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Lainie Coldwell murder - Charleville, Qld - 2009 - Ex cop husband charged with her murder

Discussion in 'Australia: Crimes & Trials' started by MarlyWings, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Another Qld murder case I'll be posting further about. Similar in a way to Baden Clay case, this one also involves life insurance policies and a mistress.

    From back in 2014.....

    Charleville death prompts public appeal from police

    31st Jan 2014

    THE State Cold Case Homicide Investigation Unit and local police are appealing for any information regarding the tragedy of a Charleville woman which occurred over four years ago.

    On August 23, 2009, it was reported to police that Lainie Coldwell fell from a tree where she was removing Christmas lights at her Walter Street home.

    However, Detective Inspector Mick Dowie of the Homicide Group Cold Case Unit said the matter was an ongoing investigation due to inconsistencies.

    "There was a black Ford F2-50 utility backed up to the tree with an extension ladder in the back tray leaning on the tree," he said.

    "It was reported to us that she was on her own and her partner at the time came out and found her on the ground with a severe head injury.

    "Some ambiguities have been reported to us and (have) not being totally consistent with the medical evidence that we're getting with regards to Lainie's condition," Ins Dowie said.

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
    GarAndMo49 and Lily like this.
  2. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Ex-cop Louis James Mahony denied bail on murder charge

    January 4, 2016

    An ex-police officer took out a life insurance policy against his former wife shortly before he killed her in Queensland, a court has heard.

    Louis James Mahony was last month charged with murdering Lainie Coldwell in Charleville in August 2009.

    He was arrested following a forensic review of the case that led detectives to question the assumption the woman died while taking down Christmas lights from a tree at her home.

    Mahony applied for bail in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Monday but Justice Martin Daubney rejected the application.

    Crown prosecutor Melissa Wilson told the court medical evidence suggested Mrs Coldwell died from head injuries and that her death was not an accident.

    "It would seem that the doctors are suggesting that in the absence of other injuries to the hands, arms, legs and feet to stop the fall that it could be inferred that she did not fall out of the tree," she said.

    GarAndMo49 and Lily like this.
  3. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

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  4. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    January 9, 2016

    IN THE months before his wife’s death, Louis Mahony allegedly asked a workmate what poison would kill a person, googled the forensic science of head injuries and declared “you should be able to do away with your missus”.

    It is alleged he staged Charleville mum Lainie Coldwell’s death as an accident, insisting she fell from a tree and hit her head when he phoned triple-0 for help.

    In the weeks after her death, detectives say he booked a Gold Coast holiday with his girlfriend and allegedly complained to workmates that the police and coronial investigations were taking too long, delaying payouts of $2.25 million.

    Six years later, 42-year-old Mahony has been charged with murder and the tedious investigation into the cold case can be revealed for the first time.

    Court documents filed in support of Mahony’s fail bail application contain explosive witness statements from Mahony’s workmates at a Charleville abattoir who say he spoke of killing his 36-year-old wife on numerous occasions before she died of massive head injuries in August, 2009.

    “There would have been about three or four conversations like this in that room where he joked about getting rid of her,” a workmate told police.

    Police allege forensic analysis of Mahony’s computer show Google searches for “forensic science involving head injuries” and “accidental deaths per year” before his wife died.

    Two life insurance policies were taken out in June and July 2009 totalling $2.25 million and according to court documents the insurer became suspicious when discrepancies were found in Ms Coldwell’s height and weight.

    There was evidence she was going to leave him, police say, after discovering the affairs which workmates said he bragged about frequently.

    Kimster, GarAndMo49 and Lily like this.
  5. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Accused was once a police hero

    LOUIS Mahony was once a decorated Northern Territory police officer and an Australian archery champion.

    In 2002 he became a constable and soon after was awarded a police commissioner’s commendation.

    But his policing dream unravelled in 2007, according to objection to bail documents, when he resigned amid an internal investigation.

    The investigation led to “the identification of six charges pertaining improper conduct and discharge of duties”.

    He met his new wife online in 2011, and they were married the following year. Mahony was living with his wife in Buccan, south of Brisbane, prior to his arrest.

    Kimster, GarAndMo49 and Lily like this.
  6. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Marly, THANKS so much for posting this case.. I remember it well -- and I'm so glad this man has finally been brought to justice.

