Louise BELL

  Louise Bell was 10 when she was last seen, in 1983   Louise Bell

Louise Bell search

Police search the backyard of a Hackham West house in hope of finding evidence to solve the 29 year old case of missing child Louise Bell. Pic Mark Brake Source: AdelaideNow

Louise BELL

Age - 10 years

Last seen - January 3rd, 1983, Hackham West, SA

Family's plea to dying murderer

Article from: Sunday Mail (SA)

RENATO CASTELLO

May 11, 2008 12:30am

 

THE sister of an Adelaide woman missing for two decades has pleaded for vicious child murderer Valmae Beck to bring closure to her family's ordeal.

Queensland police believe the critically ill murderer and her estranged husband could hold the key to the disappearance of Henley Beach woman Stella Farrugia and Hackham West schoolgirl Louise Bell.

Beck, who was jailed for life in 1988 over the rape, torture and murder of a schoolgirl, is on life-support in a Townsville hospital following heart surgery on Monday.

Townsville's Regional Crime Co-ordinator, Detective Inspector Warren Webber, has said Beck and Watts may be linked to the disappearances of a number of young women in the 1980s.

"There is a great deal of interest in Beck because she may hold the key to solving a number of unsolved crimes," he said.

"We can only hope she has an epiphany on her deathbed and comes clean."

Police had put the morbidly obese Beck on suicide watch after interrogating her about possible links into the disappearance of Ms Farrugia and Ms Bell.

Ms Farrugia's sister, Christine Lilkendey, 47, pleaded with Beck, 64, to tell police anything she knew about the fate of her "gorgeous" sister.

"She must tell us if she knows anything, I want to know if Stella is alive," she said from her Melbourne home.

"At least if there was a body, a cemetery to go to, we can mourn. But there is no closure, no end, if the body is not there."

Ms Farrugia was 18 when she was reported missing from her Seaview Rd apartment on October 18, 1984, leaving behind her belongings, bank notes and her beloved dog. Louise Bell was 10 when she was reported missing from her Hackham West home on January 5, 1983.

Police believe the girls fit the description of the "pretty little virgins" Beck and husband Barrie Watts stalked during the 1980s. The pair were jailed in 1988 for the abduction, rape, torture and murder of Noosa schoolgirl Sian Kingi.

 

 

 

A week after 10-year-old Louise Bell was snatched from her Hackham West home on January 3, 1983, by an intruder who is believed to have cut through a window flyscreen, $5000 was put up for information.
A week later, the state government increased that by $10,000. About the same time, a group of Adelaide business leaders put forward up to $15,000 of their own money as added incentive. More than 21 years later, the case remains open.

"After the disappearance of 10-year-old South Australian schoolgirl, Louise Bell, from her parents' home in the Adelaide suburb of Hackham West in January 1983, concerned parents demanded immediate action from the South Australian police.

A South Australian prisoner, Raymond John Geesing, was serving time in Adelaide Jail for an unrelated crime when he was charged with the abduction and murder of Louise Bell. The Crown case rested largely on evidence from four prisoner informants who had been in prison with Geesing and alleged he had confessed to them. Based on their evidence, Geesing was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

On April 12, 1985, the South Australian Court of Criminal Appeal unanimously upheld an appeal by Geesing. South Australian Chief Justice, Mr Len King, ruled that Geesing's 1983 trial had miscarried and the guilty verdict for the murder and abduction of Louise Bell was set aside. Chief Justice King said the prisoner informants were unreliable and untrustworthy witnesses.

One prisoner retracted his original statement. The evidence of another prisoner informant was declared inadmissible. The Court of Criminal Appeal ordered there be no retrial and Geesing walked to freedom after serving 17 months for a crime he had not committed. " - Information source, Bernie Matthews, Online Opinion writer - http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=3700

 

Murderer takes her secrets to the grave

 
May 28, 2008 - SMH
 

THE notorious child killer Valmae Faye Beck, formerly known as Fay Cramb, has died in hospital, Queensland's Acting Police Minister, Robert Schwarten, said yesterday.

Beck was admitted to a Townsville hospital earlier this month suffering difficulty in breathing and chest pains.

She was placed in a medically induced coma following complications with heart surgery.

Beck and her former husband Barrie Watts were jailed for life in 1987 for the torture and murder of a Noosa schoolgirl, Sian Kingi.

