In­quest fo­cus on po­lice

In­ves­ti­ga­tion flaws high­lighted

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS -

THE ini­tial re­ac­tion of po­lice to Lu­cille But­ter­worth’s dis­ap­pear­ance in 1969 has been thrown into the spotlight as the coro­nial in­quest into her fate en­ters its third week.

The 20-year-old model van­ished af­ter be­ing dropped off at a Clare­mont bus stop on Au­gust 25, 1969.

She was on her way to a char­ity func­tion at New Nor­folk, where her boyfriend John Fitzger­ald lived.

Yesterday the court was told of fail­ings in the ini­tial po­lice in­quiry. A re­view of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion about six months af­ter Ms But­ter­worth dis­ap­peared said po­lice had not checked the al­i­bis of sex of­fend­ers known to be in the vicin­ity, had not checked Ms But­ter­worth’s desk and work locker or spo­ken to all her work­mates at ra­dio sta­tion 7HO, and had not checked her bed­room.

It also said there was no ev­i­dence that Ms But­ter­worth would run away.

Doc­u­ments from the early po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that while some of­fi­cers con­tin­ued to be­lieve she had run away even a year af­ter she went miss­ing, oth­ers were con- vinced that a crime had been com­mit­ted.

On Mon­day wit­ness Joan Web­ber, who had been mar­ried to Lu­cille But­ter­worth’s brother Jim at the time, said Lu­cille had spo­ken of be­ing dis­turbed by Ge­of­frey Charles Hunt, a neigh­bour of her boyfriend John Fitzger­ald in New Nor­folk.

“He used to watch Lu­cille over the fence when she was sun­bak­ing,” Ms Web­ber said.

Hunt, who spent 22 years in jail for mur­der­ing Ho­bart woman Su­san Knight in 1976, was named as a key “per­son of in­ter­est” at the start of the coro­nial in­quest. He is ex­pected to give ev­i­dence this week.

Last week wit­ness Lance Lesage told of hav­ing buried a woman’s body that he be­lieved was Lu­cille But­ter­worth’s but he later re­tracted the claims.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.