Cold case: Kathleen Severino

Learn about the murder of Kathleen Severino 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 murder of Kathleen Severino in Ballarat in 1987.

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.

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In July 1990, a then 19-year-old male was charged with Kathleen’s murder, however, the charges were withdrawn before the matter went to trial after a witness revoked their evidence.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

The Homicide Squad have reviewed this investigation several times over the past 30 years.

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

In 2021, a $1M reward was offered for information relating to Kathleen’s death and this remains on offer for anyone who provides information that leads to a conviction in this case. 

Detectives are hopeful that, whilst over 30 years after her death, someone will be able to provide information about who was responsible for Kathleen’s murder and why.

Police have also released a photo of Kathleen as part of this appeal.

Anyone with information relating to Kathleen's murder 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)