Detectives, seeking deathbed confessions, were hoping to interview the 64-year-old high-security prisoner over more unsolved crimes.

Detectives believed the notorious criminal may have known the fate of several unsolved cases involving young girls and women across Australia, including the death of Helen Mary Feeney, a 31-year-old student, between October 29 and December 1, 1987.

Beck gave evidence that Watts had dumped Ms Feeney's body and burnt it at a rubbish tip near Lowood, west of Brisbane.

Watts was acquitted of the murder, but police believe Beck knew exactly where Ms Feeney's body was buried.

Today, Mr Schwarten, who is the acting Police Minister while Judy Spence is overseas, confirmed Beck had died in Townsville General Hospital without having regained consciousness.

"She got a life sentence and it turned out to be that," Mr Schwarten said.

"Right until the end, she was of no assistance to police. Harsh as it may sound, and people may judge me on that, I don't think there will be many Queenslanders who would shed a tear in her direction and there would be some who would cheer."

Beck and Watts moved from Western Australia to Queensland when they embarked on an eight-week crime rampage that ended with the abduction, torture, rape and murder of Sian. "There are a number of other unsolved cases that involve similarities to the well-planned killing of Sian," a police source said.

Queensland's Police Commissioner, Bob Atkinson, is expected to give a statement this week on Beck's death.

AAP

Cops hope killer Valmae Faye Beck will confess to more

By Nadine McGrath

May 17, 2008 11:50am

Article from: AAP

THE condition of convicted child killer Valmae Faye Beck, formerly known as Fay Cramb, has improved and it is believed she is out of a coma.

The Department of Corrective services said Beck was now in a stable condition in the Townsville General Hospital.

Beck was in a medically induced coma following complications with heart surgery.

It is believed she is out of the coma but still not speaking.

Beck and her former husband Barrie Watts were jailed for life in 1987 for the torture and murder of Noosa schoolgirl Sian Kingi.

Cold case detectives want to interview the 64-year-old high security prisoner over more unsolved crimes, hoping for confessions as she faces her own mortality.

Detectives believe the notorious criminal may know the fate of several unsolved cases involving young girls and women across Australia.

In August 1995 a Supreme Court jury in Brisbane acquitted Watts of murder and a lesser charge of manslaughter in relation to the death of a woman whose body has never been found.

Watts pleaded not guilty to murdering Helen Mary Feeney, a 31-year-old student, between October 29 and December 1, 1987.

Beck testified that Watts had dumped Ms Feeney's body and burned it at a rubbish tip near Lowood, west of Brisbane.

But detectives believe the body was actually disposed of elsewhere and Beck knows the location.

Beck has been questioned about the disappearance of 14-year-old Sophie Helen Woodman, who went missing on March 21, 1980, after leaving her Perth home with a girlfriend and travelling to the eastern states.

She and Watts have been linked to the murders of Sharron Phillips, 20, in Brisbane's outer west, Stella Mary Farrugia, 19, and Louise Bell, 10, in Adelaide.

Treatment of morbidly obese Beck sparked a public outcry with Premier Anna Bligh forced to defend her rights to taxpayer-funded health care.

"While I understand that people might have some questions about this, in this country we don't have a death penalty - we do provide medical services to people who are in our prisons,'' Ms Bligh told reporters in Brisbane.

Two prison officers have been posted at Beck's hospital bedside with concern she may be a target for reprisals rather than posing any threat given her medical condition.
 

80s murder suspect jailed for child sex crimes

Posted 17 minutes ago - January 29th 2010 - ABC

Child sex offender awaits sentencing

Raymond John Bolte, who spent time in jail over Louise Bell killing, is jailed for child sex crimes

A man once convicted of killing Adelaide girl Louise Bell has been sent to jail for at least five years for child sex crimes.

The District Court heard Raymond John Bolte, previously known as Raymond John Geesing, was convicted of the murder of 10-year-old Hackham West schoolgirl Louise Bell in the 1980s.

That was quashed on appeal.

Bolte, now 62, pleaded not guilty to the current sex charges against two young girls, but was convicted by a jury.

Judge Paul Rice has sentenced him to seven years' jail with a non-parole term of five years, back-dated to when he was taken into custody in September.

