News, Events, Bits and Pieces..........
QLD Police Missing Persons statistics 2010/2011
18 March 2011 7:38pm
SA Police Facebook page get results
A follower of The SA Police News Facebook
page has provided valuable information to the police that has lead to finding a
Last night, police were searching the Norwood
area for a woman missing from a nursing home for nearly 10 hours.
After releasing the information on the SA Police News
Facebook page, a Facebook
follower having seen the release, found the woman’s red walker at St Peter’s and
Patrols then concentrated the search for the woman in the St Peter’s area
and a short time later, she was found safe and well by a member of the public.
The release of the description of the missing woman on
Facebook and the valuable information provided by the public,
were instrumental in finding the woman safe and well.
The SA Police News Facebook page which is
regularly updated with all the latest police information, now has over 6,700
followers since launched on February 16 this year.
February 8th 2010 -
I feel I need to write something about the 1 year
anniversary of the Black Saturday fires. I think it would be good for me to try
and put it into words; I didn't think I had any tears left after last year but
still they come.
It doesn't feel like a year to me, because it hasn't
been. As recently as a week or so ago I was adjusting an error on the photo
tribute page that someone pointed out to me, and some of the families I met
during that time have kept in regular contact with me. Roma, who was a tower of
strength at that time, rang me on Christmas Day and I got a text from Lachlan
just a few weeks ago too. Another lady who lost her brother talks to me every
couple of months. It's hard to let go, and why should we? I have not put this
behind me, because I can't. If you are a regular reader of this site you will
know what I did this time last year, if you are new then let me try and explain.
The first e mail came on the Saturday night. A lady
could not find her teenage daughter and she was most insistent that it was
urgent, because she had been travelling to Wandong, a place I had never heard
of. I looked it up and it was in country Victoria and I assumed it might be near
where I had heard on the news they'd had a bit of a bushfire. We just didn't
know at that time what had happened.
From that first e mail, they started to slowly but
surely trickle in then build up speed. I realised I had to start a page on the
website for those searching for people missing after the fire, and from then on
it became massive. I was online at 6am and I listed literally thousands of
requests for information. I worked sometimes until 1am, and I was able to start
a second page listing those who were safe. The truly gut wrenching thing was
when the same names kept coming up again and again from people looking for loved
ones and you realised they were gone, that a point came where if that person was
able to contact their sister or mum or husband, that they would have. And I kept
typing those names over and over in the desperate hope that someone would say
yes, I am here at a church hall in Whittlesea with them, they are safe. But they
usually didn't. In the days that followed, which became a bit of a blur, the
death toll was mentioned at a tragic 50 and I told people it was absolutely
going to go much, much higher as I had so many missing.
It went on for months. I remember going to the movies
with friends a couple of weeks later, the first time I had left the house in
days. In the car on the way I got a call from the family of a lady still missing
and I was answering some questions about identifying burned remains, and I
didn't realise until I looked up and saw the expressions of horror on the faces
of my friends as they listened to my side of the call what a strange life I
lead, how surreal.
I got to know these people without ever having met
them, and there were chuckles despite the horror. I learned about that woman who
was having an affair with that bloke and so she might have been at his house
when the fire started, and I made one lady laugh when I said the Mountain was
worse than Days of Our Lives. There was one bloke who survived the fire only to
learn his girlfriend had left him, and he became suicidal. Those who lost so
many animals, those who died themselves trying to get horses and dogs out. So
many times I heard "She wouldn't have left the horses" and she didn't, she died
with them. The family who got their beloved huskies into the dog trailer but the
fire got them all in the driveway. The lovely shy lady who loved her English
china so much, they found the box of plates in the front seat of the car and
there she was, she died there too. The lady who I will never forget, looking for
her elderly Mum, we didn't know for sure what had happened for a long time, she
was with her little dog in the end, I think I asked a policeman who had been up
walking the streets checking the houses for the dead and he confirmed how many
had died on that road. She never made it to the oval, we don't know why, she
should have left early, she was going to.....I had a call from a man whose
teenage son lived with his Mum right in the fire zone. They had not been able to
contact any of them. I made so many phone calls, rang so many people and then as
I was ringing the last number I had been given a voice answered and it was him,
the son - he was fine. I think I burst into tears and he was a little bewildered
why this strange woman not only had his mobile number but was crying on the
phone to him, but eventually he understood and then told me his story about how
he almost didn't make it, how he and his teenage mates managed to save his mum's
house. I had messages that Macka, Thommo, Westie and Bull were safe and well and
I had to find out who they actually were :) People would ask if "the little old
coffee shop had burned down", and I could usually find someone to answer the
I took many calls from Police trying to locate people
and I was able to give them contact numbers of people who could confirm they
were safe. I work with Police all the time but this was different, what they
went through and saw in those days will haunt them forever and I hope they are
able to talk about it when they need to. The Police and Firies are the absolute
heroes of this story, along with every brave person who saved a life or fought
I was able to make some great phone calls, to the UK,
New Zealand, USA, letting people know their aunties and uncles and daughters and
friends were safe. I also had to make some agonising decisions about something
that was none of my business......when I know that someone has died, because
their friend or relative has told me and I have someone else asking about that
person, do I tell them? Or do I force the survivors and families to have to tell
yet another person about the death? Do I do it? So I did it, too many times to
count, and it ripped me apart. But every single time those people were grateful,
and thanked me, for not making them wait a second longer to know. I was able to
put some friends in touch with other friends of those deceased, so they could
grieve together and exchange memories, and information about funerals. I was
contacted at one point by a man's workplace wanting to know what to do with all
his belongings...I was able to find a relative for them also.
I got to know some incredible people who will stay in
my heart forever. Roma, who loves Kinglake so deeply, lost her close friend but
threw herself into the effort to find people and whenever I was stumped, she
found the answer. Wendy, worked with me for hours and hours on the list of those
lost, she was incredible as we ploughed through that horrific task. It was very
important to her to get all the details right about who it was and where they
died, and she was fantastic. Monique was also able to answer so many questions
for me and we were a support for one another for many months. Davina, with an
extra special request. Karen, you were fantastic also in answering so many of my
questions and you made life bearable for me for many days :) Jannene,
who was looking for a missing family with I think about 4 kids, we were so
scared for a long time they didn't make it but they were found safe. I just
looked back on her e mail and she said "If the news is bad, are you in a
position to let us know? Because we know where they lived and we know they were
in direct line of the fire and that they only had one way out, which also put
them in direct line of the flames" I said yes, I would let them know, even if
the news was bad.
So many others, I remember you all and all your
wonderful help - THANK YOU.
John Wilson and his wife Rosalie made it out of
Marysville but lost their home. My first message from John was dated the 9th,
and from that time on we worked constantly making extensive lists of those
missing, located and deceased from Marysville. After he had recovered a bit we
were joined by Marysville doctor Lachlan Fraser, who had fled his burning home
to Marysville oval, stopping on the way down to help people and then spending
all night tending the wounded despite being injured himself. John's spreadsheet
of the victims changed constantly as we found more people, added people, removed
people who were not in town that day and eventually the Police, Red Cross and
the media were using the data. We managed to track down people with as little
information as "Carol from the post office", or "The lady with the hat who walks
her dog round the golf course" and "that lovely Asian lady who lives up that
I have 1093 e mails saved in my folders about the
bushfires. The website at that time had so many hits it came within a whisker of
crashing, I think it was about 80,000 visitors a day. It has gone on all year,
with people still unable to find those who became homeless and moved, those who
just want to talk about it, sometimes those giving me one more tragic name to
add to the list of those lost, or to give me a new photo, or to make a
correction to something the media got wrong. Via Facebook I have connected with
many more, and united it seems easier somehow.
It has not been a year since it happened, for me it
continues to happen, it's here all the time. It's helped to write this out,
because I have been carrying it around with me like a lead weight, a stone in my
heart that I have tried to ignore. But it's time to take the stone out and lay
it down, something that won't go away but should not be ignored. Instead, we
honour those fallen, those who fought, those who continue to fight and those who
A wet journalist's chance encounter in outback
I can't remember how many missing person stories I've
covered since I began reporting in the Northern Territory in 2003. Many end in
I've written about wandering tourists, lost hikers, wayward pensioners and
those overwhelmed by the central Australian heat or trapped by floods.
But until last week, I'd never stumbled across a missing person while
wading through a waterhole in my underpants.
Luckily for lost Alice Springs man Ashley Law, I had just pulled my pants
back on when he saw me walking at the back of a nature reserve near Alice
Considering he had spent two days wandering in the heat and I was the
first person he had seen, the sight
of me in my underpants may have been too much to bear.
I had come out to take photos of the search for him and was hoping to find
some officers on motorbikes. Instead, I found Ashley.
Ashley was dehydrated, sunburnt but otherwise fine.
He told me he had been wandering around since an all-night drinking
session in the back of a mate's ute.
He thinks he was "dropped off" somewhere in the bush by his mate but was
too drunk to figure out where he was and walk the right way.
He even said it wasn't the first time he had got drunk and wandered off
into the scrub.
This session, Ashley told me, must have been particularly savage as he had
lost his special knife, which had hitherto stayed with him through 16 years of
drunken bush expeditions.
As we were talking, I heard the sound of a helicopter and I rushed out to
an open area near the creek and waved to it.
It was carrying police officers searching for Ashley.
Officers on motorbikes had found his cigarettes and special knife in the
scrub and the search parties were heading towards the nature park.
They landed, took our details and scolded Ashley for not staying in one
Ashley's friend had become bogged driving back in to town and had
eventually called for a tow truck.
No-one had known Ashley was in trouble until he rang police on Thursday,
lost, hot and presumably nursing a killer hangover.
As for me, I had to strip back down to cross the waterhole and get my
recording gear and some water for Ashley.
Before too long he was bundled into the helicopter and flown back to Alice
Springs, leaving behind some bemused police officers and a wet journalist.
Some unfortunate tourists walking in to see the waterhole instead saw a
stripped-down reporter wading across the waist-deep water, pants in one hand,
recording gear and camera in the other, rushing to file for the noon news
All in a day's work in Alice Springs.
Profiling in Criminal Investigations fast-tracked, targeted 'cold cases' to be
reviewed using cutting-edge technology
The analysis of DNA in criminal investigations will be dramatically expedited
and unsolved criminal cases will be reviewed using cutting-edge testing
NSW Police Force has purchased and supported the validation of six new Tecan
robots at an estimated cost of $3 million to automate the handling of crime
scene samples and significantly boost its DNA testing capacity and output.
