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Attempted murder with Abrus precatorius seeds

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I've been busting to tell this story, but the police told me I wasn't allowed to talk about it. however yesterday it was on the news with all those details I wasn't allowed to speak about, so i figure it must be OK now.

Just as SAB closed for our trading break in June 2001, we received a late order for a few packs of Abrus precatorius seeds. The customer claimed he needed them to fix his mum's rosary chain and spn a very elaborate story around this. We still had some left over stock so we sent the seedspacks to him.

I few days later I was in Sydney and was just leaving to drive back up the coast when the news reported about a family murder, where mum, dad and daughter were brutally stabbed. The son was not present, but was not reported as a suspect at the time. The whole story was quite gruesome and it stuck in my head during the boring drive home.

A few weeks or even months later I get a message on my mobile from a Task Force detective to get in touch with them and I immediately thought the authorities were going to give SAB a hard time. Well, it wasn't about SAB itself, but about the fact that SAB pages were found on the computer of a suspect in a murder case. Further snooping apparently also revealed that this person had ordered Abrus precatorius seeds from us. I had to give an interview at which I found out that the seeds were supposedly used in an attempt to poison a family, but that proving this was difficult as the active constituent was not detectable by GC/MS or any other forensics method so long after the fact. Apparently, after the poisoning failed the suspect decided to then use a more traditional method of doing away with the folks by stabbing them.

I did a little research on Abrus and found that the dosage he administered orally would not have had much of an effect at all and that it would have required injection. It seems to me that anyone researching this would have come to that conclusion immediately. But you can never tell what sort of mistakes people can make.

Looks like police still don't have a tight case cos they are still trying to establish facts. But the case did make the news once again the other day when the defendants legal team quit cos the judge cut him off from the family estate.

In the news report it was mentioned for the first time that he allegedly tried to kill his family with 'an exotic poison which he manufactured himself from seeds bought on the internet, leading to foodpoisoning of the mother', before eventually stabbing the family.

Just imagine if the guy actually got the method right and would have killed the family with the Abrin. That would have caused a stink. I wonder if other retailers have had such problems.

I'm going to hunt down some newspaper clippings now.

[ 20. August 2003, 02:26: Message edited by: Torsten ]

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The murder report:


The triple murder that haunts police

[ryde triple murder] Devout Catholics ... Gonzales family, from left, Seth, Mary, Clodine and Teddy.

By Stephen Gibbs

This is the God-fearing Gonzales family, three quarters of whom were killed inside their dream home in Sydney's north-west on Tuesday night in what police have described as an outrage.

The face of the only surviving member of the family, a son who came home and reported the massacre of his mother, father and sister, has been obscured in this photograph issued by police .

Detectives investigating the murders of solicitor Mr Teddy Gonzales, 46, his wife Mary, 43, and their daughter Clodine, 18, in their North Ryde home are appealing to the public for help.

Specifically, they want anyone who saw Mr Gonzales in his white Mitsubishi Pajero, with personalised plates TED 11G, between Blacktown and North Ryde on Tuesday evening.

Mr Gonzales, a successful lawyer specialising in immigration matters, was known to leave his office in Kildare Road, Blacktown, about 6pm each day for the hour-long drive home. Mrs Gonzales, who worked with her husband, is believed to have driven home in her vehicle about 4.55pm.

Sef Gonzales, the University of NSW law student who found his parents' and sister's bodies shortly before midnight, had also been at the office that day. His sister, a student in Melbourne, had been in the house during the day, but police were still trying to confirm her movements.

Sef, who was in the city between 8pm and 11pm, made a 000 call about midnight, saying he arrived home to find his parents dead. The Herald understands police found Mr Gonzales stabbed in the foyer and Mrs Gonzales stabbed, with her throat cut, in the living room.

Upstairs, they found Clodine on a bedroom floor with her throat cut.

However, Detective Inspector Geoff Leonard, of Strike Force Tawas, said post-mortem examinations on the three bodies would not be completed until today and would not speculate on the causes of death. He said only that all had suffered multiple trauma injuries.

Inspector Leonard also would not comment on reports that a race hate message had been found scrawled on the living-room wall. He said it was possible Mrs Gonzales had been killed before her husband. Inspector Leonard would not confirm the house had been ransacked and said forensic examination of the building would take several days.

The Gonzales family, devout Catholics who migrated from the Philippines in 1991, had moved from Blacktown to their newly built home in Collins Street, North Ryde, only last year.

