Case 217

Kathleen Marshall

*** Content Warning: animal cruelty ***

In March 1998, members of the Cat Protection Society in Brisbane, Australia were shocked at the murder of one of their own, a 52-year-old Veterinarian named Dr Kathleen Marshall. An outspoken crusader for animal rights, Kathleen seemed an unlikely target for such a brutal assault.

However, in the course of the investigation, it soon came to light that not all was as it seemed amongst the Cat Protection Society. With in-fighting and power struggles, the finger was clearly pointed at another member, Virginia Houston, as being the prime suspect. Investigators were certain she was responsible as well until a chance meeting with a member of the local Spiritualist Church, an accomplished palm reader named Andrew Fitzherbert.



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New conference venue for UQ School of Veterinary Science – University of Queensland

First person in Australia convicted of crime solely on DNA evidence, but did he do it? – The Courier Mail

DNA evidence on trial: The curious case of the palmist and the “Catwoman” – Crime Magazine

Doubts raised on vet murder – The Courier Mail



Cat lovers quizzed over murder – The Sydney Morning Herald

Cat society murder: sacked official fights to clear name – The Sydney Morning Herald

Mysterious murder of catwoman – The Sydney Morning Herald

Murdered vet afraid of rival, court told – The Sydney Morning Herald

Mild mannered man in deadly cat fight – The Age

Cat Society admits possible link to killer – The Courier Mail

Murdered Brisbane vet feared stalker – The Courier Mail

Vet killer a nutter – The Sunday Mail 

Victim’s cat society was on the brink of bankruptcy – The Courier Mail 

Trees may have hidden murderer – North West News

Killer blood found – The Sunday Mail 

Accused should fear DNA data, Court told – The Courier Mail

Blood link convicts psychic of murder – The Courier Mail

Murder probe figure hits out at accusers – The Courier Mail 

Lindy Man DNA claim – The Sunday Mail

Cat society winds up over missing funds – The Courier Mail

DNA bungle in catwoman case appeal – The Courier Mail

The palmist, the catwoman and the suspected DNA – The Courier Mail



Five Drops of Blood: Murder in the Cat Protection Society – Paul Wilson and Dianne McInnes

Crucial Errors in Murder Investigations – Ted Duhs

A History of the Queensland Cat Protection Society: A Story of Infighting, Money and Murder – Ted Duhs (upcoming release)



National Trust Queensland 

Wilston, Queensland 



Forensic Investigators: Kathleen Marshall



R v Fitzherbert [2000] QCA 255 (30 June 2000)

CA No 283 of 1999

Supreme Court at Brisbane

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