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Thread: Robert Mulholland-Green (9) Last Seen Portland, NSW In 1967

  1. #1
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Robert Mulholland-Green (9) Last Seen Portland, NSW In 1967

    Edit : Uggggh. I thought I put this in w/o soc med.

    I stumbled on an old "boy missing in the NSW bush" case when William Tyrell first went missing. Despite searching I hadn't been able to find it again because I couldn't remember the decade or which part of the central west he disappeared from.

    I think this might be it.

    The article I originally saw was written years after his disappearance, but before the 2008 search of his old family home & it went into quite a bit of detail regarding the extensive searches that were conducted. Initially, like William, police seemed certain he was just lost in the bush but eventually they began leaning toward third party involvement.

    If anyone has any luck finding more detailed articles - especially any written in the past 20 or so years, please post them

    This pic of Robert was shared by Lyn Dawson's nephew (see "Teacher's Pet" podcast if you haven't heard of Lyn)

    Police reopen missing boy case 40 years later
    Posted 2 May 2008, 8:28am

    Police have reopened their investigation into the disappearance of nine-year-old boy from the Lithgow district, in central western New South Wales, more than 40 years ago.

    Robert Mulholland-Green was last seen at the Portland swimming pool on November 17, 1967.

    A police investigation at the time he was reported missing failed to find the boy.

    Now police search and rescue officers have returned to the boy's family home in Willawa Street, Portland.

    Officers spent yesterday scouring the property, in the hope of finding new evidence in the case.

    They are expected to continue their detailed search today.

    Police say they have reopened the case after a review of the evidence and witness information.

    The only other hint of recent coverage that I can find is this copypasted article on a "mystery" forum. The orig link is now dead.

    3/05/2008 8:40:05 AM

    Police have re-opened their investigations into a mystery that has baffled the district community for more than 40 years ? the disappearance of Portland schoolboy Robert Mulhollann.

    The nine year old boy ? who was also known as Robert Mulhollann-Green ? disappeared after being signed off the roll at a school swimming session at the Portland Olympic Pool on the afternoon of November 17, 1967.

    He had been presumed to be heading for his home a little more than 100 metres from the pool.

    Despite a huge police and civilian search no trace was found of the missing boy apart from his schoolbag on the front lawn of the family home.

    On Thursday the mystery took a sensational new turn and Portland was abuzz with rumour when a large squad of police descended on the old Mulhollann family home in Williwa Street.

    Uniformed and plainclothes police and forensic officers together with a police search and rescue team arrived early in the morning and began digging up the backyard with a backhoe.

    They remained on the site for some hours sifting through the upturned soil.

    Police were apparently acting on new information.

    A police spokesman later told the Lithgow Mercury that the Chifley LAC officers had recommenced inquiries into the 40 year old mystery.

    He said inquiries had resumed recently after police received new witness information.

    This had led to action on Thursday when the police went to premises in Williwa Street that had been the family home at the time of the disappearance.

    Nothing of interest was found during this phase of the investigation but investigations are continuing.
    It was the second specific search that had failed to reveal new clues.

    In recent year?s following a Lithgow Mercury report of the Mulhollann case during Missing Persons Week the Lithgow Mercury was contacted by a district resident who told of discovering what was believed to be small human bones while fossicking with a partner for scrap metal at the old Ivanhoe mine site at Pipers Flat.

    When they accompanied detectives to the location they were unable to pinpoint the site.

    Police said however they will continue to follow all leads coming from the public.

    At the time of the disappearance in 1967 investigations continued for months before being gradually scaled down, leaving police and the community baffled.

    Police, civilians and Army personnel with tracker dogs were involved and members of the Western Mines Rescue Station were called in to search abandoned mine shafts.

    Several times police were called to investigate discoveries of what bushwalkers believed were makeshift graves in the scrub.

    Robert Mulhollann?s father died in Lithgow two weeks ago at the age of 94.

    Here's some of the original coverage

    It's hard to judge its legitimacy with the passage of time but I kind of side-eye this sighting,8630086&dq

    Last edited by blighted star; 01-25-2019 at 01:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    This happened in Portland 17 years earlier. The detective involved, Ray Kelly, was a notoriously brutal & corrupt killer cop who extracted hundreds of false confessions using violent interrogation tactics.

