News

Cold case suspect is ‘not going anywhere’

COLD CASE: Barbara McCulkin (right) and her daughters Vicky (left) and Leanne disappeared from their Brisbane home on January 16, 1974.
COLD CASE: Barbara McCulkin (right) and her daughters Vicky (left) and Leanne disappeared from their Brisbane home on January 16, 1974. News

RETIRED Torbanlea gangster Gary "Shorty" Dubois, a known associate of Vincent O'Dempsey, says if police want to re-arrest him over the murders of Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters, they know where to find him.

Speaking from his Stafford Estate home yesterday, Mr Dubois rejected media claims he and his wife Jan had been "hiding out" since fresh evidence in the cold case triple murder was allegedly uncovered in recent weeks.

Mr Dubois and his former underworld associate Vincent O'Dempsey were arrested following an inquest into the murders in the '80s.

Charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence. It had been more than two decades since Mr and Mrs Dubois, who retired to Torbanlea with family six years ago, had felt the gaze of police but the past came knocking in May when a senior homicide detective went to their home and told them he had some questions.

There had been reports Mr Dubois and Mr O'Dempsey had both "gone to ground" following raids of a property with links to the murder investigation near Warwick last week.

While he would not speak about 40-year-old case on the advice of his lawyer, Mr Dubois said yesterday he and his wife had been home "the whole time".

"I am not running away or anything," Mr Dubois said

"Everyone's saying I'm ducking and diving but I'm not - we have already seen them (the police), they have been here, we have been down there(to Brisbane) and that's it.

"I didn't answer any questions … but we have done what they asked of us."

Police have always suspected Ms McCulkin was targeted because she knew too much of the inner-workings of the Clockwork Orange crime gang and the notorious fire at the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub, which claimed the lives of 15 people in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley in 1973.

Ms McCulkin was due to be placed in witness protection in NSW the day she and her two girls disappeared from their Highgate Hill home.

Jan Dubois admitted that up until May, she had believed police interest in her husband "was well and truly over with" but should he be tried over the murders, she hoped he would be treated "fairly".

She went further to express sorrow for the McCulkin family but continued to defend Mr Dubois.

"Look … this is really awful for their families … but he is innocent … I have been with him long enough to know," Ms Dubois said

"You can only imagine the grief that family must be going through … it's awful for everyone."

A $250,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to a conviction.

Anyone with information can phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Timeline

AUGUST 5: Police raid two Warwick properties linked to the 1974 disappearance of Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters.

AUGUST 6: Police charge a 66-year-old Warwick man - a long-term associate of Vincent O'Dempsey - with drug trafficking after finding $300,000 in cash and 30kg marijuana.

AUGUST 9: Vincent O'Dempsey and two associates are interviewed by police and released without charge after a raid on a Yangan property .

AUGUST 10: Police search a fifth property near Emu Vale.

Topics:  barbara mcculkin cold case vincent odempsey



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