The robots have been installed at NSW Health's Division of Analytical
Laboratories (DAL) at Lidcombe and are expected to be fully operational by the
end of this month.
The high-tech equipment will speed up the analysis of DNA for current criminal
investigations and help reduce a backlog of testing.
"This revolutionary technology will allow us to process multiple liquid samples
simultaneously," Acting Forensic Services Group Commander, Acting Assistant
Commissioner Mark Sweeney, said.
"The robots will be able to analyse up to 96 liquid samples at any one time
compared to 24 under manual testing. This will accelerate the DNA profiling
process up to threefold with the same staff numbers" he said.
It's expected the automation of testing will not only increase capacity but also
reduce the risk of the contamination of samples and human error.
"Routine DNA analysis will be managed through the robots thereby significantly
increasing capacity and output while minimising the risk of contamination and
mistakes being made," Acting Assistant Commissioner Sweeney said.
"DNA samples will be tested by the robots using validated liquid handling
protocols and tracked via barcodes and the fully integrated Laboratory
Information management System throughout the testing process," he said.
Forensic Services Group's highly-skilled personnel play an integral role in the
investigation of criminal offences in New South Wales.
"Every year, FSG identifies more than 10,000 people through traces of evidence
found at crime scenes," he said. "Many of those people provide vital leads for
police investigations, allowing a large number of investigations to be
"This new technology will not only be of assistance in working through a backlog
of DNA tests but also be crucial in the review of serious unsolved crimes,
including homicide cold cases, from up to 20 years ago," Acting Assistant
Commissioner Sweeney said.
Court told boy won't testify
A court has been told it is unclear
whether a trial will proceed against an Adelaide man who
is accused of faking his 10-year-old son's
Brett Anthony Taylor, 49, is charged with creating a
But police prosecutor Alan Urie told Port Adelaide
Magistrates Court a trial could not proceed because the
son is reluctant to testify against his father.
It has been alleged the Port Adelaide man staged his
son's disappearance which led to a two-day police search
last August, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of
The court has heard previously that police found the
boy in a cupboard of a house at Sturt in Adelaide after
intercepting a telephone call his father made to the
The case has been adjourned until June so the
prosecution can consider whether the boy should been
made to give evidence.
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officer injured - Ballina
A NSW police officer has been injured during a search for a missing person in
the state's North overnight.
About 5.40pm on Tuesday 12 May the 38-year-old female constable, attached to
Ballina Police Station was at the Skinners Head headland near Ballina with two
other officers making inquiries into a missing person report.
While the two other officers were speaking to a number of people at the location
the constable made a brief search at the base of the cliff.
\nAs she climbed a section of the cliff face a rock she was using for support
gave way and the officer tumbled approximately ten metres to the ground.
She suffered a suspected fractured right leg and cuts to her forehead in the
fall and lost consciousness a number of times. She was treated at the scene
before being airlifted to Lismore Base Hospital for further treatment.
She is currently in a stable condition.
admit failings over David Iredale
final words of teenager David Iredale - recorded
as he lay dehydrated, desperate and close to
death - were revealed in full for the first time
Transcripts of the lost bushwalker's
repeated pleas for help to three triple-0
operators were released as those same women
admitted a string of critical blunders.
Stacey Dickens, Renee Waters and Laura
Meade either failed to listen to David properly
or failed to follow protocol. He made five
calls, some of which were not even logged
And it emerged Ms Dickens, who admitted
her mind was elsewhere as the Sydney Grammar
student pleaded for help, was reprimanded only
last Tuesday about her lack of compassion - two
years after he died.
Stacey Dickens - who spoke over the top of
David as he kept repeating his location - and
her colleagues yesterday faced the Penrith
inquest into the 17-year-old's death during a
Blue Mountains bushwalk on December 11, 2006.
She said it was not until the third page
of a transcript of her call with David she
realised he was lost in the bush, even though he
had told her: "It's in the bush . . . I am near
the Kedumba river," within seconds of the
When asked by counsel assisting the
coroner Jeremy Gormley if it sounded like her
mind was not on the job, Ms Dickens agreed.
It was then put to her that she was
failing to absorb what David was telling her and
Ms Dickens replied to the court: "Yes."
When David kept apologising to her she
retorted: "Don't keep saying that, tell me where
Ms Dickens agreed when Mr Gormley said to
her: "Do you agree that is not a very proper
response for a triple-0 operator?"
Ms Dickens was "counselled" last week by
Superintendent Peter Payne and said she realised
her triple-O manner was inappropriate.
Ms Meade, 26, a former NIDA drama student,
repeatedly asked David for a street address
before saying: "OK. So you've just wandered into
the middle of nowhere, is that what you are
When asked if she was intending to be
sarcastic, she said she was only trying to
elicit an address because the computer system
was so rigid she believed she needed it before
asking for other information.
It meant she never dispatched an ambulance
and failed to enter his calls properly into the
system, for which she apologised yesterday.
"I certainly could have done a better
job," she said.
Ms Waters - who tried to reassure David
that emergency services were trying to help him
- wept as she remembered the phone call she took
from him and the subsequent search by police.
The inquest continues.
THIS is a transcript of the increasingly
desperate Triple-0 calls made by David Iredale
while lost in the Blue Mountains bush on
December 11, 2006
Duration: 1 min, 41 sec
LM: Ambulance emergency. What suburb
DI: Hi, this is an emergency
(Operator cuts over David)
LM: What suburb?
LM: What was the address in Katoomba?
DI: Um, I have been walking the Mt
(Operator cuts over David)
LM: What's the address in Katoomba?
DI: Yep, I have been walking the Mt
Solitary track and I am near the Kedumba River
and yeah, that's all I know
LM: It's Mt Solitary is it?
LM: Do you know where you are?
DI: I can't walk far at all
LM: Oh. What was the street you started
out walking from?
DI: No idea
LM: OK. So you've just wandered into the
middle of nowhere, is that what you're saying?
DI: I don't have a map
LM: You need to tell me where to send the
LM: Listen. Listen. Listen. The Mt
Solitary walking track may not be on a map. You
need to tell me what the nearest street
you know that you've gone past is
DI: Look, I'm about to faint
LM: OK darling, you need to tell me where
you are, so we know where to send the ambulance
(Call drops out)
Duration: 10 seconds
DI: This is an emergency, emergency
SD: What's the address?
(Call drops out)
Duration: 40 seconds
LM: Ambulance emergency. What suburb
DI: I'm lost, I need water, I haven't had
water for a long period of time (yelling)
(Operator cuts over)
LM: Sir, do you need an ambulance there?
LM: Then what suburb are you in?
DI: I'm in Katoomba
(Operator cuts over)
LM: Where in Katoomba are you Sir?
DI: I'm not in Katoomba actually. The Mt
Solitary walk. I'm going down to the Kedumba
River on that walk
(Ms Meade keeps asking for a street.
Line eventually drops out)
Duration: 5 min, 1 sec
RW: Ambulance emergency. What suburb
DI: I need an ambulance
RW: Where are you Sir?
DI: I set out from a hike at Katoomba and
went to Mt Solitary hike
RW: OK, you're at Katoomba?
RW: OK, whereabouts in Katoomba are you?
DI: I'm not in Katoomba, I've walked from
RW: OK, so where are you then?
DI: I went to the Mt Solitary, Mt Solitary
walking track and I'm going to the
Kedumba River (yelling)
RW: OK, so you're on the Mt, Mt, um,
RW: Are you going to where?
DI: I'm on the slope going down to the Mt,
to the sorry, sorry cancel. I'm on the slope
going down to the Kedumba River
RW: Kedumba River?
RW: OK, Ked, Kedumba River. You're on the
track, on a road track are you sir?
DI: No, it's bush bash, I may not exactly
be on the track (yelling)
RW: OK so you're not exactly on the track.
So you're in a car then are you?
DI: No, its bush, trees everywhere. Lying
down. Fainted (yelling)
RW: You're lying down and you fainted?
RW: OK, so when you left where did you
start at? (David describes having walked for two
DI: I went on the Federal pass walking
RW: You started on the Federal path
RW: Federal path or pass?
DI: Pass, as in the pass the lemonade or
RW: Oh, Federal P A S S
RW: Alright, we're trying to find out Sir.
We're just trying to find out where we can find
DI: Wait, sorry, wait. There are two other
people where, I don't where they are
RW: OK so you can see two other people can
DI: No I can't see them, I can't hear
them, but they are there
RW: Ok, now if you can't see them or hear
them but you know that they're there how do you
know they're there?
DI: Because they were with me
RW: They left you did they?
DI: We got separated, I don't know how
RW: OK. You got separated. Sir, there's
actually no need to yell, alright? Can you calm
down, we are trying to find you. So what
DI: I just fainted
RW: You fainted and they left you there?
DI: They didn't, I fainted where I
couldn't see them
RW: OK, you fainted where they couldn't
see you and they just left you there. They
didn't try looking for you?
(Ms Waters asks David questions about what
direction he was facing)
DI: I don't know, I can't see properly
(The call goes on for several more
minutes, David is heard heavy breathing, but
continues to try to describe his location near
the Kedumba River. The call cuts out)
Duration: 3 min, 58 sec
SD: You're through to the ambulance
SD: Do you want an ambulance?
SD: To what address?
DI: Actually, it's probably, it's in the
DI: Katoomba. I called there about an
hour, 45 minutes ago and then I fainted
(inaudible). I am near the Kedumba river.
I was going down to it on the Mt Solitary
SD: Just hang on for a minute
(On hold for 28 seconds. Ms Dickens
returns and again asks him where he is before
telling David to hang on again and then places
him on hold for another 24 seconds)
SD: Now what street are we coming in
DI: Hello? Hello?
SD: What street are we coming in off?
SD: Tell me where you are?
SD: Don't keep saying that, tell me where
DI: (Heavy breathing) I'm facing the
Kedumba River. I came through, oh, the mountain
in the middle of the valley that the Three
Sisters are on
SD: And what track was that? Tell me where
SD: What track is it?
DI: I can't remember. Oh, I don't have a
map (groans and heavy breathing). I've been out
here for an hour
SD: (Pauses for 7 seconds)
SD: I need to know exactly where you are
(Call goes on like this for several minutes
before David is heard breathing heavily and then
the line cuts out)
THE family of Reynella
pensioner Vonne McGlynn, whose
body was found dumped in
Christies Downs, has backed
police calls for elderly and
isolated residents to sign up to
a daily phone service.
Mrs McGlynn’s brother Tony
Smallwood told the Southern
Times Messenger elderly
residents who lived on their own
would be ``mad’’ not to sign up
to the service.
