John Wayne Glover was a convicted Australian serial killer. He was responsible for the North Shore Granny Murders in Sydney, Australia. He was nicknamed "The Granny Killer" for his trademark murders that involved attacking older woman by beating them on the head with a hammer until they collapsed, then by strangling them with their underwear.
Full Name: John Wayne Glover / Born: John Walter Glover
Birth: November 26, 1932 in England, United Kingdom
Death: September 9, 2005 in Marrangaroo, New South Wales, Australia - Age 72
Cause of Death: Suicide in prison (hanging)
Nicknames: Granny Killer / Monster of Mosman
Murder toll: 6+
Murder timeline: 1989-1990 / Age 56 at first murder, 57 at last murder Murder Locations: Australia - Belrose, New South Wales / Lane Cove, New South Wales / Mosman, New South Wales
Preferred Pray: Elderly females
Modus Operandi: Robbery, bludgeoning, strangulation
Victim Disposal: Left them where they were murdered
Signature: Beat most victims in head with hammer then strangled them with their underwear or pantyhose.
Originally from England, Glover emigrated to Australia in 1956.
Before John Glover began his killings in the late 1980s, he was a volunteer at the Senior Citizens Society, and was considered among his friends a friendly, trustworthy man.
He was married with two children, and lived a contented lifestyle in Mosman. Glover worked as a sales representative for Four 'n' Twenty Pies.
There is no evidence of Glover killing until 1989, when he was 57. At this stage, he had been married for 20 years and had children, and his wife had no knowledge of his previous offences. Glover admitted to the killings when confronted with the police evidence. He denied responsibility for other crimes in which he was a prime suspect, including the bashing murder of Florence Broadhurst in her Paddington home in 1977. A number of years after his conviction, Glover admitted that he never worried about who his victims were, or why he killed them. He said he wanted to stop killing, but couldn't. After each murder he apparently went about his normal life.
On 1 March 1989, as he left the Mosman RSL in Military Rd, Glover saw Gwendoline Mitchelhill walking down the street. Glover returned to his car and put a hammer under his belt. He followed Mitchelhill to the entry foyer of her Military Road apartment building. As she went to open the front door, he hit her with the hammer on the back of her head. He then continued to bash her about the head and body; several of her ribs were broken. Glover fled the scene taking her wallet containing $100. Mitchelhill was still alive when she was found by two schoolboys, but died shortly after the police and ambulance arrived. The police had no leads and there was nothing concrete to link this attack with the previous attack on Margaret Todhunter. The police assumed that it was another mugging gone wrong.
Lady (Winfreda) Ashton
On 9 May 1989, Glover was walking along Military Road when he saw eighty-four year-old Lady Ashton walking towards him. She was on her way home to nearby Raglan Street. Glover put on a pair of gloves and followed her into the foyer of her apartment, where he attacked her with his hammer. He then threw her to the ground and dragged her into a rubbish bin alcove where he repeatedly hit her head on the pavement. Glover recalled that she had almost overpowered him, until he fell on top of her and started to hit her head on the pavement. After she was knocked unconscious, John Glover removed her pantyhose and strangled her. He placed the Ashton's walking stick and shoes at her feet. He then left with her purse containing $100. Glover headed for the Mosman RSL, where he commented to staff that he hoped the sirens outside weren't for another mugging.
The police found Lady Ashton lying face down diagonally across the concrete floor of the small bin alcove. There was a pool of blood around her head. The pantyhose were strung so tight around her neck that it cut through the skin. Her bare legs were crossed and her arms were placed by her sides. She had a thin trickle of blood running out of her mouth. At this point, the police concluded they were facing a serial killer. To date all three victims were wealthy elderly women, from the same suburb, and were all assaulted or killed in the same manner before being robbed of their handbags.
A post mortem was carried out and no sign of semen was found. The ligature mark around her neck measured nine centimetres. She had bruises on her nose and temple, on her neck, and both her eyelids. At some stage during the struggle she bit her lips causing damage to the inner lining of her mouth. There was a wound on her cheek, which was an open cut that had a small, semi-circular abrasion which was a few centimetres away from it. The examiner noted the victim's diamond ring was still present suggesting that she had not been killed for money.
On 11 January 1989, 84-year-old Margaret Todhunter was walking down Hale Road, Mosman, where she was seen by Glover. After parking his car, he walked to the victim. He punched Todhunter in the face, and stole the contents of her purse including $209. As he ran off with the victim's handbag, Mrs Todhunter yelled out, 'You rotten bugger'. Glover then went to the Mosman RSL club where he spent the money on beer and video poker. Investigating police concluded the crime was a mugging and held little hope of finding the perpetrator.
