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KEREN ROWLAND murdered 1971, ACT

Discussion in 'Australia: Cold Cases' started by Lily, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Keren Rowland was 20 years old when she went missing on 26 February 1971, the night of the Royal Canberra Show.

    [​IMG]
    Keren had travelled to Civic to pick up her sister and go to a party in Deakin, however it was decided that her sister would get a lift with her fiancé and Keren would follow in her own car.

    She never arrived at the party and was reported missing by family members about midnight.

    Keren’s vehicle, a white Mini Morris 850 sedan was later located on Parkes Way, Campbell with no petrol in the tank.

    Her remains were discovered at the Air Disaster Memorial nearly three months later on 13 May 1971. Keren’s cause of death has not been established.

    Police are urging anyone with any information, no matter how small, to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be provided anonymously.

    https://www.police.act.gov.au/crime/unsolved-homicides/keren-rowland
     
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  2. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Police seek Morris car
    10 Sept 1971


    Canberra detectives investigating the disappearance and death of Miss Keren Ellen Rowland earlier this year are anxious to obtain information about a dark Morris 1100 car.

    Police said yesterday that a car of this type had been seen parked in Parkes Way facing towards Civic near Miss Rowland's car on the night she disappeared.

    Some witnesses had said they saw her walking towards the car.

    A similar car had been seen driving at very high speed past the Canberra Airport towards Queanbeyan about 10 to 15 minutes later.

    Anyone knowing anything of the car is asked to telephone Detective-Ser geant C. Winchester or Detective Day at the Canberra CIB.

    Miss Rowland, 20, of Downer, disappeared after her car apparently ran out of petrol in Parkes Way at about 9.30 on the night of February 26. Her badly decomposed body was found at the Air Disaster Memorial off Fairbairn Avenue on May 13. An inquest into her death will be held on September 14.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/110676690?#
     
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  3. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    April 28, 1971

    New clue on missing girl

    Canberra police have new information which could help in their search for Miss Keren Ellen Rowland who has been missing since February 26.

    Detcctives have been told that a female aged between 18 and 20 was seen running from a dark car in Fairbairn Avenue towards the Duntroon gates, at about 11.20 on the night Miss Rowland disappeared.

    The girl had shoulder-length brown hair and was wearing a dark cardigan and had either a hand bag or shoulder bag.

    Information important

    The police regard the information as important as the description of the girl roughly fits that of Miss Rowland. Other witnesses have said they saw Miss Rowland talking with the driver of a dark car near her own car which ran out of petrol earlier that night.

    Detectives have been unable to establish the identity of the girl seen in Fairbairn Avenue and are anxious for further information.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110351045
     
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  4. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    This article from March 30, 1971 has Keren's obviously distraught father saying that Keren "suffered a breakdown" two weeks before she went missing due to a broken engagement... and that she was also 5 months pregnant.

    Heartbreaking, when he stated he is not ashamed of her being pregnant -- a big deal back then, unwed mothers were very frowned on. He clearly loved his daughter very much and did everything he could to find her. :(

    https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=tNxUAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ppADAAAAIBAJ&pg=5288,6238488
     
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  5. neddy

    neddy Member

    Keren worked at the Prosser Pool in Deakin.
    My brothers told me DN used to visit her there regularly (he lived in Yarralumla)
    Police interview in 2003 - JS said that DN had said he had seen Keren hitchhiking on the day she disappeared and that he went up to the Air Disaster Memorial that same night.
    Also DN and Keren were probably members of the same fundamentalist church
     
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  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Oh how interesting! Do your brothers have any theories on what happened?
     
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  7. neddy

    neddy Member

    One brother was absolutely positive that DN was the perpetrator.
    His theory was that DN took Keren to the Air Disaster Memorial ( he knew all the out of the way places around Canberra), and that he held her head and was praying for her and pushed her backwards to the ground or that 'he made an unwelcome move on her'.
    It's hard to describe what they do when they 'cleanse' you. They hold both sides of the person's head and continue praying for God's forgiveness and push backwards, like when an adult is baptised.
    Sometimes they used to 'talk in tongues'. The Church used to regularly 'heal' people.
    DN was convinced he was a healer.
    I recall being forced to go to Church, said I was sick (to get out of the Church) and being taken to the front and going through their 'healing process'.
    They 'lay hands on you' and mumble prayers, sometimes pushing you to the ground.
    Because Keren was unmarried and pregnant she was a sinner.
    DN honed in on the young, single mothers, intellectually disabled - the vulnerable ones.
     
