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NSW THE GAROTTE MAN: Found in La Perouse, NSW - 17 Feb 1995 *IDENTIFIED - Ivan Cselik*

Discussion in 'Australia: Cold Cases' started by MULDER, May 31, 2015.


    MULDER Bronze Member

    Details below for this Unidentified Male have been taken from a Main Stream Media Article titled:
    Most Anonymous - published Friday July 19, 1996, by JENNIFER COOKE - this is a very detailed article worth reading on the case.
    If you have any further information about this case, please call CrimeStoppers 1800 333 000

    At 8.30am on the 18th Saturday in February 1995, the body of a superbly fit young man was found in a shallow culvert 4 metres off a narrow access road to the NSW Golf Club at La Perouse.
    Pathologists estimated the man was killed around midnight on Friday, February 17.
    He had been garotted, and had also been sliced across the neck with a sharp instrument, which left him almost beheaded.
    He had been found within 12 hours of being dumped.
    Lack of blood evidence at the scene leave Police to speculate he was removed from the murder site, taken by a vehicle and dumped where he was found.
    He was clothed - in casual wear made in several European countries.
    He had a surgical steel plate in his leg with 9 Stainless Steel Pins (details further down in post)
    There was only one spot of blood on his T-shirt.
    It is not known if he was executed while hung upside down. Or was he killed, cleaned and dressed in fresh clothing - successfully avoiding seepage from the gaping wound - before being dumped.
    Toxicology tests found no drugs in his system and his stomach was empty.
    No wallet or personal identification was found
    The pockets of the shorts had been turned inside out.
    The venetian blind cord that was used as the garotte was left around his neck.
    Police involved believe was probably a visitor in Australia when he was ambushed and murdered.
    The victim was not reported missing.

    Date found:
    Saturday 18 February 1995
    Murdered: Friday Midnight 17th February 1995
    Location: On the side of road (Access Road) to the NSW Golf Club at La Perouse, NSW
    Sex: Male
    Age Approximate: 25 - 28 years old
    Nationality/Origin: Possibly European / Slavic / Russian

    Height: 186cm
    Weight: 102 kilograms
    Head Hair: Black - straight, collar-length
    Facial Hair: Clean Shaven
    Eyes: Green / Grey
    Complexion: evidence of facial acne
    Physical build: He was broad-shouldered, thick-necked and extremely muscular, with no excess body fat
    - a very fit person of almost professional athletic standard.
    Dentals: He had three porcelain fillings in his front teeth.
    Two root canal fillings, and might soon have had trouble from two impacted lower wisdom teeth revealed on x-rays.

    Maroon T-shirt with grey piping on the sleeves and neck.
    T-shirt had a "Budmil" logo in the centre of the chest and a label with Hungarian markings.
    A flower and vine design in white on the back of the shirt.
    Shorts: The tags on his dark blue knee-length shorts are believed to be German and carried the logo "Reflax" on the left thigh.
    Undergarments: His underpants were made in the United Kingdom. Colour - yellow.
    Footwear: The "Newboat" brand of leather laced-up boating shoes are believed to have been European-made.

    A plain gold ring: not thought to be a wedding ring and found on the left little finger
    Benetton watch with a sky-blue band and yellow face.

    A forensic pathologist, Dr Alan Cala , on his initial inspection found a relatively new scar on the man's lower right leg. Underneath was a 16cm-long stainless steel plate with nine screws inserted to correct a bad break of the tibia some time in the year before the man's murder.
    In fact, three sutures remained in the wound. They had been left there so long they had putrefied and appeared as three green dots on his shin.
    He may have limped or favoured his right leg and was either unable or had neglected to get to a doctor to have them removed. Dr Cala told police that the orthopaedic operation was "not real good".

    The dynamic compression steel surgical plate carried a manufacturer's symbol that looks like the rounded letters HFD followed by a number. It was not manufactured in Australia and police were told by orthopaedic specialists that this particular plate is neither imported nor used by local surgeons.

    All Australian stainless steel surgical plate importers were contacted by police but none could identify its origin or make. However, four of the screws used to fix the plate in place were identified for police by Danny Cohen , the managing director of Synthes Australia, one of the larger distributors of surgical plates to hospitals nationally.
    From tiny laser etchings of the company logo on each screw and by tracing through lot numbers, it was discovered they were made by Synthes's Swiss-based parent company.
    These screws were not sold locally, "which tells us that the victim was not operated on in Australia", Cohen said.
    The four Synthes screws came from several different batches of 1,000 each made in Switzerland in 1993. From one batch, 300 had been sent to London, and 300 from another batch were sent to Germany.
    The remaining screws could not be traced.

