Juanita Nielsen: new evidence leads renewed calls for $1m reward | Daily  TelegraphJuanita Nielsen: $1m reward for information offered as family describes  'incredible pain' | 7NEWS

    Juanita Nielsen Was Murdered for Standing Up to Sydney's Developers     Juanita Nielsen: Million-dollar reward for information into 1975 suspected  murder  Juanita Nielsen's disappearance is still Sydney's biggest mystery 40 years  on. | Daily Telegraph

Age when missing - 38 years

Last seen - 4th July 1975

Circumstances - Juanita Nielsen was a prominent Sydney newspaper publisher, anti-development campaigner and wealthy heiress who went to a 10:30am appointment at Kings Cross nightclub The Carousel and has not been seen since. Her disappearance is being treated as a homicide.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 16/02/2004

The Juanita Nielsen mystery
Reporter: Emma Alberici

KERRY O'BRIEN: The story of Juanita Nielsen is one of this country's most baffling mysteries.

She was the grand daughter of department store tycoon Mark Foy who became a central figure in the showdown between residents and developers over one of Sydney's most historic suburbs.

It's nearly 30 years since the Kings Cross newspaper publisher and anti-development campaigner disappeared after meeting the manager of a local nightclub to discuss advertising.

Two of the men at that meeting were subsequently convicted of conspiracy to abduct Juanita Nielsen.

While a coronial inquest did conclude she had been murdered, the crime remains unsolved.

Now a new book has unearthed fresh leads on this crime.

Emma Alberici reports.

LORETTA CRAWFORD, WITNESS: I knew she wasn't being invited there to talk about advertising.

I mean, I was too involved in what was going on to know that that was just a well just a load of garbage, and I honestly did not think she'd turn up.

EMMA ALBERICI: But Juanita Nielsen did show up at the Carousel nightclub on that morning 29 years ago ostensibly to talk to the management about advertising in her local newspaper Now.

She has never been seen since.

Loretta Crawford was the 27-year-old transsexual receptionist who greeted her at the Carousel and later witnessed what she has until now refused to speak publicly about.

LORETTA CRAWFORD: It played on my conscience for a lot of years and it has done to this day.

EMMA ALBERICI: Loretta Crawford lied to police to protect her boss - this man, James McCartney Anderson.

Six months after his death, Loretta Crawford says she's now comfortable to tell her story.

Jim Anderson was not at the club to meet Juanita Nielsen on that July 4 morning in 1975.

That was left to his barman Shane Martin Simmonds and the night manager Eddie Trigg.

According to Loretta, there was also a third man there that day.

LORETTA CRAWFORD: They walked down the stairs.

When they were halfway down the stairs, that I could see from my office, Eddie came back and said: "If anyone asks, sweetheart, I didn't leave with her."

EMMA ALBERICI: What was it you really saw after she walked down the stairs?

LORETTA CRAWFORD: She'd been shot, downstairs.

EMMA ALBERICI: How do you know that?

LORETTA CRAWFORD: Because I saw her.

EMMA ALBERICI: What did you see exactly?

LORETTA CRAWFORD: As I sort of turned to go down the last stairs to the storeroom, she was laying there and this third person was standing there with a gun in his hand.

The bullet wound was only very, very tiny.

It was like, probably like a cigarette butt, the size of a cigarette butt, and there was like maybe a trickle of blood that I saw.

VOICE OF JUANITA NIELSEN: Everyone wanted to be a developer and a developer simply wants empty houses.

EMMA ALBERICI: The weight of evidence before the 1983 inquest jury suggested Juanita Nielsen, heard here on ABC radio just months before she vanished, was killed to silence the damaging campaign she was waging through her newspaper against the redevelopment of Victoria Street - an area the National Trust then described as the Montmartre of Sydney.

FILE FOOTAGE, FRANK THEEMAN, DEVELOPER: The final plan involves a great improvement for the street.

FILE FOOTAGE, POLICEMAN: You're going to endanger your own life, you're going to endanger the life of policemen.

