Sunday 26 June at 8:15pm
CATCHING THE STOCCOS
It is one of the most destructive and bizarre rampages in Australian criminal history. Two men – a father, a son – posing as farm handymen, preying on unsuspecting Australian families. Stealing, looting, destroying, menacing and ultimately killing.
For eight years they cut a deep scar through the lives of honest, hardworking families throughout Queensland, NSW and Victoria, causing millions of dollars damage and untold heartache while the authorities seemingly did nothing. And disturbingly, over the course of their wanton crime spree, they stole guns and built an imposing arsenal. They were preparing for an inevitable showdown – and inevitable bloodshed.
Australia first heard the names Gino and Mark Stocco on a Friday afternoon last October when the pair opened fire on a police highway patrol, raising the stakes in one of the biggest manhunts ever undertaken by Australian law enforcement.
The Stoccos were desperate, dangerous and on the run. Twelve days and thousands of kilometers later, it came to a bloody end when the pair was arrested for murder and a catalogue of other offences. For the first time, Sunday Night takes you deep inside this intriguing true crime drama as reporter Steve Pennells pieces together the forensic detail of a crime spree eight years in the making.
From outback Queensland, through the backblocks of NSW and all the way down south to Victoria’s Ned Kelly country, we piece together the extraordinary puzzle that brought havoc and devastation to countless families. They were master manipulators, targeting isolated communities, charming their way into the homes of the unsuspecting, always one step ahead of the law.
Sunday Night exclusively profiles the crusading farmer forced to turn amateur detective to gather evidence against the Stoccos to force authorities to act. And other families struck by the pair, but who bravely campaigned for action.
This major Sunday Night investigation charts the audacious, inexplicable reign of terror that Mark and Gino Stocco got away with for too long.
This edition of SUNDAY NIGHT hosted by Melissa Doyle airs on Sunday at 8.15pm on Seven.