Annette Cold Case Unlocked: Time to act on four-decade old cold case

Annette Deverell with her cousin Malcolm Black in Mandurah. Photo: Margaret Carver.

Annette Deverell with her cousin Malcolm Black in Mandurah. Photo: Margaret Carver.

Twelve months ago, I hadn't even heard of the cold case of 19-year-old Mandurah girl Annette Deverell.

Even when I went looking for information about her disappearance and death, It was difficult to find, with just a few blogs and a Crime Stoppers page online.

But, after many visits to the State Library to trawl through old copies of The West Australian, the Daily News and the Sunday Times and some small country papers, an interesting picture started to emerge.

The more I spoke with Annette's family, friends and retired Mandurah police and politicians, the more the need to tell this story, in detail, became evident.

Some of Annette's friends were wholeheartedly supportive and couldn't have done any more to help tell the tragic story of Annette Deverell.

They hoped Annette's mother and brothers would finally receive some much-needed closure, 40 years after her death.

Others, however, warned me not to write about the case, to avoid "reopening old wounds".

Unfortunately, if Annette's family is ever going to get answers about what happened to their fun-loving girl back in 1980, it is going to be uncomfortable for some people.

Because I knew it was important to tell this story truthfully, and to the best of my ability; to analyse why the case was never solved and open the door to new information.

This may be the last chance police have to solve the now 39-year-old case, with Annette's friends in their late 50s and early 60s.

And there are so many unanswered questions.

Annette's mother, Margaret Carver, still lives in the town where her daughter was murdered, and she deserves answers.

I'll never know the deep pain Margaret feels every day.

But by telling this story, I hope that, in some small way, it will help to lessen that burden.

I also hope it will encourage the authorities to get moving.

In particular, it seems clear that a reward should be posted for information that helps solve the case, while a coronial inquest should be scheduled to examine all the evidence and see whether new evidence can be brought forward.

  • Written and presented by journalist Carla Hildebrandt, the first episode of Annette: Cold Case Unlocked is available now on your favourite podcast app. Search "Annette: Cold Case Unlocked"in Apple Podcast, Spotify, PodBean, TuneIn and SoundCloud.

Contact Crime Stoppers if you can assist police with the investigation on 1800 333 000.

You can contact me, Carla Hildebrandt, by emailing and you can remain anonymous, if you wish.