While at Blacktown, Mr Gonzales had attended morning Mass at St Michael's Church three times a week and the family prayed together on Sundays. Mr and Mrs Gonzales held hands wherever they went in public.

Inspector Leonard said investigators had spoken to Sef Gonzales and several of his friends and associates.

Police were also examining any possible links between the murders and Mr Gonzales's work.

"We're certainly looking at his practice there," Inspector Leonard said.

Mr Gonzales's brother Frederick, a businessman in the Philippines, has called on the Philippine Government to take part in the investigation.

"We urge the Philippine Government through the consul to Australia to seriously look into it so that we will know the truth," Mr Gonzales told AFP from the family's home town - the northern city of Baguio.

Mr Gonzales said he would fly to Manila and organise a visa to Australia.

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The funeral:


A life left incomplete: only son sings a tearful farewell to his family

By Les Kennedy Chief Police Reporter

Sef Gonzales stood at the lectern at the Holy Spirt Catholic Church, three blocks walk from his North Ryde home where his parents and sister were stabbed to death 11 days ago.

"Papa, Mama, Clodine," he gasped at the sight of three flower-adorned coffins before him, white blooms for father Ted, yellow for mother Lovia and purple for his 18-year-old sister, whose white coffin contrasted with the rich dark red of those of her parents.

The 20-year-old law student paused momentarily at the 250 mourners before him. He closed his eyes, took a breath and then began to sing:

Sorry I never told you/

All I wanted to say/

And now it's too late to hold you/

'Cause you've flown away

So far away.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The song, One Sweet Day, originally performed as a duet by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, bought tears to many in the congregation, some whom had travelled from the Philippines to attend the funeral service.

Among the mourners were detectives investigating the murders, six school friends of Clodine from Melbourne's Sienna Catholic College, Philippine Consul officials, Sef's grandmother, Elie Claridades, and uncles Joseph and Edmond.

The song came at the end of a moving eulogy from Sef to his father, a man who he said had saved his life when, at the age of 10 , their hotel in the Philippine city of Baguio collapsed during an earthquake.

Sef said his father had told him that his name was the first ever in the world, but said he would not reveal its secret meaning until he turned 21.

"I will turn 21 on September this year. I will never find out the meaning of my name because it was taken away along with my father. That part of me will always be incomplete, along with many other parts of my life that only papa can fill.

"Besides being my hero and role model, he was my mentor," Sef said of his father, who set up a legal practice in Blacktown in 1996 after the family emigrated to Australia in 1991.

As a child he recalled going to sleep listening to his father's heartbeat as his head rested against his chest. "The rhythm of his heartbeat planted life in me and at that early moment instilled all the strength that I needed to face the life ahead of me. A man like papa does not die. His heart continues to beat in me and in all of you who have known him," he said.

The eulogy was preceded by separate eulogies from female relatives on the life of Mrs Gonzales and daughter Clodine.

Mrs Liza Carroll, who cared for Clodine in Melbourne, said of the murders, a motive for which has yet to be established by police: "How can something so tragic happen to such a nice person? It's sad to see a life wasted and dreams unfulfilled."

Family friend and Manly parish priest Father Rex Curry said the evil which was visited upon the Gonzales family at their Collins Street home on the night of July 10 would never be allowed to triumph.

"Today we are trying to reconcile an atrocity - the brutal slaying of three people - husband and father, a wife and mother, and beloved daughter," he said.

"I don't even pretend to understand why such a horrific tragedy should have occurred. But we have to continue, continue living with the reality of the horrors of Collins Street, North Ryde, even though we don't understand."

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The arrest:


From song of pain to murder counts

By Les Kennedy


June 14 2002

[sef Gonzales]

Sef Gonzales speaking to the media last July about the murder of his family. Yesterday he was charged with their murders.

Eleven months ago Sef Gonzales sang a song in tribute at the funeral for his murdered parents and sister whose hacked bodies he had found at their North Ryde home.

Two weeks ago the now unemployed business student said publicly he had been the victim of an attempted abduction by a group of men who had tried to pull him into a car near his new highrise unit at Chatswood.

Yesterday, the young man who, in an appeal last year for information on the killer, had described his family as the "three corners" of his world, appeared before a Sydney court charged with having stabbed to death his father Teddy, 46, mother Mary Loiva Josephine, 43, and sister Clodine, 18.

Through defence barrister Peter Kintominas, Mr Gonzales, 21, entered pleas of not guilty to having murdered all three, whose bodies were found in different rooms of their Collin Street home on the night of Tuesday, July 10, last year.

