The case of

Alan Barnes, Neil Muir, Peter Stogneff, Mark Langle y Richard Kelvin

Victim

Alan Barnes, Neil Muir, Peter Stogneff, Mark Langle y Richard Kelvin

Victim Race

Caucasian

Victim Date of Birth
Victim Age
Date Reported

June 17-1979, August 27-1979, August 27-1981, February 27-1982, June 5-1983

Date of Death

June 22-1979, August 27-1979, Feb 27/28-1982, July 10-1983

Case Status

Open

Incident Location

Adelaide, South Austrialia

Body Location
Date of Conviction
Body Discovered Date

June 24-1979, August 28-1979, June 23-1982, March 8-1982, July 24-1983

Murderer

The Family Murders /Who are “The Family”

“The Family murders” is the name that has been given to the famous series of murders that have been connected to a group of individuals. These individuals have come to be known as the “The Family” and are believed to have kidnapped and sexually abused over 150 boys and are believed to have tortured and murdered at least five teenage boys during a crime spree in Adelaide, South Australia. “The Family murders” occurred in the period of time between the late 1970s and 1980s.

“The Family” is a broad term for anybody involved with the murders committed by this group. Only one suspect has ever been charged with “The Family murders.” The group’s name stems from an interview that a police detective gave where he claimed that the police were taking action “to break up the happy family.”

Many refuse to refer to them as a “family,” however, as they’re more of a collection of people with loose ties to one suspect, who has appeared to be the center of all of “The Family murders.”

The Family Murders and Victims

“The Family murders” victims ranged from ages 14 to 24 and were found to have suffered brutal assaults and body mutilation before their deaths. Most of the murder victims were found to contain date-rape drugs in their system and little, if any, definitive evidence.

Victims and Investigations Of The Family Murders

Alan Arthur Barnes
He stayed at a friend’s house the night before he was kidnapped. The following day, he was witnessed hitchhiking and seen getting into a white Holden HQ sedan with three or four people in it. His body was found dumped in a reservoir about a week later. His body showed signs of beating and torture. Based on his abduction date and approximate time of death, he was believed to be held in captivity for around five days.

His post-mortem showed that he had Noctec and alcohol in his system, which suggested he had been kept drugged. Alan Barnes’ cause of death was massive blood loss due to a severe anal injury, most likely caused by the insertion of a large blunt object with a tapered end, such as a bottle.

Alan Barnes’ body and clothes had been washed before his body was dumped, likely to hide physical evidence.

Neil Fredrick Muir
He was a homeless prostitute with a drug dependency and was known to have several drug debts. He was last seen in the company of Dr. Peter Millhouse, whom he was having sex with in return for drugs. Though Peter Millhouse was later acquitted of any involvement in Muir’s death, he was associated with the only suspect who had ever been convicted.

Muir’s body had been neatly cut into four sections, and each section was wrapped into a black garbage bag and tossed into the river. His internal organs had been removed and replaced with his sawed-off arms and lower legs, as well as tattoos that had been sliced off his body.

The post-mortem showed that Muir had been extensively tortured by a sexual sadist: his scrotum had been cut open, he was missing a testicle, and the head of his penis had been cut off while the penis shaft had been cut in two down the middle.

Neil Muir’s death was revealed to be the same as Barnes’s: massive blood loss due to a severe anal injury, most likely caused by the insertion of a large blunt object with a tapered end.

Peter Stogneff
He had decided to skip school on the day he was abducted. He was to meet his cousin at the mall but never arrived. His case was cold for nearly a year before his body was found. Unfortunately, his remains had been unintentionally burned away by a Farmer cleansing his fields. This meant that 14-year-old Peter Stogneff’s cause of death was unknown, and there was no physical evidence. However, his post-mortem revealed that, before his body was burned, it had been cut into sections as Neil Muir’s had.

Mark Langley
He attended a friend’s birthday party on the day he was abducted. That evening, he and two friends drove around the city when they had a small fight over cigarettes. Mark decided to get out and walk, and his friend’s left him there. A few minutes later, they returned for him, but he was nowhere to be found. They assumed he had hitchhiked home.

His body was found a little over a week later. His cause of death was the same as those that came before him: massive blood loss due to a severe anal injury, most likely caused by the insertion of a large blunt object with a tapered end.

