Bevan Spencer von Einem


Bevan Spencer von Einem : biography

1945 –

On 11 May 1990, Magistrate Gurry ordered von Einem to stand trial for the two murders of Alan Barnes and Mark Langley. Von Einem’s defence counsel appealed the decision, launching an abuse of process action in the Supreme Court of South Australia to achieve a permanent stay of proceedings, as well as stating that the huge media interest in the charges would result in their client not getting a fair trial. Proceedings began on 19 June 1990 before Justice Kevin Duggan, and six months later on 17 December 1990, Justice Duggan released his findings. He ordered von Einem to stand trial, however he expressed concerns with most of the prosecution’s evidence.

The pre-trial hearing began on 19 December 1990 in the Supreme Court of South Australia, with Justice Duggan as the presiding judge. The prosecution decided after Justice Duggan’s findings two days earlier to have von Einem tried separately for the murders of Alan Barnes and Mark Langley. Justice Duggan ruled that the evidence relating to the Richard Kelvin murder and from the various associates of von Einem and hitchhikers was inadmissible, although he did rule that "B"’s evidence could be heard, but with the defence allowed to question the evidence as it was being given. This was a shattering blow for the prosecution’s case, and on 21 December 1990, on advice from the Attorney-General of South Australia, prosecutors withdrew the charge for the murder of Mark Langley. The prosecution tried to continue with the charge for the murder of Alan Barnes, however with the problems of getting enough evidence admitted into court from associates about von Einem picking up hitchhikers to convict von Einem still too great, the final charge was withdrawn on 1 February 1991. The prosecution, on the advice of the Attorney-General, then entered a nolle prosequi for the Alan Barnes murder charge.

Recent events


On 24 June 2009, von Einem was sentenced to a further 3 months for the possession of child pornography.

On 27 May 2009, von Einem plead guilty to possessing child pornography – the first time he has ever confessed to a crime.


On 28 October 2008, it was announced police hope one of four suspects in the notorious Family sex murders will come forward to help solve the case after the State Government doubled a reward to $1 million. This announcement comes just days after Major Crime detectives interviewed von Einem from his prison cell.

On 18 September 2008, it was announced that prosecutors have dropped allegations that von Einem wrote stories of child pornography in his jail cell.

On 6 June 2008, it was announced that prosecutors have dropped one charge of producing child pornography, however von Einem is still facing charges of possession.

On 4 May 2008, it was announced that an Adelaide chiropractor who fled Australia while being investigated for involvement in the Family Murders is now being sought in Europe by Police. He was a former associate of von Einem.

On 27 April 2008, it was announced that police are set to travel overseas to interview several key witnesses as part of their new investigations into the Family murders.

On 13 April 2008, it was announced that police conducting fresh investigations into the unsolved Family murders will quiz transvestites who have information that could assist the inquiry. Some are former associates of von Einem and are likely to provide valuable information into the inquiries.

On 30 March 2008, it was announced that key suspects in Adelaide’s notorious ‘The Family’ murders are being DNA tested as part of a new inquiry into the sex killings. Although von Einem is the only member of ‘The Family’ who was convicted, police are now reviewing the cold case.

On 28 March 2008, the ABC reported that the child pornography found in von Einem’s cell has been determined to not have been written by von Einem and that fingerprints do not match. Defence lawyer Sam Abbott said he expects the Director of Public Prosecutions to drop the most serious charge of producing the material and, if not, he will argue there is no case to answer. It was also announced that von Einem has been excused from attending his court hearings so he can avoid an "unpleasant" three-hour drive with other inmates.