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  8. neddy

    neddy Member

    Detective Sergeant C. Winchester was the person to be contacted in this case.
    Intriguing that my mother lived upstairs from David Eastman when he supposedly murdered Colin Winchester.
    She told me she did not believe David was guilty of the murder.
    When I asked, and looked her in the eye, she did not tell me DN was innocent of Allen Redston or Keren Rowland's deaths - why would that be?
    David , so far, has served 19 years in prison - intriguing that he is being set up, again, for a retrial.
     
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  9. Forristicat

    Forristicat New Member

    My friend and I researched this case a bit. Stumbled onto it as we were interested in paranormal stories at the Air Disaster Memorial and we had heard that some girl was murdered there.

    We got given a coroner's court PDF document which has full court proceedings of the inquest into her death. We tracked where the body was found and had a look at how the land terrain looks today.

    The whole case is sad and it has always bugged me that it is unresolved.

    There are some strange things that happened that are mentioned in the court proceedings.

    A day after Keren went missing, a patrol airport fireman who was stationed near the Air Disaster memorial ran into a car with some people in it. A girl was lying on the footpath. This girl claimed that she was Keren, and seemed a bit drunk/ on drugs.

    This girl said and I quote "'Well, I am her, the police are looking for me. My car ran out of petrol on Parkes Way. I am pregnant and I have had trouble with my boyfriend and I am going up to Mount Disaster to commit suicide."

    The girl also said to the patrol man "'Contact the police and tell them what I am going to do"

    Unfortunately the patrol man thought the whole thing was a joke and wasn't 100% sure that he ran into Keren. Out of the whole court proceedings this account sticks out a lot for me.
     
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  10. neddy

    neddy Member

    Sounds like a good one for your ghost stories - do you do tours of scarey places around Canberra?

    I have never heard anyone call the Air Disaster Memorial 'Mount Disaster'. What about the ghosts of all those killed in the air disaster?

    I know some of the airport workers from back then.
    It seems very irresponsible not to report a potential suicide.

    In the coroner's report does it mention how Keren died? If she was committing suicide would she die from hitting her head on a rock?

    Canberra does have the proud title of suicide capital.

    I know it was 3 months after her death when she was found - why would DN know 3 months later he had 'been there that night'?

    One of the cars DN was using was borrowed and was reported stolen. I believe it was never recovered by the police. A person from Duntroon? was charged in relation to stealing the car.
     
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  11. Forristicat

    Forristicat New Member

    I personally haven't done ghost tours but there is a company that does them here. I was interviewed by the guy that does them once as I had a weird thing happen to me with my friend at the memorial (car stalling- apparently that is common in that area...a little too common). I've been to the Air Disaster Memorial at night once with my friend, and let me tell you, it is scary as all hell.

    But back on topic.

    Question: I see the letters "DN" referenced a few times above. Who is "DN"? Who is "JS"?

    Regarding the airport worker- as I mentioned he didn't take the situation seriously and it wasn't until he heard Keren's body was found at the Air Disaster Memorial that he came forward.

    Regarding the cause of death, quote:-

    "..My final conclusion, therefore, is that the cause of death remains unknown in this case" by the autopsy doctor.

    Man there is a LOT of information in this PDF (234 pages), am I allowed to share this publicly on here for those who wish to go over the case with me? (Asking because I think these records have since been pulled from the public domain)
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
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  12. neddy

    neddy Member

    I don't wish to share publicly who DN and JS are - they are related.
    The police have that information if they bother to read through the interviews they did in 2003/4 on Allen Redston's death.
    I am not sure if you are allowed to share the PDF information on Keren Rowland. I know some of it anyway - my older brother did some research and I also read the papers at the time.
    Keren was the same age as JS.
    Interesting that the records have been pulled from public domain.
    I have searched for other information that I know occurred and have read about in newspapers relating to DN - gone from public domain.
    DN used to like to take 'innocents' to the 'look-out' in Red Hill and other unpopulated areas around Canberra.
     