    They arrested this man because he made sexual advances to another adult male. NSW had very harsh laws (& attitudes) against gay relationships at the time, so there is a possibility he had nothing to do with the Portland child murders & the real killer was still in town when Robert disappeared

    Portland Man Before Court;

    Quarry Deaths

    Sydney.-A 26-years-old quarryman demon-
    strated to the police how he smothered two boys
    with a handkerchief in a Portland quarry after com-
    mitting criminal assaults on them, police alleged in
    the Central Police Court today.

    Kevin John Seach, of Ridge Street, Portland, was
    remanded without bail on two separate charges of

    The charges are that he felon-
    iously and maliciously murdered
    Albert Spiers (8), and John Ward
    (7) at Portland on October 28.

    He was further charged with
    having; solicited a male person at
    Portland on October 23 for im-
    moral purposes.

    Seach, curly haired, and un-
    shaven and wearing fawn sports
    clothes, was arrested at Tamworth
    yesterday and flown to Sydney
    this morning.

    The Police prosecutor (Sgt.Rex
    Hamilton ) said allegations were
    that the bodies of the boys were
    found in a quarry at Portland on
    November 5 and that they were
    murdered by Seach.

    "We allege that the defendant
    made a full confession of the of-
    fences to Det. Sgt. Kelly and then
    demonstrated, to him how he
    smothered them by placing his
    hand with a handkerchief over the
    nostrils and mouth of both and
    exerting pressure on the nostrils
    with a forefinger and thumb." Sgt.
    Hamilton said.

    He met the lads on Eight Hour's
    Day at the rear of a lavatory at
    the sports ground at Portland.
    One of the lads was crying and
    he spoke to them. Eventually he
    enticed them away. He committed
    a criminal offence on one of the
    lads and then by telling them a
    story about birds nests. he enticed
    them to the quarry where a fur-
    ther criminal offence was commit-
    ted. Then the smothering took

    Sgt. Hamilton added that Seach
    became frightened and left Port-
    land. He was eventually located
    at Tamworth working under an
    assumed name.

    Here's some background on NSW Police Detective Ray "Gunner" Kelly from the Sydney Crime Museum site :

    Ray Kelly

    It might seem odd to include policemen among Sydney?s top 20 organised crime figures, but to do otherwise would leave a large gap. For years it was argued corrupt police were only a ?few bad apples? and it would be wrong to characterise the police culture as corrupt. But the existence of widespread corruption ? and the complicity through silence of many more police who were not corrupt themselves ? was proved by numerous reports and royal commissions, from the 1938 one into SP bookmaking to the 1994 ? 1997 one into the police force. Corrupt activities extended from taking bribes and jailing favoured criminals? competitors to the commissioning of crimes and even murder.

    George Freeman, the only leading criminal to pen an autobiography, wrote enviously that ?From my experience, the only real ?organisation? of crime in Sydney has come from individual police. Because when it comes to criminal networking, crooked cops have the game to themselves.? Freeman was being unduly modest about his own organisational capacities, but his points about the advantage the police had when it came to corruption, and the advantage many took of it, were valid.

    There were many corrupt police ? it has been suggested that for decades many, perhaps most police stations in the state took money for turning a blind eye to illegal gambling and drinking. Such activity, especially in the country, was spontaneous rather than organised. Organisation became possible in the city because crime was concentrated, as was police power in specialist detective units. There were many corrupt police, but three of the most extreme were detectives Ray Kelly, Fred Krahe and Roger Rogerson. Each roughly represented a generation of policing, and the culture of corruption flowed from older to younger (although their careers overlapped) from the 1940s to the 1980s.

    Ray Kelly was a big, tough miner and farm labourer who joined the police in 1929. His heyday extended from the 1940s to the 1960s. Like many well-known corrupt police, he seems to have been a brave and efficient thief-taker ? he received eight commendations ? who was also very intelligent and grew bored with his job.

    Early in his career a stolen car knocked him through a plate glass window and tried to run over him. Kelly fought back, killing one man, and gained the nickname ?The Gunner?. He was to kill again, and once said, ?I?ve shot brumbies, I?ve chased steers. But there?s nothing to touch the thrill of a manhunt.?

