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Vic Cold case sexual assault and suspicious death linked by DNA

Discussion in 'Australia: Cold Cases' started by MarlyWings, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. MarlyWings

    MarlyWings Retired Staff

    Friday, 26 June 2015 04:53

    Cold Case Missing Person Squad detectives are appealing for public assistance to help solve a sexual assault in 1988 and a separate suspicious death which occurred in 1989.

    Police retained DNA following the sexual assault and the suspicious death in the hope that future advances in technology would assist in the investigation into both matters.

    That forethought has resulted in a potential link being made between a sexual assault in St Kilda in 1988 and the suspicious death of a woman in Caulfield in 1989.

    The sexual assault occurred in St Kilda in the early hours of Monday 15 August.

    Police have been told the then 21-year-old woman was out in St Kilda on Sunday 14 August 1988 with a male friend when they hailed a taxi in Fitzroy Street to go to the ‘Mandate” night club in Barkly Street.

    The taxi was a white coloured taxi with a light to medium blue coloured interior with vinyl seats.

    The fare came to $10 dollars, however the taxi driver told them not to worry about paying.

    Around 2am on Monday 15 August the woman and her friend went to Timmy’s Café on Fitzroy Street where they saw the same taxi-driver.

    The taxi-driver brought the pair coffees and offered to drive them home as he had finished his shift and stated he was also going to Noble Park.

    The taxi-driver was now driving what was believed to be his personal vehicle at the time and was possibly a dark blue Holden Kingswood or similar.

    He dropped off the male friend in Doveton before advising the woman he would take her to her home in Noble Park.

    He instead drove the woman to the police paddocks in Baden Powell Drive, Dandenong where he sexually assaulted her before dropping her off outside the South Eastern Hospital.

    The man at that time was described as European or Lebanese, mid 30s, 160cm tall, with a heavy build and a large stomach and had short black hair with grey through it.

    He was said to speak English well, however had an accent.

    The suspicious death occurred seven months later on 21 March 1989 in Caulfield.

    21-year-old Nichala Barber’s body was located on Malakoff Street, close to Hawthorn Road, around 6.30am.

    Police believe she had been thrown or dumped from a vehicle and left at that location.

    DNA was located at the scene and retained.

    An investigation and subsequent inquest were unable to identify any suspects.

    A review of all cold case crimes identified this as being suspicious and forensic evidence then identified a link between the two incidents.

    Enquiries have led investigators to believe the man linked to both incidents may be named Khalid and may have also gone by the names of Carl or Carlo.

    Detectives believe he may also have been dealing drugs in the area at that time and may be known to people who frequented the St Kilda area in this time period.

    Anyone with information in relation to the assault is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report to www.crimestoppers.com.au

    Kimster and Lily like this.
  2. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    I'd bet if they went to talk to some of the older Grey St girls of that era, someone would know who this man was. St Kilda back then was, for all its faults and nightlife tourists, actually a strangely tight community, I don't think I've ever known as many people from as many widely varied walks of life since.

    There was certainly no lack of creepy taxi drivers, either. Absolutely horrifying, how he stalked that couple to the end of the night.

    I would fall off my chair, if this was his only two crimes. Perhaps he moved on to somewhere else after that?

    Some weird details in Nichala's death:

    Seven months later, Nichala Barber’s body was found, believed dumped from a vehicle on Malakoff St in Caulfield, on March 21, 1989.

    Found fully clothed on a grassy nature strip, there were no markings on her body to indicate an assault.

    But detectives ruled her death suspicious, her shoes taken from her feet and placed upright behind her.

    A coronial inquest couldn’t establish a cause of death, her family still left without answers.


    Young women don't just drop dead for no reason.. let alone in the car of a cunning & violent rapist. I wonder what they tested her for, tox screen wise.
    Kimster likes this.

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