Police have arrested and charged a man with murder for the fatal 1987 bashing of Sydney man Raymond Keam in a cold case breakthrough.
A member of the public found Raymond Keam’s body in grass at Alison Park in Randwick on January 13, 1987.
A post mortem examination and 1988 coronial inquest found the father-of-four died from severe head injuries. He was struck by person or persons unknown, according to the inquiries.
For decades the murder went unsolved but NSW Police have announced a murder charge this week.
Victoria Police arrested the murder accused, 75-year-old Stanley Early, at a home in Clayton on Wednesday morning.
He was later extradited to New South Wales where NSW Police charged him with murder in Albury.
The man was refused bail and appeared in Albury Local Court on Thursday.
Family lived with ‘constant cloud’ after Raymond Keam death
The breakthrough comes just a few months after NSW Police and the state government offered a $1 million reward for information on Keam’s death.
Anyone with information on crimes is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at the website here.
Keam’s death was among 88 cases reviewed by NSW Police’s Strike Force Parrabell. The police taskforce looked at historical unsolved gay and transgender hate crimes.
Keam identified as heterosexual but police suspected the crime was linked to the spate of “gay hate” murders in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in the late 1980s.
In June, Raymond Keam’s family pleaded for information to give his family closure.
Keam’s partner Diane Smart described him as “a bright, strong, smart and generous man, who can never be replaced.”
His son Dane Keam said, “For the last 35 years my family and I have lived with a constant cloud looming over our heads, of not knowing who attacked our father.
“I grew up without a father figure.
“[I] have missed out on sharing some really great experiences with him.”
Dane, who is gay, said he was “heartbroken” to hear the possibility of a “gay hate” motive behind the murder.
“There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about him,” he said.
“There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about the cowards that brutally attacked and murdered him.”
Murder one of many during ‘dark and violent’ period in NSW
ACON CEO Nicholas Parkhill said the case had been “a long and difficult journey for Raymond Keam’s family and loved ones, including his wife and four children.”
“We’re hopeful of now moving a step further in understanding the truth behind what happened,” he said.
“Mr Keam’s death occurred during a dark and violent period in Sydney’s history.
“An epidemic of violence, motivated by bias and hate, swept through Sydney and NSW during the 1970s to 1990s, leaving a legacy of pain, grief and trauma. ”
He said there were dozens more cases from the period that remain unsolved, leaving “families and loved ones without answers or resolution.”
Parkhill said the police’s breakthrough in Keam’s case highlights the need for “ongoing investigation, truth-telling and the delivery of justice.”
“Many other victims of hate crimes were murdered or bashed in similar cases in NSW,” he said.
“We know that there are still people out there with vital information that can assist with ongoing inquiries.”
Nicholas Parkhill urged the New South Wales government to set up a judicial inquiry into the historical crimes.
A NSW parliamentary committee recommended a judge head such an inquiry in May in a landmark report.
“Knowing the truth is vital in order to achieve justice and healing,” Parkhill said.
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