True Crime Mysteries
Australian True Crime Mysteries
In this collection of Australian unsolved true crime mysteries you'll discover bizarre, sinister and heartbreaking stories from Australia's criminal past.
These clips show how the cases were reported on at the time and how cold cases were often reinvestigated through fresh eyes many years, or even decades, after the tragic events.
We also see the lasting effects that unsolved cases have on those left behind.
WARNING: Some of the content and descriptions in the following clips are graphic in nature and may be upsetting to some people.
If you have information about any of the cases in this collection, please call Crime Stoppers Australia.
In this television special celebrating 55 years of TV news in South Australia, the case of the missing Beaumont children is cited as the third most important news story in South Australia's history.
The three siblings – Jane (aged 9), Arnna (7) and Grant (4) – disappeared on 26 January 1966 from Adelaide's Glenelg Beach. There were numerous witness sightings of the kids near the beach, including some who claim to have seen them with a middle-aged man and were able to provide a sketch artist with a likeness, but the police were unable to find him.
Countless theories and a number of prime suspects have been investigated in the decades following the disappearance, but none have proved conclusive. The children have never been found and their disappearance remains an open investigation to this day.
This Nine News Adelaide story is a follow-up report on the disappearance of the three Beaumont children on Australia Day, 1966.
Jane (aged 9), Arnna (7) and Grant (4) Beaumont went missing from Adelaide's Glenelg Beach after they caught a bus there from the family home in Somerton Park.
The news report highlights evidence that has been made public one year following the disappearance of the children.
Despite a widespread police investigation, the case remains unsolved.
Nearly 25 years after the disappearance of the three Beaumont children – Jane, Arnna and Grant – from an Adelaide beach on 26 January 1966, police agree to follow up on tips from clairvoyant June Cox, who believes she knows the location of their bodies.
It was not the first time a clairvoyant had weighed in on the case of the missing children. In 1966, the controversial Dutch clairvoyant Gerard Croiset was flown to Australia to consult on the case and claimed that the kids were buried under the concrete floor of an Adelaide factory.
Tragically, the Beaumont children still have not been found and the events surrounding their disappearance remain a mystery. To date, it is still an open case.
This excerpt from an episode of A Current Affair which aired in 2013 introduces fresh claims and a new suspect in the 1966 disappearance of the three young Beaumont siblings from Glenelg Beach in South Australia.
Alan Whiticker, co-author of the book The Satin Man (with Stuart Mullins), believes he knows the identity of a man who many witnesses saw with the Beaumont children on the day they disappeared.
Co-author Stuart Mullins is working on a follow-up book with Bill Hayes.
On 12 January 1965 the bodies of Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock, both 15 years old, were found in the sand dunes at Wanda Beach, near Cronulla, in Sydney.
They had been brutally murdered the previous day. Within 18 months police interviewed 7,000 people, making it the largest investigation in Australian history.
Countless theories and leads have been proposed since then. As recently as 2018 a new suspect has been identified, Christopher Bernard Wilder, who emigrated to the United States in 1969 and became known as 'The Beauty Queen Killer'.
But despite all the theories, the 'Wanda Beach Murders' case remains one of the most famous unsolved Australian murder mysteries of the 1960s.
This clip includes two news stories from 1965 featuring reporter Ian Ross (1940–2014) as well as silent news footage of police investigators searching the beach.
National Network News journalist Ian Ross reports on the ongoing investigation into the murder of two teenage girls who were found buried in shallow graves in the sand dunes at Wanda Beach in Sydney's south.
Ross interviews Detective Inspector Haynes, who is in charge of the murder investigation. This is followed by silent footage of Ross and the Detective Inspector at the location where the girls were found.
The girls were identified as Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock, from Ryde in NSW. Both were aged 15 years.
Despite a widespread investigation, the identification of a number of suspects and interviews with thousands of witnesses, this case is still unsolved and no one has ever been charged with the murders.
This clip contains raw footage from a 1981 Ten Eyewitness News report by journalist Harry Potter on the murders of two 15-year-old girls, Christine Sharrock and Marianne Schmidt, at Sydney's Wanda Beach on 11 January 1965.