EMMA ALBERICI: Disruptions caused by resident protests and union green bans cost Victoria Point, Frank Theeman's $40 million apartment project, $3 million.

For two years, the Builders Labourers Federation refused to tear down the old terraces and put up the new complex.

With pressure from government, the green ban was lifted in 1975, but Frank Theeman had little time to celebrate.

Juanita Nielsen single-handedly convinced the Water Board Union to refuse work on the site and the delays continued.

With each day that passed, Victoria Point lost another $3,000.

MONET KING, WITNESS: He said to me that she didn't feel a thing.

And I said: "Oh, Eddie", I said: "Well, where is she?"

You know, he didn't answer me.

He said: "What you don't know won't hurt you."

EMMA ALBERICI: New Zealand's Auckland Harbour is a long way from the life Monet King knew as a glamorous 31-year-old transvestite in Sydney's seedy Kings Cross.

It was the 70s, and his name was Marilyn King.

He worked as a cocktail waitress at the Carousel nightclub.

Upon his return to New Zealand 20 years ago, he took up painting, became a born-again Christian and a community health worker.

But in all these year he has never forgotten his live-in boyfriend of 10 years, Eddie Trigg.

MONET KING: I said: "Well, what about that blood on your shirt?"

He took off his shirt to change it and there was a piece of paper, notepaper in the top pocket, and he said: "Oh, I'll need that.

Give that to me.

I'll need to show that to the police.

That's my alibi of why I had to see her".

EMMA ALBERICI: That piece of paper was later to become police exhibit eight, a receipt for $130 written by Juanita Nielsen supposedly in recognition of a deposit paid for advertising in her newspaper Now.

MONET KING: I said: "Oh, look, there's a bit of blood on it" and I said: "For goodness sake, what on earth's going on", so the piece of notepaper, instead of being the whole piece, was suddenly cut in half and the piece with her signature on was kept and the other bit with the spot of blood on it, like the spot of blood on his shirt, was cast out into the rubbish.

EMMA ALBERICI: Eight years after Juanita Nielsen's disappearance, Eddie Trigg was sentenced to three years in jail for conspiracy to abduct her.

His colleague from the Carousel, Shane Martin Simmonds, got just two years because he confessed to the crime.

He told police a story about trying to secure advertising in the Now newspaper was just a ruse.

The real intention of a visit to Juanita Nielsen's home in Victoria Street on June 30 was to kidnap her.

But on that day she wasn't alone and their plan was foiled.

PETER REES, AUTHOR, KILLING JUANITA: It's hard to believe that there could be two different plots going on at the same time that were not connected in this way.

After all, both Eddie and Shane were at the Carousel on the morning that Juanita went round to conduct a purported advertising deal which was later proved to be a ruse.

EMMA ALBERICI: For author Peter Rees, Juanita Nielsen's disappearance has become somewhat of an obsession.

He's been following the case since day one and believes his book, Killing Juanita, and the wealth of new information it contains could finally lead to a murder charge, something the coronial inquest, the longest in NSW history, was unable to achieve.

PETER REES: So far as the involvement of the third man is concerned - we don't know, we can't say for certain, that he fired the gun.

He was standing there with a gun in hand when Loretta Crawford walked into the storeroom.

EMMA ALBERICI: What Monet King, formerly Marilyn, reveals in our interview, he has never before told police.

Having previously denied being a witness, he now links Eddie Trigg to a sinister deed.

Monet King says for a month before Juanita's disappearance, he helped Eddie track her movements.

We caught up with Eddie, now 63-years-old, and living in Sydney.

He refused an on-camera interview, maintaining he has no idea what happened to Juanita Nielsen.

His girlfriend at the time believes he's lying.

MONET KING: And I said: "Well, thank goodness.

Is she all right?

Where is she?

Has she gone home?"

And he showed me his fist and it was swollen, dreadfully swollen, and he said: "If the police ask, if the police ask what happened, say that I hit you."

And I said: "Well".

EMMA ALBERICI: Juanita Nielsen wasn't the first anti-development campaigner to face intimidating tactics.

