The new ‘Person of Interest’ podcast explores the disappearance of Gaye Baker.
The new ‘Person of Interest’ podcast explores the disappearance of Gaye Baker.

New podcast dives into mysterious cold case murder

NEARLY 50 years ago, an airforce policewoman parked her car in Clayfield and vanished without a trace - her disappearance becoming one of the state's most enduring and compelling murder mysteries.

Now, the case is back in the sights of the Homicide Investigation Unit's cold case team.

Detectives are conducting a fresh inquiry into the 1972 disappearance of policewoman Gaye Baker - and will today make a public appeal for information.

Airforce policewoman Gaye Baker.
Airforce policewoman Gaye Baker.

 

The 47-year-old case is believed to be the second oldest to be actively investigated after detectives this year charged Vincent O'Dempsey with the 1964 murder of Vincent Raymond Allen.

The Courier-Mail will tell the story of Gaye's disappearance in a two-part podcast series called Person of Interest, to be launched today.

 

 

 

Gaye was 23 when she vanished after driving to the Clayfield bowls club to meet a man who had given the fake name "John Taylor".

She had taken a second job as a "hostess" with ABCO Services in Fortitude Valley - accompanying men to functions - to earn extra money that would pay for her sick mother's medical care. She also had dreams of travelling overseas after growing up in a poor household.

But Gaye disappeared after arriving at her first "date", with police soon discovering that not only had "John" lied about his identity and the event they'd be attending - he'd also cunningly circumvented all the agency's usual security procedures.

 

 

 

 

Speaking for the first time, Gaye's sister Robyn Johnson said she was grateful police were taking a fresh look at the case.

"I'm really, really appreciative because for many years I have wanted to look into it further," she said.

"There was never any closure, there were never any answers. There was never a goodbye for Gaye or any kind of memorial.

"If someone was arrested and proven beyond a doubt that they were guilty, that person … if they have any sort of conscience … they would have lived a life of suffering within themselves. And perhaps that person may even need or want forgiveness. So that may be something that Gaye's family would need to individually consider."

Gaye vanished on the morning of July 2, 1972, after parking her car on Bayview Tce in Clayfield, about 150m from the meeting point with "John".

A 1971 yellow Datsun similar to the one Gaye Baker drove to the Clayfield meeting point.
A 1971 yellow Datsun similar to the one Gaye Baker drove to the Clayfield meeting point.

She believed she would be accompanying the man to a party at a nearby residence.

The following day, she was reported missing by her squadron leader after failing to show up for duties with the Women's Royal Australian Air Force.

Police inquiries at the time found there was no party at the address "John" provided.

He had also taken deliberate steps to avoid being seen by anyone at ABCO Services, including sending a taxi driver to pay his fee.

And he booked a hostess for a Sunday - a day when the agency was closed - avoiding the normal procedure of meeting at the Fortitude Valley office.

 

Police search Keperra Quarry for Gaye Baker’s body.
Police search Keperra Quarry for Gaye Baker’s body.

 

Lola Brinton was living in an air force house with Gaye at the time of the policewoman's disappearance.

She told The Courier-Mail she remembered Gaye talking about finding a part-time job to earn extra income.

She recalled Gaye finding an ad in the newspaper seeking hostesses for the Fortitude Valley agency.

"She said she would need a lot of money in case her mother had to have an operation. And that's why she wanted the work. And she also wanted to save to go overseas," Ms Brinton said.

"And sadly she was she was right about her mother because her mum passed away not too long after she disappeared because of her ill health."

Ms Brinton said Gaye's housemates were shocked to discover she had the equivalent of $65,000 in the bank at the time of her disappearance.

"She'd taken nothing with her. She hadn't run away. The rumour mill went crazy. She just had new jeans, a new shirt and a little purse," she said.

"There was absolutely nothing missing. She'd just gone off for the afternoon."

Police divers scoured local waterways across the region for clues.
Police divers scoured local waterways across the region for clues.

She said Gaye's housemates knew of her plans to meet a man at Clayfield for her first hostess job.

They said she wasn't nervous and had bought a new outfit for the occasion.

"I knew straight away that something bad had happened because it was just not like her not to come home at night and definitely not to turn up at work," she said.

Police will today make a public appeal for information on Gaye's disappearance.

The dark brown/maroon Holden Monaro similar to a car seen in the vicinity of where Gaye Baker Disappeared in Clayfield in 1972. Police say the vehicle could have also been a Valiant Charger.
The dark brown/maroon Holden Monaro similar to a car seen in the vicinity of where Gaye Baker Disappeared in Clayfield in 1972. Police say the vehicle could have also been a Valiant Charger.

 

 

DO YOU KNOW SOMETHING?

 

Do you know anything about the 1972 disappearance of Gaye Baker?

Cold case detectives are seeking:

● Anyone who saw Gaye's yellow 1971 Datsun 1200 or a woman matching Gaye's description in the Clayfield area on July 2, 1972;

● Anyone who saw a man in a late 1960s or early 1970s dark brown or maroon Monaro or Valiant Charger near the Clayfield Bowling Alley. Police believe this was the man who called himself "John Taylor".

● A reward of $250,000 is in place for information leading to a conviction.

● Gaye was last seen wearing light blue slacks, a navy blouse, white heeled sandals and was carrying a silver purse.

A $250,000 REWARD IS BEING OFFERED. CALL CRIME STOPPERS ON 1800 333 000.



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