The Weckert Murders

04.03.2015

tags: Queensland, New South Wales, Murder, Homicide,

discussion: 0 comments

By Keith Bradley

From the March 2015 issue of the APJ.

Editorial Note

This story takes our readers back to 1975 and shows excellent policemanship in the detaining of three persons suspected of being involved in an interstate double murder. It also tells of a citation that was posthumously awarded to the wife of retired NSW Police Sergeant Bill Grenfell for his part in these arrests so many years ago.

While the author played only a minor role in processing the arrest of the offenders, he nonetheless records the value of police officers being mindful when dealing with suspects and offenders in their custody, and of being suspicious of their antecedents. The story provides insight into what occurred in an age well before emails, in-car computers, automated numberplate recognition systems, mobile phones etc., which are all considered essential tools today for contemporary policing.

The APJ Editorial Team, with the assistance of others, researched this crime case history in an effort to provide additional information relating to these murders.

Introduction

On Saturday 22 March, 1975, a cold-blooded double-murder took place near the township of Sarina in North Queensland. That day, the body of 36-year-old Mr Noel Weckert was found slumped over the steering wheel of his vehicle, which had been parked on the side of the Old Bruce Highway about 145 kilometres south of the main regional centre of Mackay. The body of 27-year-old Sophie Weckert (Noel’s wife) was discovered five days later lying near Funnel Creek, about 30 kilometres north of where her husband had been found. Both husband and wife had been shot dead.

Case History (As I recall the events)

Queensland police received a call and attended the gruesome scene soon after Noel Weckert’s body was discovered. Responding police and crime scene officers made a thorough examination of the scene and the deceased in situ. Inquiries commenced immediately. The first task was to establish the identity of the deceased, and then to identify and track down the offender/s who had apparently left the scene shortly after the murder. The clock was ticking!

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