The Weightman Murders: Strike Force Tenos


tags: Homicide, murder, NSW Police, Weightman, Donai,

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By Mark McDonald and Barry Fay

From the December 2012 issue of the APJ.

Pamela and William Weightman were only 50 and 51 years old, respectively, when they were brutally murdered on 8 January, 2000.

They were a hardworking couple who lived in the affluent area of Glen Alpine, NSW, a suburb about three kilometres south of Campbelltown. The pair had immigrated to Australia some years earlier from the U.K. with their only son, David. Pam and Bill (as they were affectionately known) adopted David when he was six months’ old and he was their only child. David Weightman, at the time of his parent’s death, was just three weeks shy of his 21st birthday.

The Weightman family; Bill, David and Pam.

David William Weightman was born in the UK during January 1979 and, shortly after his adoption, the Weightman family moved to Australia. David’s formative years were not extraordinary; he lived a normal life growing up in the Campbelltown area. But he was a boy who, by his own admissions, wanted for nothing. He spent his school years in both private and public education and showed an interest and skill in music, particularly the guitar. As a teenager (like many others) he became a recreational user of cannabis and amphetamines. However, towards the end of his free life, his addiction to those drugs escalated. He was a person of slim build whose olive skin and outgoing personality made him attractive to young ladies. But many of his associates and friends later told police that he was never able to “look you straight in the eye”.

In the months leading up to the murders, David Weightman intimated to some of his friends that if he were to suddenly lose his parents he stood to gain a substantial amount of money and assets. He also told them that he had learnt from Terry Donai (a close friend) that there was a poisonous plant growing in Centennial Park, and, if the leaves were mixed with a liquid and taken orally, it would cause certain death. During the second investigation into his parent’s death, a botanist was interviewed about this, but he soon refuted these claims. It would seem though, that an evil seed (pardon the pun) had already been planted in the mind of David Weightman by his so-called friend, Donai. Such thoughts were really out of character as, prior to the murders, David Weightman had no criminal record whatsoever.

Apparently, young David also shared a keen interest in motorcycles with his friend Terry Donai, which later became a crucial issue in the trial of his accomplice. 

The crime scene - initially thought to be a routine motor vehicle accident.

On Friday 7 January, 2000, David Weightman and Terry Donai formulated their plan to murder David’s parents. It was agreed that they would both attend the Glen Alpine address on the following night (Saturday) where David’s parents would be relaxing at home. David would make his parents a cup of tea and place a small amount of Serapax in their cups, causing them to become drowsy and less resistant to the horrendous manner in which they were to die. Police were later to establish that on Friday 7 January, 2000, Donai attended a local Chemist in Campbelltown however, despite numerous enquiries with the Health Complaints Commission and the chemist involved, they were unable to identify the item that he bought. Serapax is a prescription drug and despite making inquiries with the NSW Pharmaceutical Board, detectives failed to establish whether Terry, David or his parents had recently purchased this drug under prescription. 

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