Dennis McKenna – Katanning inquiry’s bizarre Ku Klux Klan link

Dennis, Neil and Wayne McKenna – Pedophile Brothers – All the Hallmarks of Masonic Child Abuse and Constant Cover-ups in Perth

Friends in High Places – Witnesses Threatened, Abused and Sacked – Police Protected for 15 years while Sexually Abusing dozens of boys before finally being charged.

The Question begs to be asked – Who are His ‘Friends’? And why are they not being charged?

Katanning inquiry’s bizarre Ku Klux Klan link

School girls were driven to the town’s cemetery in the dead of night and left there. Bonfires with burning crosses were lit as school boys dressed in Ku Klux Klan outfits danced around chanting.

Students spied on fellow students and reported back in return for favours.

Welcome to life at St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning – the private kingdom of a ruthless paedophile protected for 15 years by a community that shut its eyes and ears.

Evidence this week at the inquiry into how Dennis John McKenna got away with child sex abuse at the government hostel between 1975 and 1990, has been bizarre, emotional and beyond belief.

When McKenna was finally arrested for molesting five boys, the Country High Schools Hostels Authority put his younger brother Neil Vincent McKenna in charge of the boarders.

While Dennis McKenna was waiting to face trial, the authority transferred him to its Perth office to rewrite its handbook for hostel boarders across WA.

Before that happened, Katanning residents, including community leaders, formed the Friends of Dennis campaign in a bid to have him reinstated at the hostel.

Parent Tom Hart was at the group’s first meeting in 1990 and couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“All these people standing up giving glowing reports about Dennis and how wonderful he was,” Mr Hart told inquiry chief Peter Blaxell.

Outside the inquiry in Katanning, Mr Hart fought back tears when asked about the inaction of authorities back then.

“It was all covered up,” he said. “It’s a bloody disgrace.”

Thomas Fisher – who had been told the extent of McKenna’s abuse by a detective – was also at the 1990 gathering.

“My wife and I as parents feel utterly betrayed by the fact that a government institution could allow such abuses to occur over such a period of time,” Mr Fisher told the inquiry.

The farmer was luckier than most rural parents seduced by the high praise for St Andrew’s and faced with few options for their children’s education.

He was visited in 1986 by the father of former boarders at the hostel who had long been complaining that McKenna was a paedophile. Before sending his oldest boy to the hostel, Mr Fisher paid McKenna a visit.

“I told him if he ever touched one of my sons physically in anger or in any inappropriate way he would spend a great deal of time in hospital,” Mr Fisher said.

Such threats might have been the only way to stop McKenna’s urges.

On Thursday, the student whose complaint brought the paedophile down in 1990 told the inquiry that his school principal Ian Murray didn’t believe him when he made the allegation and “that was it”.

Todd Jefferis wouldn’t be swayed and was quickly subjected to false rumours that he’d been expelled from the hostel to discredit his complaint.But the evidence of one mum, whose daughter was allegedly abused by Neil McKenna, was some of the strangest.

She said her daughter and other girls were driven one night to the Katanning cemetery, ordered off the bus and abandoned before Year 12 boys sprung up from behind headstones.

Then there was the night Dennis McKenna organised a burning cross on a bonfire and watched as boys wearing white hoods moved in unison around it.

She was elated by the warden’s arrest and departure and horrified when his brother took over. “I was in shock,” she said. “I thought here we go again.”

Neil McKenna will stand trial this month on charges stemming from his time at St Andrew’s. The Blaxell inquiry continues on Tuesday.

Gary Adshead, The West AustralianUpdated March 3, 2012, 2:30 am

Ignored complaints against pedophile Dennis John McKenna spark inquiry call

WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett wants an inquiry into how one of Australia’s worst serial pedophiles was able to continue his abuse for years after initial complaints to police.

Mr Barnett has met with Public Sector Commissioner Mal Wauchope to discuss an official inquiry into allegations that complaints against Dennis John McKenna were dismissed by police and senior public servants in the 1970s and 80s.

McKenna was jailed for six years last month after pleading guilty to sexually abusing six boys, aged 13 to 15, in his care.

He had previously been jailed for six years in 1991 for similar offences and may face more charges as other victims come forth.

All the offences happened at St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning, a boys’ home in WA’s Great Southern region, where McKenna was head warden from 1975 to 1990.

