Anita Cobby: 30 years on

The Daily Telegraph’s Crime Editor Mark Morri is discussing his new book, Anita Cobby: The Case, the Husband, the Aftermath – 30 Years On at Marrickville Library on Wednesday 23 November.

On 4 February 1986, John Cobby’s life imploded. He was driving up the coast looking for his missing wife Anita, when over the radio he heard: 'The body of a naked woman has been found in a paddock in western Sydney.' As details emerged of the rape and murder of the gentle nurse and former beauty queen, outrage engulfed Australia. Five men were caught and jailed for life.

Mark Morri was a young journalist in 1986. In a true baptism of fire, Morri was tasked with ‘finding the husband’; he tracked down John Cobby, and interviewed him about the horrific circumstances he had found himself in. The pair have kept in touch ever since.

In his book, Morri recounts how he and Anita fell in love, suffered the pain of miscarriage and then went travelling. He also explains why they were apart at the time of the murder. Weaving together chilling material from the autopsy and police files, and interviews with detectives who hunted down the killers, Mark Morri explores the ripple effects of the murder that still shocks a nation.

“There are so many reasons why Anita Cobby's [murder] still resonates so strongly even 30 years later. Anita was not just a beauty queen, but a charity queen and a nurse, dedicated to helping people. Then, on a summer’s night, she is kidnapped, raped and murdered by five evil men.

“The randomness, pack mentality and brutality of the murder against the images of Anita as a beauty queen and then in a nurses uniform was a cocktail that has endured all these years and will for many more to come,” Morri said.

Wednesday 24 November
Marrickville Library

About the author
Born in October 1961, Mark Morri grew up on Sydney's lower north shore before joining News Limited as a copy boy in 1980 after finishing his HSC. As a crime reporter in the '80s, he worked at the Daily Mirror, covering the Sydney gangland murders, the Father's Day Bikie massacre and the abduction of Sydney schoolgirl Samantha Knight. Promoted to Chief of Staff, he still specialised in crime reporting, covering the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 and the backpacker murders by Ivan Milat. He worked for a brief time on the New York Post before coming back to the Daily Telegraph, again as Chief of Staff. Over the past 35 years, Mark has covered nearly every major crime in Sydney, building contacts throughout the police force (and the criminal world). He is currently the crime editor of the Daily Telegraph.
Free. Bookings required via 9335 2173 or

Rate this page

  • Rate as The content was useful0% The content was useful votes
  • Rate as The content was not useful0% The content was not useful votes

Thanks for your feedback. We will use this data to improve the content of this page.

Page last updated: 03 Jun 2022