The author of a book about society killer Matthew Wales has been charged over a murder with chilling similarities.

Douglas Frederick Robinson is accused of the murder of convicted wife killer Michael Grech, whose body was found wrapped in plastic in a shallow bushland grave in April.

Robinson, 61, of Mentone, wrote Warts and All: The Wales-King Murders, detailing Wales’ murder of his mother, Margaret Wales-King, and her husband, Paul King, in 2002.

Wales was sentenced to 30 years’ jail in 2003 for drugging and bludgeoning his mother and stepfather to death.

Their bodies were found wrapped in a child’s plastic paddling pool in a shallow bush grave in the Yarra Ranges National Park north-east of Melbourne.

Grech’s body was discovered on April 12 this year in bushland in Toolern Vale, near Melton on Melbourne’s north-west outskirts.

Robinson appeared via videolink in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday for a committal mention over the Grech murder.

Grech was imprisoned in 1993 for 12 years for the shooting murder of his wife.

In a summary tendered to the court, Crown prosecutors allege Robinson killed Grech by repeatedly bashing his head and face with a hammer on November 19, 2007, after becoming concerned about a looming deadline to repay Grech an $A18,750 debt.

The Crown alleges Robinson stole a total of $A68,210 from his elderly father’s pension account between March 9, 2006, and March 31, 2008, to feed his gambling habit.

“This money cannot be accounted for and it’s believed the money has been lost to gambling,” the prosecution summary said.

It said Robinson had signed a statutory declaration promising to repay Grech – who was running a loan shark business – $15,000, plus $3,750 interest, by December 19, 2007.

If the deadline was not met, Robinson would be forced to sign over an inheritance he stood to receive upon his father’s death, the prosecution summary alleged.

On November 19, 2007, Robinson allegedly drove to St Albans and picked up Grech before heading to a rural property in Melton.

In the carport of the farmhouse, Robinson allegedly struck Grech’s head with a hammer, causing him to fall to the ground.

He continued to bash Grech so hard that the hammer broke, it is alleged.

Robinson then found another hammer in a toolbox and continued the attack.

“It is alleged the deceased has died at this location as a result of the injuries inflicted by Robinson,” the summary states.

Grech’s body was then allegedly wrapped in plastic and driven to bushland off Chapmans Road, in Toolern Vale, and buried.

Grech was reported missing on November 21, 2007.

A post-mortem examination concluded he died from large amount of blunt trauma to his head and face inflicted by a hammer.

Magistrate John Klestadt today remanded Robinson in custody until a contested committal hearing on February 18.