Angelika Gavare, 34, of
Christie Downs, appeared in the
Adelaide Magistrates Court
yesterday, charged with the
Reynella pensioner’s murder.
Police have credited the daily
welfare monitoring service for
Mr Smallgood said he
signed his sister up ``several
years ago’’ because he was
worried about her safety after
she suffered several strokes and
``It was as much for me as
it was for her because she was
getting on in years and had a
habit of going on bus tours and
not letting anyone know,’’ he
``Of course I’d have no
idea where she was and wonder
whether she’d had a heart attack
or what was going on I’d get
very very upset.’’
He feared if it wasn’t for
the volunteer’s phone call no
one would have noticed her
missing until much later.
``It would’ve been at
least a few days or when the
rubbish bin didn’t go out or the
letterbox became overstuffed.’’
Yesterday police echoed
the call for the elderly and
isolated to sign up to Telecross
following inquiries by the
Southern Times Messenger into
the service’s role
in the investigation.
Major Crime Detective
Superintendent John Venditto
said the Telecross played a key
``The system works and we
are here today because of
that,’’ he said.
``If anyone is in doubt
whether they should join up, my
advice is to do it.”
Red Cross SA executive
director Kerry Symons said Mrs
McGlynn’s case highlighted how
important an ``early detection
system’’ such as Telecross was
for isolated residents to let
people know when they’re in
``It’s such a practical
service and it’s a person
talking to a person which is
quite unique,’’ she said.
``It’s a beautiful
relationship, we ring every day
of the year even Christmas Day -
for some that might be the only
phone call they they get on
Christmas so it’s
To sign up to Telecross
for a daily welfare call or to
become a volunteer call
Police seek information
following abduction and indecent assault – Windsor
Saturday, 07 Feb 2009
NSW Police are appealing for public assistance and
vigilance following the abduction and indecent
assault of a young woman in Sydney’s west last
About 6.30pm a 19-year-old woman driving a small
black sedan, was stopped at a set of traffic lights
at the intersection of Macquarie Street and Drummond
Street in South Windsor, when a man entered the
passenger side of her car.
The man allegedly forced the woman to drive to the
South Windsor industrial area where he indecently
assaulted and attempted to sexually assault her.
The woman was then forced to drive to Collith Avenue
in South Windsor where the man fled the scene on
The woman then drove to Windsor Police Station and
reported the matter, before she was taken to Nepean
Hospital for treatment.
Police would like to speak to a man who may be able
to assist them with their inquiries. He is described
as being of white European appearance, aged in his
late 20s or early 30s, with blonde or brown hair,
worn in a pony tail. At the time of the incident he
was wearing shorts and a blue work singlet.
Anyone with information about the incident or the
identity of the man is urged to contact Hawkesbury
Police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 33 000.
'will be implanted with microchips'
14:00 AEST Fri Jan
All Australians could be implanted with microchips
for tracking and identification within the next two
or three generations, a prominent academic says.
Michael G Michael from the
University of Wollongong's School of Information
Systems and Technology, has coined the term "uberveillance"
to describe the emerging trend of all-encompassing
"Uberveillance is not on the outside looking
down, but on the inside looking out through a
microchip that is embedded in our bodies," Dr
Michael told ninemsn.
Microchips are commonly implanted into animals
to reveal identification details when scanned and
similar devices have been used with Alzheimers
US company VeriChip is already using
implantable microchips, which store a 16-digit
unique identification number, on humans for medical
"Our focus is on high-risk patients, and our
product's ability to identify them and their medical
records in an emergency," spokesperson Allison Tomek
"We do not know when or if someone will
develop an implantable microchip with GPS
technology, but it is not an application we are
Another form of uberveillance is the use of
bracelets worn by dangerous prisoners which use
global positioning systems to pinpoint their
But Dr Michael said the technology behind
uberveillance would eventually lead to a black box
small enough to fit on a tiny microchip and
implanted in our bodies.
This could also allow someone to be located in
an emergency or for the identification of corpses
after a large scale disaster or terrorist attack.
"This black box will then be a witness to our
actual movements, words — perhaps even our thoughts
—-and play a similar role to the black box placed in
an aircraft," he said.
He also predicted that microchip implants and
their infrastructure could eliminate the need for
e-passports, e-tags, and secure ID cards.
"Microchipping I think will eventually become
compulsory in the context of identification within
the frame of national security," he said.
Although uberveillance was only in its early
phases, Dr Michael's wife, Katina Michael — a senior
lecturer from UOW's School of Information Systems
and Technology — said the ability to track and
identify any individual was already possible.
"Anyone with a mobile phone can be tracked to
15m now," she said, pointing out that most mobile
phone handsets now contained GPS receivers and radio
frequency identification (RFID) readers.
"The worst scenario is the absolute loss of
human rights," she said.
Wisconsin, North Dakota and four other states
in the US have already outlawed the use of enforced
"Australia hasn't got specific
regulations addressing these applications," she
"We need to address the potential
for misuse by amending privacy laws to ensure
personal data protection."
Uberveillance has been nominated
for Macquarie Dictionary's
Word of the Year 2008.
Cold Case Justice Project
shines new light on old cases
Wednesday, 28 Jan 2009
NSW Forensic police scouring hundreds of
fingerprints and DNA from historic crime scenes has
led to two people being charged for offences which
have remained unsolved for more than a decade.
The Cold Case Justice Project provided investigators
from the Parramatta Local Area Command with crucial
DNA evidence which led to a 39-year-old man being
charged today (Wednesday) with the aggravated sexual
assault of a 15-year-old girl in 1996 in Parramatta.
Last November the Surry Hills Local Area Command
charged a 44-year-old man with a 1994 aggravated
break and enter and aggravated sexual assault.
Again, the Cold Case Justice Project provided
investigators with the DNA evidence required to lay
While these cases are currently before the court,
the work of the Cold Case Justice Project continues
to provide crucial links to investigating officers
The Cold Case Justice Project is a three-year
project which will see thousands of samples from
major unsolved crimes from the last 30 years
re-examined using the latest forensic technology, in
a renewed effort to uncover breakthrough evidence.
The project is being led by the Forensic Services
Group in collaboration with detectives from Local
Area Commands and the State Crime Command, and the
Division of Analytical Laboratories, NSW Health (DAL).
Forensic officers are scouring clothing, weapons and
other exhibits from murders, attempted murders and
sexual assaults from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s so
they can be analysed using forensic techniques which
did not exist at that time.
There are numerous unsolved sexual assaults and
unsolved homicides from the 1970s until present day
that could potentially be analysed.
To date the Cold Case Justice Project has:
· Analysed 414 samples from 274 cases:
· From these 274 samples, 223 DNA profiles have been
extracted for upload onto the National DNA database.
This has generated:
· 26 “cold links” – this refers to DNA or
fingerprints collected at a crime scene which links
to a person sample where there was no previous link
between the crime scene and the person
· 23 “warm links” – this refers to when DNA or
fingerprints collected at a crime scene links to the
DNA or fingerprints of a known person of interest
· Two scene-to-scene links – this refers to DNA
recovered from one scene being linked to identical
DNA at another scene.
· 16 National DNA Database links – this refers to
DNA collected at a crime scene which links to DNA
from people on the national database, usually people
· 25 fingerprint identifications from
previously-collected crime scene evidence.
The Cold Case Justice Project runs an initial
screening process to assess the available
information, evidence, documents and exhibits.
These are weighed up against the solvability of each
case. This includes the existence of evidence which
is detectable using today’s technology, and the
availability of other corroborating evidence, to
ensure the cases with the greatest likelihood of
success receive the highest priority.
Once a link is identified, an intelligence package
is prepared and handed to the appropriate
investigating officers – this could include the
Unsolved Homicide Team, other squads within the
State Crime Command, or strike forces/detectives
from local area commands.
Assistant Commissioner Carlene York, Director of the
Forensic Services Group, said the Cold Case Justice
Project allowed police to revisit hundreds of
“Advancements in forensic technology and the
creation of a National DNA Database have provided
the NSW Police Force with an increased ability to
further investigate cases that have either been
unresolved or suspended,” Assistant Commissioner
“By using the latest technology we are giving
ourselves the best possible chance of finding
breakthrough evidence, solving historic crimes and
bringing closure to victims and families.
“This project will make offenders very nervous. If
you think you ‘got away with it’ 20 or 30 years ago,
you should think again. These cases are never
However, police have stressed that solving historic
crimes were not as easy as portrayed in television
“Police want to stress to the public, especially to
victims and families of victims, that investigating
these cases is a complex, laborious and
time-consuming process,” said Assistant Commissioner
“The simplistic portrayal of so-called ‘cold case’
investigations in TV dramas, and the speed with
which cases are ‘solved’, is very different from the
“This is a large-scale, long-term project that
requires significant time and resources.
“The Cold Case Justice Project provides us with new
scientific evidence that we didn’t previously have
access to, but investigators still need to
thoroughly investigate the new evidence to
corroborate it with the rest of the case. The
existence of DNA does not guarantee a clear up.
“With the passage of time it is also possible that
crucial victims or witnesses may have moved
interstate or overseas, they may have died or they
may no longer be willing to follow through with a
“This project is all about giving ourselves the best
possible chance of solving these crimes by using the
latest technology on historic exhibits,” Assistant
Commissioner York said.
Anyone with inquiries about an historic or unsolved
major crime should contact the local area command in
which the offence was committed. Anyone with
information that would assist investigators is urged
to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
NSW Government offers
$600,000 in rewards for Strike Force Tuno
Sunday, 25 Jan 2009
NSW Police Minister Tony Kelly today announced
$600,000 worth of Government rewards in relation to
information leading to the conviction of those
responsible for three murders being investigated by
Strike Force Tuno 2.
Although detectives from the Strike Force arrested
and charged two men this week for conspiracy to
murder Terry Falconer in 2001, they have taken the
unusual step of seeking extra information through
the Government rewards to identify, charge and
convict other suspects involved.
The rewards are for information leading to the
conviction of those involved:
· Terry Falconer murder - $200,000 reward (not
· Suspected murder of Ian Draper - $100,000 reward
· Attempted murder of a 30-year-old man in a
Haymarket bar in 2002 - $100,000 reward (please note
this victim’s name was suppressed by Hornsby Court
earlier this week) (not previously announced)
· Albert and Francis Perish murders - $200,000
The Queensland Police Minister has also posted a
$250,000 reward in relation to the gunshot murder of
Michael Davies on the Gold Coast in 2002. Strike
Force Tuno is investigating this murder with the
Queensland Homicide Squad.
Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin, Commander of
Strike Force Tuno 2, said while the investigation
has resulted in two arrests, they are still seeking
further information from the public and believe more
suspects are involved.
“This is a very complex investigation and while it
has reached the stage where there are alleged
offenders in custody, we are appealing for any
information from the public in regards to five
people murdered in NSW,” Det Insp Jubelin said.
“This is an unusual step, to post rewards after
arrests, but we have reason to believe there are
more suspects and we need the public’s help.
Hopefully the amount of money being offered by the
Government will be an incentive for those out there
who know something to come forward and talk to us.”
Anyone with information regarding these murders is
urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Any
information will be treated with the strictest of
SUMMARY OF STRIKE FORCE TUNO:
Falconer murder: The murder of Terry Falconer, who
was on day release when he was abducted from a smash
repair business in Ingleburn on 16 November 2001.
Falconer’s body was discovered in bags floating in
the Hastings River on 26 November 2001. Two men, a
38-year-old and 39-year-old were arrested at a
McMahon’s point café last Monday (19th January) and
have been charged with conspiracy to murder
Falconer. They are bail refused and currently before
Murder of Greg McDonald: Greg McDonald was shot at
Wetherill Park on 29 January 1991.
Murder of 93-year-old Albert Perish and 91-year-old
Frances Perish: Albert and Frances Perish were found
murdered in their Leppington home on 14 June 1993.
They had been shot and their home had been set
Suspected murder of a mother and her three-year-old
son: As a result of information received by Strike
Force Tuno 2, an investigation was re-opened into
the suspicious death of a mother and her
three-year-old son who were found deceased on 29
June 2003 at the base of a cliff at the Springbrook
Mountain Twin Falls on the Gold Coast. SF Tuno
working with QLD Homicide Unit.
Murder of Michael Davies: Mr Davies’ body was found
in his unit at The Esplanade, Paradise Point, on the
Gold Coast on 17 April 2002. Davies died as a result
of a gunshot wound. A partially burnt-out Datsun
sedan was found nearby shortly afterwards. SF Tuno
working with QLD Homicide Unit.
Suspicious disappearance and suspected murder of Ian
Draper: Ian Draper was last seen alive leaving the
Mount Pritchard Community Centre on 3 August 2001.
His car, a white Ford sedan with NSW registration
plates ACD 45Q, was later found abandoned on
Bringelly Road at Leppington on 17 September 2001.
Suspicious disappearance and suspected murder of
Paul Wheeler: Paul Wheeler disappeared in suspicious
circumstances on 6 August 1999 from High Place,
Suspicious disappearance and suspected murder of
Paul Elliott: Elliott, from Melbourne, has not been
seen since leaving a hotel at Wolli Creek on
December 6, 2008. Police suspect he has been
Attempted murder of a 41-year-old male at the
Peakhurst Inn: The male victim was shot about 5am on
14 October 2001 whilst leaving the Peakhurst Inn
where he was employed. The 38-year-old man was
charged on Friday (23rd January) with shoot with
intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He is bail
refused and currently before the courts.
Attempted murder of a 30-year-old male at Haymarket:
A New Zealand national was shot a number of times
while drinking at licensed premises in Harbour
Street, Haymarket, about 9pm on 8 October 2002. The
vehicle believed to be used by the offenders was
later located in Douglas Lane, Haymarket, partially
burnt out. The 38-year-old was charged with this
offence on Monday 19th January.
Strike Force Tuno was set up in 2001 as a Homicide
Squad led investigation. In October 2008, the Strike
Force entered its second phase to investigate
further murders. It is Homicide led and comprises
investigators from a number of State Crime Command
squads, the NSW Crime Commission and QLD Police
update - missing boy located, Carrara and Chermside:
QLD Police are praising the assistance
of the media and the public in locating a 7-year-old boy who was the subject
of a Child Abduction Alert earlier today. Just 20 minutes after the alert
was issued to the public via the media, a woman called police after hearing
the alert on ABC radio. The woman and her partner were driving at the time
of hearing the alert and were able to identify the vehicle identified in the
alert. A police patrol car then intercepted the vehicle and located the boy
safe and well. A 29-year-old woman is now assisting police with their
Radio plea led to kidnapped
Police say the quick return of a
child kidnapped on Queensland's Gold Coast yesterday
shows the child abduction alert system is working.
A seven-year-old boy was taken from a house at
Carrara by a 29-year-old woman just after lunchtime.
A short time later police issued an official child
abduction alert to the media, detailing the car they
were travelling in and a description of the woman and
The pair, who are known to each other, were found
about three hours later at Chermside in Brisbane's
Acting Senior Sergeant Jeff Cootes says a woman
listening to her car radio helped police find the boy.
"A woman called police after hearing details on
the radio and actually spotting the car," he said.
"The couple were driving at the time listening to
the cricket on the ABC and we dispatched a nearby police
patrol which intercepted the vehicle."
The boy was not hurt by the woman, who is
assisting police with their investigations.
'Cremated' father reunited with
A father mistakenly declared dead after
going missing eight years ago has been reunited with his
family after his son spotted him on British television,
The family of John Delaney thought he had died when he
disappeared in April 2000. They held a funeral and cremation
after police found what they thought was his body three
But Mr Delaney, 71, from Oldham, Greater Manchester,
had in fact been admitted to hospital in a confused state 10
days after he was reported missing.
Suffering from amnesia caused by a head injury, he
could not give police any clues about his name, address or
When further police checks failed to uncover his
identity, he was given the new name David Harrison and
handed over to social services. They put him in a care home
where he stayed for the next eight years.
Meanwhile, a badly decomposed body found in the
grounds of Manchester Royal Infirmary in 2003 was mistakenly
identified as that of Mr Delaney. His family was informed
and they arranged a funeral and cremation later that year.
The truth of what happened to Mr Delaney only emerged
earlier this year when he appeared on a daytime television
show about missing people.
His son John Renehan, 42, happened to be watching TV
after working a night shift. He recognised his father and
the pair were reunited after DNA tests confirmed they were
"I was in shock. We thought we had cremated my Dad.
But I knew it was him," Mr Renehan told the Manchester
In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said it had
made mistakes and the family had been through a "traumatic"
"At that time, only paper records of people reported
missing from home existed," it said.
"Today, Greater Manchester Police has advanced systems
in place to ensure that mistakes of this nature are not
"Robust checks are made to establish the identity of
people who cannot immediately confirm who they are."
Police are trying to establish the identity of the man
who was cremated in 2003. The officer who initially dealt
with the case has since retired.
05-Aug-2008 (1030 hrs CST)
Communication - the key to stop young people going missing
When communication goes missing, so do our youth. Don’t close the door to
In light of this national theme for Missing Persons week this year, Northern
Territory Police are highlighting the fundamental role of communication in
preventing young people from running away into potentially worse or unsafe
Detective Superintendent David Pryce of the Major Crime Division, which oversees
the Missing Persons Unit, says that police often receive reports from concerned
families, friends and caregivers after a young person has run away following
some sort of breakdown of communication.
“We understand there are many complex reasons why young people might go missing.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that that going missing is a crime – it’s
not. The main priority for police investigating a missing person report is to
establish that the missing person is safe and well. Fortunately, only a very
small percentage of missing person reports relate to stranger abductions with
most missing person reports involving young persons being resolved fairly
“Police are not going to locate a young person and put them back into an unsafe
situation if that is what they feel they are running away from. What we are
hoping to communicate to young people is that there are many support agencies
and services that they can turn to for help before they reach the point where
they feel they need to run away.
“Running away from a problem is not the answer and fails to address the
underlying issue and can also place young people in a much worse situation,
particularly if they are walking the streets at all hours or relying on
strangers or other persons that could take advantage of their vulnerability
“In addition, lack of access to support, financial constraints, poor hygiene,
substances abuse may all impact upon a young person’s ability to keep safe and
whether they become a victim of crime or an offender.
“Early location of a missing person is important as it reduces the emotional
impact on those involved, the costs to government, and the likelihood that a
missing person will be vulnerable to becoming either a victim of a crime or an
offender,” said Superintendent David Pryce.
Across Australia, young people account for more than two thirds of missing
person reports. About 20,000 people under the age of 18 years are reported
missing each year and research indicates they are predominantly female and aged
between 13 and 17 years.
Ann Buxton, the Executive Manager of Darwin, Palmerston and East Arnhem Services
for Anglicare NT said that there are many agencies that work to support young
people who may be going through a tough time and need somewhere to turn to.
For example Reconnect is a network of 100 youth homelessness early intervention
services across Australia funded by the Department of Families, Housing,
Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
These services provide practical assistance, information and help to young
people who have recently been missing or are at risk of leaving home.
“We work with both young people and their families to re-establish contact and
communications and get access to counselling and other support services”.
“We find that young people run away because they may be experiencing conflict
with family, seeking independence, a victim of crime, have mental health
problems, suffer from drug and alcohol abuse, being influenced by peers or
sometimes they simply just don’t tell someone who cares about them, where they
Across Australia police have targeted young people with their campaign to raise
awareness about triggers such as communication that can cause people to run
“There is a dedicated missing persons website, missingpersons.gov.au, and pages
on networking sites like myspace, bebo and facebook as well advertisements
uploaded on you tube and online @ Hotmail, Messenger, Dolly, and Musicfix.
“In the Territory, police have distributed posters at major shopping centres and
other obvious hang outs like fast food outlets and local cinemas to try and
engage young people.
“I urge young people to think about the reasons why they want to run away and
talk about it with people who care about them, or even consider seeking help
from qualified support agencies and services. Talking it through will help to
identify better alternate options than just running away.
“If any member of the public knows the location of a young person who is
reported missing, I urge them to talk to the young person to assist them in
contacting their family, someone they trust or the local police to help resolve
the investigation,” said Superintendent Pryce.
Anyone with information about a missing person is strongly urged to contact
police on 131 444.
Further information about National Missing Persons Week which spans between
Sunday 3 and Saturday 9 August can be found at the above website.
Police cleared over body bungle
A Supreme Court judge has ruled police did not owe a duty of
care to the family of a missing man whose body went unidentified for four years
after it was found.
Twenty-two-year-old Daniel Cumming's body was discovered off Bronte Beach
five days after his mother reported him missing in 2001, but his family was not
notified for another four years.
They brought a case against the state of New South Wales, alleging that
police were negligent in the way they investigated Mr Cumming's disappearance.
But Associate Justice Joanne Harrison has today dismissed their claim and
ordered they pay costs for the defendant.