    DNA Charting: Yes
    Fingerprints: Yes
    Dentals: Yes
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
    spike, MarlyWings and Kimster like this.

    MULDER Bronze Member

    Main Stream Media

    19th February 1995

    19th July 1996

    Paper Clipping from the Canberra Times
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/art...erm=unidentified man La Perouse&searchLimits=

    UID La Perouse 1995 msm clipping.JPG

    Strangely for such a large man there were no defence wounds, such as cuts on his hands, to indicate he had struggled with his attacker.
    A small bruise which highlighted a tiny nick on his middle left finger became apparent after the murder.

    The officer in charge of the South Region homicide unit, Detective Inspector Ian Kennedy, said it is "rare to have a murder victim remain unidentified for such a long time
    - especially one that has not been mutilated beyond recognition or bones in a grave but is in fact a recognisable, intact body".

    DNA from the garotte man, is frozen in test tubes and kept in the molecular biology laboratory of the institute for any future such comparison.

    THERE are several speculative theories concerning the murder of garotte man: that he was involved in the drug trade; that he was executed to send a menacing message after a betrayal;
    that he was involved in a spy ring from eastern Europe; and even that he was part of one of the biggest growth industries around today - Russian organised crime.

    "To go to so much trouble and then not throw him over the continental shelf (out at sea) where the sharks could have him seems to me to be a message," Taylor insists.
    "But even though indications are that he is from eastern Europe, he might also be from Parramatta."

    Police believe he was meant to be found.

    Detective Senior Constable Colin Taylor, formerly of the south region homicide unit who investigated the murder, said:
    "It was a clean and professional job. We are looking for more than one person."
    spike, MarlyWings and Kimster like this.

    MULDER Bronze Member

    spike, MarlyWings and Lily like this.
  4. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    This just reeks of organised crime, or spies (which can almost be the same thing). The report doesn't mention tattoos at all? If he was a Russian criminal, it'd be very likely he'd have those, it's a tradition people still hold to.

    Being extremely fit + acne might = steroid use? I wonder if they canvassed gyms, people like that don't like to go without a workout.
    spike, Kimster and MULDER like this.

    MULDER Bronze Member

    Why was he so clean? The inflicted wounds would have caused massive blood loss.
    I wonder if he was transported and thrown from the back of closed truck - like a delivery/removal truck?
    I wonder if the turned out pockets of his shorts were used by the people who dumped him, to lift & throw him to that spot?

    Another thought was that maybe he had just arrived in Sydney - or was on a stop over?
    Hope they checked the airport for unclaimed baggage.
    There must be a thousand scenarios of who this man is.

    Can't find any pictures of him - or follow up information, like the exact location he was found.
    spike, Kimster and Lily like this.
  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Let me know if/when you find a pic of him so we can put him in our media gallery.
    spike and MULDER like this.
  7. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member


    Does anyone know how to find a pic of this man?
    spike and MULDER like this.

    MULDER Bronze Member

    There is a link here regarding this case:

    ETA: Have tried to find link without paywall - this one above should work...

    Hungarian tourist Ivan Cselik killed within a day of arriving in Sydney: Postcard may help solve murder
    EXCLUSIVE Mark Morri, Crime Editor, The Daily Telegraph
    October 19, 2015 12:00am

    A POSTCARD of Bondi Beach and photo of a young Hungarian man may help solve his murder, which happened just hours after he arrived in Sydney 20 years ago.
    Ivan Cselik rang his mother after landing at Sydney airport at 6.20am on Friday, February 17, 1995.
    Police believe Mr Cselik then headed straight to Bondi where he bought a postcard and mailed it to his mother. By midnight police believe he was dead.
    At 8.30am on Saturday his body was found by the side of a small road leading to the exclusive NSW Golf Club at La Perouse.
    He had been garrotted with a piece of rope, his throat slit so violently he was practically decapitated.
    The young man, with the build of an athlete, had been stripped of his ID and for the next six years was known simply as “garrotte man”.
    All attempts to identify him, including using his clothing, a gold ring and the fact he had nine screws in his leg from an injury, failed and eventually he was buried as a John Doe.
    Then, in 2001 a woman contacted the Hungarian embassy in Sydney and said she hadn’t heard from her son since he called in 1995 — and the file was reopened.


    Advanced DNA testing on the rope and Mr Cselik’s clothing revealed a number of weak profiles which police said were found to be inconclusive.
    “We expect further testing will be carried out as techniques are improving all the time,’’ Detective Chief Inspector Angelo Memmolo of the NSW Homicide Squad said.
    “It has been a long time but we are hoping someone might remember seeing Ivan at Bondi all those years ago.
    The night we believe Mr Cselik was murdered it was reported that people saw a car in the
    area where the body was found, which we believe may have been connected to the dumping of his body.’’
    Mr Cselik did not have a criminal record in Europe.
    He had listed his occupation as a salesman but police have since been given information suggesting that he may have been employed as a debt collector.


