Accused double murderer found dead in jail cell
ACCUSED murderer of Robert Grayson and Derek Van Der Poel, Russell Williams, was found dead in his Rockhampton prison cell on Tuesday morning.
Staff made the grim discovery at the Capricornia Correctional Centre at about 5am.
Queensland Correctional Services is working with the Queensland Police Service to investigate the death.
The 51-year-old Rosedale man was charged with the murder of Mr Van Der Poel and Mr Grayson in January after police and investigators had a breakthrough in the 25-year cold case.
Robert Grayson (26 at the time) was reported missing on August 8, 1994 and on September 2, Derek Van Der Poel (then 23) was reported missing to Calliope police.
Both men were last seen alive in Gladstone in May 1993.
Their bodies still haven't been found, despite three recent searches at Kroombit Tops national park, their last known location.
Williams' lawyer appeared by phone in Gladstone Magistrates Court last week for a brief mention, and the case was adjourned.
The case was next due to appear before the court on June 19.
The Observer can now reveal Williams was also sentenced to life imprisonment after murdering his former de facto partner Joanne Brown in the 1990s.
On Thursday, April 4, 1996 Williams walked into the public bar of Calliope's Railway Hotel at 10.40pm and shot her at close range with a shotgun.
7 News Central Queensland reported Williams' death was not believed to be suspicious.
His next of kin have been informed, and all staff involved will be offered counselling and support.