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The murder of an Australian nurse and former beauty pageant winner shocked a nation after she was raped and had her throat slit so bad that she was almost beheaded by her killers.
Anita Cobby, 26, was subjected to two hours of “degradation and brutality”, according to prosecutor Allan Saunders, QC to the Supreme Court jury in 1987, before being murdered by five criminals.
Three Murphy brothers, Michael, 33, Gary, 28, and Leslie, 23, John Travers and Michael Murdoch, 18, were found guilty of her horrific murder as they kidnapped Anita after she finished work on February 2 in 1986.
A local resident had actually heard screams from Anita as she was being kidnapped and alerted a neighbour, who took off to find but the five men and their victim hid in the grass before watching him drive away.
While she was in the car, Anita was punched several times and suffered a broken nose and cheekbones.
She was also raped and forced to perform oral sex on them.
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The vile group then dragged her into the paddock off Reen Road in Prospect and continued their attacks and sexual assaults.
After becoming concerned Anita, who had been stripped naked, had seen their faces and knew their names, Travers was urged to kill her.
He slit her throat so deep that Anita was almost beheaded by her killer.
Her body was placed on a barbed wire fence before the five men left the scene.
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All five men were eventually arrested but it took several days as some fled to hide from police.
Gary Murphy wet his pants as he was arrested while in a hide-out with brother Michael.
Travers, the one who slit Anita’s throat, was branded a “maniac” by the others to police and boasted of having sex with animals before slitting their throats.
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All five men had past criminal convictions and were known to police for small-time crimes.
Anita’s body was found on February 4 after a farmer noticed his cows behaving strangely.
She reportedly died within minutes of the devastating cut to the throat.
An autopsy report showed she had three major and three minor lacerations across her neck, according to News.com.au.
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She also suffered lacerations on her breast, leg, thigh, hands and fingers, as well as multiple bruising on her head and body.
Anita was a registered nurse but could have had a career in modelling after being crowned winner of the Miss Western Suburbs beauty pageant in 1979.
She was living with her parents Garry and Grace Lynch after separating from her husband, John Cobby.
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Anita finished work at Sydney Hospital and met friends for dinner on the day she was murdered.
She caught a train from Central to Blacktown station and would normally phone her father for a lift but the phone was out of order and no taxis were around.
At around 10pm, Anita decided to walk home when she encountered the five men responsible for her brutal death.
A jury found Anita’s killers guilty of sexual assault and murder and they were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Michael Murphy died of cancer, aged 66, but all four remaining killers are currently in prisons across New South Wales.
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