ARTHUR KING, ANTI-DEVELOPMENT CAMPAIGNER: I was asleep at the time, yeah.

Two guys came, one on either side of the door, opened the door, bundled me out, out here to Victoria Street.

We were away from Sydney for three days.

But a condition of my release was that I would take no further part in any anti-development activities in Victoria Street.

EMMA ALBERICI: For a time before his abduction, Arthur King was head of the Victoria Street residents action group, another thorn in the side of Frank Theeman's development plans.

LORETTA CRAWFORD: The entrance was actually those three whole doors.

There was the one entrance to the Carousel Cabaret.

There were three small stairs, then a landing, then two lots of stairs going up which would have led to my office, and after Eddie and Juanita had their meeting.

Then Juanita, Eddie and the third man came down the stairs.

Once they went to the stairs below my office where the grill was, that's where I heard a clang and I heard someone make the statement about trouble makers get what they deserve.

EMMA ALBERICI: The manager of the Carousel nightclub, Jim Anderson, was a close friend of property developer Frank Theeman and his drug-troubled son Tim.

The inquest heard that on Sunday May 25, 1975, just six weeks before Juanita Nielsen's appointment at the club, the Theeman's family company, FWT Investments, paid $25,000 to Jim Anderson.

Anderson claimed the cheque was an advance for a club bought here on Bondi Beach on behalf of Tim Theeman.

He told the jury he paid $23,000 to a local club owner.

But when questioned at the inquest, the club owner said he'd never received any money from Anderson or the Theemans.

So the question still remains - what was that $25,000 for?

PETER REES: That's very much the case.

EMMA ALBERICI: What do you suspect it was for?

PETER REES: I suspect the money was paid to remove Juanita Nielsen.


PETER REES: Hit money indeed.

EMMA ALBERICI: Those close to Juanita Nielsen have all passed away and are resting here in the Foy-Smith family crypt.

A lone cross stands in the place she would have been buried had the 38-year-old's body ever been found.

Her nemesis, property developer Frank Theeman, died in 1989.

But the three men present on the morning of her last apparently fateful meeting are still alive.

Twenty nine years on, the project Juanita fought so desperately against now dominates the harbourside landscape.

LORETTA CRAWFORD: I felt guilty, I think, yeah.

Because I often wonder what would have happened if I would have sort of said something to her like: "Just go.

Just don't stay here". I just want the people who did this to be brought to justice.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And police have confirmed they'll follow up those fresh leads in the Nielsen case.

Juanita Nielsen, casualty of ideological war
By Padraic P. McGuinness
March 3, 2004 - Sydney Morning Herald

The mystery of the disappearance, and certain death, of Juanita Nielsen of Kings Cross in 1975 remains unsolved despite the publication of a new account of the circumstances.

Was Nielsen the first victim of urban developers (have there been any others?), of local thugs working for developers who exceeded their brief, or of anyone else? Did the police and the National Crime Authority have any culpability for a lack of zeal or incompetence in pursuing the matter?

Is there any chance of someone coming forward who can testify as to what actually happened?

In Killing Juanita, Canberra journalist Peter Rees, with the help of long-term collaborator Arthur King, has put together what is so far the best account of the whole issue. They think they know who murdered Nielsen, and quote a person who claims to have been a witness to the killing. They may be right, but their informants have yet to give new evidence either to police or in public.

King, who runs a small business in Sydney, has good reason for his deep interest in this case. It could have been him.

In July 1973 he was abducted from his flat in Victoria Street, Kings Cross, by a couple of thugs who shoved him into the boot of a car and held him for a couple of days in a motel somewhere on the South Coast. He was threatened about his part in the protests about redevelopment plans for Victoria Street and was in real fear for his life. Finally they let him go with further threats. Not surprisingly, his fright soon gave way to anger.

There is no doubt that there were criminals closely involved in the whole business.

One of the chief of them was the late James McCartney Anderson, who seems to have cleverly played along the police, and especially the NCA, by acting as an informant.

The police role was also curious, in that while the immediate investigators seem to have been straight, there was a curious lack of interest in higher circles. Anderson may not have been Nielsen's murderer, but he was certainly not far from it.

