Bronwynne Richardson: Murders, Lies and Alibis - The Beauty Queen Killers explores two theories

'Finish it', Bronwynne's family demands after 46 years of agony

A suspect in the murder of Corowa's Bronwynne Richardson claims polygraph evidence has proven he did not kill the 17-year-old in 1973, but a police informant has thrown doubt on the claim.

A two-part television investigation of the crime, Murders, Lies and Alibis - The Beauty Queen Killers, has unearthed contradictory evidence implicating two men in the murder, in two different scenarios. Both men have previously been arrested for the crime.

The crime

Bronwynne Richardson was abducted from Smollett Street in Albury on October 12, 1973, about 7pm, while waiting for Charlie Kerr to pick her up after she finished her shift at Coles.

"You don't know whether had I picked her up [on time], whether this terrible thing might not have happened," Mr Kerr told Murder Lies and Alibis.

Witness Wayne Leitch was driving when he says he saw Bronwynne being forced into a car of four men.

He said Bronwynne had recognised the driver and he heard her say, "oh, it's you" before her abduction.

Two days later her body was found in the Murray River, having been strangled, raped and bashed.

It's believed she was murdered at Horseshoe Lagoon.

On the night of her murder her mother Noelle drove past, noting the headlights at the lagoon, unaware she was likely driving past her daughter's murderers.

Over the past four decades two men have been arrested for the murder, both recognisable to Bronwynne, but no one has been convicted.

The men 

Geoffrey Charles Brown had been Bronwynne's boyfriend up until about 18 months before her death.

On the night of Bronwynne's murder, Mr Brown told police he was at the Walla hotel and then the Burrumbuttock pub.

Witnesses place Mr Brown in both locations at 6.15pm and 8.10pm respectively, but an inquest in 2011 heard there was sufficient time for him to get to Albury from Walla and back to Burrumbuttuck and still be involved in Bronwynne's death.

The inquest also heard from Mr Brown's former girlfriend Wendy Sim, who claimed Mr Brown had taken her to Horseshoe Lagoon where Bronwynne was killed and told her it was where he went to think.

Another former girlfriend told the inquest she was concerned for her safety after their break-up.

The 2011 inquest heard Mr Brown had been acting strangely after the break-up with Bronwynne.

"We were only young kids right, and we seen what we thought was just a sheila getting grabbed and bloody roughed up and raped and everything else."

Ross Eames on secretly recorded police audio

In Murder Lies and Alibis, two of Bronwynne's sisters and her mother Noelle say a police identikit released after the murder resembled Mr Brown and claim he was stalking Bronwynne and making threatening phone calls.

The second man suspected of the murder was Colin Michael Newey, Bronwynne's second cousin. He has a record of theft, burglary, assault, arson, breaching bail and drug manufacturing.

In Murder Lies and Alibis reporter Mark Llewellyn said Harry Poideven, who was in jail with Mr Newey, told police Mr Newey knew a lot about the murder.

The program also revealed Billy Flack, a childhood friend of Mr Newey said he "had a strange obsession" with Bronwynne and had said: "I wouldn't mind getting onto that, I wouldn't mind doing that."

Mr Newey denied the claims. In a police video, Mr Newey said Bronwynne "was a bit of a tarty type".

Murder Lies and Alibis aired a video of Bronwynne's father Stan in which he appealed to Mr Newey to tell police what he knew.

"Hi Colin, this is uncle Stan," it began. "I plead with you do to the right thing."

Mr Newey initially denied seeing Bronwynne the week of her murder, but later said he had seen her that day around midday.

In a previous police interview he said he saw her at 4pm or 5pm on the day of her abduction.

He said he was at a weekend army event the night of the murder, but his brother Peter denied this.

Peter said Colin was meant to pick him up from hospital on October 12 but didn't turn up.

"The thing that gets me is, where he was that day she went missing, what was he doing?," Peter said.

Colin Newey did not attend Bronwynne's funeral. Her sister Fiona Hume believes Colin was present at the murder.

"When he became the number one suspect and every piece of the puzzle fitted together, an incredible weight was lifted," she said.


In 1989, the day after a television show on Bronwynne's death, an anonymous man called police from a phone booth in Murray Bridge, SA, and claimed he and three other men were present during the murder.

From that phone call, police identified four suspects - Geoffrey 'Brownie' Brown, Kevin 'Puppy' Newman, 'Mad' Max Martin and Ross Eames.

The program claimed Max Martin was a paedophile and rapist who was released from jail on October 12.

In 1990, he was questioned by police but denied being in Albury. After his death in 1995 it was discovered he had in fact taken the train to Albury the day of his release.

Mr Newey said he and Martin then had lunch at the Coles cafeteria and saw Bronwynne working. "They knew what time she was leaving work," Ms Hume said.

Mr Newey said Martin "had that shiftiness in him, he sort of looked evil".

In Murder, Lies and Alibis, Len Pendrick, who said he was friends with Martin's brother, Terry, claimed Terry told him Max had confessed to the murder.

Investigator Lynda Summers told the programshe believed Ross Eames, who was 14 in 1973, was the caller.

Murder Lies and Alibis claimed both Mr Eames and Mr Newman confirmed the caller's story, leading to Mr Brown's arrest in 1990.

In secret audio of Ross Eames recorded in 2007 by a police informant, Mr Eames admitted he and Kevin Newman watched as Geoff Brown and Max Martin attacked Bronwynne.

"We were only young kids right, and we seen what we thought was just a sheila getting grabbed and bloody roughed up and raped and everything else," he said.

Mr Eames said he and Newman left and he did not know if Mr Brown or Martin killed her. He also said Mr Newey was not involved.

Mr Brown claims Mr Eames tried to frame him.

1998 - Stan and Noelle Richardson visit their daughter's grave

1998 - Stan and Noelle Richardson visit their daughter's grave

Mr Brown did not participate in Murder Lies and Alibisand was filmed telling the crew to go away, saying "I've had 46 years of this sh-t".

However, Witness X, who the program claimed was a police informant, said it was Mr Newey that had made the anonymous call to police from Murray Bridge, and that they knew because they were with him when he did it.

The program speculated Mr Newey could have pretended to be Mr Eames on the call, to point police away from him. Both men lived in Murray Bridge.

In 2014, Mr Newey was charged with Bronwynne's murder, abduction and rape. But in 2015, the charges were dropped.

In Murder Lies and Alibis Mr Newey took a polygraph test and was asked if he called Murray Bridge police and if he caused or was present at Bronwynne's death, and his denials were deemed truthful. Polygraphs are not reliable enough to be evidence in any NSW courts.

Bronwynne's sister Ms Hume called on those knowledge of the horrific crime to finally tell the truth.

"Be a man and do what you know you need to do," she said.

"Finish it."

Last month, the reward for information leading to a conviction in Bronwynne's case increased to $1 million.