Johnathon Byron WATKINS


Date of Birth: 1966
Last seen: 25 July 2001
Age: 37 years
Hair: Brown. May have a full faced beard
Eyes: Dark Brown
Weight: Solid build
Height: 193cms
Johnathon Watkins was last seen
on 25 July 2001 at his home in Montville on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland .
His former partner and two men were charged with his murder but in 2012 all were found not guilty of murder or manslaughter. They were found guilty of interfering with a corpse. The court heard his partner shot her husband twice then drove his body to a friend's place where he took it to a back paddock, doused it in diesel and burnt it for several days. Johnathon's remains have never been found.

Murder charges, Montville and Nambour: 

Last Updated: 28/01/2010

QLD Police have today charged two people for murder, following investigations into the disappearance of a 43-year-old Montville man who was reported missing by his family in July 2001.  Johnathon Watkins was allegedly last seen walking away from his home at Western Avenue in Montville and was not seen again.  In response to information received, warrants were executed today resulting in the arrests.  A 50-year-old Nambour man has been charged with murder, a 42-year-old Montville woman has also been charged with murder, and a 38-year-old Montville man has been charged with being an accessory after the fact, interfering with a corpse and drug matters.  All will be appearing in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Anyone with information which could assist police with their investigations should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Two accused of murdering man

Kieran Campbell 9th December 2010 - Sunshine Coast Daily


TWO people have been accused of murdering a man and disposing of his body in the Sunshine Coast hinterland nine years ago.

His body has never been found.

Michele Irsigler, 43, is accused of killing her former partner Johnathon Watkins, with the help of Russell Graham Pilkington, 51, in 2001.

Ms Irsigler's current partner Jason Scott Bundesen, 39, is charged with being an accessory to murder and interfering with a corpse.

A committal hearing in Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday heard police were first told of Mr Watkins' alleged murder more than four years after he disappeared from his home at Montville. A man said Mr Pilkington was drunk and upset when he opened up about his role in Mr Watkins' murder.

A video of a re-enactment of the crime was tendered to the court. The three accused allegedly made admissions to police about their roles in Mr Watkins' death.

It is alleged they dumped his body under a pile of logs near Montville, doused it with diesel and burnt it.

Mr Watkins' father, Johnathon Watkins Senior, told the court he heard an argument between his son and Ms Irsigler on the day he was allegedly killed. Mr Watkins lived 100 metre from his parents' home.

“I hesitated to intervene initially but eventually I went to see what was going on,” Mr Watkins Snr said.

“I went into the cottage through the back door to see Michele ... in the living room and said, ‘are you OK'? There was no sign of Johnathon. She had a cut on her cheek. She said he threw the car keys at her.”

Mr Watkins Snr said Ms Irsigler told him his son had gone. A week later he reported his son missing to police.

“I accepted the story at the time because I thought it was quite possible that he would do that sort of thing, take off and decide to turn his back on everything and just go,” Mr Watkins Snr said.

The court heard Mr Watkins had “a very violent temper”, which stemmed from him allegedly being raped as a young teenager.

“In his rages he would get very destructive of property,” Mr Watkins Snr said of his son. “He would unaccountably go into rage. I often wondered what precipitated those rages.”

Mr Watkins' sister Judith told the court her brother had an unpredictable temper.

“He loved animals, was really kind and really gentle and really loving and we were quite good friends. But there were a couple of times that I interfered with him having fights with my mother and he turned the abuse to me,” she said.

Killing not a surprise to friend

A CLOSE friend of Michele Irsigler said she knew the Montville woman had killed her husband but promised to take the secret to her grave.

A CLOSE friend of Michele Irsigler said she knew the Montville woman had killed her husband but promised to take the secret to her grave.

In the Brisbane Supreme Court, Susan Raines told how she found out about the alleged murder hours after Ms Irsigler shot her husband, Jonathon Watkins.

The day after Mr Watkins was killed and his body disposed of, Ms Raines saw Ms Irsigler.

"She told me that Jon had gone and I looked her straight in the face and said, 'I know what happened'," Ms Raines said.

"And basically from then onwards our relationship and friendship just disappeared.

"We couldn't look each other in the eye."

Ms Irsigler, who has pleaded not guilty at her trial for murder, had gone to Ms Raines' home on the morning of July 25, 2001, saying her husband had kept her hostage for three days and bashed and raped her.

Ms Raines said Ms Irsigler feared for her life and the pair discussed her going to a women's refuge before Ms Irsigler phoned police.

Ms Raines' former partner, Russell Pilkington, went with Ms Irsigler to pack up belongings from their marital home at Montville.

That night, Ms Raines said Mr Pilkington phoned her, crying.

He allegedly confessed he and Ms Irsigler had been packing belongings when Mr Watkins arrived in a rage and attacked his wife.

Ms Raines said Mr Pilkington told her he had hit Mr Watkins to protect Ms Irsigler, who then went into a bedroom and returned with a shotgun and fired twice into Mr Watkins.

"He broke down and told me that John was dead," Ms Raines said.

"I think he just said he was shot."

Mr Watkins, who has been described in the trial as a gentle giant who could turn into a monster, allegedly abused Ms Irsigler for many years leading up to his death.

Mr Pilkington and Ms Irsigler's current partner, Jason Bundesen, have both pleaded not guilty to being accessories after the fact of murder.

The trial continues.



Not guilty of murdering husband

A WOMAN who shot her husband twice, drove his body to a friend's place to be burnt and lied about his disappearance has been found not guilty of murder.

Michele Irsigler walked free yesterday, acquitted of the murder charge against her because of her evidence that she had been the victim of two decades of abuse.

During a fortnight-long trial in Brisbane Supreme Court, Ms Irsigler told of the events before she killed her husband, Jonathan Watkins, in their Montville home on July 25, 2001.

She said she had been kept hostage in the family home for three days before she shot him as he attacked her.

A jury returned a not guilty verdict for charges of murder and manslaughter against Ms Irsigler.

She was found guilty of interfering with a corpse and sentenced to a wholly suspended one-year jail term.

Two men accused of being accessories to the murder, Russell Graham Pilkington and her current partner Jason Scott Bundesen, also were found guilty of interfering with a corpse.

The pair received the same sentence and were found not guilty of all other charges.

Mr Pilkington was helping Ms Irsigler collect her belongings from the house when Mr Watkins arrived home and started attacking his wife.

She managed to escape, found a gun she had borrowed from a friend and shot Mr Watkins twice.

They drove his body to Mr Bundesen's property, where he took it to a back paddock, doused it in diesel and burnt it for several days.

Days later, Ms Irsigler told police her husband had stormed off, saying he would never be seen again.

He was listed as a missing person for many years until Mr Pilkington made a drunk confession to the incident years later.

No trace of Mr Watkins was ever found.

Ms Irsigler told police she never wanted to kill her husband but said she had the gun to scare him.

"Why (did I shoot him)? Eighteen years of being bumped around, being threatened," she said.

"I wanted my life back.

"I wanted to get up in the morning and not be beaten up during the day ... to have a normal life.

"I wanted a normal life for my children."