Notorious Killer Who Murdered Nurse Anita Cobby Beaten by Inmates, Fighting for His Life

By Victor Westerkamp

Gary Murphy, one of five men who brutally raped and murdered 26-year-old Anita Cobby in Sydney, Australia, in 1986, was attacked by a gang of inmates at Long Bay Jail in Sydney on Tuesday, June 25.

The assault took place in the shower block in Long Bay jail in Sydney, at 10:20 a.m., Corrective Services NSW confirmed.

Murphy, now 61 years old, was transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst. He endured severe head and facial injuries but is said to be in stable condition.

The reason for the attack is unclear, but officials at Long Bay Jail said the matter is under investigation, and according to The Daily Telegraph up till now, he has refused to tell police who are responsible for the bashing.

“A number of possible assailants have been identified,” a Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said in a statement. “Corrective Services NSW is assisting NSW Police with their investigations.”

Murphy, along with brothers Michael and Leslie Murphy, John Travers, and Michael Murdoch, gang-raped and killed Cobby, a 26-year-old former beauty queen who was working as a nurse at the time, in 1986.

On the night of Feb. 2, Cobby had been out for dinner with friends and walked home from Blacktown railway station, Sydney, when she was spotted by the five men, who had just stolen a car and had been getting drunk at Doonside and needed some cash to fill up the tank.

‘We were just going to grab her handbag until John (Travers) said, “Let’s take her with us,”‘ Gary Murphy claimed, according to The Daily Mail.

Cobby was dragged into the car and was repeatedly raped and assaulted. Then they drove her some three miles away near a rural farm in Prospect, hauled her through a barbed wire fence into a paddock, and raped her again.

Then, Travers—who was considered the ring leader of the group, even though he was the youngest at 18 years old—said during a secretly recorded confession, “We were all drunk and she [expletive] (has) seen all of us. So I just cut her,’ meaning he slit her throat and left her bleeding to death.

Her body, was found two days later by a farmer. Several fingers were broken, and joints dislocated.

The men were arrested some three weeks later. Gary, 28, with his brothers Michael, 33, and Leslie, 22, Michael Murdoch, 19, and John Travers, 18, were found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

During the sentencing judge Alan Maxwell said, “This was a calculated killing done in cold blood,” The Daily Telegraph noted.

And on the possibility of ever granting them parole, he said, “The Executive should grant the same degree of mercy they bestowed on Anita Lorraine Cobby in Mr. Reen’s boiler paddock on the night of 2 February 1986.”

The crime had sparked national outrage, with protesters taking to the streets, and crowds in front of the courthouse during the hearings demanding the reintroduction of the death penalty.

Michael Murphy died of liver cancer last February.

“I hope it was painful for him,” Cobby’s widower, John Cobby, told The West Australian. “One down, four to go.” He said he wanted to know the names of the assailants, so he could buy each of them a bottle of champagne to thank them.

When Michael Murphy was asked shortly before his death if he would apologize to Cobby’s family, he showed no remorse.

“Why would I [expletive] apologize to anyone while you [expletive] leave me in this [expletive] room and treat me like this?” he said.