Death of convicted child killer Valmae Beck in QLD - Valmae and
husband Barrie Watts are thought to be responsible for several other missing
persons cases across the country including -
Barrie Watts is currently still in prison.
Police end search for missing Griffith man
Posted - ABC
Police have called off their search for a 43-year-old
Griffith man who had been missing for a fortnight.
The man is insulin dependant and there had been concerns for his safety.
The Superintendent of the Griffith local area command, Michael Rohan, says
the man did not contact police but he was sighted in Sydney on Tuesday.
"There's been a lot of resources that have been expended into the inquiry
to locate this person ... we're grateful that he is safe and well and we no
longer have the concerns for [his] welfare," he said.
"But people don't realise on the surface the work that is put in by local
police from not only this local area command but from nearby local area commands
in working to locate this person."
Monday 31 July 2006 (1605 hrs
This week is Missing Persons Week and members of the
public are being reminded of the many people who go missing
throughout Australia each year.
In Central Australia (NT) seven people have gone missing
in the past 18 months.
The most recent was an elderly Aboriginal man, Patrick
Doolan, who wandered away from the Amoonguna community just out
of Alice Springs on April 24 this year. Despite an extensive
search for the man he still hasn't been found.
Just a few days earlier a Western Australian man, Brett
McGillivray, went missing near Attack Creek about 80 kilometres
north of Alice Springs. Police were alerted after a passing
truck driver noticed the missing man's abandoned car in a truck
parking bay. An air and ground search was mounted when police
found the car keys had been left in the ignition and the man's
family had not heard from him. Despite the extensive search and
media coverage the man is yet to be found.
Also in the Attack Creek area, 60-year-old Czechoslovakian
man Stan Dobias disappeared after walking down a track to lock
the gates to the property he was living on. He was last seen on
September 24 last year.
Another Czech who went missing was Lubos Gencur. Mr Gencur
had flown to Australia for a hang-gliding competition, but
decided to see Ayers Rock before the competition. He was last
seen walking near Curtin Springs on January 4 last year.
Jennifer Lane was another missing person who has failed to
turn up despite extensive media coverage. She, too, arrived in
Alice Springs by plane, in April 2004, but disappeared shortly
after. She was last seen at the YHA hostel in Parsons Street,
and police were alerted after she failed to check out and her
luggage remained uncollected.
Aloysious Hayes, a 41-year-old Aboriginal man, went
missing after he went with family members to William Well ? an
outstation about 20 kilometres south-east of Alice Springs. His
family became concerned and alerted police when it became
apparent he never returned to Alice Springs and despite an
extensive police search, no-one has seen him since.
In April the family of Santa Teresa woman Sybil Malbunka
became concerned for her welfare and alerted police. She was
last seen at the boundary of the restricted area near Santa
Teresa on about March 4 this year. Despite a public appeal for
anyone who may have seen her since, she has yet to be found.
Police are urging anyone who may have information about
any of the people listed above to contact 131 444 or Crime
Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Rescue squads are Logie bound
Release date: Tue 6 May 2008
They may have missed Sunday night’s Logies, but the Victoria Police Search
and Rescue Squad, Air Wing and Water Police will be the stars of the small
Channel Nine’s reality show Search and Rescue, which
follows the operations of the three specialist units, will make its on-air
debut this week.
Acting Senior Sergeant Peter Sambell from the Film and Television
Office, describes episode one as a ‘stand out’.
"The episode follows the rescue of yacht ‘Hands Off’ stranded in the
Bass Strait with no power and no steering," A/Sen Sgt Sambell said.
"The rescue took 17 hours and two police members have been nominated for
bravery awards due to their actions.
"When you see the footage, you understand why.
"The conditions these members went out in were horrendous."
A/Sen Sgt Sambell said the Victoria Police members truly are the stars
of this show.
"They are absolutely brilliant, they demonstrate and explain what they
do every day," he said.
"This showcases what their jobs involve and the conditions that they
"The best example of this is the Water Police, some of the jobs they do
you would think no-one in their right mind would go out into in these
"But they do because it’s their job and they’re saving people’s lives."
The eight-episode series was filmed over 28 weeks from October last year
to 22 February.
Profiles on the members featured in the program and further details are
Search and Rescue airs on Wednesdays at 8pm on Channel Nine.
Maribyrnong River wrecks 'may hold bodies'
April 27, 2008
POLICE have reportedly said bodies could be found when they recover dozens
of cars from the bottom of the Maribyrnong River in Melbourne's west.
Up to 130 cars were detected when police swept the riverbed with sonar
equipment before the start of last year's spring racing carnival. Most are
thought to have been stolen.
Water Police have invited parks officers and insurance industry leaders to
a meeting on Thursday to discuss recovering the cars, under Operation River
Channel Nine last night showed pictures taken by Melbourne diver Rubens
Monaco in which a submerged Ford sedan could be seen. "The thing that was
interesting … was that it was very well encrusted," he said.
The numberplate of a red four-wheel-drive could be clearly seen in other
Similar operations have been proposed for the Yarra and Barwon rivers.
Five suicides a day: report
April 14, 2008 - 1:54PM - SMH
Suicide prevention advocates have called on governments and the community
to act urgently saying five young men kill themselves
every day in Australia.
Today's calls come after statistics released last week in the Interagency
Action Plan for Better Mental Health report showed the suicide rate in NSW had
dropped to a 30-year low.
But action group Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) says the figures are
still too high and suicides in indigenous communities may be occurring at a much
SPA chair Michael Dudley said about 2,100 Australians died of suicide each
year, with young men accounting for most of the male deaths.
"Evidence shows that of the reported cases of suicide each year, men
account for around 80 per cent, while indigenous suicide rates are now suspected
to be more than 40 per cent higher than those of the non-indigenous population,"
Dr Dudley said.
SPA executive officer Ryan McGlaughlin said the group was trying to
understand why recommendations contained in papers written on indigenous
communities had not been put in place.
"We have to ask community and government to look at all the papers that
have been written and act at a high level," he said.
Little research had been conducted into how indigenous people understood
and defined suicide and self-harming behaviour, SPA reference professor John
"Likewise, we significantly lack initiatives that encourage help-seeking
among men and that actively promote the value of men, their contributions to
society and a range of positive male identities," Mr Macdonald said.
"This is in spite of the risks of suicide being something to which every
man is potentially vulnerable."
For help with depression, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on
1300 224 636.
One person disappears every 15 minutes
March 13, 2008
But of the 35,000 people who go missing annually about 90 per cent are
found within a week.
Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said: "This report identifies those
groups most at risk of becoming a missing person and provides guidance on
preventative strategies to reduce the number of people who go missing."
The report was written by the Australian Institute of Criminology and
was commissioned and co-funded by the federal police and NSW
**Nicole's comment -
Obviously this is alarming news, the "old" figures were 30,000 people a
year, one every eighteen minutes. So more people are going missing - why
is that and what can we as a society do to prevent it from happening? By
far the most common people to go missing are those with mental illnesses,
the elderly and teenagers.
We're all aware that we're an
aging population, so is the problem that as they grow older and possibly
more succomb to the terrible illnesses of Dementia and Altzheimers, we are
less able to look after them? Due to work and family committments, due to
less places being available in nursing homes? High interest rates and
petrol prices making it very difficult to afford the care they need and
still survive ourselves?
The same might possibly be said about
teenagers - the high costs of living, housing, petrol are forcing more
families into being double income and having less time to spend with
children, and without guidance these children turn to the streets, turn to
their friends, turn to drugs and alcohol and run away. This of course
doesn't apply to every case, it's most certainly a generalisation and
raising teenagers is hard for any family.
In so many of the other new cases I
add daily I see the words "suffers from an illness" as part of the
circumstances. In most cases this will be a mental illness. We are getting
better at accepting the fact that a mental illness is exactly the same as
having any other physical illness, and we would not ignore or be
embarrassed about a broken leg. Yet the funding and staffing for
psychiatric units within hospitals in Australia is shamefully low and I
believe this is resulting in poor care for the mentally ill, leaving most
of the care up to families who are often unable to cope, and all too often
these cases end in tragedy.
The bottom line is we need to
recognise the vulnerable members of society and work harder to make sure
they are safe.
Nicole's 2007 Christmas Message
(but no, I am not the Queen!)
I always feel a little odd saying that to you
all as I know Christmas is usually anything but merry for you when you have that
empty chair at your table. But I do send out good wishes for a peaceful time. I
wish you a full night's sleep. I wish you that phone call you have been waiting
for. I wish you some time to look at the people you do still have in your lives
with love and I wish you good friends and family to support you.
The visitor clicker for the website
recently turned over to 30,000 - that's absolutely amazing! I want to thank
the many, many people who have assisted me this year in various ways. When I
started this website almost three years ago I had no idea it would turn into
what it has. It was really just a way to get out the information to as many
people as possible about the missing but it's turned into so much more, a
crusade really, and a way to really help the people left behind. Every day I
meet new people, some offering to help and some in need of help. I want to
especially thank April and Maree who have taken on a big part of AMPR - all
the many people who contact me wanting to trace a family member. These people
are not technically missing but April and Maree take on those cases to help
them and like me, they do it voluntarily and they have helped so many people.
Thank you ladies!
If I thank everyone else by name I'll be
here all day but I want to send a special thanks to the Police officers of
Australia, the men and women who bravely and tirelessly serve our country
every day and do such a wonderful job finding the Missing. This year I have
dealt with every Police department in the country and I have nothing but
praise and admiration for you all. A Merry Christmas to you and deep thanks on
behalf of all the families and friends of the missing.
Personally this has been a difficult year
for me for various reasons but I think things are back on track and I will
hopefully have a bit more time in 2008 to devote to this work. Thanks for
being patient with me, I know I have a backlog of e mails to get through. I
apologise once again, I get dozens of e mails every day and there's just
little old me here at the computer in my lounge room to answer them all. I
don't have an office, I don't have a fax machine, there's no one but me. I
might get an e mail regarding an old case from 20 years ago, and that requires
me to track down the original investigating officer which can take days or
weeks, every case involves a great deal of work.
I apologise for the "building site"
at the moment, it's a massive job moving all the pages over from the old
website to the new and as I go along I am creating a new page for every
person, and double checking the status of older cases. I know it's not
completely easy to navigate at the moment but I promise I am working on it
constantly. The latest figure I have is that around 1600 missing persons
cases remain open of people missing longer than 6 months and the ultimate
goal is to have every single one of those people on the website, as well
as the people featured on the Daily Update page who might be just missing
for a day or two. Thank you to all the people who offer to redesign the
site - I appreciate all offers but right now I just need to get the info
on here. I also don't want the site to be all bells and whistles, flashing
do-dads etc, I want the site to be about the people in the photos and
If you think you are a missing person
PLEASE, take five minutes this Christmas to make that phone call home.
