Rewards of $100,000 are being offered for information leading to a conviction in two historic suspected murder cases.

Tanya Farrington and Linda Suzanne Davie both disappeared in suspicious circumstances more than 30 years ago and are presumed by police to have been murdered.

NSW Detective Sergeant Robert George responded to media reports that police were investigating possible links between the girls and notorious criminals including underworld identity John Anderson, serial killer Ivan Milat and New Zealander "Mr Asia" drug syndicate head Terry Clark.

"Any suggestion of those links is just speculation," he told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

Tanya was 14 when she went missing from her Crows Nest home on Sydney's north shore on March 22, 1979, he said.

She was last seen by her brother watching TV late at night in the family home but was gone when her mother woke up in the morning.

Ms Davie, then 22, has not been seen since she returned to her north shore Wollstonecraft home after visiting her boyfriend in Royal North Shore Hospital on April 6, 1980.

The New Zealander's boyfriend received a letter saying that she would be away until the following week - she was never seen again.

Neither of the women had any reason to deliberately disappear, Det Sgt George said.

"They have not contacted their families in over 30 years," he said.

"We presume that what has happened to them is a result of murder or foul play."

NSW Police Minister Michael Daley said Tanya often snuck out at night and may have hitchhiked to Manly to spend time with friends.

"I'd urge anyone who saw Tanya that night, or might have information about her disappearance to come forward," he told reporters.

Police would also like to speak to Tanya's boyfriend at the time and two men who are believed to have driven Ms Davie and a friend home from Kings Cross on April 5, 1980.

Police are asking anyone with information to call crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Shining a new light on trio who vanished in the night

April 11, 2010 - SMH


Three young women disappeared from Sydney's north shore in the space of a year. Were they linked to a wider network of crimes? For the sake of their families, police are determined to find the answers, writes EAMONN DUFF.

MARION SANFORD and Linda Davie are inextricably linked by haunting letters that have left their loved ones in limbo for three decades.

Marion mailed a note to her brother on January 24, 1980, the 23-year-old writing that she had met friends and would be back within a week. She never came home.

Ten weeks later, Linda's boyfriend received a similar letter, explaining that the 22-year-old beauty had gone away for a few days.

Tanya Farrington was a 14-year-old last seen watching TV in her family home in Crows Nest.

She vanished without a trace.

The women lived in neighbouring suburbs on Sydney's north shore, just kilometres away from the family home of 14-year-old Tanya Farrington, who disappeared a year earlier.

The Sun-Herald can today reveal the three cold cases are the focus of a major new NSW Police investigation in which detectives are examining possible links with three of the state's most notorious criminals: underworld identity John Anderson, serial killer Ivan Milat and ''Mr Asia'' drug syndicate head Terry Clark.


Linda Davie, 22, left her native New Zealand to live with her boyfriend Stephen Lavender in Wollstonecraft.

Nothing and no one are ruled out.

Harbourside Investigations manager Detective Sergeant Robert George said: ''The difficulty we have with all three girls is that there is nothing solid to suggest what happened. One minute they were there, the next they weren't. I suppose you assume with young females that it's a predatory-style case. If you are going to work under that assumption, then there were quite a few people doing that sort of thing back then.''

Between 1978 and 1989, Milat's job as a Roads and Traffic Authority worker had him constantly on the move between Taree and Wollongong. Some of that work brought him to Sydney's northern suburbs.

Both Linda and the drug-addicted Marion hailed from New Zealand, like Clark, whose heroin-trafficking operations were built on a network of attractive young female couriers, some of whom wound up dead.

Detective Sergeant George said investigators would re-examine the crime spree of the ''wolf pack'' who murdered teenager Trudie Adams - last seen outside Newport Surf Club, on Sydney's northern beaches, in June 1978. Police have concluded the 18-year-old was pack-raped, then killed. Those responsible have been linked to 14 other sex attacks around that time. Nine of the girls were raped by two armed men who abducted them while they were hitchhiking along Barrenjoey Road between Mona Vale and Palm Beach.

Police sources have previously told The Sun-Herald that the Adams case was linked to ''a string of unsolved killings''. A key suspect, John Anderson, who is behind bars for drug smuggling, denies any involvement. There is a $250,000 reward for information leading to a conviction over Trudie Adams's murder, and three separate $100,000 rewards will today be offered to anyone who helps solve the Davie, Farrington and Sanford mysteries.

''We have a vacuum of information,'' Detective Sergeant George said. ''We need people to come forward and help join the dots.''

Tanya Farrington disappeared from her home in Crows Nest on March 22, 1979. She was last seen watching TV by her younger brother Tony the previous evening.

''It was a normal family night, my parents and I went to bed,'' Tony Farrington, now 48, said. ''When we woke up next morning, her bed hadn't been slept in.

''Tanya was one of those girls who was far more mature, in looks and manner, than her 14 years suggested. It had emerged she'd been going out partying, as young ones do. But after four weeks, we instinctively knew we'd never see her again because she would never have done that to us.''

Tony Farrington is convinced she was abducted. ''So many women were disappearing back then. Was it Milat? It's our worst nightmare … but I think it's possible.''

While the Farringtons were bracing for the first anniversary of Tanya's disappearance, Peter Sanford sat in neighbouring Cammeray, trying to make sense of a letter that arrived on January 27, 1980, three days after his sister Marion vanished. It read: ''I am not at all sure when I will be home but it should be within 2 days to 1 week at the latest I suppose! Met a couple of friends. See you later, love Marion.''

He said the letter appeared to have been written in a hurry.

Police believe Marion's disappearance could be linked to Sydney's drug-stoked underbelly. But the family has recently discovered that she made a habit of hitchhiking along the north shore. ''There are countless scenarios,'' Peter Sanford said.

Stephen Lavender received a strikingly similar letter from his girlfriend Linda Davie in April that same year. As soon as he read it, he knew something sinister had occurred.

''We met in New Zealand: I was 25, she was 22. Soon after, she moved to Australia to be with me. We were madly in love,'' he said.

The couple lived with friends at Wollstonecraft and had been together for two years when Mr Lavender was admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital with a stomach illness.

''Linda came and saw me every day that first week and then suddenly, she disappeared. She never returned home, all her belongings were untouched. That's when the letter arrived. It had been mailed from a postbox near the hospital.''

It said: ''I shall be gone for a few days until the middle of the week. See you then, get well quickly. I love you lots. Linda.''

''I immediately became worried because she had beautiful handwriting and this was spidery, it looked coerced, forced. I think she was lured somewhere, taken away - and the letter was simply a way of buying time for whoever took her.''

It later emerged that on April 5, the night before her last hospital visit, Linda went to the Manzil Room nightclub in Kings Cross with a friend, where two men attempted to pick them up, before later dropping Linda home. Police believe those two men hold vital information.

''There are people out there who can help give three families the closure they deserve,'' Detective Sergeant George said.

Tanya Farrington inquest to be heard at coroner's court

A ONE-day inquest into the disappearance of Crows Nest teenager Tanya Farrington will be held on Thursday at the NSW State Coroner’s Court in Glebe.

Miss Farrington disappeared from her Nicholson Place home at age 14 on March 22, 1979.

The case has been mentioned in the Coroner’s Court several times since September last year, including Friday, to determine if an inquest should be held.


Missing person Tanya Farrington last seen in 1992, court told