Mr Gonzales had been initially arrested by homicide detectives from Strike Force Tawas just before 8am yesterday when they executed a search warrant at his 11th-floor unit in the plush Bentleigh apartments in Katherine Street, Chatswood. He was taken in handcuffs to nearby Chatswood police station where just before 1pm he was charged with triple murder.

At 3.22pm yesterday Mr Gonzales, wearing thin goldround rimmed glasses, his head shaved, dressed in a black T-shirt, khaki hooded jumper and blue jeans, was brought before Hornsby Local Court.

In the public gallery, seated with arresting detectives, was his uncle Joseph Claridades, who refused to look at him.

For most of the hearing Mr Gonzales sat with his eyes closed as if in meditation, at times with his head bowed.

When magistrate John McIntosh asked if he was Sef Gonzales, he nodded his head and said quietly: "Yes."

It was the only word he spoke during the brief appearance. The police tendered no evidence on what led them to conclude after an 11-month investigation that Mr Gonzales was the killer.

Mr Kintominas said that although the defence did not intend to apply for bail until Mr Gonzales' next court appearance, he wanted immediately to enter three pleas of not guilty.

"I can just make it very clear," Mr Kintominas said, "at this stage my client will be pleading not guilty and will vigorously contest the allegations."

Mr Kintominas said police were alleging that Mr Gonzales was a serious "flight risk".

"Police have told all and sundry in six to nine months that they were going to arrest him, that they were sure he was guilty and they were going to arrest him," he said.

Mr Kintominas then referred to Mr Gonzales' parents' $2 million estate that he stood to inherit. "He is the beneficiary under the wills of the deceased and it is in his interests to clear his name because once he is acquitted of these charges he will be able to inherit," he said.

Mr Kintominas also complained about the manner in which police had raided Mr Gonzales' home yesterday and arrested him.

He said that on more than one occasion Mr Gonzales' legal team had told police that he was willing to present himself freely at any police station if they intended to charge him with the murder of his family.

Without disclosing details of what alleged evidence police had gathered against Mr Gonzales, Mr Kintominas said there were a number of allegations and suppositions made that were tenuous.

Mr Gonzales "has substantial alibis for a large part of the evening" before discovering his parents' bodies, he said.

Mr McIntosh formally refused bail and remanded Mr Gonzales to reappear before Hornsby Local Court on June 25.

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Wanting to spend the parents' money:

Down to his last $400, Gonzales urgently needs money for triple murder defence

By Lee Glendinning

May 31 2003

Police say university student Sef Gonzales killed his parents and sister because he stood to inherit $10 million from the family estate.

But the 22-year-old would only receive $1.2 million, according to documents tendered in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday.

This information was revealed during Gonzales' urgent battle to gain access to his family's estate to prove his innocence at trial.

He has launched the action against his maternal grandmother, Amelita Claridades, the executrix of the family estate.

When Gonzales' bail application was rejected in March, the Crown alleged part of his motive for the triple murder was greed.

A possible explanation for the $8.8 million discrepancy could be substantial family real estate holdings in Manila. It has not yet been suggested in court how much these are worth.

Gonzales, who has just $400 in the bank, , says he needs access to the $1.2 million to prepare a case.

He would need this to mount a substantial case in answer to the state's most senior prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, QC, and the thousands of pages of police evidence served to his lawyers.

Legal counsel suggested yesterday that a defendant seeking access to the money of those he stands charged with killing may be a world first.

Teddy Gonzales' $1.2 million assets in Australia included the family home in North Ryde, valued at $700,000, his business at $240,000, about $70,000 in superannuation, two cars, and an unclaimed lottery ticket worth $10.75.

Sef Gonzales' Philippines-based paternal grandparents wrote a letter tendered to the public trustee saying that morally they could not allow Teddy Gonzales' estate to be used in the murder trial.

"Words cannot describe and convey our grief, loss and outrage over what befell him, our daughter-in-law and our grand-daughter," their letter read.

"We refuse any part of the estate of our son Teddy to be used in any manner, directly or indirectly for the defence of Sef."

Gonzales' counsel, Brian Rayment, QC, said his client was entitled to the presumption of innocence. "You can't presume someone is a murderer. That's a revocation to the presumption of innocence. If he's not a murderer, he's entitled to the estate now."

He said there will be "grave consequences" if his client is not granted access to the money.

