COLD CASE: Police launch fresh appeal into 1992 murder of Gold Coast man

HOMICIDE detectives have launched a fresh public appeal into the horrific murder of an elderly man at his Gold Coast home 27-years ago.

Hugo Benscher was found bound and gagged on the floor at his canal-front Paradise Point home on the morning of Sunday, June 21 1992.

The 89-year-old also had a head injury, with police revealing that at the time of the murder there were several burglary and home invasion offences in nearby Gold Coast canal estates.


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A full review into the unsolved murder began earlier this year, involving investigators from the Cold Case Investigation Team, with the assistance of the Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell of the Cold Case Investigation Team said investigators were confident the renewed focus would see people come forward with new information.

“Police firmly believe that with public assistance, irrespective of the passage of time, the offenders will be brought to justice, giving Hugo’s friends and family some closure,” Detective Senior Sergeant Kentwell said.

Hugo’s canal-front Paradise Point home | Qld Police

In the coming weeks, detectives will travel to New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania to reinterview original witnesses and to approach new witnesses identified during the review.

“It is our intention through today’s appeal to urge anyone with information to come forward,” Detective Senior Sergeant Kentwell said.

Hugo’s canal-front Paradise Point home | Qld Police

Hugo was the inventor of an inflatable ball bladder and valve for sporting equipment and was born in Hamburg in 1903 before immigrating to Australia in 1948.

He lived most of his life in Sydney with his wife and sons, retiring to the Gold Coast in 1986 after his wife died.

During his six years living on the Gold Coast, he was a regular attendee of the Runaway Bay Yacht Club.

Police are hoping to speak with anyone who interacted with Hugo at the Runaway Bay Yacht Club, or knew of those who did around 1992.

“We are seeking information from anyone who has knowledge of a boat in the canal around the time of Hugo’s murder, as neighbours at the time recalled waking late in the evening on Saturday, June 20 1992 to the sound of a high revving outboard motor,” police said.

“We are also wanting further information received during the initial investigation about a beige Datsun and male driver reported as being seen around Hugo’s home around the time of his murder.”

PHOTO: Comfit image of the man seen driving a Datsun outside Hugo’s home | Qld Police

PHOTO: Datsun car of interest | Qld Police

Hugo was last seen alive on the morning of Saturday, June 20 1992 and last known to be alive when he received a phone call at approximately 8:00 pm on that night.

A $250,000 reward remains in place for information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for their murders.

In addition, an appropriate indemnity from prosecution will be recommended for any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the crime, who first gives such information.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

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