Take one minute. Even better, turn up for Christmas lunch. I have had
several families tell me this year that would be better than winning
Lotto. The best gift you could ever give. I spend every day comforting
your families and friends and getting them through this time. If you only
knew what your disappearance was doing to them. There is nothing, nothing
you could ever have done that can't be forgiven. They are NOT "better off
without" you. They are falling apart, devestated, tortured by what they
imagine might have happened to you.
I do understand there are times when
you have decided to leave your past behind and that is your absolute right
to do that. I just ask that you give your local Police station a visit and
state you are on the missing list but that you are safe and well, they
legally cannot inform your family where you are if that is your wish, you
have the right to your privacy and anonymity. But it will at least let
your family know you are alive. They deserve that much.
To the families and friends, I extend
the invitation to you to write a personal message on your loved ones' page
(just e mail it to me). The page is there for YOU. If your missing person
isn't on the website and you want them added, it will be done the same
day. If your missing person is already here but you want to add extra
photos, you can send me as many as you like. If there are some details
wrong on the page, they will be corrected immediately. I am very
approachable so give me a ring - 0438 900 861 or
Merry Christmas to all and God Bless,
Cameras may keep close eye on The Gap
Jano Gibson Urban Affairs Reporter
November 13, 2007
LIVE security cameras, free emergency telephones and hard-to-climb fences
could be installed at The Gap, one of Sydney's most notorious suicide spots.
Woollahra Municipal Council's draft master plan for Gap Park comes less
than a fortnight after the Channel Ten newsreader Charmaine Dragun fell to her
death from The Gap.
Ms Dragun, described by those close to her as "the sweetest person you
could ever meet", experienced depression and died not long after switching to a
new anti-depression medication.
The draft master plan, which also includes the first substantial landscape
upgrade of the historic cliff-top park in 25 years, has been in the pipeline for
many months and comes after consultation with police, Lifeline counsellors and
"We've tried to be sensitive and have taken their recommendations into
account, and the community will be able to have their say when the plan goes on
public exhibition," said the deputy Mayor of Woollahra, Isabelle Shapiro.
If the plan is adopted and funding is secured for its implementation,
closed-circuit cameras would be installed at the park's two main entry points,
enabling Rose Bay police to monitor those entering and leaving the area.
The motion-activated cameras would help emergency services in responding
to situations where people might hurt themselves and might also act as a
deterrent to people contemplating taking their lives, police said.
Retrieved footage could also be useful in
missing persons investigations, they said.
Cashless emergency telephones, similar to those used on the sides of
highways, would be installed to give people in need direct access to counselling
services and police.
Lighting in the park's two main viewing areas would be improved using LED
lights mounted beneath proposed seating.
The LED lights can last for up to 25 years, produce a "warm" glow and are
bright enough for faces to be seen on security cameras, the draft master plan
Another proposed initiative is for 1.3-metre-high balustrades to replace
the fences at the lookouts. The balustrades would be difficult to climb over
because they would lean inwards and have no footholds.
If someone were to climb over them, the design makes it relatively easy to
climb back to safety.
The plan also includes recommendations on cultural, historical,
environmental and recreational aspects of the park and accessibility. The story
of how the Dunbar was wrecked at South Head would be illustrated at the site and
military installations, such as gun emplacements, would be restored.
The suicide-prevention initiatives would cost about $400,000 and the
project would exceed $1 million overall.
The draft plan will go on public display from November 21 to December 19.
Kids Help Line: 1800551800
New program to 'understand' families of missing
Posted - ABC
A national training program has been launched to help the
families of missing persons cope with their situation.
Federal Police estimate that around 30,000 Australians go missing every
The new support framework includes a training package to provide
counsellors with new skills in understanding the trauma and impact experienced
The AFP says for every person that goes missing in Australia there are at
least 12 other people affected.
Spokeswoman Sarah Wayland says it is about giving counsellors additional
skills to help those left behind
"So that they understand that for families it's not about deciding whether
or not someone will come back but really acknowledging that space in between,
that missing space when people don't know what's happened to their loved ones,"
Ms Wayland says families of missing persons need understanding.
"Once they report someone missing to the police they're really almost left
in a space of not knowing where their loved one is but also not knowing where to
turn to for help," she said.
"Sometimes in that effort to search for some help they're really getting
some inadequate support from agencies who don't understand the concept of
http://www.sane.org/ - Sane is an
Australian, not for profit, mental health advocacy organisation. They're
just starting a new research project to improve supports and services for
family and friends of people with a mental illness who have committed
suicide or have been missing for a long time. Please contact them if you'd like
to know more.
**Please note, if you get a forwarded e mail about a
missing boy named Evan Trembley
please do NOT forward it on, it's a HOAX. There is no such boy. Someone stole a
boy's photo from his My Space page and invented the story and now the real
Trembley family have been inundated with calls, and it's simply a made up story.
If only stories about real missing people were so widely
You can verify the authenticity of these type of e mails by
checking with Snopes, this is their info about the Trembley e mail -
A few weeks ago I received an e mail from a teenage
girl named Terri-Lee Carter. If that name
seems familiar to you it's because Terri had her own page on the Register
with over 500 hits. Terri ran away from home in Sydney in 2005 when she
was just 14. Happily, Terri is safe and well and now living in QLD and at
the age of 16 she can look back on her troubled years, and I asked Terri
if she could write in her own words a little about her experience as a
missing person. Teenage girls aged 13-18 make up the largest group of
missing persons out of the whole 30,000 who go missing each year so
Terri's words are vitally important and we both hope that someone reading
this will think twice about running away, and if you are reading this and
know you have been reported missing, it's never too late to go home or ask
for help to change your circumstances, or at least make a phone call and
let someone know you're safe. If you're missing that means someone loves
you and cares enough about you to make that report. As I write this, today
a 13 year old girl who was reported missing in Townsville has been found
It could happen to you.
Well done Terri-Lee for having the courage to survive
being out on the streets at such a young age and for having the courage to
return home. These are her words -
"There was a time in my life were i thought
that Running away from home was a good thing i use to put the ones i love
in stress n worrie but at that time i just didnt care cause i was just
young and silly but now i relise what i was doin was so WRONG and DANGROUS
there are so many stupid people out there that can hurt you but i didnt
care. Me and my friends would just runaway we use to hitch hike rides and
just run all for some fun. One day my dad told me terri-lee one day your
goin to run and have no were to go and it was true none of my friends were
there for me it was cold and raining i had no were to go i didnt want to
phone my dad so i didnt instead i sleept in a park all bye myself cold no
one to talk to or nothing it was so scary . In life you have to realise
that Familly is the best thing to have i didnt realise that for a good 4
years in my life but now that i do im doin so much better with myself i
dont runaway from my problems i sort it out . PLEASE to all you young
girls runing away DONT DO IT there are so many dangerous PEOPLE out there
that just dont care. AND USE DONT WANT TO BE IN THE WRONG SPOT AT THE
WRONG TIME. Thats all it takes . Well thanks for reading this .
A note about psychics - I am
often asked what I think about psychics being used to find the missing. I
think it's time I said exactly what I think and it's been motivated by a
recent event that has made me VERY angry. I was recently contacted by the
family of a missing teenage boy. These parents were clearly distressed
about their son being missing and desperate to find him, they consulted a
psychic. This psychic told them that their son was "alone and afraid" and
at a location interstate, thousands of kms from where he was meant to be.
Obviously that's one of the most distressing things you can say to a
parent, that their child is alone and scared and somewhere you can't reach
them. AND SHE WAS WRONG. The boy turned up safely not far from where he
went missing. He was not anywhere near the location the psychic had told
the parents and he was safe and well. So what this so-called psychic
achieved was to send those parents deeper into the nightmare they were
already living and cause them extreme anxiety and fear.
So let me say this - if I hear about this happening, about psychics
causing more fear and upset to the families of the missing, and of
psychics charging the families a lot of money - or indeed any money - to
give them vague "possible" theories about where their loved ones are, then
I will find out who you are and I will do my BEST to have you discredited.
I will complain to as many people as I can and make sure you cannot do
this to anyone else.
Believe me, I understand the need for the families to grasp at any
straw, to listen to anyone who thinks they can help but trust me, in two
and a half years I have yet to meet a psychic to was able to actually tell
me anything even remotely useful, and I am contacted by psychics
constantly. I will be the first person to come out in praise of any
psychic who can actually say "This person is HERE" and be 100% correct but
until that day, then it can only cause more harm and distress to the
families and I will not let that happen.
I read the most
inspiring story and would like to share, told by Elma Flemming (from the
Wayside Chapel) about an incident at the Royal Easter Show -
"Family and Friends of Missing Persons were
lucky enough to be invited to be on the Peace stand, and we had posters up
on the wall with people who had been reported missing, and a young lady kept
coming and walking away, and coming back and walking away, and eventually I
approached and asked if I could help. And she said, 'That's my picture in
the photograph behind you'. In fact she'd been missing for something like
three years and didn't think anybody cared enough to even go out there and
look for her. So that was another good result. "
Whenever it all seems too much, remember this
Nrl Kicks Off Support For National Missing Persons Week
28 July 2006
The NRL has again thrown its support behind National Missing Persons Week,
featuring photos of 21 missing people on big screens at matches this weekend.
The photos, as well as brief details about the missing person, and a 24-hour
freecall number, will be flashed up on big screens at six rugby league games
being played in NSW tonight and over the weekend.
NSW Police Missing Persons Unit spokesperson, Inspector Adam Taylor, said it was
hoped the high profile support the NRL was giving the week would raise awareness
of the people who are currently missing.
“Not knowing if your loved one is alive and well is devastating for the families
of these missing persons and we welcome the support of the NRL in showing
photographs of these people, many of whom have been missing for some years.
“It’s the fifth year of this initiative, and over that time the NRL support has
helped to raise awareness of the state’s missing people. We would urge anyone
who has information about the whereabouts of any of the people shown, to contact
their local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” Inspector Taylor said.
NRL Chief Executive Mr David Gallop said today, “This is the sort of project
where our clubs haven’t hesitated in offering their support. We’ve got a great
ability to reach a large and diverse audience at our games so hopefully we might
provide a few leads that help in resolving some of these cases.”