These grave consequences will be - as the judge conceded yesterday - a vastly different style of defence, which may well affect the outcome of the trial.

The committal hearing is expected to take about three weeks, during which potential witnesses will be called to give evidence.

If the application is refused, the only legal advice available to Gonzales will be a solicitor from legal aid at the rate of $600 a day. This would mean only $3000 would be available for the committal proceedings. It is only at an impending trial that a barrister - from the public defender's office - would become available to him.

Gonzales was charged 11 months after Teddy Gonzales, 46, his wife, Mary Loiva, 43, and daughter, Clodine, 18, were hacked to death in their North Ryde home on July 10, 2001.

Justice Joseph Campbell has reserved his decision.

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.... and not getting it.


Gonzales loses fight to tap parents' estate

By Lee Glendinning

June 13 2003

Sef Gonzales, accused of the stabbing murders of his parents and sister, has lost a court battle to gain access to his parent's estate to fund his defence.

Gonzales had taken action in the Supreme Court to gain access to the $1.2 million estate to pay for defence counsel in what is likely to be a lengthy case led by a senior Crown prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi.

Gonzales's legal team has ruled out acting pro bono, which means he may be forced to seek legal aid if his planned appeal to the Supreme Court decision is unsuccessful.

Legal aid would provide Gonzales representation worth $3000 in total, while private counsel would cost him about $10,500 per week.

On July 10, 2001, Teddy Gonzales, 46, his wife, Mary Loiva, 43, and their daughter Clodine, 18, were murdered in their home in North Ryde. Sef Gonzales discovered their bodies.

Eleven months later he was charged with the murders and has been in custody since.

Justice Joseph Campbell yesterday refused Gonzales's urgent application. He said it was a matter of public policy that anyone accused of murder could not inherit from the victim.

"Even if it turns out to be the case . . . that Sef did not unlawfully kill his parents, that does not mean necessarily that he has a right, now, to payment of any amount from the estate."

Gonzales's lawyer, Dieb Khoury, told the court that his 22-year-old client, a former law student, was devastated by the decision.

"He just can't believe his grandparents have taken the action they have in refusing to allow him the opportunity to properly defend himself."

Mr Khoury said that a defence funded by legal aid could be truncated, and might produce a different result.

Teddy Gonzales's will, made on February 23, 1998, stated that should he and his wife die at the same time, "the entire estate shall be divided equally between our two children, Sef Gonzales and Clodine Gonzales, in equal shares as joint tenants".

Sef Gonzales's grandmother, Amelita Clariades, is executor of the estate.

If Gonzales is found guilty of murder, his paternal grandparents, Mr and Mrs William Gonzales, who live in the Philippines, stand to inherit the money.

A committal hearing is anticipated before the end of the year.

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Wicked... how did this dude find SAB?

He probably typed a number of poison names into his browser...

I'd better watch out for large atropa orders...

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could have bypassed the net altogether and used weeds from the local empty suburban block

Castor oil bean



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what would be the best bet for a clean undetectable poison i wonder - just as a matter of curiosity.

how's this for a (currently) undetectable way to kill: death by gigatesla's of magnetic pulse to the cranium.

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Hoho, thel, why you're asking?

Want to bring someone "around the corner?"

But this just re-meditating this here case again:

I've spent quite a bit of time in the Philippines and with philippino people, and thinking about how they were such "devout catholics"...

I can picture them:

The parents very strict and religiously into moneymaking...

the young killer grew up in western society and wants to enjoy the "decadence" but is totally restricted by his family....

if he breaks away, he will have no money...

so he decides, probably more subconcious than consciously to murder them...

Of course if he would have thought the case through he would have known that he would automatically be prime suspect...

you can only use "so much" suppression nd oppression against people before they erupt and turn against their oppressors...

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Palytoxin was first isolated from the soft coral Palythoa toxica. Several species of Palythoa are used in aquariums, but do not produce the toxin. Originally, it was only found in a single tidal pool on the island of Maui in Hawaii and native Hawaiians used to coat spear points with a red seaweed from the pool. Toxin-containing corals appear to be randomly and sparingly distributed throughout the South Pacific and there is now a school of thought that suggests that the coral is simply concentrating the toxin made by a dinoflagellate (a small single-celled organism) called Ostreopis siamensis


has also been observed to grow in the carribean... hmmmmmm :cool:

but cool you mention that AUX,... have been meaning to look up cyanobacteria (botulism) stuff.(lol - forgot to mention that palytoxin lead to cyano bacteria & botulism, something that I have been meaning to research... since I do not trust swiming in fresh water very much - and then I saw fuggin warning sings and stuff about it on the news evrywher while I was in Holland. So now I am even more weary about fresh water)

Sea water I am cool with.... I understand it better.