On 6 June 1989, Glover molested seventy-seven year-old Marjorie Moseley at the Wesley Gardens Retirement Home in Belrose. The victim reported to hospital staff and police that a man had put his hand under her night gown, but that she could not remember what the man looked like. On 24 June 1989, Glover visited the Caroline Chisholm Nursing Home in Lane Cove where he lifted the dress of an elderly patient and fondled her buttocks. In a neighbouring room, he slid his hand down the front of another patient's nightdress and stroked her breasts. The woman cried out for help and Glover was briefly questioned by staff at the hospital before leaving.
On 8 August 1989, Glover bashed the elderly Effie Carnie in a back street in Lindfield, also on Sydney's lower North Shore. On 6 October, he pretended to be a doctor and ran his hand up the dress of Phyllis McNeil, a patient at the Wybenia Nursing Home in the lower North Shore suburb of Neutral Bay. Glover left when the blind McNeil called for help. At the time, Glover was apparently never suspected of, or identified as being responsible for the molestations.
On 18 October 1989, Glover escorted eighty-six-year-old Doris Cox along Spit Road, Mosman to her retirement village. In the secluded stairwell in he attacked her, ramming her face into a brick wall where she fell. She was not able to provide a clear description; according to her, the attacker was a young man, possibly a teenager. She provided police with an identikit drawing.
On 2 November 1989, John Glover killed eighty-five-year-old Margaret Pahud. This time the police were certain this was the work of the 'Granny Killer'. She was hit on the back of the head with a blunt instrument while walking home in a quiet backstreet, just off Longueville Road, Lane Cove. Pahud was on her way home from grocery shopping. Glover waited for her to enter the lane where he was waiting and hit her on the head with a hammer. She collapsed and he struck her again on the side of the head. Glover rearranged her clothing, took her handbag and left. Nobody saw the attack but within a few minutes her body was found by a young schoolgirl who at first thought the body was a pile of clothing dumped in the laneway. As the police and ambulance were on their way, Glover rummaged through the contents of Mrs Pahud's purse on the grounds of a nearby golf club. He then headed off to the Mosman RSL Club to again spend $300 he had stolen from Pahud.
Within 24 hours of the Pahud murder, Olive Cleveland was the fourth woman killed by the so-called 'Granny Killer'.
Glover struck up a conversation with Cleveland while she was sitting on a bench just outside the Wesley Gardens Retirement Village where she lived in the suburb of Belrose. When Olive became uncomfortable she got up and proceeded to walk the main building, Glover seized her from behind and forced her into a secluded side lane. Here he repeatedly pushed her head into the concrete before he removed her pantyhose and tied them tightly around her neck. Glover then left taking $60 from her handbag.
On 23 November 1989, Glover, was sitting in the Buena Vista Hotel in Middle Head Road, Mosman when he saw ninety-two-year-old Muriel Falconer walking opposite the hotel. Glover returned to his car, to retrieve his hammer and gloves. He followed Falconer to outside her home in Muston Street. He quietly moved up behind her while the partially deaf and blind Falconer opened her front door. He put his hand around her mouth to silence her, before repeatedly hitting her around the head and neck with his hammer. When she fell to the floor Glover began to remove Falconer's pantyhose. As he did this she began to regain consciousness and cried for help. This prompted Glover to smash his hammer into her multiple times until she finally passed out. He removed her undergarments and used them to strangle her. He searched her purse and the rest of her house for valuables before leaving with $100. The following afternoon, the body was discovered by a neighbour.
On 11 January, Glover visited the Greenwich Hospital in River Road, Greenwich, on his pie sales round. He was in his work uniform and carried a clipboard, and entered the hospital's palliative care ward where there were four elderly and ill women, including 82 year old advanced cancer patient Daisy Roberts. Glover asked if she was losing any body heat, he then pulled up her night gown and touched her in an indecent manner. Roberts panicked and called for help, upon which a hospital sister found Glover in the ward. When confronted, Glover ran from the ward and the sister was able to record his car's registration number, and notified police.
