The crime stories that stunned in 2020
FROM horrific domestic violence deaths and terrorism, to coronavirus controversies and prominent lawyers being charged, a number of high-profile crime events took place in Queensland in 2020.
Despite the COVID-19 lockdown this year, there was a myriad of cases for already-stretched law enforcement. These were some of the events this year.
Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke was on the morning school run with her three children, Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and three-year-old Trey, when her ex-husband flung open her car door and jumped inside.
Rowan Baxter threatened the terrified mother with a knife and told her to drive. But soon after, he doused her and the children with petrol and set them all on fire.
The children burned to death strapped into their child seats. Frantic onlookers tried to douse Hannah with water while Baxter screamed at them to let his family burn.
Hannah received severe burns to nearly her entire body but bravely told emergency responders exactly what had happened before she died.
Baxter died from a self-inflicted wound.
Hannah's family have shared her tragic story of emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse through their foundation Small Steps for Hannah in the hope it will help other women.
The young Brisbane mother had only recently left her abusive husband but he tracked her down and murdered them all in a crime that shocked the country.
CCC LAWYERS PROBE
A complex investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission found a new target in 2020 with the arrest of high profile lawyer Campbell MacCallum on fraud and money laundering charges.
CCC investigators have been targeting Queensland law firms over the misuse of trust accounts.
Operation Jackal saw the flamboyant bikie lawyer charged with three counts of money laundering, two counts of fraud, two counts of supplying a dangerous drug and three counts of possessing a dangerous drug.
As part of the CCC probe MacCallum was also charged with possessing dangerous drugs in July after detectives raided his home.
Embattled lawyer Adam Magill is also facing charges of fraud and money laundering and this year had his practising certificate cancelled.
Neither MacCallum or Magill have entered a plea.
When paramedics arrived at four-year-old Willow Dunn's home on May 25, the little Down syndrome girl had been dead for days.
She was severely malnourished - to the point where she was not a normal size for a girl her age - and infected sores on her hips were so deep her bones were exposed.
Police at the time said they were investigating whether Willow was neglected and given little to no food for extended periods of time.
Willow's mother died in childbirth and she was being raised by her father Mark and stepmother Shannon Leigh White.
Both Dunn and White have been charged with murder under the new definition that takes in reckless indifference to human life. They have also been charged with child cruelty.
They are yet to enter a plea.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, authorities rushed in a series of laws to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
In July, three Brisbane women, Olivia Winnie Muranga, 20, Haja Uma Timbo, 21, and Diana Lasu, 21, travelled to Melbourne and came home via Sydney, allegedly to avoid having to isolate.
Police have accused the trio of lying on their border declaration forms after going to Melbourne and hosting a party in an AirBnB during the city's hard lockdown.
Muranga and Lasu tested positive for coronavirus and moved around Brisbane, going to work, restaurants and other venues before they were picked up by authorities and placed under police guard in hospital.
Their alleged conduct sparked fears of a new wave of infection.
All three women were charged with one count of fraud and one count of producing false or misleading documents.
COVID-19 restrictions also led to controversy with various sports stars, with both AFL and NRL restricted to a "biosecurity bubble". But players were repeatedly caught breaking the rules, with one Bronco busted at a bikie barber shop event and a group of 10 fined for drinking at a pub during a lunchtime session. Two AFL players from Richmond FC were sent home after getting into a scuffle in Surfers Paradise while restricted to the club's resort.
Motorsport legend Jamie Whincup was sent back over the New South Wales border after wrongly returning from racing at Bathurst on a freight pass.
Notorious bikie Shane Bowden was killed in an execution-style murder just weeks after he moved back to the Gold Coast from Victoria.
Gunmen, who had been hiding in the bushes outside his house, ambushed him late at night as he came home from the gym. Bowden was found dead in his car.
Bowden was a Finks terror team member who patched over to the Mongols but was kicked out of the club this year.
Weeks before coming to Queensland he was shot in the driveway of his Victorian house.
He told The Courier-Mail he had come to Queensland - his home state - to recover from a badly infected gunshot wound to his leg.
He is understood to have been trying to rebuild Finks membership in Queensland when he was killed.
Bowden caused a stir when he came into Queensland.
The Queensland Government initially said he boarded the plane with COVID-19 but later acknowledged he was not contagious.
He was diagnosed with coronavirus while in hospital in Melbourne awaiting surgery.
Detectives are still investigating his death, including if Mongols members were involved.
THE MURDER OF PETER ENRIGHT
A LITTLE autistic boy not seen in more than 50 years is subject of one of Australia's oldest homicide probes, with detectives alleging his mother murdered him.
