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Episode 546: Matthew Wales and the Society Murders

Morbid

14-03-2024 • 1 hora 26 min

When millionaire Australian socialite Margaret Wales-King and her husband, Paul King, disappeared in April 2002, friends and family became concerned something serious had happened to the older couple. Those fears and concerns were confirmed a few weeks later, when park rangers discovered their bodies in a shallow grave in Marysville, Victoria. Margaret and her husband had been clubbed and strangled to death.


The press dubbed the murders “the society killings” and the tragedy captured the Australian public’s attention for the ways it seemed to have been pulled right out of a classic mystery novel. Yet for all the couple’s wealth, nothing appeared to be missing from their home and their bodies were discovered still wearing jewelry and in possession of credit cards and other valuables. Under the circumstances, police looked to Wales-King’s children, who stood to gain a great deal of money in the event of Margaret’s death. Within a week the case started to come together, and a suspect was revealed.


While most of the family responded to the Wales-King murders in a manner one would expect, thirty-four-year-old Matthew Wales behavior was erratic, explosive, and suspicious. Upon interviewing Matthew, investigators learned he was the last person to have seen his mother and stepfather the night they were murdered, after having dinner with Matthew and his wife, Maritza. A few weeks later, after multiple interviews, Matthew Wales confessed to murdering his parents; though why he had done it came as a shock to everyone who knew the family.


References

Anderson, Paul, Philip Cullen, and Mark Butler. 2002. "Bodies of missing couple in shallow grave." Advertiser, May 1.

Bonney, Hilary. 2003. The Society Murders: The true story of the Wales-King murders. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen and Unwin.

Clifton, Brad. 2002. "From high society to a grave in the bush." Daily Telegraph, May 4.

Daily Telegraph. 2002. "Son guilty of family killing." Daily Telegraph, October 18.

Green, Sue. 2002. "Crowds gather as search unfolds - son, wife charged over murders." Daily Telegraph, May 13.

Medew, Julia. 2007. "Wife of 'society murderer' avoids jail on ring theft." The Age, February 21.

Monroe, Ian. 2002. "The wayward youngest son." The Age, October 18.

Murphy, Padric. 2002. "Couple's disappearance baffles police." The Age, April 11.

Ross, Norrie, and Mark Buttler. 2003. "Death family vendetta, wife of killer brother will not profit." The Mercury, April 12.

Silvester, John. 2003. "Murder in the Family." The Age, April 11.

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