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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Man arrested for the cold case murder of siblings strangled in their Moorabin home in 1989

A man has been arrested for the double murder of two siblings in a cold case that has baffled police for 31 years.

Doris McCartney, 71, and Ronald Swann, 69, were found dead in a home they shared on Keith Street in Moorabbin, Melbourne‘s south-east, on October 22, 1989.

The brother and his deaf sister were assaulted and strangled to death, but there were no signs of forced entry, nothing was taken, and there was no clear motive.

Detectives offered a $1million reward for information on the siblings’ murders last week, before a 58-year-old man in a baseball cap was arrested on Thursday morning.

Pictured: Doris McCartney, 71

Pictured: Doris McCartney, 71

Pictured: Ronald Swann, 69

Pictured: Ronald Swann, 69

Doris McCartney and Ronald Swann (pictured) were found strangled to death in their home in 1989



Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia the man, from Rowville in the city’s outer south-east, is in custody and will be interviewed on Thursday afternoon.

He was photographed in a police car covering his face with a baseball cap. 

A number of people were interviewed by police after one of Ms McCartney’s former lovers made the grizzly discovery three decades ago, but no one was charged. 

Homicide Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Newman told a 1991 inquest that Mrs McCartney – a mother-of-three – had been ‘used and abused’ by men and boys between the ages of 15 and 86 since her husband died 10 years earlier.

A 58-year-old Rowville man was arrested on Thursday and photographed in a police car covering his face with a baseball cap (pictured)

A 58-year-old Rowville man was arrested on Thursday and photographed in a police car covering his face with a baseball cap (pictured)

A 58-year-old Rowville man was arrested on Thursday and photographed in a police car covering his face with a baseball cap (pictured)




A coroner described a revolving door of male visitors, including members of a local cricket club, schoolboys, council workers and neighbours.

According to an published by The Age in 1991, the elderly widow would leave her bedroom window open at night so visitors could get in. 

She was described by one ex partner as ‘a nymphomaniac with a hearing problem’, the publication previously reported. 

Last week, her son Ian McCartney said he grieved for mother and uncle every day since the brutal murder.

‘There’s not a day in 31 years that I haven’t thought about it,’ he said.

‘Sometimes it’s hours, other times it might be five minutes.’

Her teary-eyed daughter Patricia Newman begged anyone with information to come forward.

‘If you know anything, please, come forward no matter how insignificant you think it is. Please, I beg you,’ she said.

Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Tim Day said in a press conference ‘someone out there knows why Doris and Ronald were killed’.

‘Thirty-one years is a long time to keep a secret.’ 






Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.  

Source: Daily Mail

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