You may remember the story we reported in June about a 19-year-old Aussie named Brittany Dwyer who allegedly murdered her 81-year-old grandfather, Robert Whitwell. Dwyer’s family was particularly incensed as she cried and grieved publicly for her “poor pappa,” knowing full-well she’d killed him. Now, Dwyer’s friend, Bernadette Burns, 22, has confessed to helping Dwyer in the slaying.
Whitwell’s body was found in his home last August by a concerned neighbor who thought it was odd that Whitwell hadn’t collected his newspaper in several days. Whitwell, by all witness accounts, was a truly nice guy who was well-liked and spent his days visiting his wife, who suffered from dementia, in a local nursing home. Dwyer and her pal, Shelby Holmes, had apparently traveled all the way to Adelaide from Queensland study Whitwell’s habits at home so they could rob him. They texted one another about their plans, though Holmes was charmed by Whitwell and began expressing doubts about their plan. Dwyer texted her that she shouldn’t get attached, as Whitwell might have to die.
Burns is the third person to be implicated in the murder. Burns is accused of also coming to Adelaide, this time from Brisbane, and actually participating in the killing, whereas Holmes was only charged and sentenced to nine months for breaking into Whitwell’s home in a separate incident, months before his death.
It’s not clear yet how Whitwell died, but what Burns has pleaded guilty to is “committing an intentional act of violence while undertaking the robbery, which resulted in the death of Mr Whitwell.” This could indicate that Burns did not actually commit the murder, but was involved in the events leading up to it. Either way, good job throwing your life away, ladies!
Featured Image: Bernadette Burns