Sun. Dec 5th, 2021

Eight years after the death of 23-year-old Shandee Blackburn, the young woman’s family is calling for a public inquiry to re-investigate her murder.
Ms Blackburn went home from work one evening Mackay when she was killed in 2013, stabbed 23 times and later found at the roadside.

Police are still looking for her killer.

Eight years since the death of 23-year-old Shandee Blackburn, the young woman’s family is calling for a public inquiry to re-investigate her murder. (Included)

Shannah Blackburn, Shandee’s sister, said the wait for justice has taken a toll on her family.

“It’s hard to see that we have to stand here and beg for the truth, but if that’s what it takes, here I am begging,” she said.

True crime podcast Shandee’s Story, by Australian newspaper Hedley Thomas and leading forensic pathologist Dr. Kirsty Wright, has shed new light on the unsolved case, and the investigation, they say, failed Mrs Blackburn’s family.

“Dr. Wright has identified what she believes is a forensic train wreck,” Thomas said.

Dr. Wright said that after examining forensic documents and acts in the case, it became clear that evidence had been mismanaged.

Ms Blackburn's mother, Vicki Blackburn, said new allegations were another blow to the grieving family.
Ms Blackburn’s mother, Vicki Blackburn, said new allegations were another blow to the grieving family. (Nine)

“What I have found is quite incredible. I have found errors throughout the DNA profiling process,” said Dr. Wright.

The couple said in one case, DNA could not be extracted from a pool of blood at the crime scene, a mistake they said took place in the Queensland government’s Coopers Plains forensic laboratory.

Ms Blackburn’s mother, Vicki Blackburn, said new allegations were another blow to the grieving family.

“This is completely unacceptable, it’s shameful,” she said.

In 2014, Shandee’s ex-boyfriend John Peros was charged with his murder, but was found not guilty by a jury in court.

Shandee Blackburn's sister
Shannah Blackburn, Shandee’s sister, said the wait for justice has taken a toll on her family. (Nine)

Last year, a coroner’s report said it was possible Mr Peros was responsible for Mrs Blackburn’s death, but that new and convincing evidence was lacking to raise new charges.

Shandee’s mother said she hopes the podcast and subsequent investigations will provide new evidence of what happened to her daughter and that her killer will be brought to justice.

“We are in complete shock that this could happen in Australia, not only for the samples in Shandee’s case, but for the potentially hundreds of other cases tested in this laboratory,” she said.

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