    From 1941 Kelly spent much of his time in the Criminal Investigation Branch, where he built up an impressive number of contacts in the criminal world. Like many police he traded protection for information, and one of his main sources was Lennie McPherson, a leading post-war underworld figure.

    In the 1950s, Kelly was particularly active in protecting abortionists (abortion was illegal), including Dr Reginald Stuart-Jones. His friends over the years included Tilly Devine, Kate Leigh, the big gamblers Joe Taylor and Perce Galea, Fred Anderson (the closest Sydney ever had to a criminal boss of bosses), and many Liberal politicians. He was notorious for fitting up people he arrested (hence his second nickname, ?Verbal?) and is reputed to have killed a number of criminals who got in the way of himself or his crooked friends.

    In 1965 Kelly?s friend Robert Askin became premier. According to a source quoted in David Hickie?s The Prince and the Premier, ?When Askin got in, Kelly was running everything ? every known racket of the period was worked by Kelly. He was an extraordinary combination of genius and evil ? a brilliant detective, but he always reminded me of a snake, a python.?

    Journalist and author Kevin Perkins recalled that in 1974 Kelly offered him $500 a week to provide information about media coverage of illegal casinos, which was intense at the time. ?No one can open [a casino] without the permission of the premier [Robert Askin] and the police commissioner [Fred Hanson],? Kelly told him. ?If anyone opens one against our wishes, we just close them down. ? They pay for protection and the right to operate. ? I still collect the money and distribute it. I make sure Bob Askin gets his share, and so on down the line.? Perkins said Kelly also boasted about having controlled the ?police side? of illegal abortions for a long time, reporting to previous police commissioner Norman Allan. Perkins declined Kelly?s offer.

    Kelly was enormously influential in the police force, his main foe being honest Catholic cop Brian ?The Cardinal? Doyle. One of Kelly?s jobs was to interview applicants for plain clothes work (a prelude to promotion to detective), and he would ask if they would be prepared to fit up a suspect. If the young officer replied in the negative, Kelly would say, ?Go back to the Cardinal. You?re no f?ing good to me.?

    Framing known criminals (eg. by fabricating a confession or planting evidence) was an example of the so-called ?noble corruption? endemic in the police force, and indeed was essential to a great deal of police success in the days before improved forensics and the use of phone taps and listening devices. But it could easily lead to the ?ignoble corruption? practised by Kelly and his like.

    Kelly?s corrupt proteges included Fred Krahe and Don Fergusson. George Freeman wrote of Krahe that he was a ?deadly and evil? killer who had his own pricing scheme. ?After he?d arrest you, the paying began. You?d pay him to get bail, you?d pay some more later for a reduced sentence, you?d pay more for remands, you?d pay for whether or not he gave verbal evidence against you, and you?d pay again if he decided not to give evidence ? And believe me, everybody paid. It was stupid not to. ? Krahe not only stood over crims once he arrested them, he had others working for him, doing everything from stealing cars to house-breakings and armed robberies.?

    One whom Krahe might have killed was Don Fergusson, who inherited the job of bagman for the abortion racket and in 1970 was found dead in the office lavatory with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand. The verdict was suicide, but many thought Krahe had killed him due to concerns about his continuing loyalty.

    At the farewell dinner when Kelly retired in 1966, Premier Robert Askin described him as ?a close personal friend that no fictional detective could hold a candle to?. The premier successfully recommended Kelly for an MBE. By that time the ex-detective was part-owner of an illegal casino on the Central Coast, along with Police Commissioner Fred Hanson. They contracted out their debt collection to Lennie McPherson. Kelly died in 1977.

    Krahe and Fergusson?s most notorious prot?g? was Roger Rogerson, who killed drug dealer Warren Lanfranchi in 1981 in contested circumstances. Rogerson was alleged by criminal Arthur ?Neddy? Smith to be one of a group of detectives who gave him the ?green light? in the 1970s to commit armed robberies.

