A Victorian coroner has recommended police changes after a gold-digger boyfriend killed his partner and robbed three children of their beloved mother.
On August 21, 2017, Charles Bisucci shot his girlfriend Marilyn Burdon then killed himself in her Kew home, two weeks after she had kicked him out.
The horror scene was discovered by Ms Burdon’s heartbroken children on the afternoon of the murder-suicide.
Bisucci was broke and dating the financially stable Ms Burdon, 70, despite having another girlfriend.
Camera IconCharles Bisucci, 69, killed his partner Marilyn Burdon, 70, before killing himself in murder-suicide at her Kew home in August 2017. Supplied Credit: Supplied
Camera IconThe death of loving grandmother Marilyn Burdon, 70, was the subject of a coronial inquest in Melbourne. Supplied Credit: Supplied
He “desperately desired” her financial support, finding himself penniless at the age of 69 “despite his many years of fraud and manipulation”, Coroner John Cain said on Tuesday.
Bisucci had told a friend before Ms Burdon got sick of him: “She’s my superannuation.”
He had sold his home and moved in with her, and when she asked him to leave he “acted on a perceived failure to manipulate” her by killing both of them, Coroner Cain said.
Bisucci had been banned from owning a gun for more than a decade and forced to part with his 15 firearms after police became aware of his family violence against another partner in 2004.
But he got his hands on almost all of his guns by transferring ownership to friends and acquaintances.
The Winchester rifle he used to murder Ms Burdon was legally owned by a mate, Sebastian Carmuciano.
Coroner Cain said this was a “a gap in the firearms regulation system”.
Camera IconMarilyn Burdon’s children Rebecca, Nicholas and Natalie Burdon were left without their mother after Charles Bisucci’s horror act. NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty Credit: News Corp Australia
He made six recommendations for Victoria Police to better track who owned guns.
“Many persons with firearms that have been seized, and who are declared prohibited persons, are able to get friends and family with valid firearms licences to acquire firearms that have been seized by police,” he said.
Coroner Cain recommended police change their systems so that when an officer searches the serial number of a gun all previous owners are revealed, that they check out the firearms history of references and legal witnesses when someone acquires a gun and that they check the proposed storage address for guns to see if it has been owned by someone banned from having a gun.
He also recommended private psychiatrists undergo at least four hours of mandatory training on family violence.
Warning signs that Bisucci could be a family violence perpetrator were not picked up by his treating psychiatrist to the degree that he was considered an imminent risk of causing harm to others and himself.
Camera IconCharles Bisucci was prohibited from owning guns, but photos tendered to the Coroner's Court showed him with his secret stash after friends registered firearms for him in their names. Supplied Credit: Supplied
He had episodes of profound and debilitating depression, mild Aspergers, and narcissistic and anti-social personality traits.
Coroner Cain was not critical of Bisucci’s psychiatrist, who was not aware of his access to guns or violence towards his partners, but said industry-wide training should be mandated.
“In the absence of information not known, and now known, about Mr Bisucci’s history of violence and access to firearms, it could not be expected that a private psychiatrist without specific or specialised training would be able to identify that there was a risk of family violence,” he said.
He made eight recommendations for police, the Attorney-General and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
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