On a rainy September night in 1960, Dr James Yeates was beaten about the face and head and stabbed through the heart with a hypodermic syringe. He was left lying in a pool of blood on the floor of his Vaucluse garage. A light bulb had been taken from the socket and was smashed on the floor. Outside was Dr Yeates's car with the engine still running, the driver's door open and the headlights on.
The ensuing murder inquiry became so notorious that the star detective of the time, Ray Kelly, was seconded from the equally famous Graeme Thorne kidnapping case. Medical investigators decided only a doctor could have administered the puncture wound through the wall of Yeates's heart - and the abnormal amount of adrenaline found in the tissue.
Macquarie Street's finest, including Dr Eric Hedberg, were lined up for questioning. Stories emerged of Diana Yeates's alleged affair with him and of Dr Hedberg's first wife, Joyce, purportedly fearing she was being poisoned. Joyce Hedberg died five months before James Yeates. The inquest was sensational.
In fact, no one was ever charged with this murder. In May 1964, Eric Hedberg and Diana Yeates married.
Allen & Unwin; January 2003
- ISBN 9781741153415
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: Needle in the Heart Murder
- Author: Candace Sutton
Imprint: Allen & Unwin