Friday, October 12, 1973

Bronwynne Richardson

Cold case hunt for killer who raped beauty queen Bronwynne May 27, 2010

Bronwynne Richardson ... raped, strangled and drowned.

Seventeen-year-old beauty queen Bronwynne Richardson was waiting for a lift home after her shift at Coles in southern NSW when she was abducted.

She was forced into a vehicle and driven to a reserve six kilometres from Albury where she was raped, strangled and drowned.

Thirty-six years later police are still searching for her killers.

A $200,000 reward is now being offered by the NSW government to encourage anyone with information on the murder to come forward.

Bronwynne's family has begged her killers or anyone with information to contact police.

"We really plead to you to come forward and help put some closure to this dreadful murder," her mother Noel Richardson said as the reward was announced in Sydney today.

Mrs Richardson said she always believed that someone in the Albury community knew what happened to her daughter.

Bronwynne moved to Albury after being crowned Miss Corowa Show Beauty Queen in 1973 - the same year she was killed.

On the night of her murder a friend of Bronwynne's boyfriend was to have picked her up after her shift but found no sign of her, Mrs Richardson said.

Police said it was likely Bronwynne knew her killers.

"Not being a large community ... it's a very strong possibility that Bronwynne did know her killers," Detective Chief Inspector John Lehmann said.

Bronwynne's sister, Janet Swinton, who was 19 when the murder occurred, said it had affected the family for over three decades.

"It has affected myself and the way I have brought up my children as to what they were allowed to do," Mrs Swinton said.

Bronwynne's death will be investigated by a second coronial inquest later this year.

The first inquest in 1975 found she died of strangulation and drowning, but failed to identify any perpetrator.

In 1990, based on new information, police charged three men in connection with the crime, but to date no one has been convicted of her murder.

The case was reopened in 2008 and since that time police have interviewed a large number of new witnesses and evidence has been reexamined.

Bronwynne was abducted from opposite Coles in Smollett Street in Albury at 7pm on October 12, 1973.

Her body was discovered in the Murray River two days later.

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