12th of March 1981
The youth group reached Hailway Park Holiday Camp at about 4pm. 19 boys aged between 11 and 13 and two group leaders that had run the trips for the last three years. The group leaders, a protestant minister in his fifties and his 25 year old son, Chance, showed the boys how to pitch their tents. When most of the tents were standing in a semicircle Chance took two of the boys, Ian and Clancy, with him to collect wood for a campfire.
Chance, Ian and Clancy had trouble finding dry wood. By the time they returned the minister and the other boys had prepared most of the food. Chance and his father built and alighted the campfire. Like the previous years the evening was spent with food, songs and finally horror stories.
At 11pm, thirty minutes later than planned, the boys were told to go to bed. At midnight the minister went to sleep in his tent, Chance was supposed to watch the fire and make sure that none of the boys wandered into the woods. At 4am he should have woke his father to change shifts.
According to his testimony Chance woke up around 3:30am because of loud screams from one of the tents. He saw that the tent-door was open and just when he arrived Ian and another boy ran out of the tent. Their faces and arms were covered in blood. Chance quickly saw that the floor of the tent was also covered in blood. 12 year old Clancy, who had slept between the two other boys, was missing.
In the dark and while trying to calm the panicked boys Chance and his father were not able to see the trail of blood that led away from the tent.
The first officers at the scene immediately went towards the forest to look for the missing boy. Only at about 5:40am, when the boys were sheltered in the camp’s reception area and the sun began to rise, did an officer notice the trail.
The trail led the officers within less than five minutes towards a back door of the Hailway Park Holiday Camp administrative building. The trail led to a wide open metal door. Drops of blood were found on the bare concrete stairs leading down towards the boiler room.
They found Clancy’s on his back and lying in a puddle of his own blood. His arms and legs were stretched out into the shape of a cross. His body was still warm. A single thin cut went horizontally from side to side through his throat. Clancy’s mouth had been forced so far open that his jawbones had cracked.
Chance was arrested the same night. Two months later the prosecutor described Chance’s insistence that he had fallen asleep as “a bad lie.” A local court found Chance guilty of first degree murder.
He always maintained his innocence.
12th of March 1991
Tony, Leonie and Jeannie Isek had arrived at Hailway Park Holiday Camp two days earlier and after spending the previous day hiking had spent most of the 12th of March at the nearby beach. Jeannie had just turned 8 and it was their first holiday in four years. Tony had finally won his battle with alcoholism and the Isek’s wanted to celebrate that occasion with a longer camping holiday.
The 12th of March they returned to their light green family tent at 7pm. Leonie prepared a packed meal on their propane heater while Tony took Jeannie to Hailway Park’s amusement hall.
By 8pm the family had eaten and the three chatted with tent neighbors. Leonie played guitar and a small group of neighbors joined the family at their fire to sing songs.
At 10:30pm Tony brought Jeannie to bed. At 11pm she had returned to the fire. The other visitors left and shortly before midnight the family jointly retired to their tent.
Another camper called the police at 6:20am. A trail of blood had led him to the open tent. Tony and Leonie were woken by the voices outside their tent. Reportedly they both screamed and left the tent in a panic. Their clothes as well as arms and hair were soaked in blood.
Before the police arrived a group of investigating campers, together with Tony and Leonie, had followed the trail to the heavy metal door. A thin line of partially dried blood led down the stairs into the dark boiler room.
Jeannie’s body was found in the center of the room. Her clothes had been partially ripped, pieces of her shirt were later found in the zipper of the tent door. Her arms and legs were stretched to all sides, similar in shape to a cross. The blood from a long and thin cut in her throat had spread out around her body like a dark red shadow. Jeannie’s jaw bones had been broken and her mouth was spread wide apart. National media quoted one of the witness that “Jeannie’s face had an expression of terror. It looked as if she knew everything that was being done to her but could not fight back.”
Even as Tony denied drinking and Leonie denied smelling any alcoholic beverage other witness statements led the court to determine Tony had consumed alcohol at the amusement hall. He was found guilty of first degree murder, Leonie was initially charged with abetment but freed due to a lack of evidence. Similarities to the 1981 case were dismissed as ‘coincidental.’
12th of March 2001
The Hailway Park Holiday Camp reception recorded that the group of six French teenagers, three male and three female, arrived at 5:30pm. Their hotel near the beach had been overbooked and despite having paid the deposit they were not able to get rooms and instead referred to Hailway Park. Along with the camp sites the teenagers rented two large tents.