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  13. Forristicat

    Forristicat New Member

    Interesting. That is fair enough you do not wish to share that information publicly.

    Thought about it- I won't be publishing the PDF publicly as if not illegal I wouldn't feel morally good doing so. If nothing else , this is out of respect for the Roland family and friends who may not wish such detailed information made publicly.

    To continue the discussion: What about Keren's prior boyfriend/fiancé as a potential suspect- RB? The files indicate that tensions existed between the two families and that R got Keren pregnant.

    Then there is stuff like this from the documents:-

    "Referring to the third paragraph in relation to Keren's pregnancy; while RB never stated that he would not marry her, he seemed to become more attached to his car than to Keren, he was being seen with other girls and he, at times, struck Keren. Keren tried to cover up for him, but it became evident that she was worried about a father for the child and not for B, and after a time she realised that she did not want him for a husband."

    And this

    "Last Wednesday night Keren and I went to the drive in, the one at the Goulburn Road, and at half time we went into the snack bar, and we saw RB and another girl in the snack bar. I don't know the name of the other girl, but she was dressed in blue jeans and a type of half blouse with the stomach bare. Keren went up to say hello to R, but he just turned his back on her and put his arm around this other girl and walked away laughing, and he looked back at Keren and laughed. This hurt Keren a fair bit, because she was crying and upset when we got back to the car."

    It doesn't paint R in a favourable light.

    As a side note- there are scribblings/writings over some of these scans and some paragraph sections are highlighted. Someone must have done some investigation with these documents at some stage.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
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  14. neddy

    neddy Member

    I think the police investigated Keren's ex-boyfriend/fiance and he had an alibi for the 26th February 1971? He would have been a prime suspect.
    As far as I recall it was Friday night, the Canberra show was on so there would have been a lot of traffic on Northbourne Avenue to the showgrounds. (I walked there to the show on Saturday afternoon from Downer - which is also where Keren lived).
    The drive-in was the Starlight, I presume - close to Downer. RB certainly does not seem to be in a favourable light.

    Tell me if I have this right -
    Keren went to Garema Place to pick up her sister from the chemist shop???

    (Garema Place was totally different then - you could drive through where you now walk.
    The church DN belonged to used to have their meetings in the YMCA building and sang/had prayer meetings in Garema Place on Friday nights - shopping night.)

    Keren was seen leaving Garema Place to go to her car which was in a different car park to where her sister's fiance was parked.
    Keren was supposed to follow her sister to a party in Deakin.
    It was probably easier from where Keren was parked to go on Parkes Way (as DN also did to go to Yarralumla) to avoid the late night shopper's traffic over Commonwealth Avenue and she would have gone over Kings Avenue bridge to get to Deakin. She worked in Deakin so would have known the different routes to get there.

    Keren's car ran out of petrol which was unusual as it had been filled (by her father?) that morning?

    The driver of the dark Morris 1100 car never came forward or was ever identified by police.

    The car DN may have been driving (a dark Morris 1100) was borrowed from a person in Deakin as DN's car had been involved in a double fatality in Yarralumla in 1970 and was being repaired.
    This borrowed car was stolen sometime in 1971 by Derek Jones??? and , I believe, taken to Qld and never recovered by police.
    The owners of the car did not forgive the borrower as it had been lent to him - NOT DN or Derek Jones???

    Your side note - the scribblings/writing over, someone investigated - could this be Detective Sergeant Colin Winchester? He was the investigating officer along with Detective Day?

    As I already stated I find it intriguing that my mother told me she believed David Eastman innocent in the case of Colin Winchester's murder.
    She would NOT state that DN was innocent when asked if he was guilty of Allen Redston and Keren Rowland's murders.
     
