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Murder of Betty Shanks

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Murder of Betty Shanks
Died  19 September 1952 Grange, Queensland, Australia

The Murder of Betty Shanks is one of the oldest and most notorious unsolved murder cases in Queensland, Australia.



On the night of 19 September 1952, 22-year-old Betty Shanks got off a tram at Days Rd. Terminus in the Grange, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, and started her short walk home. Her violently beaten body was found in the garden of a house on the corner of Carberry and Thomas Streets the next morning at 5.35am, by a policeman who lived nearby. At the time it was Queensland's biggest criminal investigation ever, and as of 2010 a reward of A$50,000 is still current.


An attack by a sex offender was considered very early in the investigation. Another theory is that the murderer attacked the wrong woman, and was actually interested in a doctor's receptionist - who also walked home down the same street at the same time, and had keys to the surgery which contained drugs. A number of people have confessed over the years, however all have proved to be false.


Several books have been written about the murder and the authors have outlined who they believe the murderer to be. These works include:

  • Who Killed Betty Shanks? (2006 (revised in 2012), author: Ken Blanch) Blanch suggested that Shanks was killed by a soldier.
  • I Know Who Killed Betty Shanks (2014, author: Ted Duhs) Duhs theorized that Eric Sterry killed Shanks.
  • The Thomas St Affair (2016, author: Lyle Reed) Reed proposed that Shanks was killed by a police officer riding a motorbike. The author did not reveal the killer's name in interviews prior to the book being published but did indicate he was a member of his family.
  • Film

  • The Wilston Murder: The story of Betty Shanks (2012) This documentary was produced and directed by student filmakers Maya Weidner and Becky Newman, respectively, as a university project. The women believed the story was one that could resonate with a modern-day audience. Newman recalled learning about the murder at a young age, as her family was interested in history and had read Ken Blanch's book, Who Killed Betty Shanks? but believed the story was largely forgotten among her generation.
  • References

    Murder of Betty Shanks Wikipedia

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