Murder in Suburbia

Cover: Murder in SuburbiaMurder in Suburbia by Emily Webb is as the subtitle suggests really disturbing. We all feel safe in our neck of the woods. Webb shows us some cases from Australia’s dark heart. Be prepared to see your burb differently after you are done reading.

Webb discusses 28 chilling cases. Two highlights here below:

If only Craig Ellis had come home to pick up his cigarettes instead of buying a new pack, he might have seen who stalked and murdered his mother Nanette Ellis.

From the Age: “Police are offering a $500,000 reward for information about the murder of Melbourne woman Nanette Ellis 30 years ago. 

In the days leading up to her death, Ms Ellis’ car was the subject of several rock-throwing attacks on her way to and from work and was also subject to a series of vandalism attacks in her driveway, where paint was tipped over the car, the tyres slashed and the radio aerial and number plates were removed.

The incidents were investigated by local police, however no suspects were identified and no clear link was  established between the incidents and her death.”

Anyone with information about Ms Ellis’s death is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or

Another disturbing case concerns the murder of a gorgeous eight year old child.


Sofia, uploaded by Mimi at

Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu was in a crowded mall accompanied by many family members. On one moment she was alone for a few minutes when she went to the restrooms. That was all the time Dante Arthurs needed to grab, rape and kill her her.

In his attempts to restrain Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu after she had been dragged into the toilet cubicle, her limbs were contorted so severely that both her legs were broken and her left arm was dislocated as Arthurs removed her clothing.

Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu’s throat was also severely compressed and her larynx was crushed as Arthurs attempted to muffle her cries. The cause of death was given to be a direct result of strangulation.  

The assault on Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu only lasted a few minutes, but the ferocity of the attack on the 8 year old was described as “the worst of its type”.”

Western Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter made sure Arthurs is one of three Western Australians to have their papers marked “never to be released.”

What I missed in Webb’s book was a quick single page overview of when each case took place, a head shot of the victim with each story, and footnotes that referenced the materials Webb used. I’d love to read the newspaper articles and books she used for some of these cases.

After reading Webb’s book, you will wonder about your burb. Happy reading!

I received a free copy of this book through the author in exchange for an honest review.