5 November 2015

Ask RiotACT: Research on Oliver family murders (1980s)

| leeduf
Join the conversation
Ask RiotACT

I am doing research on Canberra murders. It is rather strange that there has been many murders here but not a lot of information is available on the internet. Does anyone remember the shooting of the Oliver family from (I think) Richardson in the early 80’s? Any information would be appreciated.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Jenni Searle9:22 pm 30 Oct 17

Leeduff may I ask why your were searching for this information? I am a family member.

just wondering why and who is looking for this sort of info. I know the family very well and i’m just a little unsettled about how insensitive it seems to be bringing this stuff back up for the reaming family members who obviously have been dealing with more than enough over the years due to this horrific crime

*Warning* Gruesome details

I do recall a lot of rumors going around school in the early 90s about a family in Richardson (or Chisholm) where a family were set alight in the bathtub of the family home. Not sure if that’s the one you’re after but it certainly stayed in my memory.

At the time of the murders (1984?) I knew a (now retired) police person who worked on the case and was privy to some information regarding the murder of the Oliver family that may not have been released to the media. My memories are inevitably a little hazy but are detailed below and a warning, what follows is gruesome and may be upsetting to some people.
The murders occurred at the Oliver family home at 18 Angophora Street in Rivett. It is believed the young woman was shot dead first by her ex-partner. There was evidence of defensive wounds on her lower arms. Her brother was shot dead in his bedroom. The perpetrator’s gun was then believed to have jammed and while in this state was used to bludgeon both the parents to death in their bed as they slept.

The perpetrator was believed to have then driven to his residence in Richardson where he attempted suicide by shooting himself under the jaw (not sure if this was with the same gun that was used in the murders). The self inflicted gunshot was not immediately fatal and death occurred several hours later.

Hope this helps you with your research.

I’ve researched nearly all the ACT homicides that are on record. What is the research for? Darren Oliver’s family case has limited information online. I would hit the archives for viewable articles and judgements. Which other cases are you interested in I wonder?

Was this the one where two young ladies (it may have been only one) were shot and then a car accident was staged and the victims “died” in the fire that ensued?
The coroner returned a finding that their deaths were caused by the car accident but after the perpetrator (who lived in Richardson) murdered his partner a few years later the bodies of the first victims were exhumed and the bullets were found.

Google tells me it was covered in a episode of Forensic Investigations … season 1, 2004

I lived in Hemmings Street, Richardson in the early 80s and the family next door (mother, two children and another man) were killed…. Ex partner was arrested. I was very young then but reminds me of family memories… let me know how to get in touch.

A quick advanced search of Trove finds a number of CT articles about a shooting in Rivett, not Richardson, in the 80s – I assume that’s what you’re after.


just put oliver and shooting in the keywords, refine to ACT and set timeframe for the 80s.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.