24 Jul 2013

Child killer dies in Melbourne hospital

9:30 pm on 24 July 2013

A convicted child killer has died in hospital in Australia, just days after being questioned by detectives investigating the death of a seven-year-old girl more than 40 years ago.

Derek Percy was convicted of the abduction, torture and murder of a 12-year-old girl snatched from a beach at Westernport Bay in the state of Victoria in 1969, the ABC reports.

He was also a suspect in the Beaumont case - the unsolved disappearance of two sisters and their brother from an Adelaide beach in 1966 - as well as the deaths of three other children in Sydney and a six-year-old boy in Canberra, also in the 1960s.

At the weekend, Percy faced deathbed questioning over the death of Linda Stilwell, who disappeared from a Melbourne beach in 1968, but reportedly continued to deny any involvement.

The 64-year-old was Victoria's longest-serving inmate and died of lung cancer in a Melbourne hospital.