Have you been a victim of or witness to a homosexual hate crime in Sydney between 1970 and 2010? The survey wants to know
Gilles Mattaini, a French national living in Bondi, was last seen by a neighbor near Marks Park, a well-known gay area in Sydney, in September 1985. He was not reported missing until 2002. In 2005, a coroner determined that Mattani was dead. and was likely murdered like TV presenter Ross Warren and gay bartender John Russell, who were killed at the same gay beat a few years later.
Wendy Wayne Brennan, a transgender flirt, was found dead in her Darlinghurst Road flat, hit in the head with a heavy object and shot twice in the head in April 1995.
Trigger Warning: This story deals with anti-gay and anti-trans hate crimes, which may be distressing for some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or live chat.
These are just some of the 88 unsolved murders of gay men and transgender women over a 40-year period, with most incidents dating from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s.
A Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTQI Hate Crimes, which was set up by the NSW Government in April 2022, launched a public appeal for information on Tuesday. The special commission headed by Judge John Sackar is looking into the 88 unsolved deaths that were considered by NSW Police in their 2018 Parrabell Strike Force report and by a parliamentary committee in 2021.
Unsolved death and missing person cases
“In addition to reviewing these cases, the Special Commission is also assessing many other unsolved death and missing persons cases during the same time period, to shed more light on a dark time for LGBTIQ people in this state. “, the commission said in a statement.
The commission of inquiry has its work cut out for it and is currently analyzing more than 100,000 documents, including police records, coroners’ files and other information spanning more than 40 years. .
According to Peter Gray, lead attorney in charge of the investigation, the commission is also seeking any information from the public, including family and friends of victims and witnesses.
“Any memories or pieces of information you may have, whether major or minor, could provide a vital link to understanding what happened. In some cases, this can ultimately lead to arrests and lawsuits,” Gray said in a statement.
“Justice in these cases has been long delayed and long overdue. This may be the last chance for the truth about some of these historic deaths to come to light. We need to hear from you.
Last chance to speak
In May 2022 Scott White was convicted and jailed for the murder of US national Scott Johnson, who was found dead at the base of a cliff near Manly’s North Head in December 1988. White was arrested last year after that his ex-wife came forward to report that he bragged about bashing gay people in the 1980s. White admitted guilt in court.
Earlier this month Stanley Early, a 76-year-old Melbourne man, was charged with the alleged ‘gay hate’ murder of Raymond Keam in a Sydney park in 1987.
The commission hopes that its public call for information will lead witnesses or even defendants to provide information out of guilt.
Gray called on anyone who may have witnessed or participated in these murders of LGBTQI people to come forward.
“If you’ve had something stuck in your head for years about these things, now is your chance to do something to make amends. Now is the time to break your silence,” Gray said.
The commission is scheduled to hold public hearings in October-November 2022, with further hearings in the first half of 2023. Judge Sackar is expected to deliver his final report to the governor no later than June 30, 2023.
If you have information about anti-gay and anti-trans hate crimes that occurred between 1970 and 2010 in New South Wales, you can contact:
If you feel distressed while reading the story, you can contact support services.
For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or live chat.