Maureen Anne Enright, 76, was in October charged with killing her son, Peter John Enright, who had not been seen since 1968 or 1969 when he was aged three to four.
Peter is one of 11 children. He was born on June 17, 1965, to Michael and Maureen. The family had lived at 35 Polaris St since 1966. Michael died in 2018.
Detectives have been given a number of versions of what happened to the boy including he was beaten to death, that he never existed, was sent away or is actually his living brother.
Enright has been granted bail.
A BRISBANE nurse who allegedly raped 21 women and filmed some of the victims - in one of Australia's alleged worst serial rape cases - was "catfishing" by using a fake online profile of a caucasian man, detectives will allege.
The now suspended nurse is charged with 46 counts of rape and four of the charges relate to unknown women who are yet to be identified by police.
Police allege the African man would organise dates with the women and when they arrived at his home he would say he was the caucasian man's friend.
He would allegedly offer a drink spiked with drugs when they came to his home.
In August, officers investigating the sexual assault of a woman in her 20s raided the man's home and found video recording equipment and prescription and illicit drugs.
They appealed for other women to come forward, which they say helped identify more victims.
When he appeared in court police said the man used social media, including Tinder and Snapchat.
They allege he used "stupefying drugs" believed to be obtained through his role as a nurse in a public hospital. The man, 30, has been remanded in custody.
Raghe Mohamed Abdi
An accused ISIS supporter is suspected to have murdered an elderly couple in their Brisbane home, hours before he was shot dead while yelling "Allahu Akbar" as he lunged at police with a knife.
Raghe Mohamed Abdi, 22, first came to the attention of counter-terror investigators two years ago.
State and federal police are jointly investigating the actions of the student as an act of terrorism.
He was found with an item police believe was from the Parkinson home of the murdered couple Maurice And Zoe Antill, who were aged in their 80s.
After being arrested in 2019, Raghe was released on bail in September and was under a curfew and was wearing a GPS tracker. Police believed Abdi was planning to travel to Somalia to fight for Al-Shabaab, an ISIS-inspired terrorist organisation.
He was found at the airport in 2019 with a one-way ticket, a laptop and three mobile phones that had been wiped.
Police also alleged Abdi had told his mother he could no longer live with his family in Brisbane because they were "non-believers".
After his release on bail Abdi cut off his tracker, disappearing from authorities, before he is suspected of killing the Antills in Brisbane's south. Hours later, officers were called to reports of a man walking into traffic on the Logan Motorway. The officers, who did not know it was Abdi or that he was suspected of the murder, tried to tell him to get off the road before he was shot when he lunged at them.
ZILLMERE PARK MURDER
A group of 13 men were charged with murder after 19-year-old Girum Mekonnen was fatally stabbed while sitting in a park with friends on a Sunday afternoon.
Witnesses reported seeing the group of men, who they say were allegedly armed with beer bottles and planks of wood, storm into O'Callaghan Park before approaching Mr Mekonnen and his mates.
Mr Mekonnen was declared dead at the scene, while several other people were taken to hospital with significant injuries.
In the days following Mr Mekonnen's murder, police said they believed the incident may have been in retaliation for a mele involving the same group of men just days prior.
Police said the incidents may have been between two rival gangs, however Mr Mekonnen's loved ones heavily disputed this, claiming the teen was not a gang member.
Of the 13 men charged with murder, six have so far been released on bail as police remain unable to determine which member of the group delivered the horror stab wound that would ultimately end Mr Mekonnen's young life.
WYARALONG DAM FATAL
Two young kids were killed when the family SUV they were travelling in along with their parents and siblings flipped into the Wyaralong Dam in the scenic rim during a Sunday afternoon drive.
Leo Larsen, 13, and his four-year-old little sister Mia were stuck inside the flipped, semi submerged Land Rover Discovery for about 20 minutes while their parents, 23-year-old Dylan Wadley and his fiance, 33-year-old Mel Martin tried desperately to free their four children after the car plummeted off Beaudesert-Boonah Rd about 2pm.
At just five weeks old, baby Hope was pulled from the car completely unscathed and placed into the safe arms of a well-timed passer-by, while one-year-old Ace was unresponsive when removed.
Onlookers, including several off duty medical professionals would perform CPR on the toddler before he was helicoptered to hospital in a critical condition where he remained for several days before being sent back to the family's Pratten home under the care of his parents.
Police are yet to finalise their investigation into the incident, however initial information suggests fatigue may have played a contributing factor into the horrific tragedy that claimed two little lives and rocked a small community.
Originally published as The crime stories that stunned Qld in 2020