Detective Senior Constable

Robert John LANE

YEAR OF DEATH

1979

JURISDICTION

Victoria

DETAILS OF DEATH

About 11.30 a.m. Friday 13 July 1979 Detective Lane accompanied David Bernard Chapman an 18 year old car theft suspect to a disused bus parked in a camp site at Kyalite Southern New South Wales. Chapman had been living there for a short time and had told the Detective he had a receipt amongst his possessions which would exonerate him of the theft. Whilst Lane searched the bus Chapman took out a .22 calibre rifle and shot the Detective in the head. The policeman fell to the floor and Chapman then walked up and again shot him in the head. He then dragged the corpse to a nearby pit where he dumped it. He then escaped in the police car in company with his 17 year old girlfriend Kerryn Anne Bonser. He later dumped the car in the Edwards River 5 kilometres away and took to the bush. Despite a massive man hunt he was not located until 19 July 1980 at a property in the Kyalite District. He admitted his guilt and appeared before Paramatta Supreme Court charged with the murder. On 1 July 1980 he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

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National Police Memorial Australia

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