Brett Cowan took another boy and left him for dead records now show 17



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The true depth of the horror of Daniel Morcombe’s murder has been felt by the whole of Australia, but until today, we did not know that Brett Peter Cowan has also confessed to another abduction ten years earlier that sounds just as chilling and resulted in a young boy being left for dead.

The evidence has been withheld from the public until after the application for appeal was dismissed this week.Transcript of a police interview has been released today and will feature on Seven News tonight that show Morcombe’s killer admitted to a similar crime against a 6 year old boy up to 20 years ago.  A 7 News investigation has shown that the crime occurred when Cowan was 24, living in Darwin back in 1993 and the report is full of shocking admissions.

Cowan admitted to the crime in astonishing detail.

‘I asked him for a kiss then he wouldn’t… didn’t want a kiss.’

‘He was just saying no, no, no,’ Cowan said.

Brett Peter Cowan claimed in the police interview that he was hearing voices in his head and that he didn’t realise what he was doing.

‘I had my hand over his mouth at one stage.’ Cowan confessed.

The victim from the 1993 attack was, according to media reports left for dead, naked and covered in scratches but he survived, being found sobbing and crying after being choked and abused and Cowan went on ten years later to abduct and murder Daniel Morcombe in 2003.

The transcript from the police interview received by Channel Seven show Cowan as saying:

‘Sometimes I hear voices in my head…I need help, I admit it’.

‘Just wanted to get it off my chest.’

‘I wish I’d never done it, I wish it never happened…I’m sorry,’ he told police.

A sad occurrence for the Morcombes to see this information released when they had just reached closure at the end of the High Court appeal.

Your thoughts?


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I don’t believe in the death penalty but a case like this makes me question my beliefs

    2 REPLY
    • I know exactly what you are saying, Anne. The trouble is, the death penalty doesn’t do any good. The crime has already been committed. I can’t see a potential death death penalty having any effect on the actions of someone who is hearing voices, either. They may indeed welcome that course of action.

    • I know what you mean too. But just look at America. The death penalty doesn’t seem to make any difference there. Neither do lifetime sentences it seems.

  2. Brett Cowan needs to be put in with the general prisoners and get his just deserves. He has shown no remorse and now we find another case of his disgusting crimes. How come he was not in jail for this crime Abuse on children causes a life time of trauma and pain, they do not get over it and it affects their whole life. Do not let this animal out of prison and let him die in there.Our justice system is a joke, sentences are not strong or long enough. Life should be life not 20 years

  3. Evil person and plenty more around it seems. We feel the pain these children and parents go through with no end in sight. God Bless, The children. God Bless Bruce an d Denise for their campaign to keep kids aware.

  4. No matter what Cowen says he is nothing but scum and a total waste of space. I agree with Denise Morcombe ,throw away the key and let him rot.

    1 REPLY
    • In his case it should be a bullet between the eyes.
      No more children to be hurt
      No more tax funded money wasted
      Or put him in the main stream prison let them deal with him.

  5. This is chilling news. Our justice system is too soft on these crims. Rapists and murderers are let out into the public to commit more crime. Lock them up for life (meaning their lifetime, not a few years!)

  6. It is a sad fact our legal system does not treat child abuse with appropriate sentencing. And I believe in the death penalty for particular crimes of this nature. This person is not deserving of life

  7. Like many horrendous criminals before him, Cowen has very conveniently said he ‘heard voices in his head’. How convenient, and what a huge huge lie. Any excuse to absolve himself of his crime. He should never be released because his mind set will never change. He is a murder, rapist, paedophile – and should be incarcerated until he dies and goes to his special place waiting for him in hell (as other child absurers/paedophiles/murderers of defenceless children). Just hope he doesn’t make another appeal to a ‘soft sympathy’ judge who takes pity on him. It’s happened before.

  8. This is just appalling that these facts were not presented at his trial. Daniel’s parents now have to go through it all over again. And they call it “justice”. He should never be allowed out of jail.

  9. Oh my goodness!!! When will the judges get real with the sentencing! Why was this subhuman ever allowed to roam the streets!

    Throw away the key! and don’t report on him, we don’t ever want to hear his name again.

    R.I.P.. Daniel

  10. Against everything l believe, sometimes l think a public flogging would at least give the public a sense of justice being done.

    1 REPLY
    Why does Australia have 15 yrs that is not long enough for rapists, murderers etc.
    US life is life.
    I feel very sad for the Morcombe’s after what they have been through finding out he had done again 10 years prior and not charged. What is wrong with out judges and criminal system. It needs to be changed.

  12. I cannot understand why the judge or jury are not allowed to know about prior convictions The perpetrator may then get more appropriate sentences. Too many are repeat offenders either on bail or out on parole

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