HORROR SCENE: A family was slaughtered at this rundown Wolvi farmhouse.
HORROR SCENE: A family was slaughtered at this rundown Wolvi farmhouse. Contributed

Siblings slaughtered by parents in Satanic 'cleanse' killing

TRUE CRIME: It was the worst crime scene Keith Smith saw in almost 33 years of policing.

A family torn apart, bludgeoned to death and shot, their bodies scattered around the house and fields.

By dawn on Monday, February 21, 1977, the now retired detective Inspector and Brisbane Homicide Squad investigator and colleagues were on the scene at a rundown farmhouse in Wolvi, about 20km east of Gympie.

They'd received a call in the early hours of the morning.

Four people had been slain at the farmhouse.

Peter William Lamb, 37, had been found wandering down a dirt road by Gympie police responding to the call.

Lamb told officer he was "walking to the Lord", before taking them back to the farmhouse.

Lamb, an extremely heavy marijuana user, believed he could save the world from evil and satanic forces.

He'd convinced his wife, Irene, that a visitor, New Zealander Lynette Gail Oakley, also known as Toni Olivia Lavetti, 26, was possessed by the devil.

 

Fatigue and stress showed on the faces of Gympie detectives Sgt Don Robertson and senior Constable Neil Magnussen as they arrived at the Gympie Court House with Peter Lamb.
Fatigue and stress showed on the faces of Gympie detectives Sgt Don Robertson and senior Constable Neil Magnussen as they arrived at the Gympie Court House with Peter Lamb. Renee Albrecht

The Lambs had met Ms Oakley in Brisbane and she'd travelled with them up to Wolvi the previous day.

"I'm sure it (crime scene) was the worst I saw in my career," Mr Smith said.

Mr and Mrs Lamb had used a mattock and a hoe to bludgeon their children to death.

On the farm police came across the bodies of Thomas Lamb, 17, and Ms Oakley.

They'd been brutally attacked and suffered severe head injuries. They'd also been shot.

 

Homicide Detective Keith Smith.
Homicide Detective Keith Smith. Supplied: Keith Smith

Inside the house, Brenda Lamb, 3, lay slain in her cot. There was blood everywhere.

Her sister, Lorrie, 12, was dead on the floor, jammed into a corner of the veranda, with "massive injuries to her head and upper body".

The killing had stopped when Brenda had been killed in her cot.

"The parents believed Satan had been arrested in the body of Brenda in the cot, who was killed while she slept in the cot," Mr Smith said.

Paramedics recalled the only white thing in the cot being Brenda's teeth, so savagely had she been hacked.

 

CRIME SCENE: The old farmhouse at Wolvi where the Lamb family was slaughtered.
CRIME SCENE: The old farmhouse at Wolvi where the Lamb family was slaughtered. Contributed

The bodies had been brutalised and shot with a rifle.

A witness to the horrific murders ran to a nearby farmhouse and raised the alarm.

Irene Lamb was missing by the time a crime scene had been established.

Irene Lamb evaded police for about 10 days before she was found about 15km from the scene by two police officers camped out.

 

MURDER WEAPON: One of the garden tools used in the Lamb murders at Wolvi in February, 1977.
MURDER WEAPON: One of the garden tools used in the Lamb murders at Wolvi in February, 1977. Contributed

"They (Lambs) were hippies, known as professional wormers who sold the worms to fishermen as bait," Mr Smith said.

"(Peter) smoked joints like a heavy smoker smoked cigarettes."

Lamb had confessed to the murders when he was picked up by Detective Sergeant Don Robinson and Detective Senior Constable Neil Magnussen.

"He claimed he'd acted on divine instruction from God," Mr Smith said.

 

New Zealander Lynette Gail Oakley was one of four people murdered at a Wolvi farmhouse in 1977.
New Zealander Lynette Gail Oakley was one of four people murdered at a Wolvi farmhouse in 1977. Contributed

Irene wrote a detailed, 11-page account of the killings and the days leading up to them.

She was a co-accused in the murders, but was never punished, after she was found to be of unsound mind at the time of the murders.

She spent years in a mental institution before being released into outside care.

 

MURDER WEAPON: One of the garden tools used in the Lamb murders at Wolvi in February, 1977.
MURDER WEAPON: One of the garden tools used in the Lamb murders at Wolvi in February, 1977. Contributed

Peter Lamb was charged with four counts of murder and had been in remand in the psychiatric section of Wacol Prison before he committed suicide in jail.

"His state of mind at the time of the murders was never determined," Mr Smith said.

 

STORIES TO TELL: Retired Detective Inspector Keith Smith worked on major crimes and horrific murders during his time in the Brisbane-based Homicide Squad.
STORIES TO TELL: Retired Detective Inspector Keith Smith worked on major crimes and horrific murders during his time in the Brisbane-based Homicide Squad. Scott Sawyer


Mum demands recall after popular nappy 'burned her baby'

premium_icon Mum demands recall after popular nappy 'burned her baby'

The Ipswich mother heard the ear-piercing screams of her daughter

'I'm patriotic': Ipswich candidate defends stand with Anning

premium_icon 'I'm patriotic': Ipswich candidate defends stand with Anning

The Blair candidate joined the senator as protesters shouted slogans

Restoration mission for popular hilltop homestead

premium_icon Restoration mission for popular hilltop homestead

The home is well known to travellers along the Warrego Highway