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Peter Shellard’s Murder

- i wrote this, please dont repost without asking -

Peter Shellard was a self-made millionaire whose dead body was found tied up and surrounded by bondage gear in his $6 million mansion. Shellard’s body was found by his girlfriend, Shirley Withers, on the 7th of May 2005, but it goes deeper than just that.

Peter Shellard had been described as “ruthless” and not the type of person whose bad side you would want to be on. He was never violent but would try to “financially cripple” people who wronged him by suing them basically whenever he saw fit, and for whatever reason.

Peter and Shirley met in the year 2000 (he was 51 at the time and she was 33) and people that were close to Peter said that they were the perfect match and she was good for him. Shellard had already been married two times at this point and had two daughters, and Shirley Withers had one previous husband and two sons. Shirley’s lifestyle completely changed from an average woman to a glamorous fashion boutique owner who was dating a millionaire and she loved it. Peter Shellard even bought his girlfriend her own house so that they could live separately, but had keys to each others homes which became useful on the night that Shirley found her boyfriend’s body.

On the 7th of May 2005, Shirley Withers went to Peter’s home after she had finished work, and found his dead body on the floor. The body was tied with dog leashes, electrical leads, and he had his mouth gagged. Shirley called 000 frantically, telling the operator that there was blood everywhere, she was sobbing and her words came out in chokes. Police arrived shortly after this call and described the scene as looking like something from a movie as opposed to real life.

The scene was surrounded by various types of bondage equipment including whips, chains, masks, leather, and other BDSM gear, showing the police a different side to Peter Shellard. This side of him was known by Shirley, however she never participated in bondage with Shellard though he had previously asked her to, she says he was respectful about this choice and didn’t ask her again.

The gear at the scene lead everyone involved to believe that Shellards death was caused by a bondage scene that had gone too far. The crime scene was looked over thoroughly and a cigarette butt was found in the kitchen, as well as a bloody fingerprint on Peter’s house phone.

Shirley Withers was the first person to be questioned because she was the one that found her boyfriend and called 000. They asked her about the bondage gear and set up but she said she knew nothing about it as she had declined Peter Shellard’s offers and he respected her decision, she also wasn’t aware of any of the bondage acts he may have been participating in alone or with other people.

They went over the will and found that Shirley Withers was not left anything by Peter, but he had left $1 to each of his ex-wives and his estate was left to his daughters. This removed a suspected motive for the murder because Shirley would not have gained any material item or money after murdering her boyfriend. At this point there was no other motive for her to harm him and her actions regarding this case had not been suspicious. Detectives looked for other motives and came up with theories, as they were not convinced that this was a bondage act gone too far, and had a suspicion that it was a setup. There was a long list of people who would have had motive to kill Peter Shellard as he sued many people and was rude to many more but none of them raised large amounts of suspicion, and none were suspicious enough to be named as suspects. This caused the police to go back and revisit the “bondage gone wrong” theory, meaning they needed to find out who Shellard’s sexual partner was, or if he had more than one at the time of his death.

It was true that Peter had not forced his bondage fantasies upon his girlfriend, but he had gone to Hellfire club in Melbourne on more than one occasion to fulfill his needs. This is a club where you can engage in numerous BDSM activities such as whips, bondage, and pouring hot wax on someone / having this done to you, as well as anything else that might intrigue you. While this may have been useful information, the police still didn’t have any suspects while looking at it from the bondage-accident viewpoint.

Just a couple of days after this point in the investigation, the autopsy report came back. It said that Peter Shellard’s skull had been fractured due to repeated blunt force trauma and that there was a lot of heroin in his system, this is particularly strange as Peter was not a heroin addict nor did he take any other drugs, he was even known to be against drugs completely. This new information collided with the theory that this could be a bondage session that went too far, they were now dealing with something more serious. Peter had been beaten and given an excessive amount of heroin to finish him off. It was a thought out murder.

Not long after this, they had a match to the bloody fingerprint previously found on Peter’s house phone. The fingerprint belonged to a lady named Sophia Stoupas, her DNA was also found on the cigarette from the kitchen. Sophia and her boyfriend Stanley Callinicos were both known to police as they were petty criminals and drug addicts with a favour for heroin, however neither of these people had any violence related charges against them.

An important point that linked Sophia to Peter Shellard was that in a previous raid, bondage equipment was found in Sophia’s home. The involvement of Sophia and Stanley would explain the bondage and heroin, and the case would be solved. They were now the prime suspects.

