Bernard "Herb" Vincent REARDON


DOB: 1964 - 24 years old when missing
HAIR: Brown BUILD: Thin EYES: Brown
Bernard Reardon was last seen by his flatmates about midday on 18 January, 1989 at Kensington, Sydney. He told them he was going to see a doctor at Maroubra instead of going to work that day. He did not arrive at the doctor's surgery and failed to return home or attend work the next day. Bernard is a responsible person and family cannot account for his behaviour. They hold fears for his safety.
Reported missing to: Missing Persons Unit .


Have you seen Bernard Reardon? 2013

NSW Police are appealing for public assistance, as part of ‪#‎MissingPersonsWeek‬, to locate Bernard Reardon, last seen in Kensington 24 years ago.

The officer in charge of the case, Detective Senior Constable Samuel Martin, said Mr Reardon was last seen at noon on Wednesday 10 January 1989 at his home in Milroy Avenue, Kensington.

“The then 23 year old told his flatmate he was not attending work but instead was going to see a doctor in Maroubra. He didn’t attend the surgery nor did he attend work the following day.

“Bernard had been suffering from a number of migraine headaches prior going missing. His family are extremely upset about his disappearance and have had 24 years of not knowing what has happened to him,” he said.

“Mr Reardon is described as Caucasian in appearance, about 183cms tall with a thin build, brown eyes and has a scar on his upper right arm.

“Anyone who knows of Mr Reardon’s whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” Det Snr Cst Martin said.



This account comes from Matt, a friend of Herb's  -

Bashed, Thrown Off a Cliff

There’s no humour in todays post. 

With Australia just voting yes to legalise same sex marriage, I wanted to write something about my mate Bernard Reardon.

I first met 'Herb’ as everyone called him when I moved into a shared house in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with 3 other blokes. The other blokes, including Herb, were from Condobolin in Central NSW, and I had grown up not too far from there. 

Four country boys in our very early twenties, you can imagine what the state of that house was like, and what a great time we had. In those days our lives revolved around pubs, parties, and adventures. In between we struggled through work, or for two of the boys including Herb, Uni. We were the best of mates and pretty much did everything together; surfing trips down the coast, wild nights watching bands at Selinas in the Coogee Bay Hotel, and generally getting on the grog and trying to pick up girls.


As I write this so many stories come flooding back, not many of which I should be telling here. Needless to say we had some fantastic nights, and overall not much success with the girls. Every Saturday morning the landlord came knocking, yelling the rent was overdue. It was always such a crack-up to see Herb crawling round on his stomach commando style so he wouldn’t be seen through the window to determine if we collectively had enough money to be able to answer the door. I’m still amazed we survived as long as we did in that house.

Later on Herb and I lived together in a shitty top floor unit in Rockdale, right under the flight path. I remember he used to sit out on the balcony and watch the planes fly ever so close overhead. Too many times he’d be yelling out “Middlo, this one’s too low, he’s got the approach all wrong, he’s gonna hit, he’s gonna hit us!!” We both had jobs, me in the city & him at Botany, but we always hung out together and the local pub and RSL cooked most of our dinners. After about 12 months there I moved to Melbourne, and Herb moved into a share house with some other mates of his in the Randwick area. 

Then on Wednesday 18th January 1989, Bernard Reardon went missing. Never to be seen again. To this day, not a trace.

What I’m told is that his house-mates were going out for lunch, but Herb had a headache so was staying home. When they got back he wasn’t there. His clothes were there, all his stuff was there. But he never came home. His bank accounts have never been touched. Police have looked, Salvos have looked, Red Cross, he’s been featured on that missing persons show - nothing.

In those days there was something sinister going on in Sydney. Not that we knew it then. Gay blokes were being bashed, being murdered. Even if we did know, it wouldn’t have affected us. We were country boys, nobody we knew was gay, certainly none of us. Anything weak was referred to as gay, anyone effeminate was a poofter. We didn’t really have anything personal against them, we just didn’t know anyone who was gay - not knowingly anyway. We didn’t think for a second that any of us were gay when we referred to each in those derogatory terms, it was just the vernacular of the day. That was a different world to ours and as we know, ignorance breeds intolerance.


It’s taken 20 years and a thousand discussions as to what happened to Herb to see it, but he was obviously gay. It’s taken that long for us to look outside those insular views of ours to join the dots, to see what a hidden life he was living. Back then it wasn’t an environment to come out. I wish he had, because first and foremost he was our mate. It would have been a shock, mainly because we didn’t pick it, but he still would have been our mate. Not much would have changed, except we would have maybe matured and learned and accepted a lot earlier than we did. And he would have received a lot less ribbing from us about not being able to get onto girls.

I don’t know if Herb was bashed by this gang and thrown off a cliff, but it appears plenty were. I do think that after all these years it is the most likely scenario. Here’s a link to a couple of articles if you’re interested.

Police to review 88 possible gay-hate deaths - Sydney Morning Herald, 22.5.16
The Sydney gay beat murders revealed - Star Observer, 23.9.16

What I do know is that our attitude to those different than us, our ignorance about other people we didn’t know or associate with and our resulting language and behaviour towards them didn’t help. Because of that environment Herb couldn’t tell his best mates one of the most fundamental things about himself. Because of the attitudes of the society Herb grew up in, and lived in, he’s not included as one of the possible victims in the articles above because nobody knew he was gay. We still don’t for sure, but I lived with him for 2 years, and I didn’t then, but I know now.

I’ve come a long way since then, and after this ‘postal survey’ it seems Australia has as well. But not far enough. Our country is still riddled with intolerance, whether it be race, sexual preference, or whatever. Now with social media everyone has access to a megaphone, not only to yell at the masses, but to target specific groups or individuals with their hate. And it’s not just trolls on social media, certain newspapers use their targeted hate to sell more copies, certain politicians use their targeted hate to get more votes, and certain radio stations seem to base their whole brand around intolerance. Certain media-moguls have built their empire on outrage, on hate, and too many of us have jumped on the bandwagon. In the end, where does that get us?

Herb and I were born on the same day. Every birthday I wonder where he is, what happened to him. Of course not only on our birthday, but always then. Every birthday I wonder if my intolerance, our intolerance, resulted in him hanging out in secret gay haunts, where he could be killed by a hate gang with nobody ever knowing. And often when I hear someone speaking of other groups, of minorities, of people different to them in derogatory terms I think to myself, that used to be me. Speaking like a dickhead about someone different to you. I want to say to them be careful, that could be your best mate you’re talking about, and the consequences could be deadly.

So I’m saying it now. Stop the hate. Just be nice to people, no matter how different. We’re all just trying to live our lives as best we can. 

Herb, wherever and whoever you are, I hope you’re resting in peace mate. And maybe, just maybe, I’ve got it completely wrong and you’re having a great life somewhere in South America. Now that would be a happy ending.