Case 166

The Family

*** Content Warning: extreme sexual violence, child victims, child abuse, LGBTQ+ victims ***

In 1979, residents of Adelaide were gripped by fear when several young men began to go missing under mysterious circumstances. 17-year-old Alan Barnes, 25-year-old Neil Muir, 14-year-old Peter Stogneff, 18-year-old Mark Langley and 15-year-old Richard Kelvin were later found dumped in the Adelaide Hills and surrounds. They had been drugged and subject to horrific sexual abuse and torture. 

The group responsible for the murders was dubbed “The Family” and a desperate hunt ensued to identify the individuals involved. The roots of The Family ran deep and it was suspected that some members held prominent positions of power in South Australia. Could The Family ever be caught? And how many other young men had met a violent end at their hands?



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Family murder truth may never be known – Adelaide Now 

Doctor with alleged links to The Family identified as Stephen George Woodards – Adelaide Now 

Revealed: the double life of a magistrate who sought young men – Adelaide Now

Von Einem supplied sex drug in jail – The Advertiser


Family Murders Home

Adelaide Population

Adelaide – Wikipedia


Peter Millhouse


Hacked bodies found in bags – The Advertiser 

Killing may be a warning on drugs – The Advertiser   

Wounds may link deaths – The Advertiser 

Man, 45, in court over body in bag – The Advertiser

Body ‘may have been cleaned,’ Pathologist tells hearing – The Advertiser

Injuries inflicted while man alive: pathologist – The Advertiser  

Skill used to cut body, court told – The Advertiser 

Nighmare after murder: mother – The Advertiser  

Many theories, few clues in string of Adelaide Murders – The Canberra Times 

Von Einem is Kelvin killer – jury decides after 7.5 hours – The News  

Sex death inquests re-opened – The News  

Langley inquest terms broadened – The News  

Sex slayings ‘similar’ – The News    

Kelvin link in teen killings – The News 

Von Einem Breaks Silence – The Advertiser 

Von Einem’s new bid for freedom – The Advertiser  

The legal team that works for nothing – new appeal for von Einem – The Advertiser 

‘Lies’ claim in von Einem Appeal – The Advertiser 

My friend von Einem – The Sunday Mail 

DNA tests for Family murder suspects – The Sunday Mail   

Police seek Von Einem Associate – The Sunday Mail 

Lost diary gives South Australia police new lead into Alan Barnes murder by The Family – The Advertiser  

Von Einem boys left my house alive – The Advertiser

Witness feared threats to his life – The Sydney Morning Herald 

Death of boy, 15, baffles police – The Age

The Beaumonts, Kirste and Joanne: the mystery may be over – The Sydney Morning Herald 

Family killing murder charge dropped – The Sydney Morning Herald  

Man in court over 1979 murder – The Sydney Morning Herald

Court told rape victim thought he would die – The Age 

Murderer quizzed on death of youth – The Sydney Morning Herald  

Teenager’s death: Man sent for trial – The Sydney Morning Herald  

Tales from the dark side – The Age   

Family murders shadowy clique preyed on young The Sunday Mail 

Notorious Killer von Einem never to be released – Adelaide APP 

Overseas links to family witnesses tracked down – The Sunday Mail  

No rape charge for von Einem – The Sunday Mail 

Alan’s killer will be caught – The Sunday Mail 

Inadequate as surgeon: Doctor’s plea – The Sydney Morning Herald 

Macabre Adelaide – The Sydney Morning Herald 


Young Blood: The Story of the Family Murders – Bob O’Brien


The Butchered Boys 

The Family ‘the most serious, outrageous series of crimes’

Retracing final steps of Richard Kelvin

Hope for Justice 


Retrieved from Austlii Database:

The Queen V. Bevan Spencer von Einem – Admissibility of evidence [1991] SASC 2741 (6 March 1991)

R v Von Einem – [2009] SASC 247 (21 August 2009)

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