As detectives were preparing to take Sophia and Stanley in, they intercepted a phone call in which Shirley Withers was trying to take a hit out on Sophia and Stanley. This raised questions that no one expected would have to be answered, such as “how did she know they were involved?” and how does she know them at all? Detectives needed to get more information so they sent in a police officer undercover, playing a hitman named Victor to prove that she would take a hit out on the couple that was involved and to get more information about the pair.

Victor asked Shirley for their home address, their names, and a cash deposit. She gave him all of this and said that they are the ones who killed Peter and they deserve whats about to happen. She wanted blood.

Detectives quickly made their move on Sophia and Stanley because even though Shirley had taken a fake hit out on them, there was no way of knowing whether she had taken a real one out as well or if she was going to. During question they both remained silent and said that they had no knowledge on Peter Shellard’s death, but this kater changes when they find out that Shirley Withers put a hit out on them, they began telling the truth. They told the police that they were there that night and knew what happened to Peter, they also said that there was a third person there; Shirley Withers.

As detectives researched more about Shirley Withers they discovered many factors that could contribute to her wanting to kill someone, she had PTSD and had tried to kill herself several times before. They also discovered that her business was unsuccessful and she was almost $300 000 in debt, she had also been stealing large amounts of money from millionaire Peter Shellard, in total she stole around $900 000 from him and planned on getting more.

A few weeks before his death, Peter had begun to pick up on what Shirley was doing, so he went to his accountant who told him there’s more than enough evidence to charge her. Peter, in a rage, froze all of Shirley’s accounts which put her luxury lifestyle to a halt, he also put the house that he bought her, on the market.

Shirley began to plan what she could do to avoid being locked out of this lifestyle that she had come to enjoy, she befriended Sophia and Stanley by giving them thousands of dollars to gain their friendship and trust. She also told them stories of how Peter would force her into bondage sessions and would abuse her while she was tied up, they believed her and this made them closer.

Sophia and Stanley told the police everything in their interviews and it became obvious that Shirley’s plan all along was to have them take the blame for Peter’s death. They thought they were just gonna rough him up a little bit so that he would sign the house he bought for Shirley over to her so that he couldn’t sell it.

They recount how on the night of May the 6th, Shirley picked up Stanley and Sophia and trove to Peter’s house.  They unlocked it with Shirley’s spare key and went to his room where he was sleeping. They all attacked him and in the midst of the struggle, Shellard bit Sophia’s finger, which is where the bloody fingerprint would later come from. After the bite, Sophia knocked him over the head and he was unconscious but not dead yet, they then dragged him out of bed and tied him up, then Shirley gave Peter the first shot of heroin.

Shirley returned the next day to give him another dose of heroin, this time making sure it was enough to finish the job. She then set up the scene to make it look like he was engaging in a bondage session. When she was done Shirley went to work as if it was a normal day, got takeaway food for dinner on her way home, and opened Peter’s door to see the man she killed, just how she left him. She starts crying hysterically and calls 000 hoping that it will take the blame off her.

Shirley continued to deny that she had anything to do with her boyfriend’s death so Victor (the fake hitman) returns and gets her to confess. Shirley was arrested but refused to say anything to the police.

Sophia and Stanley both plead guilty to manslaughter. They were given a reduced sentence of 6 years jail with a 3 and a half year non-parole period in return for testifying against Shirley Withers.

Shirley Withers pleaded guilty to hiring a hitman but not to the murder of Peter Shellard. After a 6 week trial it was decided that Shirley was guilty for murdering Peter, and was sentenced to 26 years jail, and 18 years non-parole period, however, she appealed this sentence because it was never her intention to kill Peter and that she had no way to tell how much heroin would kill him. The judges downgraded her sentence from murder to manslaughter, and she was to serve 13 years with a non-parole period of only 9 years.

Shirley Withers was released in March 2017, a year earlier than her maximum sentence.

(again, please dont repost without asking, my DMs are open)

On the 16th of June 1990, 52-year-old Trevaline Evans disappeared from her antiques shop in Llangollen, Wales, United Kingdom.

At about 12:40pm, Trevaline Evans left a note on the front door of her shop, saying she would be “back in two minutes”. A well dressed man was reported to be seen to be talking to Evans in her shop shortly before she left the note. This man has never been identified.

The last confirmed sighting of Trevaline was on Market Street at 2.30pm. With two more suspected sightings that cannot be confirmed.