Sian Kingi (16 December 1974 – 27 November 1987) was a 12-year-old New Zealand girl of Māori descent[4][5] who was abducted, raped and killed in Noosa, Queensland, in 1987. Barrie Watts and Valmae Beck, a married couple, were convicted in 1988 of the much-publicised crime and were each sentenced to life imprisonment.[6]

Crime

Kingi was riding her bicycle near Pinnaroo Park when Beck lured her into some nearby bushes, saying she was looking for her poodle and requested the girl's help.[7] Watts then grabbed Kingi from behind and forced her into a car where she was bound and then driven 12 km to Tinbeerwah forest. Kingi was raped by Watts before being stabbed and strangled. Her body was dumped in a nearby creek bed and located six days later.[7]

Subsequent developments

Watts

Watts was tried in 1995 for the murder of Helen Mary Feeney[8] who was last seen alive one month before the murder of Kingi. He was convicted and sentenced to 14 years jail for manslaughter, and in 2007 confessed to his involvement in the murder of Sian Kingi.

Beck

Beck had six children from a previous relationship before marrying Watts.[7] In 2007 it was reported that Beck had legally changed her name to Fay Cramb.[8] She divorced Watts in 1990 saying she regretted everything she had ever done with him.[8] Beck unsuccessfully applied for parole three times, and had her non-parole period extended by 18 months for assisting in the disposal of the body of Helen Feeney, mentioned above.

In prison she was targeted by fellow inmates and was assaulted frequently. At one point, she was struck in the head with a tin can in a sock, causing serious injury. She eventually had to be transferred to a safer environment at the Townsville Correctional Centre. She was also said to have converted to Christianity during this time.

In May 2008 Beck was placed in an induced coma following heart surgery.[9] Police hoped to obtain a deathbed confession regarding three other unsolved Brisbane-area murders of young women,[6] but she died at 6:15 pm on 27 May 2008 at Townsville Hospital without regaining consciousness.[10]

See also