The first game featuring images of missing persons is Friday 28 July Sharks v
Knights at Toyota Park. The missing people to be featured are:
Brendan Crinis - Brendan was last seen in the Wollongong area on 9 September
Ian Stanton - Ian was last seen on 9 May 2003 at Bundanoon.
Allan Blanch – Allan was last seen at Bulahdelah on 5 May 2006.
National Missing Persons Week begins on Sunday 30 July and will officially
conclude on Saturday 5 August. However, a service will be held at Coffs Harbour
on Sunday 6 August.
Online missing persons search launched
By Nick Ralston - The Australian
July 30, 2006
PAULINE Flint and her husband Lindsay say they have become very different people
in the five years since their son Glenn went missing.
Glenn Flint was 26 years old when he went missing from the Manly district in
Sydney's northern beaches in November 2001.
He has not been seen, or heard of since.
His parents now offer support to other parents who have lost children as well as
giving talks to students at the New South Wales police college in Goulburn about
their loss and their experiences.
"It's life changing, we're different people now," Mrs Flint said.
"We were given some advice early in the piece by an elderly lady who had lost
her daughter 25 years before.
"She said it was better to be proactive than inactive and from that moment on,
we thought even if we couldn't find Glenn, if we could help other families it
will make us feel a bit better about our situation."
The Flints today joined NSW Police Minister Carl Scully and Police Commissioner
Ken Moroney in launching an online database of missing persons.
The launch coincided with the start of Missing Persons Week. There are currently
568 cases in NSW of people who have been missing for 12 months or more.
Mr Scully said it was hoped the database will make it easier for the public to
assist police in finding missing persons.
"At the moment, photographs of missing persons are pinned up on the walls of
police stations, printed in a daily newspaper or flashed up on a television for
a few seconds at best," Mr Scully said.
"While these may have been the best methods available in the past, it's now time
to take advantage of the widespread public use of the internet and digital
The database will be linked via the NSW Police website and contains a photograph
and description of the person who is missing.
It is the first time such a database has been made available online.
Mr Moroney said if it proved successful he would have no hesitations in sharing
the concept with his counterparts in other states.
"We'll see how it works in NSW, early days give me great optimism," Mr Moroney
A national missing persons database was first mooted in 1991 under the Labor
government, while in 2005 an inquiry into the wrongful detention of Cornelia Rau
recommended one be established urgently.
NRL Continues Support For National Missing Persons Week
29 July 2006
The NRL today continues its support for National Missing Persons Week by
featuring photos of missing people on big screens at matches this weekend.
The photos, as well as brief details about the missing people and a 24-hour
freecall number, will be flashed up on big screens at six rugby league games
being played in NSW today and tomorrow.
The NRL’s support began last night with three missing people featured at the
match between the Sharks and Knights at Toyota Park.
The missing people to be featured today and tomorrow are:
Saturday 29 July
Penrith Stadium – Panthers V Warriors
Ariel Livesey- Ariel was last seen on the 24 October 2003 at Katoomba.
Kellie Carmichael: Kellie left was last seen on 26 April 2001 at Katoomba.
Maureen Matterson – Maureen was last seen in Seven Hills on 5 December 2003.
Saturday 29 July
Parramatta Stadium – Eels V Manly
Glenn Flint – last seen on 15 November 2001 at Fairlight.
Levi David – Levi was last seen at Avalon on 23 April 2006.
Robert Wilson – Robert was last seen in Quakers Hill on 30 November 2001.
Saturday 29 July
Telstra Stadium – Rabbitohs V Canberra Raiders
Phillippe Fortin - Phillippe was last seen on 21 August 2002 at Liverpool.
Ji-Hun Jo – Ji-Jun was last seen in January 2005 in Sydney.
Simon Knight – Simon was last seen at Surry Hills on the 20 July 2005.
Sunday 30 July
Suncorp Stadium – Broncos V West Tigers
Iris Braidwood – Iris was last seen in Cronulla on 26 March 2003.
Quanne Diec – Quanne was last seen in Granville on 27 July 1998.
Charles Sudduth – Charles flew into Sydney from the United States on 5 March
2004. He has not been seen since.
Sunday 30 July
Jubilee /Kogarah Oval – Dragons V Melbourne Storm
Darren Jones – Darren was last seen on the 25 April 2006 in the Greenacre area.
Gregory Love – Gregory was last seen in the Ryde area on 23 April 1966.
Patrick Gallaty – Patrick was last seen at Campbelltown on 24 August 2001.
Sunday 30 July
Sydney Football Stadium – Roosters V Cowboys
Steve Platt – Steve was last seen in Bondi on 28 February.
Cengiz Sarac – Cengiz was last seen in Auburn on 2 August 2005.
Terence Payling – Terence was last seen at Cook’s Hill, Newcastle, on 19 March
The NSW Police Missing Persons Unit has welcomed the NRL’s support and urges
anyone who recognises the faces of the people featured or knows their
whereabouts to contact their local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
National Missing Persons Week officially begins tomorrow and concludes next
Saturday (August 5). However, a service will be held at Coffs Harbour on Sunday
Monday, July 31, 2006. 7:18am (AEST)- ABC
Research project designed to shed light on missing persons
A new research project has been commissioned to give police and policy workers a
better understanding as to why people go missing in Australia.
The project is the initiative of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the New
South Wales Attorney-General's Department and will be launched today in Canberra
to mark National Missing Persons Week.
A counsellor at the NSW Family and Friends of Missing Persons Unit, Sarah
Wayland, says the research will provide valuable information to tackle what is
still a huge problem in Australia.
"At the moment the statistics suggest that there's about 30,000 people reported
missing to police stations around Australia every single year," he said.
"In New South Wales, this year there is about 10,000 people that will be
Ms Wayland says there has only been one other project of its kind in Australia
"The last research that was conducted was approximately eight years ago, so this
new research will look into not only the phenomena of missing persons today, but
what we can do for the future to provide some guidance to ensure that people
perhaps don't continue to go missing," she said.
From African jail to head missing persons unit
By John Silvester - The Age
April 6, 2006
A SENIOR policeman who was convicted of sexual assault in Sierra Leone but later
cleared is to return to the Victoria Police to review suspicious missing persons
Superintendent Peter Halloran, the former head of the homicide squad, has agreed
to head a taskforce to examine mysterious disappearances that police believe may
be unreported murders.
He will also make recommendations on the best way to investigate such crimes in
The cold case and suspicious missing persons unit was scrapped in a restructure
of the crime department announced last month.
Assistant Commissioner (crime) Simon Overland last night said: "We are delighted
to get someone with Peter's expertise to head the taskforce. He will lead a
number of suspicious missing persons investigations and bring them to final
Mr Overland said the taskforce was expected to run for one to two years.
Mr Halloran took leave of absence to work as a special war crimes investigator
for the United Nations in January 2004. In August 2004, he was charged with the
sexual assault of a teenage girl, convicted in February last year and sentenced
to 18 months' jail.
The conviction was overturned early in October by an appeal court, which found
the original finding was a miscarriage of justice.
Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon said after he was cleared that he would be
offered a meaningful job in Victoria Police where he could use his skills and
Mr Halloran pushed for the establishment of a suspicious missing persons unit
when he was in charge of the homicide squad from 1989 to 1996. He argued that
many missing persons cases would be found to be murder if they were quickly and
He was also in charge of complex cases when he was a senior investigator with
the National Crime Authority from 1985 to 1987.
The decision to scrap the cold case and suspicious missing persons unit was
widely criticised because the team had been successful over the previous five
years in uncovering murders and solving old cases using new methods, including
In announcing the changes, Mr Overland said cold case techniques would be used
to investigate a range of unsolved serious crimes, including homicides, sex
offences and armed robberies. Serving and former senior police would be called
in to review unsolved crimes with "fresh eyes".
Piecing together the puzzle - The Border Mail
FOR tens of thousands of Australians, National Missing Persons Week is about
getting some answers.
Themed “life is a puzzle — every piece is important”, this week is about
encouraging the public to come forward with information about the 30,000 loved
ones reported missing in Australia each year.
Victoria Police Det Sgt Rick Sparvelis, from the missing persons unit, said
police were appealing for missing persons to present themselves to police.
“It is not a crime to go missing and everyone has the right to disappear,” he
“But if you think you might be classified as a missing person please attend a
police station with identification so that we can close your file.”
Sgt Sparvelis said police would only notify the person’s family that they had
“No details of the missing person’s location will be revealed without the prior
consent of the person,” he said.
Many people disappear to escape control but other reasons include peer pressure,
domestic problems, mental health issues and financial pressure.
Insp Adam Taylor, from the NSW Police missing persons unit, said the state had
an overall location rate of 99 per cent.
“Seventy per cent of missing persons are located or return home within three
days,” he said.
Anyone with information about a missing person should contact Crime Stoppers,
1800 333 000 or their local police station
Runaway youths soon found - Border Mail
DOZENS of mainly young and elderly people are reported missing to Border police
But in the majority of cases they are found within 24 hours.
Wodonga police Sen-Constable Mark Deegan said while the area did not have more
missing persons than other regional centres, residents regularly went missing.
He said missing persons cases in Wodonga usually involved children running away
from youth housing.
“Normally the cases are domestic related and the person doesn’t want to be
found,” he said.
“But we take every reported case very seriously and we immediately conduct a
Elderly people in residential care also went missing.
“This comes down to several reasons but is usually due to illness,”
Sen-Constable Deegan said.
A person is declared missing as soon as there is concern about their safety and
Sen-Constable Deegan said that person is then put on a national missing persons
Lack of communication caused problems.
Albury police InspLes Nugent said that was often the main reason behind the
disappearance of young people.
Usually it was not serious, such as a young person going out somewhere with
No one is reported missing in Albury-Wodonga, though there is one case at
Wangaratta, three at Wagga and two at Deniliquin.
Police hope DVD will reduce missing people statistics
Wednesday, 6 December 2006 - ABC
A new DVD will be shown in Gilgandra, in western New South Wales, this morning
as part of a pilot project to encourage the Aboriginal community to report
missing people to police.
It has been produced by the missing persons unit of the NSW Police and Attorney
General's Department to help improve the chances of missing people being found
safe and well.
John Le Breton, the director of Victims' Services, says research has shown young
females are over-represented among missing Aboriginal people.
"During 2002 we've found there were 133 files of Aboriginal females reported
missing to police and almost half of those were
young women 12 to 15 years of age," he said.
"We want to make sure that those people are looked after, to let them know there
are supports and services out there."
