In the fight against crime, Crime Stoppers stands out as unique in the way it bridges the gap between the community and police and helps them to solve crimes and deliver justice.

It’s fair to say that most major investigations across Australia at some point have involved Crime Stoppers in some way – whether that’s a call to the public for more information or a crucial tip that led to a major breakthrough or arrest.

The sensitive nature of police investigations often means the involvement of Crime Stoppers can never be revealed publicly. Remaining behind the scenes can be a safer option, rather than putting a tipster at risk by revealing that someone shared information that was potentially known by a limited number of people.

But there remain plenty of success stories that do reinforce Crime Stoppers as a vital investigative tool that empowers businesses and individuals to actively contribute to a safer community. The following are only a handful of examples where Crime Stoppers played a crucial role in solving major crimes:

  • Roger Wilson cold case (1999): In 1999, the body of Roger Wilson was discovered in a shallow grave in New South Wales. The case went unsolved for several years until Crime Stoppers received an anonymous tip in 2004, which led investigators to new evidence and helped them solve the case, bringing closure to the victim’s family and demonstrating the effectiveness of community involvement through Crime Stoppers.
  • Russell Street bombing (1986): The Russell Street bombing in Melbourne was a terrorist attack targeting the police headquarters. In the aftermath of the bombing, Crime Stoppers received crucial information that led to the identification and arrest of those responsible. This case showcased the program’s ability to gather information from the public, even in instances of politically motivated crimes.
  • Jason Moran and Pasquale Barbaro murder (2003): Jason Moran and Pasquale Barbaro, both associated with organised crime in Melbourne, were murdered in 2003. Crime Stoppers played a role in generating tips that assisted police in their investigation. The information provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers contributed to identifying suspects and shedding light on the motives behind the murders.
  • William Tyrrell disappearance (2014): The disappearance of three-year-old William Tyrrell from his foster grandmother’s home in New South Wales gained widespread attention. Crime Stoppers became a vital tool in gathering information from the public. While the case remains unsolved, tips received through Crime Stoppers continue to be a crucial resource for investigators working to find answers.
  • Kath Bergamin murder (2002): Kath Bergamin was murdered in her home in Wangaratta, Victoria, in 2002. Crime Stoppers received tips that helped investigators gather crucial information about the case. The anonymous information provided by the public contributed to solving the murder and suspects were subsequently arrested.
  • Karen Ristevski disappearance (2016): Karen Ristevski went missing in Melbourne in 2016, prompting widespread media coverage. Crime Stoppers played a role in encouraging individuals with information about her disappearance to come forward anonymously. While the case initially remained unsolved, it eventually led to the arrest and conviction of her husband, Borce Ristevski, after new information surfaced.
  • Gold Coast double homicide (2012): In 2012, a double homicide occurred on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The victims were a father and daughter. Crime Stoppers received tips that assisted the police to identify and apprehend the suspects involved in the murders. The information provided by the public proved essential in ultimately solving the case.
  • Murders of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and Khandalyce Pearce (2008): The discovery of the remains of a very young girl in a suitcase on the side of the highway in South Australia’s Murray Mallee captured the nation’s attention and attracted international interest. With little to go on to identify the child, police relied on public information to solve this mystery. Crime Stoppers received unprecedented call volumes from people wanting to share information, and it was ultimately two critical calls that led to the identification of the young girl as well as her mother, who had been missing for more than six years. One tip helped to identify the remains of Khandalyce, while another person provided a photograph showing the toddler in a stroller with a distinctive quilt tucked behind her head – the same quilt found in the suitcase near her remains. That led to a connection being made with the unidentified remains of her mother, Karlie, discovered years earlier in the Belanglo Forest in NSW. This crucial information led to the arrest of Daniel Holdom, who was subsequently sentenced to two life sentences for the murders.

These cases – and many, many others – underscore the importance of Crime Stoppers in Australia, which has played a pivotal role in solving a variety of crimes that range from cold case murders to other high-profile incidents, by encouraging people to come forward with information while ensuring their anonymity and safety.

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