There is evidence that Anderson received money from Frank Theeman, the developer. But there is no other reason to suspect Theeman of culpability, except in encouraging Anderson and his friends in their threats and violence against the protesters.

Nielsen was essentially a loose cannon. She ran a little local rag largely as a hobby, initially, and it was mainly the accident of her connection with Victoria Street, where she had lived for some time as a child and where she at this time owned a house, which led to her involvement in the protests.

But by the time of her death she had become just one of a motley movement of protest by residents, joined by ideologues of various kinds and the leading figures of the Builders Labourers Federation (BLs), then headed by the now well-known figure, Jack Mundey.

It was the first alliance of note between the upper middle class (anarchists and communists) and the working class left. The reality was that neither Theeman, Anderson, nor Nielsen understood what was happening around them.

They were all caught up in the passions created by the youth movements of the 1960s and the opposition to the Vietnam War.

Most of the most vocal activists of Victoria Street were educated and middle class, and many were liberated feminists in their first flush of enthusiasm. Some became sexually involved with the working class BLs, who did not understand such women, and were, in effect, destroyed by them. So the BLs fell apart, and Norm Gallagher from Melbourne moved in to pick up the pieces.

Father 'died of broken heart' after Sydney heiress vanished

The father of Sydney heiress Juanita Nielsen "died of a broken heart" after his daughter's disappearance from Kings Cross 45 years ago.
Ms Nielsen disappeared on July 4, 1975, aged 38, after visiting the Carousel Cabaret at Kings Cross, then a gritty Sydney neighbourhood linked with crime.
Today NSW Police have announced a $1 million reward, hoping it can finally solve the cold case.
The heir to the Mark Foy family fortune  one of Australia's leading retailers - Ms Nielsen ran her own newspaper, Now, in Kings Cross.
"This is a disappearance, this is a murder that happened nearly half a century ago," NSW Police Minister David Elliott said today.
Juanita's cousin Francis Foy's wife Margaret delivered a statement on his behalf.
She was remembered as a woman who "spoke well and intelligently" and was "very fashion-conscious and dressed well".
"The thing the family were very proud of is that she was always standing up for the rights of other people," Mrs Foy said.
"The disappearance without trace was just devastating for the whole family.
"She was very much loved by all her family and very much missed."
Mrs Foy said Juanita's father "died of a broken heart" years after the murder of his beloved daughter.
Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty Homicide Squad Commander said in 1977 three men were charged with conspiracy to kidnap Juanita and two were convicted of the crime and one was acquitted.
A 1983 inquest found Ms Nielsen had been killed, but how and by who has remained a mystery. Her body has never been found.
After she vanished, her handbag was found on the side of a highway leading to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney's CBD.
As a newspaper journalist, Ms Nielsen relentlessly campaigned against developers trying to replace low-income housing in King's Cross with a $40 million development.
She was falsely lured to a meeting at the Carousel Club in 1975, where she was never seen or heard from again.

Who were the Foys?

Ms Nielsen was Mark Foy's great niece and heiress to the Foy family fortune.
Mark Foy was like an Australian Great Gatsby, establishing a lavish shopping emporium in the heart of Sydney.
It was the most social of settings, with modelling parades and endless long lunches. It was the place to be.
Mark Foy also imported the first French automobile to Australia.

Juanita Nielsen's suspected killer Eddie Trigg confessed the murder to an undercover agent inside jail

ABC Radio National

By Keiran McGee and Michael Dulaney for Unravel: Juanita


A former undercover criminal investigator has revealed he heard a prison confession from criminal Eddie Trigg that he strangled journalist Juanita Nielsen.

John Innes, a retired Sydney lawyer, made the explosive claims in an interview with the ABC's Unravel: Juanita podcast, where Nielsen's family uncover fresh information about her disappearance and presumed murder in 1975.

Mr Innes revealed for the first time publicly that he was sent undercover by NSW Police into Long Bay Gaol to covertly extract information from Trigg, a subordinate of notorious Sydney crime boss Abe Saffron.

