Mary Louise WALLACE

Thanks to Anthony Barnao's book "Violent Crimes that Shocked a Nation" for the first photograph and information about Mary

Mary was 33 years old when she disappeared in late September 1983. She has dark hair and grey eyes.

She had been due to attend her sister's birthday party but did not arrive. Mary was a nursing sister at Hunters Hill private nursing hospital in Sydney. She lived in Drummoyne and was due at her parents' home in Lane Cove for the party.

The previous evening Mary had been out with friends at the Alpine Inn wine bar in Crow's Nest. She was wearing a dark woollen top and a light green denim skirt. The group had previously been at the Stoned Crow bar and before that at the Malaya Restaurant until 1am. During their time at the Alpine Inn a man was paying particular attention to Mary - approximately 30 years old, tall, neatly dressed, blonde, neat moustache, clean cut appearance. Mary was seen at 3am talking to this man. She had been feeling unwell and was sick in the toilets of the wine bar. Mary's friends attempted to look after her but the well dressed man told her friend he was a Police officer and offered to escort Mary home. The man helped Mary into his brown 1982 Holden Commodore, fitted with fibreglass bullbars parked on Willoughby Road outside the Alpine Inn. The man drove off with Mary, headed West and this was the last time Mary was ever seen.

Police did find the blonde man who said he drove Mary a few streets away, they had sex and he then fell asleep in his car, awaking at 5am to find Mary gone. He denied murdering Mary. He admitted he had lied about being a Police officer. This man was seen earlier scrubbing his car meticulously clean after Mary disappeared.

An anonymous letter was sent to Police 2 weeks after Mary disappeared claiming her body was buried under a rock in bushland in St Ives Chase. Police searched the area but found nothing.

Despite a massive Police search of nearby bushland including Lane Cove National Park, no trace of Mary Wallace has ever been found.

Reward 30 years on for details on Marion Sandford

22 Jan 10 @ 07:39am

 
THIRTY years after the disappearance of Cammeray woman Marion Sandford, the State Government has posted a $100,000 reward for information into the case.

Acting Police Minister David Campbell said Ms Sandford, a New Zealander, disappeared in January, 1980, and was presumed murdered.

“Marion Sandford was last seen by her brother Peter Sandford around January 24, 1980, at their home in Cammeray,” Mr Campbell said.

“Just three days later, Peter received a letter claiming to be from Marion, letting him know she was all right and that she’d be away until later that week.

That was the last contact anyone has had with Marion, that we know of.”

Detective Sergeant Robert George, of Harbourside Local Area Command, said that, at the time of her disappearance, Ms Sandford was known to police.

“In 2002, Marion’s disappearance was investigated in connection with the disappearance of two other women - Linda Davie, who was last seen in St Leonards in April, 1980, and Mary Wallace, last seen in Crows Nest in September, 1983,” he said.

“One other line of inquiry has been the potential involvement in the supply of drugs in the area.

“We are reviewing any links Marion may have had with a heroin importation syndicate.”

Detective Sergeant George said NSW Police had worked with the NZ Consulate and NZ Police.

“While we’ve had a number of leads, every one so far has unfortunately gone cold,” he said.

Mr Campbell said police wanted to hear from anyone who knew Ms Sandford, whether they were friends, relatives or associates.

“The Sandford family deserves closure and the community expects justice,” Mr Campbell said.

“I urge anyone with any information - no matter how small or insignificant you may think (it) is - to come forward to their local police station or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.”

Police dig into nurse Mary Wallace's unsolved murder

POLICE are excavating the footings of what was once an observation deck within the Lane Cove National Park as part of an unsolved homicide investigation into the disappearance of a nurse 27 years ago.

Mary Louise Wallace, then aged 33 years, disappeared in the early hours of September 24, 1983.
 
She was last seen getting into a car with man she had befriended while drinking with friends at a hotel on Willoughby Rd at Crows Nest.
 