    I wish Police had released a picture of the T-shirt early in the investigation.

    I hope they find the person or persons who did this...

    He was here here in the country for such a short amount of time.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
    spike and Lily like this.

    MULDER Bronze Member

    Here is a picture of the postcard face he sent his mother ...

    spike likes this.
  10. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Omg, I had no idea this man had been ID'd!

    Employed by whom, I wonder? Debt collecting can be a dangerous job..

    This isn't a 'normal' murder, if you know what I mean... it looks so clinical and organised. Are there any similar crimes anyone knows about?

    Maybe we can add Ivan's name to the thread title?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  11. MULDER

    MULDER Bronze Member

    Astounding isn't it Lily!
    Ivan has been identified!
    I wonder if Ivan - just arriving in Australia - was able to speak English?
    Why did he come to Australia? and what information made them think he was a debt collector?

    Was he picked up at the airport by someone?
    Was he booked into a motel somewhere, or was he staying with somebody?

    I also wonder about the postcard that he sent - where did he buy it - where was it posted from - did Ivan post it?
    What did he write to his mum? Was it his handwriting?
    Id be DNA testing that stamp.

    I am glad he has been identified.
    And I also wonder if he was travelling with anyone when he arrived - or who the passenger was who was sitting next to him of the plane?
    Maybe he talked to someone during the flight - or someone remembers something about him?
    I hope Police are following up on this case and its still not cold.
    Kimster, spike and Lily like this.
  12. MULDER

    MULDER Bronze Member

    To add...
    Have contacted mods to change his thread title and place him where the case can still be ongoing.
    Thanks mods
    MarlyWings, spike and Lily like this.
  13. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Omg Mulder... around that time, Richard William Leonard, a 24 year old serial killer (he only killed 2 people we know of, but he WAS a 'serial killer', iykwim!) and his batsh!t crazy girlfriend Denise Shipley were being eyeballed for the brutal murders of Stephen Dempsey in August 1994 and taxi driver Ezzedina Bahmad in November of that year.

    But they before they were finally arrested in May '95, they were traipsing around near Sydney, Paddington.. It's conceivable they were also in or near B0ndi in February...

    We don't get that many serial killers, but oh boy do we make up for that in levels of insane creepiness. Read about Leonard and Shipley here:

    https://books.google.com.au/books?id=AOcnQXkuUDAC&lpg=PT74&ots=nyx8KI-BV2&dq=Richard William Leonard&pg=PT78#v=onepage&q=Richard William Leonard&f=false

    Why I thought of these wackos is that Leonard (acting alone) found Dempsey at a gay pickup 'beat', killed him with an arrow and kept him in his freezer for months. Ie, he was not adverse to taking his victims home -- and keeping them there a while.

    Dempsey case (videos):

    Ivan was found bloodless, with a single blood spot on his shirt.. ie, he was killed somewhere else, perhaps while shirtless, perhaps washed and redressed later.. so he was *taken somewhere* first where he could be killed and washed and re-dressed. I suspect the cord came before the throat cutting.

    Was Ivan gay? With his boyish face and ripped body, wandering around Bondi, he could have been thought so. Anyway, the place Ivan was found is only about an hour from where Leonard and Shipley lived-- and Bondi is smack in the middle of the two.

    The map below is marked with various locations associated with these killers, and also Ivan's murder.
    Pretty much a straight run down the coast..

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
    Kimster, MULDER and spike like this.
  14. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Glad they were able to identify him! On my phone now, but can put him name in the title later.
    spike and MULDER like this.
  15. MULDER

    MULDER Bronze Member

    Lily - I love your post - :thankyou:

    I have watched the videos on Leonard and Shipley - it was numbing.
    ...and I do think that Ivan needs more than his name - some Justice as well.

    The knife Leonard used must have been distinctive, and possibly the type of knife had a distinctive cut pattern.

    Theres so many aspects of the case I would like to look at - as L&S fit the criteria in many ways.
    I just wondered if they ever owned a car? Or if Ivan had hired a car?
    To get out to La Perouse around midnight on a Friday is pretty difficult unless you have transport.
    In 1994, the area was not as built up as it is now - there were plenty of fields and a big rifle range out that way. The areas out that way were also a dumping ground for bodies in the dunes at Kurnell & Botany -
    but they were well covered over and buried - not like Ivan Cselik who was dumped and 'meant to be found'.
    I also agree that there maybe more to Ivans death than what has been speculated - (ie: because he was Hungarian - and a supposedly a 'debt collector'.)

