$1,000,000 reward announced re 1989 double murder

Homicide Squad detectives are today announcing a $1 million reward as part of their investigation into the deaths of a brother and sister murdered in Moorabbin over three decades ago.

Doris McCartney and Ronald Swann were found dead in the Keith Street home they shared on 22 October, 1989.

A friend of Doris’ located the pair at the house and subsequently contacted police. It appeared 71-year-old Doris and 69-year-old Ronald had been assaulted.

Despite an extensive and exhaustive investigation over the past 31 years, police have not established a clear motive as to why they were killed.

There was no sign of forced entry into the pair’s home and it did not appear anything had been taken.

However enquiries over the years have led police to believe someone has come to the property to meet with Doris and some kind of altercation has occurred.

Detectives have interviewed a number of people in relation to the matter but no one has ever been charged.

Police have today joined with family members to appeal once again for information about who was responsible for Doris and Ronald’s deaths.

They are hopeful today’s announcement will encourage anyone with information with information about the deaths to come forward.

A reward of up to $1 million will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder.

In appropriate cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions may consider, according to established guidelines, the granting of indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter.

Anyone with information about the murder of Doris McCartney and Ronald Swann is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppers.com.au


Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Tim Day:

Officer in Charge of the Homicide Squad, Detective Inspector Tim Day, said investigators haven’t given up on providing answers to the siblings’ family.

“This is a family that has suffered the loss of two loved ones in the most horrific circumstances, without ever knowing why,” he said. “Doris was a widower and her younger brother had moved into her Keith Street home to support her. From all accounts they lived a quiet life and police have never been able to determine why they were both murdered.

“Over the years we have followed up a number of avenues of enquiry and interviewed several people. While there are areas I can’t go into, I will say that this is very much an active case – some of those lines of enquiry are still open to us and have only emerged relatively recently.

“We are hopeful this has put us on the right track and investigators still believe we have the ability to solve this case, even after all this time.

“Today is not only about appealing to the public for information but also offering the opportunity for whoever is responsible to come forward and give their account. There will be someone out there why knows why Doris and Ronald were killed and by who – 31 years is a long time to carry a secret. Alternatively, it might be this reward is exactly the motivation someone needs to speak up.

“There are likely to be people out there with their own theories about what has happened and why, and we are keen to speak with those people. I’m asking anyone out there who does have information about Doris and Ronald’s death, no matter what that information might be, to please come forward and speak to police.

“It is no less than their family deserves after all this time.”

Natalie Webster
Media Officer