However, his body had an additional mystery: there was a wound from his navel to his pubic region that appeared to have been cut with a surgical instrument, and a part of his small bowel was missing. It’s speculated that something had gotten stuck in his bowel after being inserted in his rectum, and his captors had worked to retrieve it. It’s been theorized that this is due to some evidence that might have been on the object inserted.

Like Alan Barnes, Mark Langely’s body and clothes had been washed before his body was dumped.

Richard Kelvin
Another victim of “The Family murders,” Richard Kelvin, walked his friend to the bus stop on the evening of his abduction. He was expected back home but never made it. Witnesses near his kidnapping location said they heard shouting, including a female’s voice, and then a car with a loud muffler speeding off.

His body was found nearly two months after his initial disappearance, and it’s believed that he had been held in captivity for weeks before his death. During this time, he was drugged, beaten, and raped. His cause of death was the same as all the others: massive blood loss from an anal injury, likely caused by the insertion of a large blunt object

His body and clothes had been washed before he was dumped, and he was also found with his family’s dog collar fitted around his neck.

Toxicology reports found a massive cocktail of drugs in Richard Kelvin’s body, including Mandrax, Noctec, Rohypnol, Valium, and Amatel. It would later be these drugs that led police to the suspect, who was eventually tried and convicted of 15-year-old Richard Kelvin’s murder and is a suspect in all of the other murders.

Suspect In The Family Murders: Bevan Spencer von Einem

Bevan Spencer von Einem was an accountant for a supplies company. He lived with his mother and was said to be a very polite man. However, it was later revealed that he lived a double life and that he was a predator, rapist, murderer, and sexual sadist.

Bevan von Einem came to the police’s attention when they began to research the drugs found in several of the bodies, specifically, Mandrax. Mandrax was a regulated drug and required a prescription to obtain, partially due to its rising notoriety in being used in date rape crimes. When they looked into the database of all those in the area who had gotten the script, Bevan von Einem’s name came up.

Bevan Spencer von Einem’s name had come up before in relation to sexual assaults in the area, typically by way of anonymous tips. When they interviewed Einem, their suspicions were further roused by his suspicious demeanor. When Einem was questioned about whether he would commit murder, he told the investigators that he would not because the murder was “unethical.” This was deemed a bizarre response.

Gathering Evidence About the Family Murders

One of Bevan von Einem’s associates, known to the public as “Mr. B,” came forward to implicate Einem. He claimed that he was present but never participated in the assaults of the young teenage men and was never present during a murder.

Trevor Peters, an associate of Einem’s that moved in the same circles, died and left behind diary records. In these, he detailed the abduction of victims and the series of murders committed by Einem and many of his other associates.

When the police searched von Einem’s home, they discovered a “hidden ledge” on the inside of his closet, which contained the drugs Valium, Mandrax, and Noctec, all of which von Einem also had prescriptions for.

These were drugs that had been found in Richard Kelvin’s system. They also compared fibers found in Einem’s bedroom, which were linked to 15-year-old Richard Kelvin, and this was enough to connect Einem to “The Family murders.”

With this evidence, Einem was arrested and tried for the murder of Richard Kelvin.

Trial Imprisonment

On November 5, 1984, the jury broke for deliberation, returning after roughly seven-and-a-half hours with a guilty verdict. Bevan Spencer von Einem was found guilty of Richard Kelvin’s murder. For his heinous crimes, Einem was given a life sentence with a non-parole period of 24 years, which was the longest sentence allowed under South Australian law at that time.

He was sent to Yatala Labour Prison to serve his life sentence, and there he remains to this day.

The Reward for Information About The Family Murders

In 1988, police created a reward bid for information: $250,000 to anyone who could provide information in the unsolved “The Family murders” of Alan Barnes, Neil Fredrick Muir, Peter Stogneff, or Mark Langley.

This reward remains active today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is “The Family” From South Australia?

“The Family” is the name given to a group of people who are responsible for the abductions, rapes, and murders of multiple young men in South Australia, also known as “The Family murders.”

Who murdered Alan Barnes?

Bevan Spencer von Einem was charged with the murder of Alan Barnes and Mark Langley as part of the “The Family murders” killing spree, but there was insufficient evidence for a conviction.

Who murdered Neil Muir?

Dr. Peter Millhouse was charged and tried with the death of Neil Muir but was not convicted. Circumstantial evidence suggests Bevan von Einem, an associate of Peter Millhouse, was involved in Neil Muir’s death as part of “The Family Murders” killing spree.

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