The judge said Bolte may do it hard in prison because other inmates may think he was involved in the unsolved murder.

The victims say they think Bolte will remain at risk of re-offending after he is released.

But Bolte's wife says he is innocent and the convictions are based on lies.

DNA tested as 1983 murder case reopened

Updated October 10, 2011 10:54:48 - ABC

Police hope new forensic testing techniques might help solve one of South Australia's high-profile murder mysteries.

Advances in technology have triggered a reopening of the 1983 abduction case of Louise Bell.

The 10-year-old girl was taken from the bedroom at her Hackham West home in Adelaide in January 1983.

No body has never been found, but police are convinced she was murdered.

A Port Lincoln prison inmate has been questioned and is having his DNA tested.

The man, who cannot be identified publicly, is believed to be serving a lengthy sentence for child sex offences.

Police say the testing will need to be further refined, before any conclusions can be drawn.

Detective Acting Superintendent Denise Gray of SA Police says authorities do not want to give the girl's family false hope.

"While current forensic testing initially appears positive or encouraging, I don't want to raise the hopes of Louise's family unnecessarily," she said.

Police will not say if the suspect owned a nearby house which was searched intensively back in 1991.

But they have ruled out Raymond John Bolte, previously known as Raymond John Geesing, who was convicted of Louise Bell's murder in 1984, but later released from jail after the conviction was overturned.

Paedophile killer's house searched in link to teen's 29-year murder mystery

A PROPERTY being searched today for clues on the abduction and murder of a schoolgirl was occupied by a convicted child killer.
Police in Adelaide are searching a property in connection with the 1983 abduction and murder of schoolgirl Louise Bell, which was formerly occupied by convicted child murderer Dieter Pfennig.

AdelaideNow can reveal hi-tech ground-penetrating radar equipment is being used to search the backyard of Pfennig's former house on Holly Rise, Hackham West, in Adelaide's outer southern suburbs.

There are more than a dozen police officers from the Major Crime and Forensic branches involved in the search.

Louise was 10 when she was abducted from her family's Hackham West home on January 4, 1983. Her body has not been found.

Known paedophile Raymond John Geesing was convicted of the crime, despite no body being found. He was later acquitted on appeal.

Pfennig was jailed for life with a 38-year non-parole period in 1992 for the murder of 10-year-old Murray Bridge schoolboy Michael Black.

Michael was abducted on January 18, 1989, from a reserve near Murray Bridge. Pfennig placed the boy's belongings upstream to give the impression he had drowned while swimming, but his body was never found.

Pfennig has also admitted abducting and sexually assaulting another boy, 13, in late 1989.

Lands Title Office records show Pfennig owned the Holly Rise property from 1977 until he was taken into custody.

The Louise Bell investigation was re-opened last year because of better DNA technology, police said.

The radar equipment being used at the Hackham West search site has been loaned from the Australian Federal Police, who are assisting in the operation.

Similar equipment was previously used to search a Salisbury North backyard in the infamous "bodies in the barrels" murder investigation.

Police say they could be working at the site for several days.

Major Crime officer in charge Superintendent Grant Moyle said the search had been ordered after police re-examined evidence from the 1983 investigation and subsequent investigations in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"We are searching for any evidence that might  relate to Louise Bell or any other offences that might have been committed," he said.

"It's a big commitment. We have examined closely the extent of investigations that were conducted in 1983, when Louise Bell went missing. It is a result of that, that we felt for thoroughness we needed to fully examine the backyard more than they did in 1991."

In the mid-1990s, Louise's father, Colin Bell, said his daughter's disappearance was "completely out of character''.

"She was a fairly timid girl and slightly immature for her age and fairly shy,'' he said.

 

House searched over 10yo's cold case abduction

By Robyn Powell - ABC

Updated July 03, 2012 08:08:56

 

Adelaide police are searching the backyard of a property in the southern suburbs over the unsolved abduction and presumed murder of a 10-year-old girl in 1983.

Major Crime squad detectives and forensic experts are searching a house in Holly Rise at Hackham West.

Louise Bell was abducted from the bedroom of her home at Hackham West and police believe she was murdered.

A body has never been found.

The case was reopened last year to make use of new forensic technology.

Police have called on Australian Federal Police and their ground-penetrating radars to search the Hackham West property, which they said was once owned by a key suspect.

