THE key witness in the McCulkin murder trial was nicknamed "Big Three” because he once urinated, vomited and defecated at the same time while drunk.
Crown witness Peter Hall claims Garry Reginald 'Shorty' Dubois confessed to playing a part in the murder of Barbara, Leanne and Vicki McCulkin who disappeared from their Highgate Hill home on January 16, 1974.
Mr Dubois, 69, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of deprivation of liberty, two of rape and three charges of murder.
The Torbanlea resident's co-accused, 78-year-old Vincent O'Dempsey of Warwick, is scheduled to face trial next year.
Under questioning from defence barrister Dennis Lynch on Friday, Mr Hall admitted he was nicknamed "Big Three” or "Three” because as a 16-year-old apprentice he got so drunk he lost control of all his body functions at once.
Mr Hall conceded his drinking problem was so bad that he regularly had "Southern Comfort Sundays” during the 1970s in which he would drink an entire bottle of whiskey after mowing his lawn.
He also admitted to driving around with a six-pack of alcohol on the passenger seat, that he smashed up countless vehicles due to "inattention” and that he used drugs including LSD.
Mr Hall also shot a man in the buttocks and head after the victim harassed a prostitute friend of his and he spent more than three years behind bars in Australia and New Zealand for a range of offences including grievous bodily harm and break and enters.
Mr Hall told the court it was hard admitting he was once a drunk and a criminal.
"I've been married, I've got two kids - it's still not easy coming in and giving this evidence,” he said.
Justifying his decision to not tell police about Mr Dubois's confession and lying about it at the Crime and Misconduct Commission in 2014, Mr Hall said: "If you lived back then, there was a code you didn't break, you didn't give people up.”
ARM Newsdesk reported on Thursday that Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath signed indemnity documents ensuring Mr Hall will not be prosecuted for perjury or for crimes he admits to while giving testimony in this case.
Mr Hall said Mr Dubois confessed that he (Dubois) and Mr O'Dempsey raped Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, and that Mr O'Dempsey killed them and their 34-year-old mother.
Mr Hall said Mr Dubois told him they drove Mrs McCulkin and her girls to the bush where "O'Dempsey separated the mother from the daughters into the darkness”.
"He (Dubois) believes he strangled her - he said there were gurgling sounds and O'Dempsey seemed to be gone for what seemed to be a long period of time,” Mr Hall said.
"After the sound stopped he (O'Dempsey) came down and proceeded to rape one of the girls.”
Mr Hall said Mr O'Dempsey told Mr Dubois to "rape the other one, which he had trouble doing”.
"He (Dubois) said he didn't feel real good but he eventually complied.
"After that was over, O'Dempsey killed one (of the sisters) and asked him to kill the other.
"He said he couldn't do it so O'Dempsey killed the other (girl).
"They waited till dawn then they buried the bodies.
"He (Dubois) said once the sun come up and he looked at them it was a horrific sight.”
The court previously heard that the McCulkins may have had some knowledge of the 1973 Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub blaze that killed 15 people in 1973.
Crown prosecutor David Meredith told the court that Mr Hall, Mr Dubois, Mr O'Dempsey and two other men were behind the torching of the Torino nightclub about 10 days before the Whiskey Au Go Go went up in flames.
The court has heard that the accused feared their involvement in the Torino blaze could see them linked to the Whiskey fire and that Mrs McCulkin was "blackmailing” Mr O'Dempsey.
The McCulkins' bodies have not been found.
The trial continues on Monday. - ARM NEWSDESK