KILLING JODIE - Janet Fife-Yeomans

Reviewed By
Sunnie Gill

This year I have read true crime books about crooks, books about crimes and books about the personalities involved, but this is the first book I've read  that tells the story from, the perspective of the investigating officers.

KILLING JODIE is an in-depth nuts-and bolts look at the investigation. Because there was no body, not only did the detectives have to collect evidence proving the Suckling  had commited murder, they also had to discount the inevitable claims that Jodie was still alive.

The author, Janet Fife-Yeomans became intrigued with the case when covering the story for The Australian newspaper.  In her acknowledgements she states that "I have tried to take the reader inside the investigation so the evidence unfolds for the reader as it did for the police" and she has succeeded.  KILLING JODIE reads like a police procedural. We share the ups and downs of the case with the investigating officers who refused to let go, the relationships formed with Jodie's family and other witnesses during the case and the impact it had on all their lives.

Fife-Yeomans had the co-operation of both police and family in writing KILLING JODIE and has written it in such a way that it is almost impossible not to become emotionally involved while reading the book.

KILLING JODIE is a must-read for true crime devotees. If you're not, perhaps this book will change your mind.


Daryl Suckling's arrest in remote NSW in the late 1980s revealed his disturbing connections with the disappearance of Jodie Larcombe from Melbourne. Charged with the murder of Jodie, then a sex worker on St Kilda's streets, Suckling was allowed to walk free, as police investigators struggled to prove a homicide without a body. He'd previously escaped conviction more than once after brutally abducting several women.

Frustrated by legal obstacles and bad luck, one officer resigned from the force in disgust, but the case was never forgotten and investigators closed in as Suckling stalked his next victim. The grisly murder linked St Kilda with the lonely, windswept sandhills of the NSW outback near Mildura, and brought two hardened policemen close to a brave family pushed to breaking point - in the end, it was too much for Jodie's mother, who committed suicide when Suckling appealed his eventual conviction. 

Suckling is now one of 15 prisoners serving life in NSW, never to be released.

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