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On This Day – June 28, 1975

On June 28, at 4.45pm, Terry left the Avoca post office where he was playing Monopoly with a friend. He was running 15 minutes late for his ride home.  That 15 minutes cost him his life.

Three witnesses, all locals, saw a fawn-coloured panel van that afternoon. One saw the van stopping in front of Terry as he waited on the coroner of Birdport and Barnett streets; another saw the van on the side of the Pyrenees Highway out of town with Terry standing at the back of it.

A third witness, a nurse driving home from work along the highway, saw the van turning into Box Flat Track, the road that leads to a mine shaft where Mr Floyd believes his brother’s body was dumped.

Raymond Jones, a convicted pedophile, who was on bail for indecently assaulting a boy in a Ballarat toilet block at the time, owned a fawn-coloured panel van and has admitted being on the same highway, travelling from Avoca to Maryborough, at the time.

Jones, who is believed to be living in northern Victoria, has previously denied any involvement in the disappearance.

This case is still unsolved

 

On the 13th January, 1977, neighbours to 147 Easey Street, Collingwood entered the open backdoor of the house, seeking the two young women who lived there that had not been seen since the 10th January.  On entering the kitchen, they found a note that had been left by the boyfriend of one of the women.  The neighbour then entered the hallway and saw Susan Bartlett’s body lying at the end of the hallway.  Calling out to her friend to not come any further into the house and asking them to call the police, she entered the hallway to check if Susan was alive.  She would see the half-naked body of Suzanne Armstrong on the floor of her bedroom, again obviously dead.  She then called out to Gregory, Suzanne’s 16 month old son who began to cry in his cot in his room.  The neighbour bundled him up and took him back to their house to await the arrival of police.

Susan Bartlett was a 28 year old teacher who had been teaching at Collingwood High School at the time of her death.  Her friend and roommate, Suzanne Armstrong was 27 years old and not working, looking after her young son.  The pair had been friends for a long time, even travelling overseas together about 4 years earlier.  It was while overseas in Greece that Suzanne became pregnant and eventually gave birth to her son.  The two women had been living in Easey Street since October 1976.  The last time they had been seen alive was the on the evening of January 10th, when Susan’s brother and his girlfriend visited.  The four made plans for dinner the following week.

Throughout the day on the 11th January, Suzanne’s boyfriend made numerous attempts to ring her but to no avail.  On the 12th January, he tried again to ring but again no answer.  He then drove to Easey Street and left a note on the kitchen table for Suzanne to ring him.  He noticed that the lights were on and that the kitchen door was open but didn’t venture any further into the house.  He believed that the girls weren’t far away.  When he rang again on the morning of the 13th January, Detectives answered the phone.

The neighbours had also attempted to contact the two Sue’s over the past couple of days as they had found the girl’s puppy roaming in the street.  They had left a note to the girls on the front door to the effect that they had the puppy at their place.  But as this went unanswered, the two neighbours entered the house on the 13th and discovered the bodies.

The inquests into the two girl’s murders were held on the 12th July 1977 in the Coroner’s Court.  The official verdict was that “multiple stab wounds then and there feloniously unlawfully and maliciously inflicted by a person or persons unknown and that such person did murder the said deceased.”  Police surmised that the murderer entered the premises through Susan’s bedroom where the blind had been dislodged and there was dirt on the end of the bed.  Blood stains were found in the bathroom and a bloodstained towel was found on the couch in the lounge room.  There were smears of blood down the passage wall to where Susan’s body was found.  Suzanne’s body was found on the floor of her bedroom with a pool of blood under her and another about 60cm above her head.  She was naked from the waist down but her panties and shorts were found beside the bed.  Medical examination of the Suzanne showed a total of 29 stab wounds while Susan had 55 stab wounds.

Interestingly, the knife believed to have been used was discovered on a ramp leading to the Victoria Park Railway Station.  On the 14th January, investigations of the manhole and drains in the area discovered a blood stained facewasher and shawl two blocks from the Easey Street address.

DNA testing has been undertaken on many of the 130 original persons of interest, although 41 of those were now deceased (January 2017).  In January 2017, a one million dollar reward was offered

This murder remains unsolved today.

On This Day – December 8, 1924

The State Government has decided to offer a reward of £600 for the apprehension of Alexander Thomas, whom the Coroner declared guilty of the murder of Miss Bridget Enright at staghorn Flat, near Wodonga.

 

On this day …….. 31st of October 1878

Proclamation by Governor George Bowen declaring Ned and Dan Kelly outlaws
In response to the public outrage at the murder of police officers, the reward was raised to £500 and, on 31 October 1878, the Victorian Parliament passed the Felons’ Apprehension Act, coming into effect on 1 November 1878, which outlawed the gang and made it possible for anyone to shoot them: There was no need for the outlaws to be arrested or for there to be a trial upon apprehension (the act was based on the 1865 act passed in New South Wales which declared Ben Hall and his gang outlaws). The act also penalized anyone who harbored, gave “any aid, shelter or sustenance” to the outlaws or withheld or gave false information about them to the authorities. Punishment was “imprisonment with or without hard labour for such period not exceeding fifteen years.” With this new act in place, on 4 November 1878, warrants were issued against the four members of the Kelly gang. The deadline for their voluntary surrender was set at 12 November 1878.