Opening with a uniformed officer who issues a stern warning to teenage girls, we then see file footage from the scene of the murder in 1965 followed by Potter's interview with an investigator on the case.
We learn that during the investigation, police have interviewed more than 16,000 people, including roughly 5,000 suspects. Sadly, most of these resulted in dead ends and the case remains unsolved.
Please note: there are syncing issues with the audio in the raw footage included here and parts of this clip are also silent.
This news item concerns the mysterious deaths of Dr Gilbert Bogle and Mrs Margaret Chandler on the banks of the Lane Cove River in Sydney on 1 January 1963.
The case became famous because the cause of death could not be established and because it exposed the libertarian activities of a group of left-wing intellectuals in Sydney known as the 'Sydney Push'.
The bodies were found in unusual circumstances. Bogle was partly covered by a carpet square while Chandler's body was covered by cardboard. Both had their clothing laid neatly over them. Conspiracy theories abounded at the time and poisoning of some kind – as reported about here – seemed to be the cause of death.
As recently as 2006 there has been a new theory: that in the early hours of the morning, an eruption of hydrogen sulphide gas from the polluted river caused potentially lethal fumes to pool in deadly quantities at the location where the bodies were eventually found.
The explanation for the strange covering of the bodies was that a passerby, not a murderer, covered Bogle and Chandler to preserve their modesty.
While the clip is not visually exciting, it is still compelling. In part this is because the case itself is a famous Australian mystery but it's also the manner in which the reporter delivers his monologue, which is reminiscent of the Hollywood film noir genre of the 1940s and 1950s.
The discovery of two bodies along the banks of the Lane Cover River on New Year's Day, 1963 was the beginning of one of Australia's most strange and perplexing mysteries.
To this day there are countless theories about the sudden deaths of Dr Gilbert Bogle and Mrs Margaret Chandler.
The case remains unsolved and investigators are still not able to confirm whether a crime was actually committed or if it was 'misadventure'.
This clip is an excerpt from The Bogle Case (1963), a special report on the Coroner's inquest into the deaths of Bogle and Chandler, broadcast by the Seven Network.
An excerpt from The Bogle Case (1963), a special report on the Coroner's inquest into the death of Dr Gilbert Bogle and Mrs Margaret Chandler by Seven News.
After discovering the body of Dr Gilbert Bogle on New Year's day 1963 along the bank of the Lane Cove River, two teenage boys inform the attendant at a local service station who then alerts the police.
An excerpt from The Bogle Case (1963), a special report by Seven News on the Coroner's inquest into the death of Dr Gilbert Bogle and Mrs Margaret Chandler.
In this excerpt from the ABC TV docu-drama Who Killed Dr Bogle and Mrs Chander? (2006), we learn that many theories attempting to explain the deaths of the couple have been tested throughout the years, but none have been proven.
However, this clip also indicates that forensic investigators have hit upon a brand new theory about how Dr Bogle and Mrs Chandler may have met their tragic fate.
The clip refers to a new 'witness' to the tragedy that can be presented for the first time: the river. Peter Butt's documentary goes on to suggest that the couple died from hydrogen sulphide poisoning emanating from the neaby Lane Cover River.
This Newshour special report is dedicated to the case of 12-year-old Terry Floyd's disappearance from the Victorian town of Maryborough in 1975.
Winner of a Penguin Award for excellence in broadcasting, this news story screened on TV 8 Bendigo. It was produced 11 years after Terry went missing in the hopes of reigniting interest in his case and encouraging people to come forward.
The special featured Terry's parents and siblings in a series of heartbreaking interviews as they plead with people who they suspect may know something.
This short excerpt reveals Terry's last known steps, from leaving a football game to when he was seen wandering through the Victorian town of Avoca.
This award-winning Newshour special is dedicated to the case of 12-year-old Terry Floyd's disappearance from the Victorian town of Maryborough in 1975.
The news report was made 11 years after Terry went missing in the hopes of reigniting interest in his case.
In this excerpt, local police give their thoughts on what may have happened to Terry and reveal they have begun a review of his case.