As part of the current Unsolved Homicide Review Team investigation into her disappearance, police have an hired expert geophysicist who will use ground penetrating radar to examine an area of interest at Jenkins Hill, within the National Park.

This area will then be excavated with a bobcat.
 
Police began excavating the site at 9.30am today but the examination and excavation of the site is expected to take up to two days.
 

“We expect to be on site for up to two days as we excavate the footings of what was once a public observation deck,” Acting Homicide Squad Commander A/Superintendent John Lehmann said.
 
“Those deck footings were laid in the days after Mary’s disappearance. 
 
“Detectives at the time did conduct an examination of the area, however today’s dig is the result of a more recent re-investigation of the case.
 
“Again as part of the re-investigation, detectives have travelled to Western Australia and New Zealand to reinterview several witnesses ahead of a Coroner's inquest later this year.
 
 “We are hoping to reach a breakthrough in this case and finally get some answers for a family that have endured a wait of almost 30 years.”
 
Pauline Biddle, a friend of Mary, today spoke on behalf of the Wallace family.
 
“Mary was an immensely popular and vivacious woman who was very much loved by her family and friends and admired by her colleagues,” Ms Biddle said.
 
“She was especially close to her two older sisters and not knowing what happened to Mary has been absolutely devastating for them.
 
“I think after all this time we would all be more at peace if we finally had some answers so we could lay Mary to rest.
 
 “I would appeal to anyone who has any information to come forward - no matter how small.
 
“Even after all this time it may just be the smallest recollection that will lead police to finally solving the mystery of Mary’s disappearance,” Ms Biddle said. 

Sydney cold case breakthrough: bid to solve the mystery of Mary

Paul Tatnell - SMH
October 5, 2010

It was once NSW's most high-profile missing person case involving a bogus cop, a missing nurse, a mysterious letter and a heartbroken family.

The year was 1983 and Sydney was gripped with the disappearance of nurse Mary Louise Wallace.

Police believed then they knew who had killed the 33-year-old from Drummoyne. They thought he was a local who worked as a garbage truck driver and was also known to pose as a police officer.

But despite the NSW police force's biggest ever homicide investigation involving hundreds of interviews, Ms Wallace remains a missing person and no charges have ever been laid.

The case started in the early hours of September 24 after a night during which Ms Wallace fell ill at Alpine Inn, a disco, on Willoughby Road, Crows Nest, on Sydney's lower north shore.

After a night involving dinner, drinks and dancing, Ms Wallace was sitting in the Inn's toilets and wanted to go home.

Her friends were startled to see a blond man in his 30s enter the room.

He told them he was there to help and to move aside, as he was a police officer.

After kicking in the cubicle door, which reportedly struck Ms Wallace in the face, the man said he would take her home.

It was 4am and her friends said they had no reason to doubt the man, who was seen talking to Ms Wallace earlier that night.

But what happened next is unclear.

Ms Wallace never made it back to her Drummoyne apartment and did not attend a family function the next day.

According to several media reports from 1983, the man, who later admitted lying about being a police officer, said he and Ms Wallace had sex in his brown Holden Commodore in a nearby street.

He claims he then fell asleep and, when he awoke, Ms Wallace was gone.

But police believe she may have been raped, murdered and dumped in bushland near Lane Cove.

In a Daily Mirror story in 1985, based on a secret police document, it was alleged police believed they knew who the killer was and what he did with Ms Wallace.

The story also alleged that forensic officers might have not properly tested key pieces of evidence found in the back of the suspect's car.

But despite lengthy interviews with police, the man has never been charged.

To add to the mystery, police received a letter not long after Ms Wallace's disappearance telling them she was buried under a large rock in Lane Cove National Park.

A search of the site and much of the National Park never uncovered any trace of her.

While police later said they thought the letter was a hoax, the park is today the centre of a new search for Ms Wallace's body.

