Two charged as cops crack McCulkin cold case

UPDATE: POLICE have this afternoon charged two men arrested over the 40 year old McCulkin cold case with murder.

A 76-year-old Warwick man and a 67-year-old Torbanlea man were arrested in Brisbane earlier on Saturday. 

They’ve since both been charged with three counts of murder, three counts of deprivation of liberty and two counts of rape.


They’ll appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.

EARLIER: POLICE have arrested two men over the 40 year cold case murders of Brisbane mother Barbara McCulkin and her daughters.

Barbara and her two daughters Leanne (11) and Vicki (13) disappeared from their Highgate Hill home on the night of January 16, 1974.

According to the ABC, detectives believed they were killed because they knew too much about a fire which ripped through the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub in Fortitude Valley the year before, killing 15 people.

Their bodies have never been found.

Today, detectives arrested a Warwick man, 76, and a Torbanlea man, 67 who are each expected to be charged with three counts of murder and three counts of deprivation of liberty.

The breakthrough follows an extensive and protracted investigation by members of State Crime Command’s Homicide Cold Case Unit and with assistance from the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) after the 40 year cold case was reopened in January this year.

Numerous witnesses were called to give evidence in Brisbane and North Queensland which ultimately led to a series of police raids on properties at Warwick in August. 

Detective Superintendent Steve Holahan of the Homicide Group said it had been a full and thorough investigation and review.

“The renewed investigation and use of coercive powers has gathered significant evidence without which the arrests would not have been possible,” Detective Superintendent Holahan said.

“Many investigators and specialist police over the years have contributed to the evidence in support of these arrests and we are pleased with today’s arrest.”