Saturday, January 28, 1978

Marie Laenen

Personal Details Last seen: January 28, 1978 Employment: Age: 22 Year of birth: 1956 Height: Build: Eyes: Hair: Fair Complexion: Fair Gender: Female Distinguishing Feature: Circumstances: Marie Laenen, 22, died of fright as an attacker choked her after she disappeared from the Sunnybank Hotel on January 28, 1978, where she had been selling raffle tickets. She was not assaulted sexually, and police advanced no motive for the attack.

Friday, January 13, 1978


January 1978
Shot dead at Cabarita Beach, NSW. They were naked and had been killed with a shotgun. It has been reported that the killer came from Queensland.


Police cool on cold cases
Les Kennedy June 4, 2007 SMH
TWO hundred murder cases deemed solvable are about to be sent back to local detectives - but senior police fear they will remain unsolved for years because of insufficient resources and a growing backlog of 9000 exhibits for DNA analysis.
Kings Cross police alone will be handed 37 old murder cases on top of an already heavy crime load for the 15 detectives. Seventy detectives at the Homicide Squad can normally only manage 50 to 60 cases a year.
The cases include a series of gangland killings amid suspicions they went nowhere because of corrupt police involvement.
But the Unsolved Homicide Unit, dubbed the "cold case squad", believes the 200 murders can be solved with the aid of modern forensic techniques such as DNA analysis of blood, saliva and hair found at crime scenes, along with fingerprints and ballistics evidence.
It chose the 200 from more than 400 unsolved murders committed between 1970 and 2000 after it was asked to review them in June 2004, with an expectation it would take six months to identify cases worth reinvestigating. But it took the small team three years of searches as it tracked down and read each case file.
Even with new techniques that could solve the murders, investigators will have to compete with the backlog of 9000 exhibits from other cases - such as robberies, sexual assaults, burglaries and muggings - dating back to 2000. These are are still awaiting analysis at the Government's understaffed DNA forensics laboratory at Lidcombe.
While Queensland has 100 scientists working to clear a backlog of 12,000 crime scene exhibits, only 10 now work at the Lidcombe laboratory. Nevertheless, the 200 unsolved murder cases will be handed back to detectives at 80 suburban and country commands over the next six weeks.
"We don't know how many of the local squads will get the time to do them on top of their existing work," a Major Crime officer told the Herald.
"The emphasis in local area commands now is on solving volume crime [such as break-and-enters and car thefts]; that's all commanders are interested in.
"There are on average 100 murders a year in NSW, and the Homicide Squad, with about 70 detectives, actively examines 50 to 60 of them. The rest are handled locally. So how is Kings Cross going to cope with 37?"
The state police strategy has also shifted priority in funding and staffing to counter-terrorism, security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in Sydney in September, and public order squads. "Major crime resourcing has dropped off the radar," one officer said.