News

Warwick properties searched in ‘cold case’

AFTER 40 years of dead ends and unanswered questions, all eyes have turned to the Rose City in the hunt for clues into the disappearance of a Brisbane mother and her two daughters.

Homicide Cold Case unit detectives with sniffer dogs descended on two Warwick properties yesterday, as investigators ramped up their search for evidence into the disappearance and suspected murder of Barbara McCulkin and her daughters Leanne and Vicki.

The properties were owned by Vincent O'Dempsey, who was initially charged with the murder in 1980 before he was acquitted in 1981.

Mr O'Dempsey is believed to be an associate of Barbara's partner, Billie McCulkin, who was not a suspect in the disappearance.

Barbara McCulkin (right) and her daughters Vicki (left) and Leanne (centre) disappeared from their home on January 16, 1974.
Barbara McCulkin (right) and her daughters Vicki (left) and Leanne (centre) disappeared from their home on January 16, 1974. Contributed

Investigators trawled over an alpaca farm on Glengallan Rd, removing a number of items, and a home on Frees Rd, where computers and other items were seized.

The case into the 1974 disappearance of the McCulkins was the focus of a full review in January, after investigators received significant new evidence as a result of an appeal made by Barbara's family.

Focus of the investigation continues to be on information and suspects identified in the original investigation and coroner's inquest from 1980.

Homicide Group Detective Superintendent Steve Holahan said investigators believed the search of the Warwick properties could help support crucial information gathered in the renewed investigation.

"Detectives have interviewed potential witnesses across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria and have uncovered compelling new evidence surrounding events that took place on the day of their disappearance and subsequent murders," he said.

"Based on the evidence collected, we now believe we have identified several motives for their murders. Barbara McCulkin may have had knowledge about serious crimes and the young McCulkin girls may have been sexually assaulted."

Barbara and her two daughters Leanne and Vicki disappeared from their Highgate Hill, Brisbane residence on the night of January 16, 1974. They have not been heard from since and their bodies have never been located.A $250,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Barbara May McCulkin, Vicki Maree McCulkin and Barbara Leanne (known as Leanne) McCulkin has been offered by authorities.

In addition, an appropriate indemnity from prosecution will be recommended for any accomplice for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for these murders.

Any person who has information in relation to this matter should contact the Homicide Squad direct or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  barbara mcculkin, cold case, editors picks, raid, warrant, warwick




Driver refuses blood test after Southern Downs crash

Fire crews are rushing to rescue to men trapped in a vehicle.

Driver refuses to give blood sample after late night crash

60 year-old woman thought missing in rugged wilderness

Suzanne Coghill is missing, last seen at a property on Hardcastle Rd

Police hold concerns for safety of missing 60 year-old woman

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: War Dogs tells a fascinating true story

Miles Teller and Jonah Hill in a scene from the movie War Dogs.

DARKLY funny film examines the business side of the war on terror.

Marvel-ous: Thor actors visit sick kids at Lady Cilento

Stars of Thor: Ragnarok dropped in on patients at the hospital

Folk singer looking forward to her Gympie Muster debut

Alternative country folk singer Fanny Lumsden will perform at the Gympie Muster.

FANNY Lumsden to serenade new fans with her country hall-style show.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Angie and Yvie ready to toast The Bachelor on Gogglebox

Angie and Yvie in a scene from the TV series Gogglebox.

ALL the regulars return in TV show about people watching TV.

Morgan Freeman asks: are we alone? Why do humans exist?

Morgan Freeman in Through the Wormhole. Photo: Discovery Science

Question all you thought you knew, on Foxtel.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.