The term Greenough Family Massacre refers to the axe murders of Karen MacKenzie (age 33) and her three children Daniel (16), Amara (7), and Katrina (5) at their remote rural property in Greenough, Western Australia, on February 21, 1993. They were killed by William Patrick Mitchell (Bill Mitchell), a friend of Karen MacKenzie.
The crime has been called, “One of the worst crimes in Western Australia” and details of the murders were withheld from the public as they were deemed too gruesome and horrific. The case was so heinous that “cries for the return of the death penalty could be heard echoing around the State”.
Police and forensic investigators scoured the murder scene and collected evidence, but it was five weeks before farm hand Bill Mitchell, a friend of Karen MacKenzie, was arrested. He was arrested on either the 28th or the 29th of March.
Mitchell had been spending the day getting high on a mixture of cannabis, alcohol, and amphetamines. The trouble began with the sound of a car arriving at the MacKenzie home. Daniel went out to see who it was and was confronted by Mitchell.
Mitchell, wielding an axe, killed Daniel and headed for the house. There he found Karen asleep in the lounge room. After attacking her with the axe and killing her, he raped her. Amara and Katrina were fast asleep in their bedrooms, when Mitchell turned his attention to them.
The funeral for the four victims was held on March 5th 1993. Bill Mitchell did attend.