Dieter Pfennig lived there until he was taken into custody for the murder of a Murray Bridge boy in 1989.

He is serving a life sentence in Port Lincoln jail.

Detective Superintendent Grant Moyle, who heads Major Crime, said the backyard had been dug up back in 1991 but he hoped the new technology would uncover fresh evidence.

"In 1991 they used an excavator just to dig along the layers of the ground and expose it. Now we're able to use the radar to pinpoint certain areas of the ground and look for abnormalities in the ground structure as I understand it. That'll give us some indications of disturbed ground so we can excavate set areas," he said.

But he said he did not want to give the Bell family false hope.

"While current forensic testing initially appears encouraging, I don't want to raise the hopes of Louise's family unnecessarily," he said.

Police expected their search to take at least the next three days and the current residents of the property have been moved out during that time.

A man was convicted of Louise Bell's murder in 1984, but later released from jail after the conviction was overturned.

Abduction revisited 30 years on

POLICE are edging towards a potential breakthrough in one of South Australia's highest-profile suspected murder mysteries.

The abduction in 1983 of 10-year-old schoolgirl Louise Bell from her bedroom in suburban Adelaide has haunted the community and investigators for almost 30 years.

The body of the schoolgirl was never found, but police remain convinced she was murdered and yesterday vowed they "won't give up" trying the solve the case.

Detectives hope advances in forensic testing techniques will help solve the mystery and yesterday began work with the Australian Federal Police on a three-day search of a property at Hackham West in Adelaide's outer southern suburbs.

The head of the Major Crime Branch, Detective Superintendent Grant Moyle, said "current forensic testing initially appears encouraging".

He stressed police did not want to raise the hopes of the Bell family. "One of our objectives is to try to find Louise and return her to her parents, who have been devastated for the past 29 years over this matter."

The property being searched was reportedly once occupied by convicted child murderer Dieter Pfennig. Mr Moyle would only say the person of interest linked to the property was in custody.

Pedophile Raymond John Geesing was convicted of the crime, despite no body being found, but later acquitted on appeal. Pfennig was jailed for life in 1992 for the murder of 10-year-old Murray Bridge schoolboy Michael Black.

 

Louise Bell investigation

Friday, 6 July 2012 5:18pm - South Australia Police

Major Crime have today concluded their search for Louise Bell at 31 Holly Rise Hackham West.  Items have been taken from the property for further analysis, but no human remains were located. 

Since the commencement of the search, there has been a further 15 calls to Crime Stoppers and each of those calls will be followed up in due course by investigators. 

Louise's disappearance has been the subject of a full investigational review since August 2011. 

Major Crime remain satisfied with the progress of this review and maintain a resolve to locate her and to charge the person responsible for her disappearance. 

Louise's family have been kept informed of the progress of the investigation and in particular, have been advised of the results of this search. 

While they are naturally disappointed that Louise has not been located, they remain hopeful that she will be and are eager for the police to continue with the investigation.

 

School friend hopes mystery of missing Louise Bell will be solved

KYLIE Doubikin will never forget the day her school friend Louise Bell was abducted.

"It was school holidays, they had police helicopters landing on the school oval and the police came and interviewed us all," Mrs Doubikin, of Hackham West, said.

"I grew up in the area and I was friends with Louise, we were in the same class at school."

Louise was 10 when she was abducted from the bedroom of her family home in Hackham West on January 4, 1983. Her body has never been found.

Mrs Doubikin, 39, said she was sad the high-profile case still remained unsolved but was pleased the investigation had been reopened.

"We were only 10 when it happened and we all just wanted her found," Mrs Doubikin said.

"She was just a shy, sweet girl."

Major Crime detectives started a search of a Holly Rise home, Hackham West, for new evidence earlier this week.

It is the second time the home, which was once owned by convicted child murderer Dieter Pfennig, has been searched in relation to the case.

Pfennig owned the Holly Rise property from 1977 until 1992 but police have not confirmed he is "a person of interest" in the case.

"I just hope they find her, the family have had to deal with it for a long time," Mrs Doubikin said.

"I feel for the family that live in the house now too, it's not nice for them."

Mrs Doubikin has lived on Holly Rise for 11 years.

"It's strange to think that of all the streets, I ended up living on this one," she said.

