Krevel) had sexually and physically assaulted him
during his childhood, and that this led him to the two murders. He
claimed that David O'Hearn had sexually propositioned him and this
caused flashbacks of his troubled childhood. He also claimed that
Frank Arkell (an alleged paedophile) had done the same, and that he
was trying to save a child from suffering.
In December 2000, Valera was found guilty of the
murders, and was later sentenced to two consecutive terms of life
imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He later appealed the
sentence, but the appeal was rejected.
He is now serving his sentence at Goulburn
Less than two weeks after Valera became the third
youngest person in NSW to be sentenced to life without parole, his
father Jack van Krevel was found brutally stabbed to death in his
Albion Park home.
It was later found that Valera's sister and van
Krevel's daughter, Belinda van Krevel, had 'asked' Keith Schreiber (a
friend of Valera who was also a suspect in the David O'Hearn murder)
to kill her father because he was molesting her 4-year-old daughter
and blamed him for Mark's imprisonment.
Schreiber was found guilty of the murder and was
sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years.
He will be eligible for parole in 2012.
Van Krevel pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six
years imprisonment with a non-parole period of three and a half years.
Belinda van Krevel was released from prison on Friday 1 June 2007,
saying "I just want to get on with my life".
She was subsequently arrested in 2010 and charged
with assault and theft.
Mark Mala Valera
David John O'Hearn, 59.
Frank Arkell, 62.