    It reminds me of the Jenny Cook case. That was another one where I've waited for justice to catch up..
    Kimster, GarAndMo49 and MarlyWings like this.
  7. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    You're welcome Lily! And thank you for reminding me about Jenny Cook case. As soon as I get a chance I'll get a thread together for that case as well.
    Kimster and Lily like this.
  8. Rob

    Rob New Member

    Hi I was wondering if there was any updates on louis mahoney? I had the unfortunate pleasure of working with him at rio tinto, Those of us who worked with him figured out what happened and knew it was just a matter of time before his constant web of lies and stories would catch up with him.
    MarlyWings, Kimster and Lily like this.
  9. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Hi Rob! And welcome. :)

    Sounds like you & his other his workmates had this guy figured out right off the bat. What was he like, in the workplace (if you can tell us, fine if not..) - I'm curious as to how he presented himself to his peers.
    MarlyWings and Kimster like this.
  10. Rob

    Rob New Member

    He never displayed any emotion whatsoever when talking about her and his explanation was that he was on extremely strong antidepressants. Rio Tinto will absolutely not under any circumstances permit operators to take medication like that and still operate machinery, they grounded me for cold and flu tablets...... So there was zero emotion about her passing but a LOT of emotion toward the insurance company not releasing the life insurances which was another clue. His wife dies and what's the first thing he did?......he bought a new maloo ute, buying a new car would be the last thing on my mind! There's Another clue. The list goes on and on and on, In short he's a compulsive liar who was eventually caught. I do feel extremely sorry for his little girl who has to live her life without mum.
    MarlyWings, Lily and Kimster like this.
  11. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    In all cases where people kill their spouses, we hear reports about how uncaring they were afterward. I've read somewhere that they actually have a sense of relief after they're done with their dirty deed. This lack of remorse is such a mystery to most of us! And frightening, when I wonder how many more are out there?

    Some are known as charming beforehand. Was he charming in any way? Did he have many work friends?
    MarlyWings and Lily like this.
  12. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    And where are my manners?

    :welcome: @Rob !
    MarlyWings and Lily like this.
  13. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    G'day Rob and welcome to CrimeWatchers!

    The last update on Mahony was back in January when he was denied bail. No doubt there'll be court mentions at some stage followed by a committal hearing. Our courts take forever but whenever there is some news on his court appearances I'll be sure to post it in the thread.
    Kimster likes this.
  14. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Thanks so much for that insight, Rob. Very useful in getting a bead on this man's general mentality.

    Great observation about how he showed zero emotion about his wife, but heaps toward to the insurance company... he sounds like a real sociopath, from what you've said.

    And yes, my heart too goes out to their child. An innocent, left behind to live her life with all this on her shoulders.
    MarlyWings and Kimster like this.
  15. Rob

    Rob New Member

    He was definitely a charmer and management loved him but as for friends at work well no not really. We all spoke to him but that was because we had too.
    MarlyWings and Lily like this.
  16. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I'm not surprised. He knew who he needed to manipulate. Very common in these kinds of cases.

    I'm sure glad they're able to move ahead now, aren't you?
    MarlyWings and Lily like this.
  17. Lolly

    Lolly New Member

    My thoughts and empathy go to the now orphaned child. This is not the first time this type of Baden Clay murder has happened Louis Mahony bragged to others that two of his partners had died in accidents one fell off a ladder and surprise surprise the other off a boat. Does anyone know the name or details of the second victim ?
    MarlyWings likes this.
  18. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Hi Lolly and welcome to CrimeWatchers!

    I've not heard or read about a previous partner. Unfortunately, with the way our justice system is set up, once a person has been charged with a crime, the media isn't permitted to publish any of that person's "history".

    The Committal Hearing is still a while away, possibly next year, but we may hear further once that gets underway. Chances are though, we probably won't hear anything until the trial is over and done.
  19. Rob

    Rob New Member

    He never mentioned the first one to any of us at work but he did say one night that his new wifes house was two storey and only had one way out and if it ever caught on fire she would be dead....none of knew what to say to that.
    MarlyWings likes this.
  20. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Wow the committal hearing went under the radar!! This is from back in July!

    Former NT cop Louis Mahony fronts murder trial in Charleville

    July 20, 2016 5:36pm

    HE WAS a decorated Territory cop and a national archery champion who told police his life partner had died in a freak accident. But police believe Louis Mahony was no grieving widower.

    While he yesterday wept in the defendant’s box in a west Queensland courtroom, police allege Mahony asked colleagues which kind of poisons could kill someone, Googled the forensic science of head injuries and told associates you should be “able to do away with your missus” in the months before his de facto wife Lainie Coldwell was found in a pool of blood at the base of a tree in 2009.

    Police also allege Mahony booked a Gold Coast getaway with his mistress just weeks after Ms Coldwell’s death.

    More than 300 items of evidence including 163 witness statements were presented to Charleville Court House on the opening day of a murder committal hearing.

    A friend of the former NT cop told the court of being asked to corroborate a fictional conversation about life insurance policies, while police admitted they had no idea what became of the possible murder weapon, an antique iron covered in blood spatter found at the base of the tree beside Ms Coldwell’s body.

    Sergeant Gerard Thornton also admitted key crime scene photographs had been accidentally deleted. Forensic photos from the scene included images of an old iron covered in blood, but by the time Mahony was arrested last year, the iron had disappeared.

    So had other police photos showing decorative lights hanging from the tree where Ms Coldwell was found unconscious with head injuries. She died in hospital days later. Mahony told police she had fallen from a ladder while trying to take lights out of the tree.

    Defence lawyers claim the police case is circumstantial as Mahony faces a murder charge and four counts of fraud over multimillion-dollar life insurance policies taken out in his partner’s name shortly before her death


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