We also hear from members of Terry's family who are still searching for answers and devastated by his disappearance.
This clip is an excerpt from a 2018 60 Minutes report, titled Digging for Answers.
The report revisits the disappearance of 12-year-old Terry Floyd who went missing in country Victoria in 1975. Terry's remains have never been found and the case remains unsolved.
Terry's younger brother Daryl Floyd, who believes his brother was abducted, murdered and dumped in an old mine shaft, spends his weekends at the mine trying to find clues.
Daryl also believes he knows who is responsible for Terry's disappearance and decides that it is time to confront the man.
In this clip, we see Daryl and a group of volunteers at the mine near Avoca in Victoria, sifting through dirt for any sign of Terry's remains or belongings. He shows a number of items that he's already found in the area that he believes Terry was wearing the day he disappeared.
This report shows how the pain of losing a loved one in such circumstances can impact the lives of family members who are left behind. Forty years later, Daryl is still devastated by his brother's loss and unable to rest until he has answers.
This clip contains a brief excerpt from the Gillian Armstrong docu-drama Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst (2005).
Broadhurst was a flamboyant Australian artist and designer who produced original hand-printed wallpapers for a very exclusive clientele, many of whom were part of Sydney's 'A-list' social set.
The documentary outlines her remarkable life, highlighting her extraordinary ability to reinvent herself – from humble beginnings as a country schoolgirl in rural Australia to travelling comedian in South-East Asia, she also established a performing arts and finishing school in Shanghai, was a boutique owner in London and finally settled into life as a high-end designer back in Sydney.
Tragically, in October 1977, Broadhurst was found brutally murdered at her premises in Paddington where she had an office and factory. In this clip, Broadhurst's friends, colleagues and employees recall hearing the news about her shocking murder and how they reacted at the time.
Broadhurst's murder remains unsolved to this day.
An excerpt from the Gillian Armstrong docu-drama Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst (2005), featuring Judi Farr as Broadhurst in re-enactments.
Florence Broadhurst was a flamboyant Australian artist and designer who had an office and workshop in Sydney's eastern suburbs where she produced high-end, designer wallpapers.
In October 1977, Broadhurst was found brutally murdered at her premises in Paddington and her killer has never been found.
In this clip from the documentary, Broadhurst's son, along with close friends and colleagues, speculate over why Florence may have been murdered.
They all agree that she must have known her killer and that he or she was familiar with the premises, and that the motive was most likely financial.
This clip is news file footage, without narration or voice-over, filmed by Ten Eyewitness News following the murder of Florence Broadhurst.
The footage was taken out front and inside her office and workshop located in the affluent eastern Sydney suburb of Paddington.
Inside the offices you can see her employees going about their work and possibly dealing with the aftermath of Broadhurst's shocking death.
The camera also pans across walls covered in shelves of rolled up designer wallpapers, and some of her own paintings in her office.
There is also a glimpse of the bathroom, where Broadhurst's body had been found.
This clip is from an episode of the true crime documentary series Crime Investigation Australia (2007), detailing the disappearance of local Griffith anti-drugs campaigner and aspiring politician, Donald Mackay.
Mackay blew the whistle on a group of local criminals with Italian mafia connections who were making millions in the growing and distribution of marijuana in the NSW Riverina district.
As a result of Mackay exposing the drug ring, a contract was put out for his murder. On 15 July 1977, Mackay was shot in a Griffith hotel car park after leaving the local pub.
Mackay's car was found with his blood and other evidence on and around it, but his body has never been found.
This excerpt is from an episode of true crime documentary series Crime Investigation Australia (2007), about the murder of anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay. It details some of the findings of a Special Commission into the case.
Mackay was an aspiring local politician in Griffith who became a police informant, blowing the whistle on a group of local criminals with Italian mafia connections who were making millions in the growing and distribution of marijuana in the NSW Riverina district.
As a result of Mackay exposing the drug ring, a contract was put out for his murder and on 15 July 1977, Mackay was shot in a Griffith hotel car park after leaving the local pub. Mackay's car was found with his blood and other evidence on and around it, but Mackay himself was nowhere to be found.
