'I'm not a serial killer': Suspect in SA murders says he's innocent

A Victorian man who is a suspect in three separate cold-case murders in South Australia says he is innocent.

Steven Hainsworth, who now lives in Mildura, has been linked by police to the murders of two grandmothers and a pensioner over a 13-year period. Police announced this week they believed one killer was responsible for all three murders due to new forensic evidence.

Hainsworth has denied killing anyone.

“I’m not a serial killer and I haven’t committed no murders,” he told 7 News.

Phyllis Harrison, Beverley Hanley and Stephen Newton were killed between 1998 and 2011. Source: SA Police
Police say one killer is responsible for all three murders. Source: 7News

“I hope that whoever is responsible is caught and then I’ve got the monkey off my back … and the people that doubted me, well then they can apologise to me.”

On Tuesday, South Australian police said they had uncovered fresh forensic evidence that linked the three murders for the first time.

“Now I can say we have proof and we believe theft was the motive in all three matters,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.

The involvement of a single suspect had been considered before, but was not able to be fully proven until Task Force Resolute initiated a review into the cases earlier this year.

7 News tracked down and confronted Steven Hainsworth. Source: 7 News

Phyllis Harrison, 71, was found dead with multiple stab wounds and her Elizabeth South home ransacked in 1998, while 64-year-old Beverley Hanley suffered severe head injuries and her handbag was stolen from her Elizabeth North property in 2010.

A range of items including a TV, DVDs and computer games were missing from Stephen Newtown’s Mount Gambier unit after he was found dead and covered in rubbish in 2011.

“This was a cowardly attack on two grandmothers and an invalid pensioner; each attack was extremely brutal,” Supt Bray said.