Announced November 2008
A $250,000 reward could hold the key to helping police solve a callous double murder committed almost 20 years ago.
Homicide Squad detectives announced the reward for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murders of Joe Shackleton and May Rosser.
The plight of the elderly couple was brought to police attention by a relative who visited the couples’ home in Hope Street, Brunswick, around 2pm on May 26 1990.
A large amount of blood was discovered inside the premises and a number of items, including pillows and bedspreads, were missing and the couple were nowhere to be found.
Their car, a white VK Commodore Vacationer Holden Commodore station wagon, was also missing from the driveway.
The vehicle was recovered by police two days later parked outside 1 Hawksburn Road, directly opposite the entrance of the Hawksburn Railway Station, in South Yarra with their bodies inside.
An autopsy revealed that Mr Shackleton, aged 72 at the time, died as a result of multiple stab wounds and Ms Rosser, aged 74 at the time, died as a result of strangulation.
Police believe the couple were murdered in their home and placed inside the vehicle which was later dumped in Hawksburn Road.
In 1990 a $100,000 reward was offered for information surrounding the pair’s murder but no person was ever charged.
Detective Sergeant Wayne Woltsche said he believed the increased reward could provide the incentive needed to encourage people with information to come forward.
"This was a particularly brutal murder of an elderly couple in their own home".
"Neither of them had criminal involvements and had no known enemies. To die in the manner they did is absolutely horrendous" Detective Sergeant Woltsche said.
"We are hopeful that this reward will encourage people out there in the community who may know what happened to them and why to come forward".
Detective Sergeant Woltsche said of particular interest was the identity of the person who dumped the vehicle in Hawksburn Road.
"We believe whoever left that vehicle in Hawksburn Road has significant information about the circumstances surrounding the couple’s death and we would urge them to come forward".
Reviewed 07 July 2021