Hopes of breakthrough in 'savage murder' of teen beauty queen
Shortly after 7pm, on the night of October 14, 1973, teenage beauty queen Bronwynne Richardson was forced off the street into the back of a white Holden station wagon which was packed full of men.
The 17-year-old girl was then driven to a remote area just outside Albury, a small NSW city near the Victorian border, where she was brutally raped, strangled and tossed into the Murray River.
Her body was discovered two days later in Horseshoe Lagoon, off the Murray River. Bronwynne's sudden and violent death is one of the biggest unsolved murder mysteries in Australian criminal history.
Now, in a two-part investigation, starting on Nine tonight, reporter Mark Llewellyn and Dr Xanthe Mallett, one of Australia's leading forensic criminologists, examine new evidence in the decades-old cold case that was never put before a jury.
Murders, Lies & Alibis: The Beauty Queen Killers, will feature a secret witness who claims they can name the person who allegedly strangled Bronwynne; a man it is alleged police let slip through their fingers.
Millions of dollars have been spent trying to solve the baffling question of who killed the teen beauty queen.
Four men have been charged in connection with Bronwynne's murder, including a cousin - however, nobody has ever been convicted over her killing.
Just weeks ago NSW Police announced they were putting up a $1 million reward for information about Bronwynne's kidnapping and slaying.
NSW Police have faced accusations that they botched the investigation and lost vital forensic evidence. Her post mortem had to be re-done, and detectives were disciplined for how they handled the original case.
Police established that Bronwynne, who had received death threats and was the target of a stalker, was snatched off Smollett Street in Albury, shortly after 7pm on a Friday night.
She was abducted in front of witnesses on one of Albury's main streets.
The Holden station wagon, full of men, then drove about six kilometres west of Albury, where Bronwynne was physically and sexually assaulted. The vehicle has never been recovered, but detectives believe someone must know what happened to it.
Police also believe the driver of the large car had local knowledge of the crime scene, because of the remoteness of the area.
In 2014, Colin Michael Newey, then aged 62 and a second cousin of Ms Richardson, was arrested in Adelaide and extradited to NSW.
He was charged with the abduction, rape and murder of Ms Richardson. But the Office of Director Public Prosecutions dropped the charges weeks before Mr Newey was due in court.
Prosecutors said they were not confident of gaining a conviction with the available evidence.
Newey, who has always maintained his innocence, is interviewed for the very first time in The Beauty Queen Killers.
"Walking amongst us to this day is the ringleader who led the savage torture and murder of Bronwynne," Llewellyn said.
"She deserves justice and [the ringleader] deserves jail. This is the $1 million cold case the police are desperate to solve. Our investigation opens up dramatic new leads and delivers answers that will stun many."
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019