PERTH, AUSTRALIA — A woman who escaped the clutches of serial killers Catherine (pictured above) and David Birnie has revealed the details of her harrowing days in captivity with the couple.
Kate Moir was 17 when the couple abducted her at knifepoint in Perth, Australia, and kept her prisoner at their house of horrors on Moorhouse Street, where she was tormented and raped.
She managed to escape through a bedroom window on November 10, 1986 — and is the only known survivor of the couple’s murderous spree that had already claimed the lives of Sussannah Candy, 15; Denise Brown, 21; Mary Neilson, 22; and Noelene Patterson, 31.
In her first television interview, Kate, now 47, talked about how they put on a Sylvester Stallone movie, smoked a joint with her, and forced her to dance to Dire Straits for two hours before raping her and chaining her up.
“David was the puppet, Catherine was the puppeteer,” she said. “She gave the tick of approval. She would say, ‘I’ve got the munchies,’ which meant ‘you can have this one’.”
Kate says her ordeal began after a drunken night out with friends on November 9, when the pair offered her a lift home. But when she tried the car door she found there was no handle — and then David Birnie pulled a butcher’s knife out of his Ugg boot and held it against her throat.
During her days in captivity, Kate hid clues around the house including a lipstick in the sofa and a slip of paper with her phone number. After raping her repeatedly, David handcuffed Kate by her foot to his and told her to take the pills he offered and go to sleep. But the defiant teen stuffed them under the mattress instead.
In the morning, David and Catherine ordered her to call her parents and tell them that she was drunk. She hoped her folks would be furious, not having previously known she drank, and start searching for her — but they didn’t.
When David Birnie went to work, Kate waited until a knock on the front door distracted Catherine, and climbed out the bedroom window. Panicked, she ran to the nearest house, only to be attacked by a dog.
Finally, she saw a shop and asked a man standing outside to call the police.
She gave a statement to Constable Laura Hancock, 22. At the time, Hancock was a rookie and had never even taken a statement before. When Moir first began telling her story, the veteran cops didn’t believe her, and Hancock was the only one to take her seriously. Hancock’s support and persistence and the teen’s courage ultimately led police to crack one of Australia’s most notorious serial killing cases.
Both were sentenced to life in prison. David hanged himself in a West Australian jail cell in 2005. Catherine was refused parole this year, but could be released in 2019 when her case comes up for review again.
Main photos: Catherine Birnie [DailyMail screenshot]