Sian Kingi was cycling home from meeting her mum at a Noosa bakery after school on November 27, 1987 when she was abducted and murdered.
Sian Kingi was cycling home from meeting her mum at a Noosa bakery after school on November 27, 1987 when she was abducted and murdered.

Couple made suicide pact before killing Noosa school girl

THAT anyone could abduct, rape and kill an innocent 12-year-old schoolgirl is horrifying but that one of Sian Kingi's evil killers was herself a mother of six fuelled a fury against Valmae Beck that saw demands for the return of the death penalty.

Beck, and her de facto Barrie Watts killed Sian Kingi after snatching her just minutes from her Noosa home.

Beck claimed she did it all for love. Watts called her 'Mum' and threatened to leave her unless she helped him find a virgin to have sex with for "her first and last time".

Sian, a forever-smiling girl with long blonde hair, was cycling home from meeting her mum at a Noosa bakery after school on November 27, 1987.

When she stopped to help a woman who claimed to have lost her poodle puppy in a park, she was face to face with evil that would shock Queensland.

Noosa schoolgirl Sian Kingi, 12, was riding her bike home when she was abducted and murdered.
Noosa schoolgirl Sian Kingi, 12, was riding her bike home when she was abducted and murdered.

The woman, Beck, had been waiting with her depraved partner Watts for hours to snare their prey, a young girl Watts could rape.

When Sian stopped to help find the pet, Beck and Watts bundled her into their Ford Falcon station wagon and took her to an isolated bit of forest.

There, while Beck watched, Watts would repeatedly rape and torture young Sian. After an hour of vile acts and unimaginable terror, he would strangle her with a belt before stabbing her repeatedly and bundling her body into the bush. It was nearly a week before her body was found.

When it was, a nationwide manhunt was launched to find first the white Falcon, then its owners.

The pair were tracked to The Entrance, north of Sydney, where NSW officers accompanied by Queensland detectives entered their motel room and arrested them two days before Christmas.

 

Valmae Beck was convicted for her part in the rape, torture and murder of Sian Kingi.
Valmae Beck was convicted for her part in the rape, torture and murder of Sian Kingi.

There's a special kind of hatred reserved for women who kill children and it poured over Valmae Beck when she and Watts arrived back in Noosa in handcuffs.

A furious crowd outside the police station and courthouse howled abuse at the accused murderers and carried placards calling for death for the child killers.

One man even ran a rope noose up the courthouse flagpole before police removed it.

In secret watch-house recordings, the rattled pair would turn on each other, before professing their undying love and plan a wedding anniversary suicide pact.

Beck: We're going to jail for life, Barrie.

Watts:You have turned into a really, really staunch wife. A real good wife, good loving wife... Putting your husband straight into a murder rap. That's what you have done.

Beck, begging Watts to plead insanity: If you just listen to me you will get out of it. I won't, but you will. I can't plead insanity but you can.

After being shown Beck's interview with police, Watts would savagely turn on his partner in the horrific crime.

Murderer and rapist Barrie Watts.
Murderer and rapist Barrie Watts.

"You hung me, good on you, top wife... If you hadn't betrayed me we could have got away with it," Watts would tell Beck through the cell wall.

Beck:No jury in the land would have found us innocent. You know it and I know it.

Watts: No one seen us pick her up and throw her in the car, no one seen her in the car and no one seen us kill her.

With the crowd outside the police station and courthouse baying for the evil pair's blood, they could think only of themselves, toying with an anniversary suicide pact to mark their perverted love.

"I wish I was dead," Watts is recorded saying.

Beck: So do I. Have you got any ideas.

Watts: If you love me, you'll let me die together with you.

Beck:Your heart is aching as much as mine, isn't it. Do you realise that we've been married a year next week?

Watts: Next Saturday night Mum is our wedding anniversary. Let it end then.

Beck: Let's do it then.

Beck would also tell her husband through the watch-house bars that she had seen a disturbing change in him since they arrived in Queensland from Perth, where they had met and married before going on the run from his armed robbery and her fine dodging charges.

Beck: Going out and raping someone is one thing but to kill somebody in cold blood and not have any compassion at all. That worried me. It's been worrying me for weeks and weeks and weeks.

Watts: I'd like to do it again.

Beck: Pardon?

Watts:I'd like to do it again.

Beck:You see. And then you tell me you don't want to plead insanity.

Watts:You wanted to as well. You wanted to do it again.

Near the end of the tapes Beck tells Watts the police "Are determined to (expletive) lock you up for life, if they couldn't get the death penalty in time. They're pushing for the death penalty.

"Not only for you, but me in included. I'm no better than you Barrie. I should have been stronger."

Barrie John Watts in 2006. Watts remains behind bars in Wolston Correctional Centre
Barrie John Watts in 2006. Watts remains behind bars in Wolston Correctional Centre

At her trial, Beck pleaded guilty to the abduction and rape of Sian Kingi, 12, at Tewantin on November 27 1987, but not guilty to her murder.

She was jailed for life. Watts would plead not guilty but the jury at his trial too found him guilty of the evil acts that took Sian Kingi's life.

Beck would tell the court she was terrified of losing her younger lover, and would do anything to keep him.

Watts told her she could save their faltering relationship by helping him fulfil his obsession with having sexual intercourse with a girl for the "first and last time".

"I didn't feel I had the qualities to hold a man and I was terrified Barrie was going to leave me for a younger woman," Beck told the court.

Murder victim Sian Kingi.
Murder victim Sian Kingi.

It was a long road to justice. There would also be echoes of another case of an innocent child snatched by a monster on the Sunshine Coast for at least one of the police involved. Perhaps it was those echoes that so focused then Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson on keeping his officers from ever giving up on the hunt for the killer of Daniel Morcombe.

Beck, who had changed her name to Fay Cramb and ballooned to 150kg, would die in Townsville hospital under prison guard. She escaped the noose strung up for outside the Noosa courthouse but her evil continued to the end, denying help to police trying to crack other, unsolved cases.

Then-acting Police Minister Robert Schwarten confirmed Beck had died in Townsville General Hospital without having regained consciousness.

"She got a life sentence and it turned out to be that,'' Mr Schwarten said.

"Right until the end, she was no assistance to police,'' he said.

"Harsh as it may sound, and people may judge me on that, I don't think there will be many Queenslanders who would shed a tear in her direction and there would be some who would cheer,'' he said.

Watts remains behind bars in Wolston Correctional Centre.



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