[ 28. August 2003, 16:07: Message edited by: brian ]

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Cool that you followed up, brian.

I never saw that webpage before... sweet!

I think I did find an error though, they said:

"Palytoxin is the most toxic natural product known"

But according to the scientific literature its the most powerful NON-PROTEINACEOUS poison known.

Of course I havent read anything printed on it in the last couple decades- maby they ruled out the most deadly protein as being stronger.

Funny that they have a terrorist section, cashing in on peoples fear. Terrorists wont use this compound.

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The song, One Sweet Day, originally performed as a duet by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, bought tears to many in the congregation


That figures.

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Cool that you followed up, brian.

I never saw that webpage before... sweet!

I think I did find an error though, they said:

"Palytoxin is the most toxic natural product known"

But according to the scientific literature its the most powerful NON-PROTEINACEOUS poison known.


You might want to check up on the definition of a natural product... As a term of the art, a natural product is a metabolic derivative of product of the central intermediary metabolism of an organism that does not play a role in primary metabolism. It includes things like polyketides, terpenes, amino acid, purine and pyrimidine-derived alkaloids, modified carbohydrates, depsipeptides, NRS peptides and so on. Large ribosomally-synthesized proteins do not qualify as natural products, hence the distinction between palytoxin, which is a natural product, and botulin, which is a large ribosomally synthesized peptide.



Funny that they have a terrorist section, cashing in on peoples fear. Terrorists wont use this compound.[/QB]

Not funny in the slightest. If you'd looked at the front page, you would have noticed that it is aimed at safety and security personnel, who need to know about these things. The site is used quite extensively by the military, LEA's and TLA's for exactly this purpose, and they are screaming for more from us. Every agent page on the site has a section on terrorist interest section. You might want to look at a few. As for cashing in, setting up and maintaining this site has cost me thousands, and I have not made a penny from it.

Alec Chambers, webmaster, cbwinfo.com

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botulism, you might need to point your searches towards clostridia.

Famed for tetanus and the botox.


Botulism is the disease caused by infection with Clostridium botulinum or intoxication with the the toxin which has the formal name of botulin. Clostridium botulinum and the toxin are considered high-level risk agents by the Australia group, which decided such things. Clostridium tetani is considered of secondary importance.

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Abrus precatorius is known in the Philippines, and not just for decoration.

I would have thought that a significant dose of the untreated seeds would leave other obviously abrus-related chemicals detectable in the body. I have read that the pure toxin can now be detected when in toxic doses.

I remember a case where a woman tried to kill her husband with laburnum seeds. She boiled them up like lentils. He enjoyed many plates of them and disappointed her by not dying. She shouldn't have thrown away the cooking water. She tried something else less subtle and failed in a more noticeable way if I remember correctly.

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the new's reported yesterday that sef gonzales got convicted for killing his whole family.

they also reported that he will be trialed soon for an attemted murder with poison!

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Guest electro

thats nasty ..

im glad the cops didnt try to arrest you for "supplying" the seeds ...

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I was subpoenad for the case, but luckily my statement was accepted without challenge. The prosecution had me a plane ticket and hotel booked already, and I had cancelled all my easter plans. Then a few hours before I was supposed to leave they ring me and tell me I am not needed, but that I would have to make myself available ANYTIME over the following 3 weeks. I'm glad it's over - one way or the other, although from my perspective he was guilty anyway.

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Makes me glad I never gave out the recipe for concentrating a specific plant poison as I was requested on SP some time ago.

I became suspicious when the inquirer refused to tell me why he wanted to concentrate it, as there is no practical or ludible use for it other than as a deadly poison.

When I refused he became indignant, another indication I was correct in my assessment.

Fortunately, so far no one has ever tried to kill anyone (that I am aware of) with my products, although it still gives me concern.

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Sef Gonzales actually used the description on these webpages to get his order. We had actually just shut down our retail side for a 6 months break when his snail mail order arrived. he followed it up with some e-mails stating how he wanted to fix his mum's rosary for her birthday which was the following week. He demonstrated great urgency and dedication. So we filled the order.

Makes me wonder what happened to the 2 or 3 other customers (or their families/ex lovers/workmates) who have over the years ordered multiple packets of this. I think I'll put a one pack limit on them.

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