Homicide police reviewing the case have hired an expert geophysicist, who will use ground-penetrating radar, a non-intrusive geophysical survey method, to examine an area of interest at Jenkins Hill.

The area will then be excavated with a bobcat.

Police will be on site from 9.30am today but the examination and excavation are expected to take up to two days.

Acting Homicide Squad Commander, acting Superintendent John Lehmann, said police would search an area of the national park that was built over in the days following Ms Wallace's disappearance.

"We expect to be on site for up to two days as we excavate the footings of what was once a public observation deck," Superintendent Lehmann said.

"Those deck footings were laid in the days after Mary's disappearance.  

"Detectives at the time did conduct an examination of the area. However, today's dig is the result of a more recent re-investigation of the case."

Superintendent Lehmann said detectives recently travelled to Western Australia and New Zealand to reinterview several witnesses before a coroner's inquest later this year.

Pauline Biddle, a friend of Ms Wallace, today launched a public appeal for information "no matter how small" on behalf of the Wallace family.

"Mary was an immensely popular and vivacious woman who was very much loved by her family and friends and admired by her colleagues," Ms Biddle said.

"She was especially close to her two older sisters and not knowing what happened to Mary has been absolutely devastating for them.

"I think after all this time we would all be more at peace if we finally had some answers so we could lay Mary to rest."

Ms Wallace's family, in 1983, said she "did not have an enemy in the world".

Now, all they want are answers as to what happened on that tragic September night.

Search resumes for nurse who went missing in 1983

Geesche Jacobsen and Paul Tatnell
October 6, 2010

AN examination of concrete foundations of an old observation deck in Lane Cove National Park may today reveal the fate of a Sydney nurse who disappeared 27 years ago.

Mary Wallace, 33, went missing after an evening at a nightclub in Willoughby Road in Crows Nest, which she left with a man claiming to be a police officer.

The blond man, who later admitted lying about his job, told police he had sex with Ms Wallace in his car in a nearby street even though she had been sick and had wanted to go home. He said he fell asleep afterwards and when he woke up, Ms Wallace was gone.

The man, who was then in his 30s, remained a suspect in the case but he was not the only one, the Acting Commander of the Homicide Squad, Acting Superintendent John Lehmann, said yesterday.

''We are not discounting that person completely. We are not discounting the fact that other persons are responsible.''

Police would use ground penetrating radar today which worked like an X-ray to examine the foundations, laid in the days after Ms Wallace's disappearance, and determine whether any bones were contained in or under them.

He said the police unsolved homicide team had been reinvestigating Ms Wallace's disappearance since 2008 and had interviewed new witnesses in Western Australia and New Zealand who shed more light on the disappearance.

''They have given us important information that enabled us to take it further,'' he said.

Police had not previously spoken to these witnesses and it was expected they would give evidence at an inquest into Ms Wallace's disappearance next month.

Ms Wallace's disappearance in September 1983 was once the most high-profile missing person case in the state.

Police had previously searched the site after receiving an anonymous letter saying Ms Wallace was buried under a large rock in the park.

It is the first time this technology has been used in the search for her remains.

Pauline Biddle, a friend of Ms Wallace, yesterday appealed for information ''no matter how small'' to solve the case.

Geophysicist used to find missing woman

14:44 AEST Tue Oct 5 2010 - Nine MSN

As one of NSW's most high-profile cold cases turns high-tech, detectives hope to finally have some answers for a devastated family who've been waiting 27 years for a breakthrough.

Ground penetrating radar is being used by police investigating the disappearance of Sydney nurse Mary Louise Wallace.

Ms Wallace was 33 when she disappeared in the early hours of September 24, 1983, after meeting with friends at a hotel on Willoughby Road, Crows Nest, on Sydney's north shore.

She was last seen getting into a car with a man she had met at the venue on the night.

Homicide police reviewing the unsolved case have hired an expert geophysicist.