McKenna was considered a pillar of the Katanning community at the time and had received numerous awards for his work with children.

Two former government employees have since publicly stated their superiors, police and a Katanning Shire councillor all ignored claims by one of the victims in 1985 that he had been sexually abused by McKenna, who remained in charge of the hostel for another five years until his arrest.

One of the former government employees is Maggie Dawkins, the wife of former federal treasurer John Dawkins.

Mrs Dawkins, who was involved with a youth training and employment program that used the hostel for accommodation, has called for a royal commission into the abuse.

A newspaper report today said the WA Department of Education first received a child sex complaint about McKenna in 1980 – a decade before his first arrest.

Mr Barnett told parliament today he was awaiting advice from Mr Wauchope before deciding what action to take.

“I will await that advice of the Public Sector Commission and then cabinet will consider it, and if we make a decision on an inquiry and what form it should be, I will inform the house immediately,” he said.

Mr Barnett said an independent inquiry was “one of the options being considered”, along with a royal commission.

From: AAP November 08, 2011 4:05PM

Reader Comments

Mick of Perth Posted at 3:28 PM November 17, 2011

Barnett was against compensating child victims of state sanctioned sex abuse with his slashing of Redress. Then he was part of a governemnt which refused to further investigate Katanning Hostel and this evil perpetrator nearly a decade ago. NOW he thinks he might do the right thing, now after the suicides, all the family breakdowns and alcoholism. The only good thing about all this misery is that Barnett will only serve a single term as premier.

terry of perth Posted at 7:58 PM November 08, 2011

Bring on the paedophile registry, the sooner the better

givemestrength Posted at 9:02 PM November 08, 2011

St Andrews was not a boys home. It was a state government owned and run co-ed boarding establishment for country kids attending the local senior high school. The students aged from 12-17 years and mostly came from farming families or small towns that did not have high school facilities. The families paid fees to have their children accommodated at this facility, this was not a charitable institution or a a crisis care unit. The Country High Schools Hostel Authority still exists today and its patron was the man in charge of the authority when all of this took place.

Listening Colon. Posted at 8:43 AM November 09, 2011

Because we have a weak and pathtetic justice system that is all for the perpetrator while the victim is helped by no-one!!!!!

 Jarrahdalian of Perth Posted at 9:47 AM November 09, 2011

So there should be an inquiry an the justice system is weak he should have been locked up for good to all his victims stand proud you have a lot of support I am an ex boarder of st Andrews an this whole thing makes me sick

 Gloria lennox of Wagin WA Posted at 6:03 PM November 11, 2011

I worked there for six months 7 was horrify the way some of the children were treated, also why were so many of his family employed there.The situated became so unbearable that i gave in my notice.

 Outraged of Bring Back Capital Punishment Posted at 1:51 PM November 17, 2011

I have noticed a few people in various forums say they worked there etc and it was so bad and how badly the children were treated. Comment above – “It was so unbearable that I gave in my notice”…..are you serious????? It is a disgrace that so many peoples lives have been destroyed and that clearly some people knew something was not right. I know I am only an outsider looking in and wasn’t there to know what it was like but “handing in your notice” does nothing to protect those innocent kids that had no chance of protecting themselves. When those kids showed a massive amount of courage to speak up they were shut down or not believed. Similarly, people are talking now after all these years and saying they alerted autorities etc but my personal opinion is that this is not good enough. If they were serious they would have done whatever it takes to get this out there including bringing in journalists or other means if necessary. Enough pressure back then and that situation would have cracked earlier saving so much more trauma. Hope I am not being too harsh on those surrounding the situation without knowing the full facts but I find this the most horrific breach of trust imaginable.

 Melanie of Rockingham Posted at 7:49 AM March 07, 2012

I worked for this man back in 2005 at a store he ran at the kwinana hub. I have only just found out about this, from a news report i saw this morning, i recognised his face instantly. I was always really unsure about him. There were a couple of young teenage boys that would pop in every couple of days and he would give them money and go off with them randomly. I was only 17 at the time and never gave it too much thought. Now i know what was going on, years later. I will be informing the police. I cant believe i worked for this monster.


 

   Enquiry Transcripts on the McKenna ‘Pedophile Brotherhood’