Mr Le Breton says the DVD tries to reach out to those 12 to 15-year-old girls.
"The DVD includes Dean Widders, the popular football player, Linda Burney and
two other people who identify very strongly with the Aboriginal community and to
emphasise that it's not a crime to go missing, but it's very, very important to
report someone missing and for the person that does go missing to let people
know they're safe and well," he said.
It's been a massive year for me yet
again and the most successful yet, with some great achievements. Although I
do this on my own there are some people I would like to thank who gave me
some wonderful assistance over the year. I can't thank everyone or I'd
exceed my webspace :) but just a few particular mentions to people who have
made tremendous efforts towards finding the missing.
Regarding the webspace mentioned above, a huge thanks
to Darren from
for donating this webspace. When the bushfire tragedy
happened the website almost crashed with over 90,000 people visiting in just
a few days. Darren responded to my begging to keep it online and thus helped
thousands of people all over the world find out whether friends and family
were safe. Thank you. :) The website needs to expand as it's at bursting
point so Darren I will be talking with you soon about upgrading.
Maree and Tash - Always
there when I need you, outstanding work with the SES as well as a genuine
caring and assistance with searching for the missing, THANK YOU!!!!!
Kevin - together
we found Evan at Easter, and you drove a thousand kms to Sydney and then
back again to bring him home. I am still in awe at your commitment. Thank
Wendy - you spent
hours with me compiling the lists of those lost in the Victorian bushfires,
and I know it took its toll on us both. You did something wonderful for lots
of people, a big thank you to you.
April - you
tirelessly reunite families in the Family Tracing cases, I don't know how
you do it, you are so clever and a huge THANK YOU for all your efforts!
Sis - you drove
across Brisbane to reunite an elderly lady with a friend she hasn't seen in
years, on the other side of the world. You are amazing.
Lianne - my
new dearest friend :) Thank you for everything, for listening and
being just about the first person I ever opened up to about it all, for
always being there and for the journey we are on together.
To all the families and friends of the
missing, thank you for your strength and courage.
To all the thousands of Police
Officers, SES workers, Ambulance Officers, Firemen and women around
Australia who spent this year searching for the missing, a big thank you on
behalf of all the people you helped. You are all heroes.
I know there will be a great many people you love that
you can't spend Christmas with this year, so please feel free to send a
message to them via the guestbook,
or you can e mail them to me -
email@example.com and I will put them here on
the front page (see below) in the hope that your loved one will read it and
give you a call this Christmas.
And to all the people who I know read the website every
day, a huge thank you for your support and all the hundreds of encouraging
messages you have sent throughout the year, when I needed them most. :)
This year I had around half a million visitors to the website, which blows
me away, thank you all so much for caring about the missing and seeing their
A very Happy Christmas to you and your families.
CHRISTMAS WISHES TO THE MISSING.........
Helen Courtney nee Hosking -
"Merry xmas, your kids miss u everyday xoxo"
from Kelly. "We
all think about her at xmas time, she has 2 granddaughters now and 2
grandsons who should know their Nanna."
Maree Agostino - "Maree please call me I
love you and need you so much its been 25 years now I need to hear your
voice from your baby sister tonie xxxxxxxxxxx"
February 7th 2009
Not very good at this blog thing, huh? Sorry! Then again I'm not sorry,
because what's keeping me from this has been doing a heap more work to help the
missing. This week I have been manually checking every single outstanding
missing person from the 2007/2008 group and either filing them as located,
moving them to
Moved Missings or moving them to the long term missing pages organised by
State. Still going on that list!
Great news with two of the families on the new
Parental Abduction page being reunited with their children this week! Let's
hope we can clear up that whole page in 2009 and also work towards preventing
situations like this happening in the future, with more effort going into
custody dispute counselling and communication between families and the
recognition of mental illness in a parent putting children at risk - there are
so many reasons this happens and it's something I will be looking into in more
depth as the year continues, with a new project on the horizon. The worst case
scenario is obviously the situation we had last week of little Darcy Freeman
being thrown from the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne. This shows us we need to
work harder than ever at keeping families together and sorting out problems
before they get to the desperate levels we see in cases like Darcy's father and
the parental abductions.
Aussies Missing Overseas page is now up and running, coinciding with Sunday
night's airing of the Britt Lapthorne case on Channel 7. Britt's family have
also been working with Senator Steve Fielding of the Family First party to get
the laws changed to help other families in their situation - please visit this
page and follow the link to the petition. I was in contact with Senator
Fielding's office yesterday and they are very supportive of the Register and
happy for me to promote their petition. It's fantastic to see a politician
willing to do something for missing persons!
Something I happened to see on TV this week made me cranky - I caught the
end of Home and Away on Channel 7 which I know is a hugely popular show. The
characters were discussing a 15 year old girl who had apparently run away and
one of the characters was asking a Policewoman could they report her as a
missing person. The Policewoman's answer was No, she was not
regarded as a missing person and the police would not "throw resources"
into finding her as she had left a note saying she was running away.
This is not accurate!!!!
It horrifies me to think how many people watched that and now think the
Police will not investigate a runaway. I can ASSURE you that if you go to report
a 15 year old girl as a missing person,
THEY WILL ACCEPT THE REPORT.
THEY WILL INVESTIGATE.
THEY WILL USE THEIR RESOURCES TO FIND HER.
If you come across a situation where this does not happen, you tell me and
I will find out why. If you have genuine concerns for the welfare of any person,
especially a 15 year old who is a minor, then of course the Police will
investigate and try and locate them. They have a duty of care and an obligation
to assist anyone in need and to investigate where there is a concern for welfare
of any person.
SHAME on the producers of Home and Away for misleading people in this way,
these comments could be very harmful and I can only hope it does not make any
parent wait before reporting a child as missing.
Lastly, thanks to everyone who has joined my Facebook page, great things
are happening there with some great groups being formed to spread awareness of
the Missing. To become my
Facebook Friend, click here.
November 14th 2008
Busy busy busy again at the moment as I help organise the Squeaky Wheel
series of concerts being held in various Sydney venues this week. They will be
honouring missing Revelle Balmain, Melloney Menhennitt and Stephen Mitchell.
I'm also working on a Parental Abduction page after several requests for
that so that's coming very soon.
A huge THANKS to my good friend Tony for his wonderful help in getting the
Jane Rimmer CCTV footage onto her page and also Sarah Spiers' page. I am
sometimes clueless when it comes to the technical side of the website so I
deeply appreciate your help Tony! Mwa!
More and more children particularly in NSW have been approached by
strangers which is so worrying, please be vigilant! Check the Abductions page
Today brings the news of the trial of the mother of Shannon Matthews. In
case that name isn't familiar to you, Shannon was a 9 year old girl who was
missing for 24 days in the UK this year. She was eventually found safe and well
concealed in the base of a bed in the home of her uncle. Details are now
starting to emerge from this bizarre case and it is alleged that Shannon's
mother concocted the entire story in order to collect the reward money that was
raised by the media. She did numerous appeals for information about her missing
daughter whilst the whole time allegedly keeping her restrained by some kind of
a noose or dog lead.
Because this case is currently before the courts in the UK I am unable to
make public comment about it, but may I express my utter fury and
contempt.......more to come when the case concludes.
October 28th 2008
I had a bit of a rest last week so I apologize for the delay in getting
back to people. I hope to be on top of my e mails today.
Not many new cases coming through but lots of old ones needing attention.
I am also this week preparing to give a child safety talk to 96 children. In
light of the more than 60 abduction attempts in NSW alone in the past couple of
months, my talk as part of this week's Day for Daniel on Friday is coming at a
This morning brings this news -
found, Mackay: QLD Police have today arrested a man for his alleged
involvement in the death of man in 1988. Police forensic testing allegedly
revealed that a human bone found in bushland outside of Mackay in 1994, was
linked to a man named Luke Ling who disappeared in 1988. Police charged the
Mackay man with one count of misconduct with a corpse, interfering. He is due to
face Mackay Magistrates Court on November 13. The arrest related to the disposal
of the man’s body not the actual cause of his death. Police are appealing for
any further information from anyone with information on Mr Ling or his
disappearance from the Mackay area.
Is it just me, or are you also horrified that remains found in 1994
have only just been tested NOW, in 2008????
The problem is that every crime now - be it murder, rape, armed
robbery, house burglary, carjacking - is forensically examined. That means a
massive, massive number of DNA samples are taken from every crime scene, and all
are put in a queue for testing by under-resourced labs. This bone has been
waiting years and years to be identified, years in a queue while Mr Ling's
family waited, not knowing his fate. I hate to think how many other missing
persons have actually been found, but are waiting in that queue while their
families fall apart.
The solution? Human remains that are located must be given PRIORITY
over all other forensic testing. Human life is precious, and these lives are
important. They MUST be tested and identified AS SOON AS they are found.
October 10th 2008
I have been toying with this idea for a while now, because I love to write
and I usually have alot to say, but I have always maintained this website isn't
about me, it's about all those faces on the pages that I hope you go and look at
as much as possible.
But sometimes there are things I'd like to announce, upcoming events, what
goes on behind the scenes so to speak. Sometimes it takes me months to return
mail, as I am overwhelmed with requests from people about various things and it
would be good to let you know that I do cram as much into my day as I can and if
I don't get back to you it's because usually an urgent new case has landed in my
Sometimes also I want to protest about something in the news that has
upset me. So I figured I would start this blog.
The thing that has prompted me to do it today is the absolutely dreadful
treatment of Britt Lapthorne's family by both the Croatian authorities and the
Australian government. They have found human remains, and that in itself is a
bit of a miracle, but why have they been unable to identify them? And if it's
not Britt, who is it?
When the tragic Bali bombings occurred Australia sent a crisis team over
to assist with the identification of our deceased. This was because they were
Australian citizens who died horribly on foreign soil. And how is Britt's case
any different??? Why have they not flown a forensic dentist from Australia
to Croatia? Why haven't they done a priority DNA test?? Britt's family should
not have to wait a second longer to know whether or not this is their daughter,
for if it is not then valuable time is being wasted
I noted a similar problem with the Maddy McCann case, also a foreign
citizen, where help from the originating country was allegedly refused. I don't
care about politics, I don't care about government red tape and protocol, it all
frustrates me, life needs to be much simpler and we must realize we were all put
on this earth equally. There were once no borders, no fences, no
checkpoints; we created them. When it comes to human tragedy, we are all the
same, and we have a duty to help our fellow man without any of the other
political rubbish getting in the way. Diplomacy be damned, this is someone's
daughter and we have the resources and technology to identify her TODAY. So just