Ms Nielsen was a high-profile journalist and anti-development campaigner who was last seen at the Carousel Club, a Kings Cross night spot owned by Saffron, on July 4, 1975. Her handbag was found eight days later on the side of a highway leading to the Blue Mountains, but her death remains unsolved.

Mr Innes said Trigg confessed that he killed Nielsen by "throttling" her inside Kings Cross' Lido Motel, before putting her body in the back of a car parked behind the building.

However, Mr Innes says his intel went nowhere, which he suspects was due to Saffron's power over NSW Police at the time.

"Every line of inquiry that steers towards Saffron is suddenly shut down," he said.

"I think it was blocked within the police."

The mission inside Long Bay Gaol

Mr Innes has no record of criminal convictions and worked as a successful corporate lawyer and legal counsel for more than 30 years.

In the early 1980s, he was a third-year law student working in the NSW Attorney-General's Department when he was selected for a detective training course with the New South Wales police academy.

Following that course, Mr Innes said he was asked by Detective Sergeant Karl Arkins  the investigating officer in the Juanita Nielsen case  to go undercover inside Long Bay Gaol in south-east Sydney.

"He was looking for someone that had investigatory experience, but was not a detective... someone that was unknown but experienced in these areas and who understood forensic inquiries."

Mr Innes said the target of this covert operation was Eddie Trigg, who had already been at Long Bay for a few months awaiting trial for conspiracy to abduct Ms Nielsen.

Trigg was one of three men charged in 1977 over a failed attempt to kidnap Ms Nielsen four days before she actually disappeared.

He was ultimately convicted along with another Saffron employee, Shayne Martin-Simmonds.

One of Trigg's former colleagues has told Unravel: Juanita the botched kidnapping was ordered by Saffron.

At the time of the abduction attempt, Trigg was the manager of the VIP bar at Saffron's Carousel Club, and already had a long criminal record. His wife at the time, Terri, later told journalist Peter Rees that Trigg was a "psychopath" who often threatened to kill her and once held a gun to her head while she was pregnant.

After months of planning, Mr Innes was taken to the jail in a police van by Darlinghurst Police, where he occupied a remand cell opposite Trigg for nearly three months.

Mr Innes's initial assignment was to investigate the "money trail"  who was financing Juanita's suspected murder.

Not only was Mr Innes tasked with befriending Eddie Trigg, he said he shared his cell with a murderer.

Mr Innes said he arranged with Detective Arkins to have law books and other study materials delivered to his cell.

"By the time we finished, it looked like a law office. It was ridiculous".

The idea, Mr Innes said, was to gain Trigg's trust and lure him into discussing his case.

"You've got to have a reason to make [Trigg] want to talk to you. And the reason was someone with legal qualification could give him advice about his matter, could talk to him about his case and use that as the pretext to build a relationship and start quietly extracting information from him."

But when Trigg began disclosing information, it came with a warning.

"Anyone that deceived him or set him up in any way, he made it quite clear what he would do. He grabbed my hand, put it in the frame of the cell door, [which was] 10 times the weight of a car door, and went through the motions of slamming it."

Trigg's confession

Mr Innes said Trigg was deliberating whether or not to plead guilty to conspiring to abduct Ms Nielsen. He got the impression Trigg was toying with Saffron, who could be exposed if Trigg pled not guilty and the matter went to a full trial.

The extortion appeared to work as shortly before his trial, Trigg claimed $70,000 was being held in his solicitors' trust account for him in exchange for a guilty plea  about half a million dollars in today's money. Mr Innes only found out later that Trigg's solicitor, Malcolm, Johns & Co, also worked for Abe Saffron.

The covert operation was due to end the moment Trigg was sentenced, with Mr Innes extracted from the jail. In his final week, Mr Innes asked Trigg what happened at the Carousel Club the day Ms Nielsen disappeared, where she was last seen entering for an appointment, supposedly to secure advertising for her newspaper, NOW.

"[Trigg] said 'We'd made the appointment to see her for advertising and she turned up, she was there between 11:30 and 12:30.'