They started work on Tuesday using ground penetrating radar (GPR), a non-intrusive geophysical survey method, to examine an area of interest at Jenkins Hill at Lane Cove National Park.

Police will then excavate the footings of what was once an observation deck within the park.

"We expect to be on site for up to two days," said Acting Homicide Squad Commander Superintendent John Lehmann.

"Those deck footings were laid in the days after Mary's disappearance.

"Detectives at the time did conduct an examination of the area, however today's dig is the result of a more recent re-investigation of the case."

Police reportedly received a letter not long after Ms Wallace's disappearance telling them she was buried under a large rock in Lane Cove National Park.

As part of the re-investigation, detectives have travelled to Western Australia and New Zealand to reinterview several witnesses ahead of a coronial inquest later this year.

Mary's friend Pauline Biddle described her as an "immensely popular and vivacious woman".

"(She) was very much loved by her family and friends and admired by her colleagues," she said on Tuesday in a statement.

"She was especially close to her two older sisters and not knowing what happened to Mary has been absolutely devastating for them.

"I think after all this time we would all be more at peace if we finally had some answers so we could lay Mary to rest."

Ms Biddle appealed for anyone with information "no matter how small" to come forward.

"Even after all this time it may just be the smallest recollection that will lead police to finally solving the mystery of Mary's disappearance," she said.

Inquest into disappearance of nurse to begin

Updated Mon Dec 6, 2010 1:30am AEDT

An inquest has opened into the disappearance of a Sydney nurse who was last seen getting into a car 27 years ago.

Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon is investigating the disappearance of Mary Louise Wallace, who was last seen on September 24, 1983.

Police say the 33-year-old was seen getting into a car belonging to Robert Adams, after meeting him at the Alpine Inn Hotel at Crows Nest in Sydney's north.

The inquest has heard how Mr Adams drove the car to a nearby street to have sex with the nurse only to wake up hours later to find her gone.

Days later he was seen washing his car seat covers and vacuuming the interior of his car boot.

Detectives have travelled to Western Australia and New Zealand to reinterview witnesses ahead of the inquest.

As part of an unsolved homicide investigation, an expert geophysicist was hired earlier this year to examine an area in the Lane Cove National Park.

The inquest continues.

 

Last man to see nurse 'had violent past'

Updated Mon Dec 6, 2010 2:39pm AEDT

An inquest into the disappearance of a Sydney nurse has heard the last man to see her has a violent history.

Mary Louise Wallace was last seen on September 24, 1983.

Police say the 33-year-old was seen getting into a car belonging to Robert Adams after meeting him at the Alpine Inn Hotel at Crows Nest in Sydney's north.

The inquest before Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon has heard how Mr Adams drove the car to a nearby street to have sex with the nurse only to wake up hours later to find her gone.

Days later he was seen washing his carseat covers and vacuuming the interior of the car's boot.

The inquest heard Mr Adams has a violent history, including rape and assault, and once whipped his wife with a dog chain.

Forensic evidence has been unable to link Mr Adams to the nurse's disappearance.

Detectives have travelled to Western Australia and New Zealand to reinterview witnesses ahead of the inquest.

As part of an unsolved homicide investigation, an expert geophysicist was hired earlier this year to examine an area in the Lane Cove National Park.

The inquest continues.

 

Coroner refers nurse's suspected death to DPP

Updated Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:24pm AEDT

The New South Wales coroner has terminated an inquest into the disappearance and presumed death of a Sydney nurse.

Mary Louise Wallace disappeared in the early hours of September 24, 1983.

Police say the nurse, then aged 33, was last seen at the Alpine Inn Hotel at Crows Nest in Sydney's north.

They say she was seen getting into a car with Robert John Adams who she had met there.

He told police he had driven with her only a short distance, had sex with her and had fallen asleep.

In terminating the inquest, Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon said the evidence is capable of satisfying a jury beyond reasonable doubt that a known person committed an indictable offence relating to the death.

The matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.