Mrs Doubikin said her children had been interested in all the activity on the street in recent days.

"My eldest is 13 and she understands what happened and I guess she is worried it could happen to her.

"I think it's a really good time for us to bring up stranger danger with our kids."

Search for clues

Several small items were taken from the scene for examination yesterday as police continued their painstaking search of the Holly Rise home.

Their attention was focused on three concrete slabs in the back yard of the property - one of them the floor of a shed and two others in the yard.

Concrete cutters were used to break up the slabs before police used shovels and hand trowels to dig through the dirt underneath.

Late in the afternoon, police focused on a back corner of the property where a slab was removed and a marquee erected over the site.

Sifting pans were used to carefully examine the soil under the slab and some items were placed in bags to be taken from the property for further examination.

A police spokeswoman said that the search was a lengthy process.

"Police are still searching the property and will continue to do so," she said.

"They have conducted a thorough search and they are examining items from the scene."

Officers will return to the scene today to continue the search.

In 1991, police pulled up floorboards but excavated only a section of the yard.

Australian Federal Police officers were at the property again yesterday to continue their examination with ground-penetrating radar, which can identify disturbed ground up to a metre deep.

Pfennig owned the Holly Rise property from 1977 until 1992 but police have not confirmed he is "a person of interest" in the case.

Known paedophile Raymond John Geesing was convicted of the crime but later acquitted on appeal.

Pfennig was jailed for life in 1992 for the murder of Murray Bridge schoolboy Michael Black, 10.

Louise Bell search yields no remains

POLICE have failed to uncover any human remains of missing schoolgirl Louise Bell during a search at Hackham West this week.

But Major Crime detectives have taken items for further analysis from the Holly Rise property, formerly owned by convicted child killer Dieter Pfennig.

Police have received 15 calls to Crime Stoppers since the search began on Monday.

Louise's disappearance has been the subject of a full investigational review since August 2011.

"Louise's family have been kept informed of the progress of the investigation and in particular, have been advised of the results of this search," police said.

"While they are naturally disappointed that Louise has not been located, they remain hopeful that she will be and are eager for the police to continue with the investigation."

SA police dig yard for clues in Bell case

 
POLICE are digging up an Adelaide backyard after using radar to scan for clues to the 1983 disappearance and suspected murder of Adelaide schoolgirl Louise Bell.

Officers brought in on Monday radar equipment that can penetrate concrete to look for anomalies in the soil at the home once owned by a convicted child killer, which they first searched in 1991.

Detective-Superintendent Grant Moyle says police are now excavating sections of the yard, hoping to find evidence or rule out the house as a link to Louise's abduction.

The property used to belong to Dieter Pfennig, who was jailed in 1992 for the abduction and murder of a 10-year-old schoolboy whose body was never found. Pfennig remains in custody.

In the 1991 search, police pulled up floorboards but excavated only a section of the yard, Supt Moyle said on Tuesday.

"Hopefully (we can) unravel some more evidence and bring some closure to the family," he told ABC radio.

Louise was abducted from her bedroom in West Hackham in 1983. Her body has never been found and police believe she was murdered.

Raymond John Bolte, formerly known as Raymond Geesing, was sentenced in 1983 to life imprisonment for Louise's murder and abduction.

His conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal two years later and he was released from jail.

He was later jailed again for sexually abusing two sisters over an eight-year period in the 1990s.

Police continue dig in Louise Bell case

DETECTIVES are spending a fifth day at an Adelaide home hunting for clues to the fate of missing schoolgirl Louise Bell.

Police believe the 10-year-old girl may have been murdered after she was abducted from her bedroom in West Hackham in 1983.

They are re-examining the backyard of another West Hackham home they first searched in 1991 when it belonged to convicted child murderer Dieter Pfennig.

Pfenning, who has not been named as a person of interest in this case, was jailed in 1992 for abducting and murdering a 10-year-old schoolboy whose body was never found.

Police say they have no information to share just yet but they continued their search on Friday.

Ground-penetrating radar equipment has been used to try to find clues to the fate of the girl whose body has never been found.

Raymond John Bolte, formerly known as Raymond Geesing, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1983 for her murder and abduction.

His conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal two years later and he was freed from jail.

He was later jailed again for sexually abusing two sisters over an eight-year period in the 1990s.