The hospital staff were able to identify and name Glover, as he was known from doing his pie rounds. A week later, the police returned with a photograph of Glover which Sister Davis and Mrs Roberts positively identified. Although this was a significant break through, the hospital assaults were not linked to the murders, nor reported to the murder task force for three weeks. Detectives from Chatswood police station contacted and confirmed Glover's name via his employers. Detectives contacted Glover and requested he attend an interview at the station the following day. When Glover failed to appear, the police rang his home and were informed by his wife that he had attempted suicide and was recovering at the Royal North Shore Hospital. Police went to the hospital to see Glover but he was too sick to be interviewed. Staff at the hospital handed police a note that was written by Glover that contained the words 'no more grannies...grannies'.
It was two weeks before the suicide note was passed on to the task force, whereupon detectives believed immediately that Glover was the killer, although they had no evidence. The head of the detective task force said: If he had said to us, "I don't want to talk", we couldn't have proved a thing.'Still, the photo matched the descriptions of the gray-haired suspect and his job as a pie salesman, Glover could have been at any of the murder scenes. Glover was interviewed over the nursing home assaults and denied all accusations. Police had limited evidence and decided not to question him over the murders, which would have let Glover know of the police suspicions. Glover was put under constant police surveillance including at one stage, placing an automatic tracking device on Glover's. To make sure that he wasn't being followed, Glover would drive around the block more than once, or drive the wrong way up one way streets.
On 19 March 1990, John Glover killed his sixth and final victim, the middle-aged Joan Sinclair with whom he was having an affair. By this stage, police had Glover under constant surveillance and watched as Joan let Glover into her home at approximately 10 a.m. By 1 p.m. there was no sign of Glover or movement within the house. Police and the surveillance team, became concerned at about 5 p.m. and got permission to enter the house at 6pm. Two uniformed police knocked on the front door to no answer, and saw through rear glass door hammer lying in a pool of dry blood on a mat. Four detectives searched the house and found Joan Sinclairís battered head wrapped in a bundle of blood-soaked towels. She was naked from the waist down and her pantyhose were tied around her neck. Her genitals were damaged but Glover would later deny interfering with her sexually. After finding the body of Miss Sinclair, they then searched the house for Glover. Glover was found lying in the bathtub unconscious with a slashed wrist.
Glover later told police he murdered Joan Sinclair and explained they had been having a relationship for some time. He said that on the day he bashed Mrs Sinclair about the head with his hammer, removed her pantyhose, and strangled her with them. Glover rolled the body onto a mat; wrapped four towels around her extensive head wounds to stem the flow of blood, then dragged her body across the room, leaving a trail of blood. He then ran the bath, swallowed a handful of Valium with a bottle of Vat 69, slashed his left wrist and lay in the tub to die. The police were relieved he had survived, as otherwise they feared ongoing speculation as to whether Glover was the murderer.
At the trial John Wayne Glover pleaded not guilty to his crimes on the grounds of diminished responsibility. A psychiatrist said Glover had built up hostility and aggression since his childhood against his mother and then against his mother-in-law, who was said to "trigger" him. When she died he had to take out his aggression on someone else. The psychiatrist who studied the case also added that this was a very unusual case because there are very few mass murders, and most of the perpetrators are mentally ill, and/or have an organic disease of the brain. According to this psychiatrist Glover was sane at the time of the killings.
The Crown prosecutor maintained that Glover was well aware of his actions. When he killed, he was also planning what to do with the victimís money. Glover was impotent and had no interest in sex. So tying the pantyhose so tightly around his victimís neck was to make sure they were dead, at the same time trying to trick the police into thinking that this was the work of a sex killer.
Gloverís motives were revenge and greed.Glover was addicted to poker machines, and the easiest way for Glover to get more money was to steal. After the guilty verdict was delivered, the presiding judge stated that he was dealing with an extremely dangerous prisoner.
He is able to choose when to attack and when to stay his hand. He is cunning and able to cover his tracks. It is plain that he has chosen his moments carefully. Although the crimes have been opportunistic, he has not gone in where the risks were overwhelming.
The period since January 1989 has been one of intense and serious crime involving extreme violence inflicted on elderly women, accompanied by theft or robbery of their property. On any view, the prisoner has shown himself to be an exceedingly dangerous person and that view was mirrored by the opinions of the psychiatrists who gave evidence at his trial.
I have no alternative other than to impose the maximum available sentence, which means that the prisoner will be required to spend the remainder of his natural life in gaol.
It is inappropriate to express any date as to release on parole. Having regard to those life sentences, this is not a case where the prisoner may ever be released pursuant to order of this court. He is never to be released