"I said, 'Did anyone see it? Who else was there?' [Trigg] said, 'All the girls were rehearsing that morning and I told them to leave and they left.'"

Mr Innes said Trigg told him Ms Nielsen was then lured next door to Lido Motel.

"She was taken out the fire door on the eastern side, which leads into the Lido Motel next door," Mr Innes said. "It's a common courtyard. That's how she exited the building."

"[Trigg] said to me, 'I took her into the restaurant... And I throttled her.' Now, it struck me at the time, because who uses the word throttle? It's an unusual word to be using and it's been embedded in my mind ever since."

Mr Innes said Trigg told him that he carried Ms Nielsen's body to a car parked behind the building and that he was assisted by Shayne Martin-Simmonds. At Ms Nielsen's coronial inquest in 1983, Martin-Simmonds denied having any involvement with her disappearance.

Mr Innes said he never got the opportunity to ask Trigg what he did with Ms Nielsen's body, or why he killed her.

"He did describe her as a troublemaker, but beyond that, no," he said.

"It was getting so hot in this questioning session, I thought if I go much further it is going to become pretty bloody obvious that I'm delving down into stuff.

"I was kind of still getting over what I just heard."

Saffron's motive

Mr Innes believes Saffron was motivated by his financial interests in the development of Victoria Street, which Ms Nielsen was campaigning against.

Unravel: Juanita has also examined the possibility that Saffron was in a loose cabal of property developers who sanctioned the hit.

Additional possible motives have been uncovered by the podcast, with sources claiming Ms Nielsen had dossiers that could expose Mr Saffron for dodgy building practices or collecting blackmail material on prominent Sydney figures.

John Innes's intel

Within 24 hours of Trigg confessing to Juanita's killing, Mr Innes said he was extracted out of jail. He met Detective Arkins several times in the weeks after, and the police officer took pages of notes.

Despite Mr Innes' intel, there was no mention of Trigg's confession or the Lido by police at Juanita Nielsen's coronial inquest in 1983.

However, police did present Mr Innes's finding that Abe Saffron had been paying Trigg's legal fees for the abduction case.

Saffron admitted it came out of a Carousel Club account, but blamed the club's manager, Jim Anderson.

Detectives could not find evidence of the $70,000 that Trigg said Saffron had paid him to plead guilty.

But a corporate affairs investigator helping the detectives conceded there might be alternative explanations: perhaps the payment had been split into smaller amounts, sent to an account under a different name, or was cash in hand.

Mr Innes told Unravel: Juanita the reason he was chosen for this potentially life-threatening assignment as a law student instead of a sworn police officer was due to corruption within the police force at the time.

"There were still, lingering within the ranks of the police force, old-timers who were corrupt," he said. "All those guys were still there, lurking. And if this [undercover operation] got through those channels, how compromised would you be?"

The Nielsen coronial inquest, handed down in 1983, found the police investigation was inhibited by an atmosphere of corruption, real or imagined.

In June this year, NSW Police offered a million-dollar reward for information on Ms Nielsen's suspected murder.

Trigg pled guilty to conspiracy to kidnap Juanita Nielsen and was jailed for three years but was never charged with her murder. He died in 2013, and Saffron died in 2006.

Mr Innes said he is angry and frustrated his intel wasn't given enough weight at the time.

He said the police failed to properly investigate the confession or follow the money trail, and he spent three months in jail risking his life for nothing.

"Like every other lead that led to Saffron, it evaporated. Nothing was done with it," he said.

"And of course, having gone through what I went through, when I look back, you can't help but get angry about that. I mean, how dare you? He [Sergeant Arkins] put you in a position where you achieved what he wanted to achieve with significant information... and then it doesn't get pursued. What was the point?"

NSW Police were contacted for comment.

Hear more of the fresh leads into Juanita Nielsen's disappearance in the ABC's new true-crime podcast, Unravel: Juanita. Listen and subscribe on the ABC Listen appApple podcastsGoogle podcastsRSS or wherever you get your podcasts.