    MAIN SOURCES: The Prince and the Premier by David Hickie; Mr Big by Tony Reeves; articles in the Sydney Morning Herald by Evan Whitton

  3. #3
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Portland only has a population of around 2,500 people even now, so it's a bit of a coincidence that they had a double child abduction/murder from a kid's sports carnival & also have an unsolved disappearance of a similarly aged boy from a school swimming event. The person responsible is probably long dead, but it sux that he might've been living his life a free man for decades after these crimes

  4. #4
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Uggh. I don't know what to think about this case. These articles have way more detail re where & how the boys were found & after reading more, I'm not sure they were murdered at all. I'd be more inclined to accept they were if Kelly wasn't involved, but it'd be 100% like him to verbal some poor young gay guy just to shut down the rumours of police inaction & make himself look like a hero

    He hated gay men. It was his era of policing that inflicted the brutal bashings that prompted the protest marches that eventually morphed into the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras

    So anyway, after all these posts it's possible that instead of finding an old Portland child murder, I really found an old wrongful conviction


    SYDNEY: Although C.I.B. detectives are satis -
    fied that the missing seven-year-old Portland boys
    who were found dead in a limestone quarry cave on
    Saturday died accidentally, residents of the district
    are still far from satisfied with the verdict.
    Intimately acquainted with
    the quarry, with the boys, Al-
    bert Spiers and John Ward, the
    prevailing weather conditions
    and the circumstances in which
    they were found, the majority
    of Portland folk refuse to ac-
    cept the official explanation
    that death was due to expo-
    sure and exhaustion.

    The boys, who disappeared
    shortly before dark last Mon-
    day and for whom more than
    3000 men had searched for six
    days, were found at the mouth
    of a cave about half-way down
    the almost sheer 250ft. face of
    the quarry.

    Two quarry workers making
    a final check of the quarry
    went through a 400ft. tunnel
    to the bottom of the quarry
    and then clambered more than
    100ft. with the aid of ropes
    up the cliff face to the cave.

    Attacked By Rats

    The boys were lying each side
    of a waterhole, only a few feet
    apart, one lying face down
    clutching a bird's egg and the
    other on his back.

    Both had been savagely at-
    tacked by rats - the arm of one
    boy having been eaten away -
    and their faces and other parts
    of the bodies mutilated.
    This prompted the initial
    theory that the boys had been

    However, after Detective-ser-
    geant Emerson and Detectives
    Lendrum, Watson, Herron and
    Schaeffer and the Government
    Medical Officer (Dr. Percy) had
    examined the bodies where they
    were found and later conduct-
    ed a post mortem, the 'death
    by exhaustion and exposure'
    verdict was given.

    This opinion was based on
    the fact that no bones in either
    body were broken, there were
    no marks of violence, no in-
    juries consistent with a fall of
    any great distance, and no
    signs of struggle having taken
    place in the cave.

    Unusual Features

    Though this has been ex-
    plained to Portland residents
    the big majority, including men
    who have worked in the quarry
    for many years, are still puzzled
    by several unusual features.
    Quarrymen say it would have
    been impossible for the boys to
    have reached the cave unaided
    or without having fallen at least
    35 feet.

    They also are loath to be-
    lieve that the boys, in excel-
    lent health, although lightly
    clad, would succumb so quick-
    ly to exposure and exhaustion.
    (Dr. Percy estimated that the
    boys had been dead at least
    four days when found).
    In view of the fact that Dr.
    Percy was unable to find any
    other possible cause of death,
    particularly by injury, experi-
    enced bushmen point out that
    even if the boys had been ex-
    posed to torrential rain and bit-
    terly cold weather in the open,
    rather than in a cave, they
    would have lived for several
    days at least.

    However, the detectives have
    completed their inquiries, the
    coroner has signed burial cer-
    tificates and the double funeral
    service will be conducted to-
    day at the Church of England
    by the Rev. Taylor.

    All Portland shops, the quarry
    and other industry in the dis-
    trict will be closed down and
    mourners are expected from as
    far afield as Lithgow and Ka-

    The date of the inquest has
    not been fixed.

