Unsolved crimes that still haunt Warwick
From suspected arson to missing person to murder, these are the cold cases that still send a shiver down the spines of Rose City residents:
IT’S been more than three years since devastated residents were left with nothing after a horrific fire tore through their house.
In 2017, Wood St resident Melynda Wilton arrived home to see her whole property in flames.
Not only did the family lose all their property in the fire but also cherished pet Maltese Fox Terrier, Bisho.
Only one person, Timothy Guy Clift, has ever been charged with the crime but in May 2018 the arson charge was dropped over a lack of evidence.
Kerry Lynette Mackay was last seen after setting off from Chinchilla to visit her sister 700km away in Cunnamulla in 2003.
In 2007, her abandoned car was found inexplicably in the Durikai State Forest, 27km west of Warwick.
One of the car’s tyres had been punctured by a stick and the remains of her birds were in a cage on the back seat. There was no sign of her Labrador-cross, Grizzly who was never far from her side.
While the 39-year-old suffered from schizophrenia and had taken the loss of their mother two years hard, sister Lesley Lloyd is adamant there is more to the story.
“She would ring us all the time. She’d never go off somewhere and not ring us. And she never would have taken her animals with her if she was going to do something like that. She wouldn’t have left her birds to die in the car,” she told the Courier Mail in October 2020.
The latest development in this cold case came in 2020 after a gold prospector found human remains in the Durikai forest.
While QPS sent the bones off for DNA testing, there has been no updates since, and it seems it may be some time before this case is wrapped up.
Rose City residents couldn’t help but rally around the family of Tina Louise Greer after she disappeared on her way to Spicer’s Gap in 2012.
The Gold Coast mum was on her way to visit bikie boyfriend, veteran Finks outlaw motorcycle gang member Les ‘Grumpy’ Sharman when she went missing.
Her maroon Holden Commodore was found abandoned at Governor’s Chair Lookout.
Sharman was identified as a key suspect in her disappearance but died in a car crash in the Gold Coast hinterland in November 2018, halting investigations into the case.
In September 2020, a search for Ms Greer’s body was called off after police raided a property previously owned by a senior bikie.
Known for being the ‘oldest charge laid against a person in Australian cold case history’, this sad story is yet to be officially closed.
Allen was last seen alive in a vehicle driven by a known associate around 5pm on April 18, 1964, at Warwick on the southern Darling Downs.
He was never seen again and his body has never been found.
About 16 years after Allen disappeared, a coroner said “I am unable to find how or where he met his death”.
Allen was a witness in an investigation into two jewellery store robberies and was due to testify in court proceedings.
He disappeared before the hearing, resulting in charges being dropped against Warwick identity Vincent O’Dempsey.
O’Dempsey is currently serving a sentence in Queensland for the murders of Barbara McCulkin, 34, and her daughters Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, in January 1974.
He was sentenced in 2017 to life behind bars for the killings.
In 2019, O’Dempsey was charged with Allen’s murder but is yet to enter a plea before the court.
A missing persons case with “significant concerns for her safety and welfare”, very few Warwick residents forget the case of Tanya Buckland.
Ms Buckland was last seen on Palmerin St on Sunday, August 11, 2013.
Just after her disappearance, she wrote to family members, Warwick police and the Daily News to tell them she was alive and police accepted the communications as genuine.
Since then some of Tanya’s belongings were found in the home of convicted murderer Vincent O’Dempsey, leaving the family in doubt.
To this day, mum Sheralyn continues to update the Facebook page, Help Find Tanya Buckland.
If anyone has information about any of these cases, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.