Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

Horrible Man

Leonie Wallace

Sinister Secrets and Truths Untold:  The Portland Hair Salon Murders

It is one of Australia’s worst unsolved crimes. The seaside regional centre of Portland in Victoria’s South West unwittingly played host to a disturbing double homicide.

On a Friday afternoon as the wind-down to the weekend begins, two women are held hostage in a hairdressing salon, known as the Old London Coiffure. Inside the historic bluestone corner building, overlooking a busy T-junction, a callous killer is holding two middle-aged grandmothers captive. Hairdresser Claire Acocks (49) and her client, Margaret Penny (58) scream and fight for their lives. The walls and floor are sprayed and soaked with the victims’ blood, their bodies battered and bruised from repeated stab wounds and rough handling. Their throats cut.

Two unlikely victims and an unlikely crime scene at an unlikely time of day. No motive, no weapon found, no known offender; but, someone, somewhere, knows the truth. It is a long time to keep such a shocking secret – it has now been more than 20 years.

Former journalist Leonie Wallace overcomes her own fears to examine in depth this heinous crime, tracing the lives of those closely connected, including members of the victims’ families, witnesses and suspects, to present some important and revelatory evidence.

This is a disturbing account, however, it is not just a book about murder. It is a multilayered story of great courage and love as those at its epicentre continue their quest for justice and closure.


Delve deeper at the official website:





Horrible Man: Sinister Secrets and Truths Untold: The Portland Hair Salon Murders by Leoniw Wallace
buy book
secure payment
ISBN: 978-0-9806729-7-8
Format: Paperback C 229mm x 152mm
Extent: 288 pages
RRP: $29.95
Publisher: Fontaine Press
Category: True Crime
Distribution: Contact Fontaine Press