Posted in True Crime Stories

A TRAM RIDE TO DEATH: THE BETTY SHANKS MURDER

Posted by Jack Sim on 8 September 2012
A TRAM RIDE TO DEATH: THE BETTY SHANKS MURDER

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 Stories The Betty Shanks Murder Murder Trails Series Ken 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 Stories The Betty Shanks Murder Murder Trails Series Ken Blanch  

CRIME SCENE PHOTO: MURDER IN THE SHADOW OF THE BAUHINIAS...

Posted by Jack Sim on 6 September 2012
CRIME SCENE PHOTO: MURDER IN THE SHADOW OF THE BAUHINIAS...

Murder in the Shadow of the Bauhinias

The crime scene as it appeared sixty years ago...

It is hard to imagine a less dramatic location for an attack on a decent, hard-working young woman. 

The two blossomless bauhinia bushes, which figured in the dreadful attack, were originally planted by the Brisbane City Council as part of a beautification scheme.

The shrubs survived for many years on the footpath and were still there in 1972 for the 20th anniversary; by then they had become old and twisted trees.

Every year, across Brisbane, when the Bauhinias erupted into gorgeous flowers, residents remembered the crime. 

Ken Blanch will be being interviewed at the crime scene Wednesday, 12/9/2012 at 11.00am by Peter Dougherty from Seven's "Flashback". 

Watch "Flashback" during Seven News on Sunday, 16/9/2012 to see the interview with Ken Blanch and learn more about why this story must continue to be told.

If you would like to meet award-winning journalist Ken Blanch come to one of his instore signings or please support our research into Brisbane's criminal history and purchase a copy of WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS? Is The Wilston Monster Still Alive? - either on this website or at Angus & Robertson, and Dymocks Bookstores.

 

Posted in: True Crime Stories The Betty Shanks Murder Murder Trails Series Ken Blanch  

SHE WAS ONE OF US: Betty Shanks

Posted by Jack Sim on 5 September 2012
SHE WAS ONE OF US: Betty Shanks

She was one of us...

Long ago a lovely person was lost to us. One of us. A Brisbane girl whose name has sadly become associated with a terrible crime, but she was not a victim.

Had she lived, she would soon turn 83 years old, surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grand children.

Betty was unusual for her time. She loved to study and may well have risen to become a lawyer or even eventually gone into politics.

Central to the lives of many, not least of all her mum and dad, and younger brother Alan, Betty’s wage sustained the household. She was needed, respected and loved.

Brisbane in 1952 was different to today – traffic was minimal, there were far fewer cars, the city was more laid back, quieter, reflecting its status as the biggest country town of a state of such towns. People had time to think and read. There was no rush. Computers, mobile phones, portable music and devices did not exist. People thought about each other, they talked face-to-face. Rock 'n' Roll was yet to happen. The Second World War was over but biggest concern was the threat of communism - the 1950s equivalent of terrorism - even so most Brisbanites simply went about their business.

However, one Friday evening, in a quiet Brisbane suburb, this all changed forever.

The murder of Betty Shanks was the crime which turned Brisbane into a big city, where violent crime was "normal".

One of the three oldest cold cases under investigation in Australia, and Brisbane’s greatest unsolved murder-mystery, the brutal killing of Betty in 1952 has baffled generations of detectives and locals alike.

Ken Blanch is appearing at several bookstores over the next few weeks to sign his book:

Dymocks Carindale                            Thursday 20/09/2012     4pm - 9pm     

Angus & Robertson - Brookside      Saturday 22/09/2012     10am-12.30pm

Dymocks Chermside                         Saturday 22/09/2012      1.00pm - 4pm 
   
Angus & Robertson - Ipswich           Saturday 29/9/2012       11.00am - 2.30pm      

A Lot of Books - Ipswich                    Thursday 4/10/2012      11.00am - 1.00pm      

 

 

Posted in: True Crime Stories The Betty Shanks Murder Murder Trails Series Ken Blanch  

CRIME SCENE: DETECTIVE IDENTIFIED AT CRIME SCENE - WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS?

Posted by Jack Sim on 4 September 2012
CRIME SCENE: DETECTIVE IDENTIFIED AT CRIME SCENE - WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS?

A FORENSIC PUZZLE

Every Murder Trails publication sources rare photographs and images - many of which have never before been seen by the public.

Identifying the people in these images is a painstaking process - few details usually accompany old photographs; frustratingly most of those captured on film remain anonymous witnesses to the past. 

However recently while reviewing the captions in WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS?, author Ken Blanch recently identified Detective Mervin Chalmers among a group of investigators present at the crime scene of Betty Shanks.

Detective Chalmers stood out in the photo due to his height and build. Nicknamed "Lother" after Mandrake the Magicians muscular African companion, the well-known detective in his day can be seen examining blood stains on a wooden fence.  The full photographic image has been included in WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS? REVISED EDITION by author Ken Blanch.  

WHO KILLED BETTY SHANKS? 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.

Meet the Author: Ken Blanch will appear instore to sign copies of his revised book at Angus & Robertson Brookside on Saturday 22/9/2012 between 10am – 2pm

 

 

Posted in: True Crime Stories The Betty Shanks Murder Murder Trails Series Ken Blanch  
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