The Wilston Murder Covered in Local Press

Posted by Jack Sim on 11 September 2012

Readers living in Brisbane's northern suburbs will find a story on The Wilston Murder in their local Quest newspapers tomorrow (12/9) written by journalist Taryn Davis. 

Taryn, Editor, City North News, recently interviewed Ken Blanch about the crime which impacted so terribly on what was then a typical working class community, and about a lifetime of reporting on the dark side of Brisbane. 

Miss Davis, whose family still live in the area, was well-aware of the case. Like most who grew up at Wilston, she learned early on about the murder of Miss Shanks.

Taryn had the privilege of also meeting and interviewing local chemist shop owner, Mr Huxham, who was believed by many to be the murderer of Betty Shanks. Mr Huxman, now deceased, lived to be over 100 years of age, was thought to be responsible by local gossips. He could not have been involved as he was speaking to a customer, another local, outside his shop as the tram carrying Betty arrived at the Terminus. Police never regarded him as a suspect but that still did not stop housewives and those who should have known better from spreading the lie that he was involved in what has become Brisbane's most enduring homicide.

Huxham was not alone in attracting scurrilous comments. Local police officer Alex Stewart who found the body of Betty Shanks was virtually run out of the police force for failing to investigate the screams he heard the night before. Even now, in 2012, the most likely person for Jack Sim and Ken Blanch to be told was responsible for the murder is Constable Stewart.

One local in particular, whose comments to the inquest in 1953 should have aroused suspicion, seemingly went unnoticed by gossips and investigators alike. In his REVISED EDITION of  WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS? Is the Wilston Monster Still Alive?, Ken Blanch examines this person of interest...

Posted in:True Crime StoriesThe Betty Shanks MurderMurder Trails SeriesKen Blanch  

Listen to 4BC - Wednesday 19 September at 2pm for Official Launch

Posted by Jack Sim on 10 September 2012

Please tune in to Brisbane talkback radio station 4BC on Wednesday 19 September 2012 at 2pm for the official launch of Jack Sim's latest book release - the newly revised edition of WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS? Is the Wilston Monster Still Alive? by Ken Blanch.

Join Chris Adams (filling in for Loretta) and Moyd Kay on Afternoons - on 4BC. Long term followers of Jack Sim and Ken Blanch will know that the two of them, along with Paul Tully, were founders of Crime@Nine (originally Classic Crime) ten years ago.

Tune in digitally to Brisbane's highest rating radio station by visiting - 1116AM.






CRIME SCENE PHOTO: Was Betty's Killer A Local?

Posted by Jack Sim on 9 September 2012
CRIME SCENE PHOTO: Was Betty's Killer A Local?

Was Betty's Killer a Local?

There are many reasons to believe that the person (or maybe persons), who attacked Miss Shanks was a local, someone living close to the corner now made infamous. Ken Blanch raises such a horrifying prospect in his newly revised book:

There was another curious aspect to the murder. Although a large number of households kept dogs in those days, and there was no restriction on them wandering at large, not one witness heard a dog barking. It seems incredible that a stranger skulking in the shadows and launching a maniacal attack upon the victim would not have excited at least one or two dogs into voice. Does the absence of any such canine reaction indicate that the attacker was well-known to the local dog population, which therefore ignored his presence and activities?

Detectives interviewed hundreds of people in attempt to ascertain the movements of every man, woman and child in the Wilston/Grange area on the night of the murder. In the CRIME SCENE photograph above, Detective Sub-Inspector Tom Martin (left) leads a group of detectives as they talk with young Marie Patton at the crime scene. Detective Senior Sergeant Jack Mahony has his back to the camera, Detective Sergeant Norm Bauer faces it. Reporter Ken Blanch stands partly obscured beside Miss Patton. The grounds of the Wilston State School are behind them. Picture taken on Sunday, 21 September 1952.

Join Ken & Jack Sim on a special CRIME TOUR in October based on The Wilston Murder.

This is no morbid outing - this tour is only for those with a geniune interest in this case. Join Jack's VIP Mailing list on the home page of this website. Seats are limited. How to book will be announced later this month.

Posted in:True Crime StoriesThe Betty Shanks MurderMurder Trails SeriesKen Blanch  


Posted by Jack Sim on 8 September 2012

It was a ride that ended in death...

In 1952, the year of the crime, most Brisbanites did not own their own cars, instead travelling to and from the city on these beloved vehicles.

On the night of the murder, passengers on board Tram 434, on route to the Grange Terminus, recalled seeing a young woman board at a tram stop at Windsor. This stop, now used by passengers waiting for Brisbane City Council buses, still exists in its original state, sixty years later.

A example of the type of tram taken by the victim survives at the Brisbane Tramways Museum at Samford. The Museum preserves, displays and conducts tours to tell the story of the River City's once extensive tram network. 

Take the Tram as part of The Wilston Murder Crime Tour...

Join Jack Sim and Ken Blanch in October 2012 as they host a special crime tour based on this perplexing cold case. Visit 5 historic sites associated with  this dreadful crime. Details to be announced soon

Join Jack's VIP Mailing List on the home page of this website for details. Seats are limited. Stay tuned.





Posted in:True Crime StoriesThe Betty Shanks MurderMurder Trails SeriesKen Blanch  

Is the Wilston Monster Still Alive? The Betty Shanks Murder

Posted by Jack Sim on 7 September 2012
Is the Wilston Monster Still Alive? The Betty Shanks Murder

The killer could be living among us...

'I think there is a strong possibility that the horrible murder of Betty Shanks in September 1952 could still be solved' Ken Blanch said when interviewed last week. 

'There is no reason to suppose that her hitherto unidentified attacker is not still alive and living in our community.

The law places no time limit on the apprehension and punishment of criminals and Betty’s killer if identified could still face a jury and punishment.

As has been said many times, someone still living somewhere knows the murderers’ identity. It is not too late to turn him in.'

Hear Ken's thoughts on Breakfast with Spencer Howson on 612 ABC Brisbane - Wednesday 19 September 2012 - the 60th anniversary of this dreadful crime. 

WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS? Is the Wilston Monster Still Alive? has over 50 photographs sourced by Ken Blanch and Jack Sim from a variety of archives, libraries and private collections. This book is available online and at Dymocks and Angus & Robertson Bookstores.

Posted in:True Crime StoriesThe Betty Shanks MurderMurder Trails SeriesKen Blanch  
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