While a man was charged with conspiring to murder Mackay, no one has ever been charged or served time for his actual murder. Despite numerous searches throughout the district over the decades, his remains have never been recovered.
This clip is a brief excerpt from a Ten News at Five report from June 2013.
After 36 years, the latest search for the remains of anti-drugs campaigner and aspiring politician Donald Mackay proves fruitless and police decide to call it off.
Mackay went missing in 1977 from the central NSW town of Griffith in what appeared to be a retaliation against him by local drug syndicates. Mackay's van was found abandoned in a parking lot with bullet holes and blood stains on it, but his body was never found.
A known hitman, James Frederick Bazley, served time for conspiring to murder Mackay, while a Royal Commission named six men who possibly ordered the killing. However, no person has ever been charged with his actual murder.
This 1930s newsreel recounts the coronial inquest into the Pyjama Girl mystery, one of the most baffling unsolved murder cases in Australian criminal history.
It reconstructs courtroom scenes and the witness account of Detective MacCrae, who calls for the body to be preserved in the ‘interests of justice’.
The clip also shows footage of pieces of fabric from the pyjamas the woman was wearing when she was found.
Her preserved body is taken to the Faculty of Medicine at Sydney University and, despite displaying her corpse to thousands of curious people, her identity remains unknown. Summary by Poppy De Souza.
This newsreel reconstructs the coronial inquest into the Pyjama Girl mystery, one of the most baffling unsolved murder cases in Australian criminal history.
The clip opens with the discovery of new evidence in 1939. Believing that the lake near Albury where the woman was found might hold the key to the mystery, the local fire brigade, on direction of Superintendent Matthews, drain the lake in search of clues.
Local detectives find gumboots, shoes, slippers, a blouse and parts of a silk dress. From these items, police construct an outfit similar to what they believe the woman was wearing at the time of her disappearance.
A ₤1,000 reward is posted for information leading to the arrest of her murderer, and a direct plea to the public is made, asking them to help identify the woman. Summary by Poppy De Souza.
This is a short excerpt from Community Broadcasting Association radio program Arts Alive from 2005, featuring an interview with author Richard Evans.
The interview followed the release of Evans' 2004 book The Pyjama Girl Mystery: A True Story of Murder, Obsession and Lies.
In the book, Evans questions everything about the case, including the police investigation and the identity of the 'Pyjama Girl', a young woman who had been shot, beaten, set alight and then dumped along a stretch of road in Albury, NSW in September 1934.
Evans believes that the mysterious case was never properly solved. He claims to have debunked the official police account and blames sloppy police work for the misidentification of the young woman as Linda Agostini, the charges against her husband Antonio, and the unusually lenient penalty for her murder.
He also attributes errors in the police investigation to increasing pressure to close a murder case which had been plaguing the NSW Police Commissioner for more than a decade.
This clip is the introduction from Casefile True Crime Podcast, Episode 2 (2016). It tells the strange story of a man found dead on Somerton Beach near Adelaide in December 1948.
He had no identification on him and, strangely, all of the labels on his clothes had been removed.
The only clue to his identity seemed to be a tiny scrap of paper torn from a book with the words 'Tamam Shud' (a Persion phrase for 'finished' or 'ended') printed on it.
Autopsy results were inconclusive. Investigators theorised that he must have died because of some type of poison as he had no visible wounds.
As police began their investigation, the evidence they uncovered raised more questions than answers and the case of 'The Somerton Man' – also known as the 'Tamam Shud case' – became more mystifying and bizarre.
This short clip from Casefile True Crime Podcast, Episode 2 (2016), about the 'Somerton Man' case, details some interesting findings in the coroner's report which in turn leads to growing media and public interest.
Police detectives also unearthed some peculiar clues, and what looks to be a mysterious code, during their investigation.
The 'Somerton Man' is the case of an unidentified man found dead on Somerton Beach near Adelaide on 1 December 1948.
The mystery also became known the 'Tamam Shud case' and, to this day, the man's identity and the truth about how he met his fate are still unknown.