DNA evidence helps convict man of killing two women in one of Australia's most notorious cold cases

Police continue their forensic investigation at the Kewdale home of Bradley Robert Edwards on December 23, 2016 in Perth, Australia.

(CNN)For almost 25 years, the disappearance of three young women from a popular nightlife area in one of Australia's biggest cities remained a cold case. Now, a man has been found guilty of two of their murders.

Bradley Robert Edwards was found guilty Thursday of murdering 23-year-old childcare worker Jane Rimmer in 1996 and 27-year-old lawyer Ciara Glennon in 1997. He was found not guilty of murdering Sarah Spiers, an 18-year-old secretary whose body has never been found, as there was insufficient evidence.
The verdict came after a seven-month judge-alone trial of the case which has continued to loom large in the minds of residents of Perth, in the state of Western Australia.
    "The events in question occurred more than 20 years ago but have haunted the memory of many people and troubled the public conscience," Western Australia Supreme Court Justice Stephen Hall said in his judgment.
    "The disappearance and likely murder of three young women was in itself enough to cause wide concern. The fact that all three went missing from a popular nightlife area frequented by many young people inspired a real and pervasive sense of fear."

    What happened

    All three of the women were last seen in the early hours after spending a night out in the affluent Perth suburb of Claremont. Pictures of Spiers -- who went missing in 1996 -- were plastered around the city and she regularly featured of the front page of local newspapers.
    The women's disappearances sparked widespread fear in Perth, where many were shocked that women had been abducted from a suburb like Claremont which was perceived as safe.
    "The fact that three young women disappeared from the streets of Claremont created what was described as an enigma of the dark," Hall said. "That is to say that there was a mystery as to who had taken the three victims."
    Within weeks of their deaths, the bodies of both Rimmer and Glennon were found in bushland. Both had been killed by a sharp-force injury to the neck, Hall said in his judgment.
    Spiers was last seen in the early hours of January 27, 1996. Her body has never been found,