Cold case: Giovanni Arena

Learn about the murder of Giovanni Arena and assist Victoria Police with any information you may have to help solve the case.

Homicide Squad detectives are continuing to appeal for information in relation to the 1984 murder of Coburg man Giovanni Arena.

Giovanni had worked overnight at the family’s Crosta d’Oro Hot Bread shop on the corner of High and Clarendon Streets in Thornbury, before leaving at 11.30am on the morning of 24 May, 1984.

He then drove to Surrey Street, Pascoe Vale in his white Ford Cortina sedan to inspect the new home he was building. 

Giovanni was seen at this location by a neighbour at 11.45am and this is the last time he was seen alive.

Giovanni’s workday routine was to eat lunch before sleeping until 3pm, when his wife would ring to wake him up, and he would then collect their youngest son from school.

On 24 May, Giovanni’s wife realised something was wrong when he did not answer his 3pm phone call as usual.

Giovanni was supposed to collect his 8-year-old son from school, but he never arrived.

Approximately 4.30pm that day, Giovanni was found deceased by his eldest son and a friend in the family home on O’Heas Street, Coburg. 

Police believe he had been shot whilst he slept.

Giovanni was only 50-years-old at the time of his death.

He was described as a loving husband and father of three children aged 20, 17 and 8, who worked hard to provide for his family while building their dream home in Pascoe Vale.  

Despite an extensive and thorough investigation, the person who violently attacked and killed Giovanni in his own home is yet to be brought to justice. 

Investigators have not been able to establish any reason for his murder.  

The Arena family has now lived without Giovanni for 37 years and it could be your information that allows detectives to move forward in this investigation into his murder and provide justice for Giovanni and closure for his family.

Detectives are urging anyone with information about the person responsible for this brutal crime to please come forward.

In particular, investigators are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area of O’Heas Street, Coburg or Surrey Street, Pascoe Vale on 24 May, 1984 and observed anything suspicious or recall seeing Giovanni’s white Ford Cortina sedan. 

Police are also keen to speak to anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in either Fraser, Rolland, Sutherland or Murray Streets, which border the rear access lane to the Arena’s family home.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report via the Crime Stoppers Victoria website.(opens in a new window)