The five men who murdered Anita Cobby in 1986. Michael Murphy is second from the left.
The five men who murdered Anita Cobby in 1986. Michael Murphy is second from the left.

‘Hope it was painful’: Cobby’s killer dead


Michael Murphy, one of the five men who brutally raped and murdered Sydney nurse Anita Cobby in the 1980s, has died in prison after a long battle with cancer.

Corrective Services NSW confirmed to that Murphy had died in palliative care last night, at the age of 65.

He had been suffering from liver cancer before his death, spending time between his prison cell at Long Bay jail and Prince of Wales Hospital in his final months.

"The Corrective Services Investigation Unit, which is part of the NSW Police Force, is investigating and will prepare a report on the death," a Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said.

"All deaths in custody are subject to a coronial inquest, including deaths resulting from natural causes."

The spokeswoman confirmed Murphy had died in Long Bay jail hospital just before midnight yesterday.

Ms Cobby's widower John was elated Murphy had died, telling The Daily Telegraph: "One down, four to go".

"I hope it was painful for him," he told the publication.


John and Anita Cobby.
John and Anita Cobby.


Murphy was the oldest of the five men who abducted, raped and murdered Ms Cobby as she walked home from a nursing shift in western Sydney in 1986.

The 65-year-old was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 1987 with his brothers Leslie and Gary, ringleader John Travers and Michael Murdoch.

The horrific case still sends shockwaves around Australia more than 30 years after Ms Cobby's brutal murder.

Ms Cobby, a 26-year-old nurse, was walking home from Blacktown Railway Station on February 2, 1986 when she was grabbed by the group of five men.


More to come.