    The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954) Sun 5 Nov 1950 Page 1 BOYS DEAD IN CAVE

    CAVE in which bodies of Albert Spiers, 7, and John Ward, 8, were found yesterday after a five days' search. Help

    CAVE in which bodies of Albert Spiers, 7, and John Ward, 8, were found yesterday after a five days' search.
    Crashed 40ft while out bird-nesting

    From Our Special
    THE two Portland
    boys, for whom
    more than 2000 people
    had searched for six
    days, were found dead

    They had fallen 40 feet
    down the steep sides of a 200-
    feet deep limestone quarry
    into a cave while birdnesting.

    At first it was suspected the
    boys had been murdered.
    The boys ? Albert Spiers
    (7) and John Ward (8) were
    reported missing last Mon

    While people were scour-
    ing heavily-timbered country
    near Portland an employee cf
    the limestone quarry, Herbert
    Hutchinson, came upon the

    He yelled loudly: "God
    Almighty. Get the police. I
    have found them."

    Spiers was lying face down
    with his left arm crumpled
    beneath him clutching a bird's

    Two yards away, on the
    other side of a pipe, was his
    playmate, in both of whose
    hands were birds' feathers.
    The boys were fully clothed.

    The news was broken
    gently to Mrs. Spiers, who
    is expecting a baby.
    Her husband was out

    Murder rumor

    When word was sent to
    Sydney that the bodies had
    been discovered, Superintend
    ent Wiley, of the CIB, sent
    homicide experts and mem-
    bers of the Scientific Bureau
    to the scene.

    Hutchinson and two other
    searchers who joined him, to-
    gether with local police ana
    detectives from Lithgow
    stayed, in the cave with the
    bodies for six hours until the
    CIB party and Government
    Medical Officer Dr. Percy ar-

    In the meantime, word
    flashed around the district
    that the search had ended,
    and rumors spread quickly
    that the hoys had been mur-

    Scores of sightseers rushed
    to the top of the quarry.
    Police, alarmed at heavy
    rain undermining the area,
    yelled frantically: "Get away
    from there. You'll kill your-

    To reach the cave into
    which the boys had fallen, de-
    tectives had to crawl through
    a 400-yard tunnel in semi-
    darkness, and then, emerging
    at the base of the quarry, to
    haul themselves 50ft up the
    cliff-face by a rope.

    They sentenced him to death


    Bemused - looking quarry - digger, John
    Kevin Seach (26) hung his head in despair
    when he received the death sentence in Cen
    tral Criminal Court on Monday.

    Seach had been con-
    victed of the Portland
    cave murder of one of
    two seven-years-old boys
    found dead there last

    Seach had gambled on
    an insanity plea ? and lost.
    His was one of the most
    revolting 'Babes in the
    Woods' crimes in the his
    tory of the State.

    Two small, happygo-
    lucky boys, John Frederick
    Ward and Albert Spear,
    were accosted by the de-
    praved, drink-sodden Seach
    as they made their dawd-
    ling way home from a
    sports carnival at Port

    The playmates became
    interested in the man's
    story of a cave where
    pigeons nested and eggs
    could be collected.

    They went with him to
    the lonely, almost inaccess-
    ible cave to keep a rendez-
    vous with death.

    Their tiny bodies were
    found five days later by
    a search party.

    At first searchers believ-
    ed the children had become
    lost and died of exhaus-

    This theory was exploded
    by incensed detectives.
    They put out a dragnet
    for Seach, who had sud-
    denly left town.

    The Crown Prosecutor
    (Mr. C. V. Rooney, K.C.),
    on Monday said that when
    arrested, Seach made a
    written statement in which
    he admitted he had smoth-
    ered the boys after he had
    indecently assaulted them.
    Seach's confession was
    not disputed by the de-

    Only issue was Seach's

    Dr. S. J. Minogue said
    that, in his opinion, Seach
    was certifiably insane at
    the time of the killings,
    and was still insane.
    Called by the Crown,
    Dr. John McGeorge said:
    'It is ridiculous to sug-
    gest he could be certi-

    -The police record showed
    that Seach had been ad-
    dicted to drink, and as a
    youth had exhibited homo-
    sexual tendencies.

    He had a bad military

    The Chief Justice (Hon.
    K. W. Street) said: 'It
    needs no words of mine to
    speak of the abhorrent and
    detestable crime of which
    you have been so rightly
    convicted. There is only
    one possible sentence. You
    are sentenced to death.'

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