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Leads in 1987 cabbie murder

More than 22 years of mystery surrounding the brutal murder of Bundaberg taxi driver Bryan Hodgkinson may be about to come to an end, with police using new information and forensic testing to piece the evidence together.
Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Joe Hildred said developments in forensic technology had prompted police to follow up new leads in the cold case.
“This investigation has been on-going for more than two decades with police investigating a number of leads and fresh information,” Det Snr Sgt Hildred said.
“With improvements inforensic technology and fresh information, we have renewed hope that this investigation can progress."
For the past 22 years, many people have closely watched the case, but none more so than a former Detective Senior Constable on the case Gregory Bauman.
The ex-police officer, who worked in Bundaberg from 1987 to 1990, has never given up on the hope the killer will be brought to justice and has written a book about the murder and elements of the case he feels were overlooked.
“I am getting it off my chest,” Mr Bauman said.
“I want it brought to a close, I want different links investigated.”
Mr Hodgkinson's sister, Doris Hillier, is also still waiting for answers two decades on.
“Any sort of lead, any investigation, regardless of whether it is minute or not, is welcome by our family,” Mrs Hillier said.
“Bryan was my only brother. It hurts. It continually hurts.”
Mr Hodgkinson was working as a taxi driver on the night of September 10, 1987 when he was brutally murdered.
He was last seen alive at a taxi rank at 12.30am.
His taxi was located that morning in Beatrice Street with blood in the taxi and on the rear bumper and Mr Hodgkinson's body was later found by a school bus driver at a quarry on Goodwood Road.
On the same day, another body was found in a burnt canefield on Rosedale Road, that of Paula Peters.
Just months later, on February 1, 1988, another murder victim was discovered.
Bundaberg pre-school teacher Teresa Smith had been raped and murdered before she was found naked with her head immersed in a bucket of water.
Bundaberg man Paul Sutherland was arrested in relation to the murders of the two women.
There was never any evidence to link Sutherland to Mr Hodgkinson's death, although many believe he was involved.
Mr Bauman was not one of those people.
“I doubt there is any connection,” Mr Bauman said.
“Other links were explored in the original investigation, but they (police) thought the crimes were linked.
“I think that blinkered some people.”
While Mr Bauman said he raised his doubts over Sutherland's connection to the murder in official intelligence briefings, his proposal was never accepted, nor explored.
In his book, Mr Bauman links Mr Hodgkinson's death to a stolen car racket he began investigating in December 1987.
The investigation led to the arrest of a police officer who pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 1988 to six years in prison.
Mr Bauman said there was another offender who moved to Gosford, who he successfully extradited to Bundaberg in 1990.
It was while he was involved in the extradition process, Mr Bauman noticed some similarities in the case of Bryan Hodgkinson.
Late in August 1987, two cars were stolen together from a car yard on Queen Street in North Bundaberg.
On the morning of September 10, 1987, the day of Hodgkinson's murder, about 9am, each of the cars were presented for sale at Brisbane Car Yards.
One was sold, the second was not.
While two people who sold the car in Brisbane flew back to Bundaberg, the other car was driven back to Bundaberg and later sold in Rockhampton.
In the early hours of that morning, Mr Bauman said a pick-up call for a taxi was made from a Barolin Street telephone booth and Mr Hodgkinson's taxi was dispatched to the pick up.
A $250,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Mr Hodgkinson.


www.news-mail.com.au (7-3-2009)
http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/leads-in-1987-cabbie-murder/196533/


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Public outcry evicts Bundaberg sex killer

A convicted killer and rapist, diagnosed as a "sexually sadistic psychopath" has been removed from his Gold Coast residence following a public outcry.
Queensland Corrective Services Minister Judy Spence said Paul Vincent Sutherland, who was released last week by Queensland's Supreme Court after spending 17 years in prison, had been moved to an undisclosed location.
She said Sutherland had been staying at the Nerang address temporarily while he sought permanent accommodation but had been moved because of the continued media presence outside the home.
Sutherland, now 48, has been convicted of sexually assaulting and killing women in the Bundaberg area in the late 1980s.
In one instance he was charged with strangling a Bundaberg woman to death, stealing her jewellery and dumping her body in a canefield.
At his trial he claimed the woman died accidentally when a bondage sex act went horribly wrong and was eventually convicted of manslaughter.
He was also convicted of sexually assaulting another woman on New Years day 1988 and was tried but acquitted of the rape and murder of a 21-year-old Bundaberg teacher.
He was released by Supreme Court justice Philip McMurdo on September 29 despite the State Government's efforts to have him jailed indefinitely.
"I understand residents' concerns and if we'd had our way, this man would not have been released," Ms Spence said.
But Justice McMurdo placed the convicted killer on a 20-year supervision order with 22 conditions including random and unannounced visits by corrective services officers and drug and alcohol testing.
Ms Spence said efforts to find suitable long-term accommodation for Sutherland were continuing.


www.news.com.au (8-10-2006)
http://www.news.com.au/national/public-outcry-evicts-bundaberg-sex-killer/story-e6frfkp9-1111112337941




Electronic tags for sex offenders

Sex offenders released back into the community after serving time in jail will be electronically tagged under new laws to go to Queensland parliament this week.
Sex offenders will also be banned from being granted leave of absence, except for funeral or medical leave, and will not be sent to low-security prison farms.
Police Minister Judy Spence said that under the laws, judges would be able to list electronic monitoring on supervision orders they issue.
"So in future, judges, if they decide to let a dangerous prisoner out of prison, will be able to say that this person should be given a curfew under electronic monitoring for a certain period of the day or the night and we will be able to monitor that person's movements," Ms Spence said.
This could include keeping sex offenders at home in the hours immediately before school starts, after school finishes, or from dusk to dawn, she said.
The new laws would capture offenders such as convicted killer and rapist Paul Vincent Sutherland, whose release by the Supreme Court has caused concerns on the Gold Coast where he was allowed to live temporarily with a convicted heroin dealer.
Sutherland spent 17 years in jail for manslaughter and rape, but his release order did not include restrictions on where he could live.
"If we had our way, Sutherland would not have been released," Ms Spence said.
"However, if sex offenders are to be released into the community, then we want to ensure we can put them under the tightest supervision and surveillance possible which will include electronic monitoring as of next year."
Ms Spence said in future cases proper accommodation would be found before an offender was released.
The government has approved $4 million over four years for electronic monitoring and expects the laws to be passed by the end of the year.


www.theaustralian.com.au (9-10-2006)
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/electronic-tags-for-sex-offenders/story-e6frg6nf-1111112333778


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