    He may have been gay. He may have been assumed to have been gay - and when you mentioned that aspect, it reminded me of the approximately 80 deaths of men in the Bondi and inner-city area that
    were murdered during the late 70's - late 90's. The gangs that roamed around these areas were from Alexandria and the inner city.
    There were beats along the all the Sydney beach areas - along the coastline all the way out to La Perouse in the South and to Palm Beach on the North.
    In 1995 he would have arrived 13 days before the 1995 Mardi Gras - which brought 1,000's of people from overseas to Sydney that year. (just adding that as a fact for consideration)
    Its very possible he was staying or visited the Inner city Sydney area when he arrived. Its a 15 minute drive to Bondi from the Oxford street area. It is the same area L&S frequented - it was
    where they picked up the taxi that was driven by Ezzedine Bahmad, whom they murdered by stabbing to death with the knife.

    There is a link here to the story's:

    I wonder if any media will pick this case up and do an investigative report.
    It was a very gruesome murder.
    Lily and spike like this.
  16. MULDER

    MULDER Bronze Member

    Hmm - just a thought - but where now is his passport?
    Is someone travelling under his name?
    Lily and spike like this.
  17. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Good question.. I think Leonard would have to have access to one, at least.. how'd he bring all of his victim's body parts home? Maybe they stole cars. They didn't have one the night of the taxi driver murder... for whatever reason. But those body parts weren't carried on foot, I bet.
    Kimster and MULDER like this.
  18. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Just jumping off this.. thinking out loud...

    Leonard washed and dismembered Dempsey's body in the creek near where the murder happened, before cutting the body up and taking the parts home and putting them (and Dempsey's clothes) in the freezer for months. That's pretty sophisticated predatory behaviour... iirc, the cops in that TV special said they had little doubt Leonard was *hunting* for a victim.. he had his bow, something to cut a body up with (not easy) and a means to take the parts back home. All premeditated. So much so, that I doubt this was his first kill, so some of those other murders might be his.

    The taxi driver murder was sloppy.. not like the above method at all. It's what got them caught, in the end. Bahmad had the chance to fight back.. and injured his killers. But Leonard his cray gf with him that night.

    Ivan's murder was 'cleaner'.. more like poor Stephen Dempsey's murder. Like Ivan, Dempsey was both washed and moved from the kill site. He was strangled with a cord... blitz attack? A bloodless method to make sure he -did not- fight back, despite his size and strength.. though he did a little bit, there's injuries to suggest this.. maybe the cord idea was something his killer wasn't familiar with and so wasn't prepared for it not to work as planned... so Ivan's throat was cut, he was almost decapitated.. that takes a/ strength and b/ probably a good amount of rage (as is usually the case in cuts that deep).

    Some time before that happened, his clothing was removed... because otherwise, where's all the blood? So how'd the killer manage that, and then attempt to strangle Ivan, while he was alive and presumably able to fight (as he likely did, once he relaised what all was about to happen).

    I think his death and disposal may well as been as carefully planned as Dempsey's was.
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  19. MULDER

    MULDER Bronze Member

    Oh, of course - I forgot - you reminded me - Leonard had used transportation (a motorcycle) to remove the dismembered parts of Stephen Dempsey from Narrabeen -
    and kept him in cold storage in his refrigerator at home for 3 months until disposing of him.

    Leonard had worked in an abattoir and was skilled with a knife for such purposes.
    Ivan was murdered 3 months after Leonard would have disposed of Stephen Demsey's body, and 3 months after slashing the throat and stabbed 36 times (with Shipley) Ezzedine Bahmad, the taxi driver at Collaroy Plateau - Novemeber 18, 1994


    In another statement of facts, the Crown said that - three
    days before dumping Dempsey's body - the couple, tripping
    on LSD, murdered taxi driver Ezzedine Bahmad, through
    stabbing 37 times.

    Leonard also tried to use the 'homosexual panic defence' as an excuse for murdering Stephen Dempsey - but his story didnt gel with Police, as the arrow that struck Stephen was fired from such a distance away,
    that there was no possibility that Stephen was a threat - Stephen had been hunted down by Leonard.

    (prior report to conviction) - Legal observers are waiting to see if Leonard employs the
    'homosexual panic defence', after initially alleging Dempsey
    made sexual advances toward him prior to the killing.
    Police allege Leonard shot Dempsey with an arrow when
    Dempsey made homosexual advances towards him on August
    2 last year.

    screen interview sml.jpg
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  20. MULDER

    MULDER Bronze Member

    Opps - sorry - repeat information.
    I was getting my post together and you were already on to it!
    Lily likes this.

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