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“Sixty stories representing 94 homicide victims have appeared in print media and on television in South Australia during Operation Persist.” The media campaign has generated considerable interest from the community. “During the first intensive three-month media campaign, Crime Stoppers averaged 25 actions per week for Operation Persist,” Ms Hanlon said.

“Crime Stoppers’ reports for Operation Persist now average 8.5 reports per week.” Another feature of Operation Persist is the $38 million worth of rewards on offer to encourage people to come forward with information that may finally help solve some of the 119 cold cases. The minimum reward is $200 000 for unsolved major crimes, rising to $1 million for

crimes against the State and the abduction or murder of children. A reward of up to $500 000 is offered in some cases involving organised crime or outlaw motorcycle gangs. Detective Superintendent Bray urges anyone who has knowledge that may assist in progressing an unsolved murder to contact police and take advantage of the rewards on offer.

“My message to the community is simple; now is the time to act,” he said. “If there’s something you know, something you recall or something you could never forget and you’ve just been waiting for the right time; that time is now. “Your information could provide the missing piece of the puzzle that brings an offender to justice and gives closure to victims’ families.”

Criminals to face the acid test D

NA testing is at the forefront of Operation Persist, with Forensic Science SA conducting advanced “familial” DNA testing in numerous unsolved cases. This involves testing partial DNA profiles found at crime scenes with those obtained from a suspect’s direct relative in order to obtain a usable profile. Forensic Science SA is also retesting numerous exhibits in many of the cases using advanced DNA testing methods, while others are being examined at world-leading laboratories in New Zealand and the Netherlands. MCIB has also identified up to 250 people previously convicted in South Australia of either murder or manslaughter who were released from jail before 2004 and are not currently recorded on the DNA database. “We are seeking to obtain DNA and/or fingerprints from those individuals as


BL UE P R IN T IS S U E 1 ~ 2017

permitted by legislation. That data will then be crosschecked with evidence taken from other crime scenes nationally,” Detective Superintendent Bray said. “It is not unreasonable to suspect that a person who has committed an act of murder or manslaughter once could reoffend after being released from prison.” Detective Superintendent Bray said the various elements of Operation Persist have begun to mesh together and produce results. “We have made arrests in two significant murder cases – the 2012 bashing and stabbing of Jayson Doelz and the 1998 murder of Dale McCauley,” he said. “Investigations in several other unsolved cases, including the 1994 National Crime Authority bombing, are well advanced while numerous other cold cases are at various stages of investigation after being reviewed.” Dale McCauley’s sister,

Sandra Cole-Stokes, believes the media attention generated by Operation Persist and the determined work of investigators was crucial in a suspect being arrested for Dale’s murder. “Major Crime already had a suspect for the crime but not enough evidence for an arrest. The media exposure was very helpful in gathering more information and it also shamed the suspect into revealing the whereabouts of Dale’s remains,” she said. “Major Crime initially kept in contact with my father about Dale’s case as I was living interstate. When the case was re-opened they kept me informed of all major events as the investigation progressed, and even flew me to Adelaide to meet the investigation team and conduct media interviews.” Dale McCauley was last seen at his Seaton home in January 1998 and reported missing a month later by a concerned friend.

His remains were found in scrubland at Second Valley on 16 January 2016 following information provided by Adrian Mahoney, who has been charged with Mr McCauley’s murder. “Holding Dale’s funeral, spreading his ashes and putting a cross on the tree near where his remains were found should be closure. But even though the suspect is in jail it doesn’t stop my thoughts about what Dale would be doing now if the past 19 years hadn’t been stolen from him,” Mrs Cole-Stokes said. “I have now lost the last member of our family. Our parents went to their graves suspecting foul play but not knowing what really happened to their son.” If you know something about an unsolved homicide or disappearance, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the website at https:// You can remain anonymous.

Blueprint magazine Issue 1 2017  

Blueprint is South Australia Police’s official magazine. In each issue you will find informative and engaging articles covering a broad rang...

Blueprint magazine Issue 1 2017  

Blueprint is South Australia Police’s official magazine. In each issue you will find informative and engaging articles covering a broad rang...