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  15. MissyMoo

    MissyMoo Bronze Member

    Kerens is a sad but very interesting thread, im reading along with your posts Neddy and Forristcat, you both have amazing memory recall and/or attention to detail.
     
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  16. Forristicat

    Forristicat New Member

    Neddy I think you are correct with your facts.

    Christine (sister to Keren), John Hibbert (fiance to Christine), and Martin Burt (Friend of both Keren and Christine) were in the car which was following Keren.

    Neddy the whole lending the car/stolen car regarding the Morris 1100 intrigues me.

    The Morris 1100 is mentioned in the document, see below [apologies for errors and not all of this will be clear-- this is a copy and paste from a PDF document]:-

    --------------

    Is your full name Jennifer Dawn Bard? Yes. Do you reside at 29 Anderson Street in Chifley.'' Yes.

    And are you a Training Technical Officer? Mmm.
    3id you make a statement to the police in relation to this

    particular inquiry? I did.

    V/ould you just have a look at this document please. Would you look at that. Do you recognise that document?
    Has that got your signature appended to the bottom ol it;;

    Yes.
    HIS WORSHIP: Just follow it while I read it on to the tape for

    Rowland

    you would you please. "Jennifer Dawn Bard. ^9 Ancer.on Street, Chifley. Training Technical Officer.

    "Atabout9.30p.m.onF r i d a y ,
    1971, I was travelling with my boyfriend, William

    Augustine Warzecha in his motor
    Holden Torana GTR, registered number A.O.i.
    We had passed over Kings Avenue Bridge and had mc.de a

    loft turn into Parkes Way and I saw a/blue cai pass u- and then continue on in front. I think> this vehiole was a Fiat 124 because of its shape, I did not take an,

    65 R.N. MURRAY, XN 24/9/71 J#D> BARD, XN

    vehicle

    which is a

    26th February

    notice of the registration number. V/hen at a point approximately half way between the "burn from Kings .Avenue into Parkes Way and the Rhonde Pond I saw this vehicle

    pull up about 40 yards in front of a light coloured Morris Mini which was parked on the side of the road offthebitumensurface. Ialsosawintheheadli^h-f-^n-p our car a girl walking towards Civic Centre. She was" dressed in a pale mini skirt and a dark coloured top and she was carrying her handbag under her left arm, and she

    had shoulder length hair,

    "When the blue coloured car pulled up I saw the girl walk towards it and as we passed I said to Bill,

    'She will be all right, it's a woman driving.'

    "Bill said, 'No, it's not, it's a bloke.'

    "I was of the opinion that it was a woman driving because of the long hair*

    "On Sunday afternoon my boyfriend and I were visiting friends at 58 Ijong Street, Braddon, and we were watching television when a police message came over giving a description of a missing girl and they also showed a photograph and I immediately said to Bill,

    'That is the girl that I saw on Friday night»' As a result of the police message Bill and I went to the Canberra Police Station and informed them of what we had seenc"

    And that is signed by yourself is it, madam? Yes.

    Is that true and correct? Yes.

    SGT. McCULLOCH: I thinx there is just one alteration that you have made? Yes. It was the Fiat 1500.

    HIS WORSHIP: SGT. McCULLOCH: EXHIBIT

    SGT. McCULLOCH:
    some police and some motor vehicles and tried to sore 01 reinact this particular scene that you saw. Is that- correct? Yes*

    Now, are you still of the opinion that this vehicle^that you saw, the blue vehicle, passed you or do you think that

    have been in front of you all the time? 1 still vaink n, passed.

    U l riSbt. I Seek nothing further from the witness, Your Worship. nffi.KELLY: Ihavenoquestionsofthiswitness.
    W08/3/JB 6 6 J.D. BAET, XN 2V9/71

    1500? Not 124-.
    I tender that statement if Your Worship pleases.

    EXHIBIT R Statement of J.D. Bard.

    And I think you have been back to the scene with

    HIS WORSHIP; You are quite certain this girl you saw in your headlights had shoulder length hair? It's such a lorr time ago now, I just gave it on my statement.

