On Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after the eyes of Australia were transfixed on another Melbourne courtroom for the historic sentencing of George Pell, Borce Ristevski pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his wife Karen.
His trial – for murder – was about to begin and was expected to run for five weeks. A jury was being empanelled in the Supreme Court and until yesterday Bruce had steadfastly maintained his innocence.
He carried his wife’s coffin at her funeral: he stood alongside his daughter who tearfully pleaded for information about Karen’s whereabouts when she first ‘disappeared’.
And then news broke on Wednesday that prosecutors had withdrawn the murder charge and Ristevski had instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He admitted to killing her and dumping her body.
Borce Ristevski now admits he killed his wife, Karen https://t.co/V3MnLfHSD3
— Tom Steinfort (@tomsteinfort) March 13, 2019
Karen Ristevski disappeared from the family home she shared with Borce and their daughter Sarah on the 29th of June in 2016. On reporting her missing Borce told police he and Karen had been arguing about money when she left, on foot, saying she ‘needed to clear her head’.
A public search ensued and by July 11th the homicide squad had been called in, suspecting foul play. On the 14th of July, Sarah, Borce and Karen’s sister Patricia held a press conference and pleaded for information from the public.
— Wes Hosking (@WesHosking) July 2, 2016
Despite extensive efforts to find Karen, she was not found.
On the 20th February 2017 a bushwalker found a badly decomposed body at the base of Mount Macedon. On the 21st of February police confirmed the remains were Karen.
The next day Borce engaged a high profile criminal lawyer who confirmed Borce was the lead suspect. On the 13th of December 2017 he was arrested and charged with murder. He maintained he had nothing to do with his wife’s killing.
— Jon Kaila (@jonkaila) December 12, 2017
Yesterday he abandoned that stance and the charge was downgraded to manslaughter in exchange for him pleading guilty.
It means the trial won’t go ahead. Borce Ristevski will spend years in jail but not the rest of his life. He will be sentenced on the 27th March. He has not told police how or why he killed Karen but we do know that he killed her and he dumped her body.
We know that another woman was killed by a person who supposedly loved her.
Her name was Karen Ristevski. May she rest in peace.