The teenagers ordered pizza from the reception telephone. They consumed the pizza at the beach and, when the temperature decreased, returned to their tents and sat around the fire. They were seen smoking marijuana but all but one of the teenagers later denied consuming any drugs.
A 17 year old called Bianca slept in the center of the girls’ tent. The other girls, sleeping to Bianca’s right and left, woke up when their arms touched a sticky dark liquid at the center of the tent. They woke the Hailway Park receptionist who subsequently called the police and emergency services at 6:15am.
The trail led straight from the tent to a large puddle of blood that had collected outside the metal door. The padlock had been broken by force.
There was barely blood on the stairs but on the third step Bianca’s friends found one of her fingers.
Bianca’s body lay at the foot of the stairs, her limbs spread out in all directions. Her remaining fingers as well as the bones in her hands and lower arms had been broken. Her jaw was pulled wide open, the left side was broken but the right side was still intact. Bianca had bled out because of a hair-thin cut in her throat.
Charges were brought against ‘unknown’ and the case remains open.
After local media reported on the previous cases Hailway Park Holiday Camp was closed for two years. In 2005 a group of investors reopened the camp with a new concept but in 2006 the enterprise went bankrupt.
13th of March 2011
The evening of the 12th of March a group of locals assembled on the former Hailway Park Holiday Camp ground to commemorate the victims of the ‘Hailway Park Holiday Camp killer.’ A group of about twenty individuals planned a candle light vigil that was to be held near the old boiler room. The door had by then been bolted shut shortly after Bianca’s death.
Martina, a 21 year old woman, was last seen around 2:30am. She sat in one of the chairs near the table that held the candles. Her mother saw that Martina had fallen asleep and covered her in a blanket.
Martina sat between two other members of the group, one of them, a sixty year old lady, had also fallen asleep, the other, a young man, was in conversation with another group member. He testified that Martina opened her mouth as if to talk, but Martina turned and walked away and so he ultimately did not react to her.
The trail of blood suggests that Martina’s throat must have been cut while she was still on the chair. She must have fallen on all fours not far from the table. Several people were nearby but nobody noticed a suspicious person and nobody noticed her crawling away from the group and down the path towards the metal door.
Around 3am one of the group members noticed what sounded like a metallic thumping noise. Four of the group went to investigate the noise while the others stayed behind.
The four found Martina kneeling in front of the metal door. Her clothes were covered in blood and a small puddle had formed below her body.
They saw how Martina repeatedly slammed her bare hands against the metal door and then tried to squeeze her fingers between the bolted door and the door frame.
She did not stop when they came closer. The four said that, if anything, Martina started to hit the door more aggressively.
While one of the members ran back to alert the rest of the vigil attendants the remaining three, two men and one woman, stepped closer and tried to talk to Martina. She ignored them.
Impulsively one of the men tried to grab Martina from behind to pull her away from the door. He locked his hands around her arms but within the fraction of a second Martina had turned around and her right hand slammed against his skull. The other two tried to pull the man away but before they managed to do so Martina had scratched a thin cut at the man’s throat. He bled out before the ambulance arrived.
When they finally managed to pull the man away Martina stared at the two for a moment. While the second man pulled the injured man away the woman looked at Martina. She saw that Martina’s eyes pupils were narrowed to a tiny black spot in the white of her eyes. And she was the first one to see that Martina’s mouth was unnaturally wide open. Martina’s lower jaw dangled loosely from her chin.
The vigil attendants watched in horror for fifteen minutes as Martina tried to force her way into the boiler room.
First her mother tried to stop Martina but she was struck to the floor in the same manner as the first man. The others managed to pull Martina’s mother away in time. Quickly Martina returned her attention to the door and squeezed her hands between the door that was beginning to give in.
Then two men of the group threw ropes over Martina and tried to quickly tie her up. Before they even managed to cross the ropes Martina pulled on one of the ropes so hard that the men holding it was thrown to the floor and close to Martina. She jumped towards the man but other vigil members pulled him away in time.
The man that held the second rope let it go and stepped further away. Martina returned to thrashing against the door.
Fifteen minutes. Martina’s fingers, hands and arms were only a gory mess. Her movements slowed down. In one last effort she slammed her head against the door, then she sank to the floor.
The group watched as Martina rolled on her back. Her chin fell on her throat. She spread her arms and legs to the sides. Her eyes closed.