    It was suggested that perhaps she had her hair done up in some9kind of style. Would you say that would be right or not

    Well, I didn't notice jt. You didn't notice it? No.

    What kind of a car were you

    This Mini, which way was it bitumen? Facing

    Towards Civic? Mmm.
    And where was the blue car?
    In front of it? In front.
    How far in front of it? About 30 yards, 40 yards. You didn't see a maroon car there anywhere? No. Parked at an angle to the Mini?"—'Noe
    Thank you. You may leave if you wish.

    (THE WITNESS WITHDREW)
    SGT. McCULLOCH: Would you call please, William ¥arzecha?

    WILLIAM AUGUSTINE WARZECHA, sworn:

    EXAMINED 3Y SC-T. McCULLOCH:

    SGT. McCULLOCH: Would you tell the Court your full name, please? William Augustine Warzecha.

    HIS WORSHIP: Do you reside at 20 Giles Street, Kingston? Yes. Still do? Yeso
    And you are a Trainee Technical Officer? That's right.

    SGT. McCULLOCH: Did you make a statement to the police in relation to this matter? Yes.

    Just have a look at this statement would you please. Is that your statement? Yes.

    Is that your signature that appears at tho bottom of the page? Yes, that's right*

    BW8/VJB 6n J.D. BARD, XN 24/9/71 Hov/lcud VI.A. WARZECHA, XI!

    in, a Torana? Green.

    facing, the one that was off the towards Civic.

    Facing towards Civic.

    HIS WORSHIP: Would you just .follow it through while I read it on to the tape for you, Mr. Warzecha, would yoi"1.
    "At about 9.30 p.m. on Friday, 26th of February 1971
    I was in company with Jenny Bard, driving along Pork's

    Way towards Civic Centre.

    "Whilst driving along Parkes Way and when about half way between Kings Avenue roundabout and Anzac Park roundabout I saw a light coloured Mini Minor sedan parked about 10 feet off the bitumen on the left-hand side of the road. At approximately the same time as I saw the car I saw a female a short distance in front of the Mini and walking towards Civic Centre.

    "There was another vehicle travelling in front < us and as this vehicle drew level with the girl the driver pulled up on the side of the road.

    "The vehicle which I had been following was of a dark colours and about the same size vehicle as a Morris 1100. I think that this vehicle had New South

    Wales registration plates attached. I think that there was only one person in the car but I did not have an opportunity to see the driver.

    "When I saw the vehicle stop I saw the girl who was walking along the road walk towards the vehicle but I did not see if she got into that car or not.

    "As a result of hearing an announcement on television, Jenny and I came to the Canberra Police Station and advised them of what we had seen."

    And that is signed by yourself, sir? Yes.
    SGT. McCULLOCH: I tender that if Your Worship pleases. EXHIBIT EXHIBIT S .... Statement of W.A. Warzecha.

    SGT. McCULLOCH: I seek nothing further from this witness, Your Worship.

    MR. KELLY: No questions, Your Worship.

    HIS WORSHIP: Did you see a blue car? How do you mean, Your Worship?

    Well, it has been suggested a blue car passed you and pulled up in front of this car that was parked on the side 01 -cne road? No, I don't think so.

    Well, you were with Miss Bard, were you not? That's right, yes.

    H a s sile mentioned to you having seen a blue coloured car pull up? Blue coloured car, yes.

    Is this the same car as you are referring to? Well, I don't think

    that any car passed me at that stage. As 1 sta^ea previously I was going in excess of the normal speca

    68 W.A. WARZECHA, XB 24/9/71

    --------------

    MissyMoo- My recall is only as good as this document I am referring to! :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  17. neddy

    neddy Member

    I remember some of the information from when I read the newspapers 'back then'. My older brother also researched Keren Rowland (because he believed DN to be guilty). He gave me some printed information which I no longer have - I posted it to the Redston family years ago. I don't know if Brian and Violet ever received the box or if they bothered to read any of the information in it - not my problem. I also kept a short diary in 1971 and recall my brothers telling me DN had a 'girlfriend' who worked at the Prosser Pool. He honed in on some unfortunate people.
     
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