'Pigs don't leave evidence': Man accused of killing wife
A man accused of murdering his young wife in outback NSW nearly four decades ago allegedly told former colleagues he'd dump her body at a pig farm, saying "pigs don't leave any evidence, they will never find her."
Former paramedic John Bowie denies killing his wife Roxlyn, who vanished from their Walgett home on June 5, 1982.
Her body has never been found and Bowie insists his wife is still alive, having abandoned him and their children because he was cheating on her.
The 69-year-old was denied bail when he appeared at the Supreme Court by videolink from Silverwater jail on Thursday.
Crown prosecutor Scott Jager said Bowie had the means to dispose of his wife's remains at a nearby piggery, and told ambulance workers: "pigs don't leave any evidence, they will never find her."
But Bowie claims the mother-of-two had already written him a "Dear John" letter threatening to end the marriage, and warned him if he went out drinking at the pub the night she disappeared she'd leave for good.
"Mr Bowie was a known womaniser. His extramarital affairs were well known in the community at the time," defence lawyer Sam Karnib said.
"If someone doesn't want to be found then they'll do their best not to be found."
But Justice Robert Allan Hulme questioned whether the 31-year-old devoted mum "just up and left", leaving behind two kids aged two and six, never speaking to her parents again and never using her bank accounts either.
He labelled the suggestion Ms Bowie wasn't killed that night as "far-fetched", adding that Bowie had offered no credible alternative perpetrator or motive.
"If he didn't do it, who did?" Justice Hulme said.
"I would not describe this as a weak case at all."
But Bowie's lawyer said there was no direct evidence linking him to murder, noting a text message sent by a relative accusing him of being "a rapist and a murderer" in the brief of evidence was taken out of context.
Mr Karnib said there was no proof backing up police claims Bowie was physically violent on a number of occasions and has been abusive to subsequent partners.
In 1995 the Centenary Heights man was jailed for five years for a shooting with intent to murder charge, which Justice Hulme said contradicts his sister's affidavit claiming it's not in his nature to commit "such an horrific act."
In 2014 a coroner found Ms Bowie was dead without determining the cause of death, and Bowie was extradited from a Queensland jail and charged in October last year.
A distinctive ring, scalpels and a paramedic surgical mask buried in the dirt for more than 30 years helped detectives charge him with cold case murder.
Officers reviewed every statement from the original investigation, reinterviewed key witnesses and dug up properties in the rural town where she lived.
One location was a paddock, where police found a silver ring with the letter "R" that belonged to Ms Bowie. Near the ring, they found the medical supplies.
Bowie will next face Central Local Court on February 6.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.