 

MURDERED ON THIS DAY ………. 20th of October 2003

A $200,000 was offered to help solve a double murder in Victoria. Istvan (Steve) Gulyas and Duang Chith (Tina) Nhonthachith were killed at their farm in Wildwood Road, Wildwood, northwest of Melbourne, sometime on the 20th of October 2003.

Both were shot in the head. Homicide detectives said the couple did not have a criminal history and it is believed the victims knew their killers. Detective Inspector Bernie Edwards said the $200,000 reward could hold the key to unlocking crucial information surrounding their deaths. “We believe there are people in the community who are in possession of vital information regarding this murder,” he said. “A significant reward of $200,000 we hope will encourage anybody who knows anything about this incident to come forward.” The reward will be paid for information leading to the arrest and subsequent conviction of those responsible. The Director of Public Prosecutions will also consider granting indemnity to anyone who helps solve the murders.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 9th September 1999

On the 9th of September Dimitrios Bellini was lured to a St Kilda Road car park and was shot in the back of the head by an unknown assailant.

It was believed that Bellini owed large amounts of money to some underworld figures but was unable to pay.  He attempted to clear his debts by selling fake diamonds but this would ultimately lead to his demise.

In 2014, after an anonymous tip off, a search of the Yarra river was carried in search of the murder weapon.

There is a $1 million reward for information leading to an arrest for this crime

 

On this day …….. 24th of August 1853

This reward is offered in Government Gazette for the apprehension of a prisoner who affected his escape from Collingwood Stockade on the evening of the 24th August – Description of prisoner – Name, James Lane; age, 35 years ; height, 5 feet 3 inches complexion, sallow; hair, brown ; eyes, hazel ; particular marks, small blue mark over left eye ; ship to the colony, Renown. Offence, sentence, and date of conviction- Robbery, eight years, 16th October, 1852

 

On This Day – June 28, 1975

On June 28, at 4.45pm, Terry left the Avoca post office where he was playing Monopoly with a friend. He was running 15 minutes late for his ride home.  That 15 minutes cost him his life.

Three witnesses, all locals, saw a fawn-coloured panel van that afternoon. One saw the van stopping in front of Terry as he waited on the coroner of Birdport and Barnett streets; another saw the van on the side of the Pyrenees Highway out of town with Terry standing at the back of it.

A third witness, a nurse driving home from work along the highway, saw the van turning into Box Flat Track, the road that leads to a mine shaft where Mr Floyd believes his brother’s body was dumped.

Raymond Jones, a convicted pedophile, who was on bail for indecently assaulting a boy in a Ballarat toilet block at the time, owned a fawn-coloured panel van and has admitted being on the same highway, travelling from Avoca to Maryborough, at the time.

Jones, who is believed to be living in northern Victoria, has previously denied any involvement in the disappearance.

This case is still unsolved

 

On This Day – December 24, 1852

Melville joined up with another bushranger called William Roberts, robbing a number of people. Six days later on Christmas Eve the two bushrangers celebrated at Christy’s Inn, a Geelong hotel after earlier holding up two workers at Fyansford. When a woman heard one of them boast that he was Captain Melville, she snuck out to fetch the police, no doubt induced by the 100 pounds reward. Melville was sentenced to 32 years in jail, he was a dangerous prisoner.

On This Day – December 8, 1924

The State Government has decided to offer a reward of £600 for the apprehension of Alexander Thomas, whom the Coroner declared guilty of the murder of Miss Bridget Enright at staghorn Flat, near Wodonga.

 

On this day …….. 31st of October 1878

Proclamation by Governor George Bowen declaring Ned and Dan Kelly outlaws
In response to the public outrage at the murder of police officers, the reward was raised to £500 and, on 31 October 1878, the Victorian Parliament passed the Felons’ Apprehension Act, coming into effect on 1 November 1878, which outlawed the gang and made it possible for anyone to shoot them: There was no need for the outlaws to be arrested or for there to be a trial upon apprehension (the act was based on the 1865 act passed in New South Wales which declared Ben Hall and his gang outlaws). The act also penalized anyone who harbored, gave “any aid, shelter or sustenance” to the outlaws or withheld or gave false information about them to the authorities. Punishment was “imprisonment with or without hard labour for such period not exceeding fifteen years.” With this new act in place, on 4 November 1878, warrants were issued against the four members of the Kelly gang. The deadline for their voluntary surrender was set at 12 November 1878.

 

MURDERED ON THIS DAY ………. 20th of October 2003

A $200,000 was offered to help solve a double murder in Victoria. Istvan (Steve) Gulyas and Duang Chith (Tina) Nhonthachith were killed at their farm in Wildwood Road, Wildwood, northwest of Melbourne, sometime on the 20th of October 2003.

Both were shot in the head. Homicide detectives said the couple did not have a criminal history and it is believed the victims knew their killers. Detective Inspector Bernie Edwards said the $200,000 reward could hold the key to unlocking crucial information surrounding their deaths. “We believe there are people in the community who are in possession of vital information regarding this murder,” he said. “A significant reward of $200,000 we hope will encourage anybody who knows anything about this incident to come forward.” The reward will be paid for information leading to the arrest and subsequent conviction of those responsible. The Director of Public Prosecutions will also consider granting indemnity to anyone who helps solve the murders.