On a quiet street in a semi-industrial suburb of Perth, residents went about their lives unaware a suspected killer was living among them.
Their peaceful existence was shattered when heavily armed Tactical Response Unit officers stormed a Kewdale home on Thursday morning.
Bradley Robert Edwards co-owns the property on Acton Avenue, where he was arrested, before being charged in connection with the Claremont serial killings in the 1990s.
Three women disappeared over a 14-month period in 1996 and 1997.
Edwards, 48, has been charged with two of the women’s murders, as well as the abduction and rape of a teenager in 1995 and an attack on an 18-year-old woman in her home in 1988.
Records show Edwards has owned the house there since 2000.
‘We’ve got daughters’
Pam and Lindsey, who did not want their surnames used, have lived across the road from Mr Edwards and said the family had always kept to themselves.
“I was shocked because we have been neighbours with him for so long,” Pam said.
“We’ve got daughters and we’re just stunned, absolutely stunned.”
Lindsay said Mr Edwards seemed like an ordinary person.
“I never saw him with any friends or anything, but apart from that he seemed pretty normal,” he said.
Pam and Lindsey had two daughters, one who frequented Claremont in the late 1990’s.
Pam said they often warned their older daughter about going out at night.
“When she started going out we said make sure you taxi with friends, and call me from your friend’s [house] and stay the night with them,” she said.
“Sometimes I would just get up in the middle of the night to go and pick her up because I was concerned.
“As time went on we relaxed a little bit, but it was always in the back of the head they never found [Sarah Spiers].”
Another neighbour said Edwards had moved into the area around 2000.
Bradley Edwards a little athletics volunteer
He described Edwards as a community figure, who was a timekeeper at little athletics and generally “involved” in the area.
Belmont Little Athletics Centre chief executive, Vince Del Prete said Edwards was a long-serving volunteer at the club.
“He’s held a number of roles in the centre over that time,” Mr Prete said.
“Fair to say it’s come as a bit of a shock to those of us at the centre, and for the little league sport generally.
“What’s very important from our perspective is to support the Belmont Centre now, and all of its members and families involved.”
Kewdale resident RJ San Jose said the suburb was disturbed by the arrests.
“Its always been peaceful here, that’s why we chose to live here,” Mr San Jose said.
“We’re alarmed, very alarmed.”
Jim Sheffield also lives across the road from Edwards’ house.
He said it was hard to describe the feeling of living near a suspected killer.
“I guess it’s a bit unnerving really, it’s hard to sort of describe,” he said.
Mr Sheffield said the charges would bring some closure to the families involved.
Neighbour Kylie Murphey said it was very disconcerting finding out she had lived next-door to the man arrested in connection with the killings.
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