Snowtown murderer James Vlassakis eligible for parole next year

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James Spyridon Vlassakis, who was 19 when he committed the Snowtown crimes, was found guilty of being involved in four of 12 murders between August 1992 and May 1999, in and around Adelaide, South Australia.

He was sentenced to life in jail with a non-parole term of 26 years and his image remains suppressed to this day. Now 44 years old, Vlassakis will be eligible to apply for parole in May of 2025.

Vlassakis’s testimony was key in helping to convict South Australia’s Snowtown “bodies-in-the-barrels murders”, John Bunting and Robert Wagner. Both were convicted of 11 and 10 murders, respectively, and are in prison for the rest of their lives with no prospect of parole.

While on parole at the Adelaide Pre-release Centre, Mark Haydon ventured out on supervised day release.(ABC News: Che Chorley)
While on parole at the Adelaide Pre-release Centre, Mark Haydon ventured out on supervised day release. Photo: ABC News/Che Chorley.
Frances Nelson says prisoners with life sentences have their case reviewed by the parole board annually. ABC News. Lincoln Rothall
Frances Nelson says prisoners with life sentences have their case reviewed by the parole board annually. Photo: ABC News/Lincoln Rothall.

In addition, Vlassakis helped put Snowtown accomplice Mark Ray Haydon away for 25 years; the 65-year-old’s sentence ended last week.

Frances Nelson KC will play a significant role in Vlassakis’ parole next year, if he applies, as he will need to persuade the chair of the South Australian Parole Board of his remorse.

“We review his case annually, any prisoner with a life sentence has to have their case reviewed annually…that’s helpful if they apply for parole because you’ve monitored them throughout many years,” Ms Nelson said.

Vlassakis was first drawn into the serial killings by his stepfather, Bunting, whom he lived with alongside his mother in Adelaide’s northern suburbs at the time.

Source: ABC News

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