Born deaf; attended the West Australian School for Deaf and Dumb Children from ages 5 to 16, where he was characterized as a "slow learner". Arrested and tried in 1961 for the murder of a woman in her apartment. He was "railroaded" by an unethical social worker pressed into service as an unqualified interpreter and by an overzealous police detective, and sentenced to death, commuted to life imprisonment at hard labor. In 1963, a hearing "spree-slayer", John Cooke, was arrested for multiple random murders. Though a link to the 1961 murders surfaced during Cooke's trial, police did not investigate the possibility that Cooke had committed them also and that Beamish was innocent, and Cooke was hanged before any such trial could have been started. The police investigators and judges at the first trial would not admit the possibility they were wrong the first time, so never pursued the matter. Beamish languished in jail until his parole in 1971. The West Australian government never acknowledged the miscarriage of justice.
Deaf to Evidence, p.50-92.
12 April 1941-