> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 3 April 2006
  • ISBN: 9781740512480
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $19.99

Killing For Pleasure

The Definitive Story of the Snowtown Serial Murders




The bestselling account of one of South Australia's worst series of crimes - the bodies in the barrels.

The bestselling account of one of South Australia's worst series of crimes - the bodies in the barrels.

A disused bank vault holding eight dismembered bodies immersed in barrels of acid. Two bodies buried in a suburban backyard. A further two found in the bush. Such was the findings of one of South Australia's most horrific murder trials.

Informed by material never seen before - an interview with Bunting's last lover Elizabeth Harvey, and with the Crown's key eye-witness James Vlassakis and with details of the torture and crimes not previously released - this is a tensely woven and microscopic examination of tawdry lives and tragic deaths.

Four men who tortured and killed for fun, for power. Four men who kept each other's dark secrets for years. By the time the police investigation concluded, the story had invited comparison with the nightmare of Rosemary and Fred West, the British House of Horrors. Details of what the killers did to their victims before and after their deaths were deemed so depraved that suppression orders were in place throughout the trial. But the killers were not insane. They made deliberate choices to kill and lived in a culture of complete anarchy, sadistic violence, deviance and chaos.

Journalist and author Debi Marshall explores the killers' psychopathic makeup in minute and harrowing detail. She charts the victims' exposure to generational paedophilia, incest, unemployment and hopelessness. Marshall covers the exhaustive trials and interviews the lawyers who ran them. Through interviews, she captures the voices of the victim's families and examines the police and forensic investigation and then wades into the social structure that spawned the people in this story.

This book was used as a primary source for the acclaimed Australian feature film, Snowtown.

  • Pub date: 3 April 2006
  • ISBN: 9781740512480
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Debi Marshall

Debi Marshall is a journalist, producer for television and author who lives in Hobart. As a reporter and writer, Debi Marshall specialises in true crime. She has written eight books. Each combines her excellent storytelling skills with her forensic approach to accurate research.
Her book, Justice in Jeopardy, helped overturn Australia’s double jeopardy laws. At all times, despite frequent personal danger and threats, she has been motivated to seek truth and justice and has worked with the highest ethical considerations to tell dark and challenging stories.
Her book on the notorious Snowtown serial murders, Killing for Pleasure, won the 2007 Ned Kelly award for Best True Crime.
Debi Marshall always sets out to establish a bond of trust with victims and their families, and with witnesses who came forward to tell her their stories.
Working as a producer with Channel 7’s Sunday Night program she investigated the Family Court Murders of 1980 – 1985. Then conducted further research to write The Family Court Murders. Leonard Warwick was subsequently arrested over these matters.
Debi has also been a tutor in journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney and as a teacher of media at college. Her other books include The House of Hancock and The Devil's Garden. Her books have twice been long-listed for a Walkley Award.
Debi Marshall won a Walkley Leadership Award in 2015.

Also by Debi Marshall

See all

Awards & Recognition

  • Ned Kelly Awards

    Winner • 2007 • Ned Kelly Awards (Best True Crime)


Related titles