VicPol Corporate

$1 million reward to solve Kathleen Severino's murder

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 15:39

Homicide Squad detectives are today releasing a $1 million reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the 1987 murder of Ballarat grandmother Kathleen Severino.

Kathleen was last seen alive in front of her Drummond Street property around 7.55pm on 31 December.

The following morning, members of Kathleen’s family discovered the 70-year-old woman deceased in her bedroom.

She had been savagely assaulted and suffered fatal head injuries.

It was apparent that her home had been ransacked, however there appeared to be nothing stolen from the house.

Investigators believe Kathleen was murdered sometime between the hours of 10.30pm and 11.30pm, New Year’s Eve, 1987.

Around that time, a witness reported seeing a male and female in the vicinity of Kathleen’s home.

In July 1990, a then 19-year-old male was charged with Kathleen’s murder, however, the charges were withdrawn before the matter went to trial after a witness revoked their evidence.

The man previously charged died in 2017 as a result of a medical incident, however the male and one of his former associates remain persons of interest in this investigation, which the Homicide Squad have reviewed several times over the past 30 years.

Detectives also believe it is possible those responsible for Kathleen’s death may yet to have been identified and are appealing for public assistance to help shed some light on the Ballarat grandmother’s death.

Anyone with information that could assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a report online at

Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper

“We know people who commit or are part of horrific crimes such as these will often disclose their actions to someone.”

“For that reason, detectives are putting a $1 million dollar reward on the table for information that allows us to identify, arrest and convict those responsible for the murder of Kathleen Severino.”

“While 34 years have passed since Kathleen’s murder, that doesn’t mean it’s too late for her family to get the justice they deserve.”

“Police will not stop until we get closure for Kathleen’s family, which can only be achieved by holding the individual or persons responsible for the brutal death of a much loved grandmother to account.”

“Despite the decades that have passed there is every reason to believe someone out there today knows what happened to Kathleen and who is responsible.”

Sam Bidey

Media Advisor


Reviewed 12 January 2021