top of page

(above from left) The four amigos involved in the search for James Annetts and Simon Amos in the Great Sandy Desert in 1987. Jim Guy later become the officer-in-charge of police search and rescue in Western Australia; John Hatton sadly died of cancer; Murray Cowper is the Minister of Corrections in the Western Australia government; Colin Main, the great survivor, still serves in the Western Australia police.



A hopeful Les Annetts before news arrived that the remains of his son, James, had been discovered in the Great Sandy Desert.



Les Annetts at Nicholson Station. 1987



Sandra and Les Annetts at Halls Creek in January 1987, eight weeks after their son disappeared. Still hopeful James was still alive.


They discovered that police claims of constant searching for their son were greatly exaggerated. Sandra said the police had lied to them.



Andy Brett, in long trousers, with Sergeant John Hatton in the Great Sandy Desert where James Annetts' ute was found.


Andy and fellow surveyor Greg Owens discovered the abandoned vehicle in April 1987. The remains of James and Simon Amos were discovered twenty kilometres away the following day.



The three year old Datsun utility was a wreck that frequently stalled then was difficult to restart.


What was the sixteen-year-old unlicensed driver doing with an unreliable vehicle in the Great Sandy Desert during the summer heat?


Desert Aboriginals who last saw James and Simon said they appeared to be fleeing someone.



Either Police Aide Tony Hunter or

Shane Baites loading the bones of one of the boys onto the truck for transport to a desert airstrip.





Police officers at Halls Creek airport with the remains of James and Simon. 1987



Giles Munro Loder at the Kununurra Inquest into the deaths of James Annetts and Simon Amos. 1988



Les Annetts in Halls Creek after seeing photographs of the remains of his son, and finally realising the boy wouldn't be coming home. April 1987



Giles Munro Loder at the Inquest. Under great pressure he showed no remorse, no weakness, and admitted no guilt in the deaths of James and Simon. 1988




Colin Main displaying items found in the Datsun utility, at the campsite where Simon Amos' bones were located (his bleached skull with a bullet hole through the forehead) and a kilometre further down the seismic track where the remains of James were found.



Andrew Tanion Beezley was a superior jackeroo and a Loder loyalist, but still wouldn't provide a false alibi for his boss when prompted by Peter Sherwin's lawyer. He had integrity.


He had a high opinion of Vikki Loder who tended the injuries he received in what was a dangerous job.


His career was cut short through injury and arthritis.



Bobby Skeen comforting Les and Sandra Annetts outside the Kununurra courthouse.


"Liar, liar," Bobby mutterred as Giles Loder gave his fourteen hours of testimony. 1988

(left)  John and Debbie Davis.


Prior to the Inquest they were scathing about the dangerous work conditions faced by Simon and James.


But at the Inquest they testified the boys were quite capable of working alone six days a week on thousand square mile cattle stations.


Nevertheless, they were good friends of the Annetts. Debbie later become a doctor while John killed himself.


In defending the pastoralists they became victims themselves. Seven hundred people attended the two services for John.



(left) Giles and Vikki Loder


Vikki was having her second child on the east coast when the boys went missing. She nurtured her new  son at Flora Valley station amidst the stress of the  controversy.


Both Giles and Vikki sufferred, but never wavered from their hard attitude towards the Annetts.  




The locket containing the image of James that Sandra says she will wear until she dies.



(left) Chris Rumpf


His testimony of violence at Flora Valley station was largely ignored by the Coroner, as were most sworn statements from former jackeroos.


To this day Chris Rumpf retains a withering comtempt for Giles Loder.

The free book about the deaths of James Annetts and Simon Amos is available at

bottom of page