Sydney nurses Lorraine Wilson and Wendy Evans were murdered in the Murphys Creek area in 1974.
Sydney nurses Lorraine Wilson and Wendy Evans were murdered in the Murphys Creek area in 1974. The Chronicle Archives

Police say Murphys Creek murder case always active

THE police investigation into the murders of Sydney nurses Lorraine Wilson and Wendy Evans at Murphys Creek in 1974 was ongoing and never written off, according to the detective in charge of the case.

Widespread media coverage of the coronial inquiry into the deaths of the two friends held in Toowoomba earlier this month had prompted a lot of public interest and police were examining new information all the time.

Detective Inspector Damien Hanson of the Brisbane-based Homicide Squad, which now holds the police file on the murders, told The Chronicle the case was still very much under investigation.

"There's been a fair bit of interest (following the inquest)," he said.

"We are working through the information.

"The case is never written off and is constantly under review."

Lorraine Wilson, 20, and Wendy Evans, 18, had driven from Sydney to Queensland on a short holiday toward the end of September 1974.

Ms Wilson's Volkswagen Beetle broke down near Goondiwindi and the two women had hitch hiked to Brisbane where they stayed with Ms Evans' sister for a few days before setting off for their return journey to Sydney where they were due back at work at St George Hospital the following week.

However, they went missing while hitch hiking between Brisbane and Toowoomba about October 6, 1974.

Their skeletal remains were eventually found in a paddock of thick bushland off Murphys Creek Rd at the foot of the Toowoomba Range in June 1976.

During the inquest one witness told the court of a suspect once saying the girls had been tied to a tree for days and that he had wanted to go and give them water.

Police believe the two young women were gang raped before being clubbed to death.

Four "persons of interest" Allan John "Shorty" Laurie, Wayne "Boogie" Hilton, Donald "Donny" Laurie and Larry Charles had since died but three others, Desmond Roy Hilton, Allan Neil "Ungie" Laurie and Terrance James O'Neil gave evidence at the Toowoomba inquiry.

Coroner Michael Barnes adjourned the inquest from Toowoomba to Brisbane where one final witness was yet to give evidence.

The inquest is expected to take that evidence some time next month after which Mr Barnes will bring down his findings and recommendations pertaining to the case.

Detective Inspector Hanson urged anyone with information relating to this case to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.


'A locals’ road': Byron’s bypass finally open to traffic

Premium Content 'A locals’ road': Byron’s bypass finally open to traffic

“It’s not going to turn us back decades but it will make a difference.”

North Coast construction sites fined for unsafe practices

Premium Content North Coast construction sites fined for unsafe practices

SafeWork issued fines to a number of construction sites

After 30 years of planning, bypass opens in true Byron style

Premium Content After 30 years of planning, bypass opens in true Byron style

A convoy of Kombis were the first vehicles to travel the new road