Australian Institute of Criminology

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Operation Aquatic : investigation into the murder of Mrs Ricky Conway

74 Leichhardt Street, Griffith, ACT, Ben Cartwright
15 February 2006 -

Ben Cartwright
Australian Federal Police


A presentation on the practical dimensions to investigative work to enable researchers to better understand criminal justice processes for serious criminal matters, as well as how they can better assist investigators through research.


On the 4th May 1997, Ricky Conway was found dead at her home in Evatt. The subsequent investigation led to four people being arrested and charged with her murder. One of these persons was her husband, John Conway, a serving member of the Australian Federal Police.

The investigation was led by Detective Superintendent Cartwright who is giving the presentation. He will discuss the developments which revealed John Conway and his mistress, Kathy McFie, had paid two men to go to Mrs Conway's house in the early hours of the morning and kill Ricky Conway by injecting her with a lethal dose of heroin.

Detective Superintendent Cartwright will discuss the lengths to which John Conway went to distance himself from the murder and how he turned on Kathy McFie during the Supreme Court trial.

About the presenter

Detective Superintendent Cartwright joined the AFP in 1984, beginning with General Duties at Woden he subsequently held various positions across a broad spectrum of policing roles in the ACT including: Accident Investigation, Belconnen Detectives and the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Team. Following this he moved to Queensland where he worked in Professional Standards conducting Internal Investigation.

On returning to Canberra he spent time as the Staff Officer for the Chief Police Officer of the ACT and as the Acting Superintendent of Crime Prevention. In 2004, he was promoted to Superintendent and moved to the national side of the AFP where he is currently performing duties in Aviation Security.