SA man, 72, found not guilty of murdering wife in 1973

Aug 21, 2020
Colleen Adams, pictured with her husband (left), vanished in 1973. Source: Twitter/7News.

Geoffrey Adams has been found not guilty of murdering his wife at their Yorke Peninsula home back in 1973, The Australian reports. The 72-year-old had pleaded guilty to killing his wife Colleen in September 2018 but insisted he did not intend to kill her.

In court on Friday, a jury found Geoffrey not guilty on murder charges. The jury took four hours to reach its decision.

Outside court, Colleen’s sister Heather Johncock said she always had an inkling that her brother-in-law was involved.

“[It’s] justice in the respect that we’ve got her [remains] now,” she said, according to The Australian.

“Disappointed that he got off on murder… but the main thing is we’ve got her back with us. It’s very sad that we’ve missed out on so much, and she has.”

Colleen, who shared two daughters with husband Geoffrey, went missing from the family’s South Australian home in November 1973. She was just 24 years old at the time. According to, Geoffrey had previously told police that his wife suffered post-natal depression and said “goodbye, you little bastards” to their daughters, before she packed her bags and left of her own accord.

However in September 2018, 45 years after Colleen vanished without a trace, Adams admitted to killing his wife, whose remains were found buried in the back yard of the property, after striking her twice with a metal object. He has pleaded not guilty to murder but admitted to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

According to multiple reports, the accused cried in court last week as the footage of his confession was played out. Asked what pushed him to kill his wife, Adams said it was her constant “having a go” at him.

He had previously admitted to police that the couple would “push and shove” each other but claimed they never hit hard. However, in footage played in court as part of the ongoing trial, Adams told police: “I just struck her a bit hard and that was it. She fell to the floor and then she died.”

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