23 June 2011

Review: Cuckoo - the true story of 'Mr Stinky' by Andrew Rule

Author: Andrew Rule

Publisher: Floradale Press

Publishing Date: 1988

ISBN: 0731618599

How can a rapist and murderer walk among us undetected for almost 20 years? Was he extremely lucky or cunning enough to slip under the radar of the Victorian Police? Or, was he simply so ‘ordinary’ that he was merely overlooked as a suspect. In Cuckoo – The true story of ‘Mr Stinky’, the Madhill-Heywood sex killer, Andrew Rule tries to address some of the questions that a case such as this raises.

Cuckoo follows the life of one of Australia’s most wanted men, who for almost twenty years was only known as ‘Mr Stinky’. Andrew Rule chronicles the seemingly ordinary and mundane existence of this man from the time of the 1966 Madill-Heywood murders in the Victorian town of Shepparton, to his capture in the NSW town of Albury in 1985 to his eventual sentencing in 1986.

By all accounts, on the surface, Raymond Edmunds was a ‘normal’, hardworking man trying to raise a young family. However, he was far from ‘normal’ as was eventually revealed. Edmunds lived a secret life of a peeping tom, child molester, rapist and murderer. He had a vicious and violent nature with an insatiable sexual appetite and terrorised women for decades before his eventual capture.

In Cuckoo, Andrew Rule highlights both the persistence of the Australian police and the inadequacies of the legal system at the time. This book also raises the question as to whether Edmunds should have been caught earlier. Mistakes were made by the investigators in the Madill-Heywood murder case and leads were not followed up. However, in the end, it wasn’t clever police work that resulted in capturing this monster. It was simply that his luck had finally run out.

For almost twenty years Raymond Edmunds, the sex killer dubbed "Mr Stinky", was one of Australia's most wanted men but no-one knew his name. Edmunds was a violent and vicious sex offender. However, on the surface he seemed to be a ‘normal’, hardworking man who could very well have been your next door neighbour. This book tells a chilling story and will make the reader wonder what other evil walks among us!


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