Kathleen Downes

$100,000 reward

Friday, 1 December 2000 at 11:47 am

Announced December 2000

Police are hoping a $100,000 reward could lead to information needed to help solve the brutal murder of 95-year-old great grandmother Kathleen Downes in 1997.

Ms Downes was last seen alive around 12.30am on Wednesday 31 December when a staff member at Brunswick Lodge Nursing Home conducted a routine check of the residents.

Another staff member found her body on the floor of her room, in a pool of blood, about 6.20am the same morning. She had suffered stab wounds to the neck.

Investigations revealed that one or more intruders had broken into her room via a rear window. Detectives believe she was attacked in her bed and her room ransacked in what appeared to be a burglary gone wrong.

However, nothing had been stolen and Kathleen was not known to have anything of significant value in her room.

Ms Downes lived most of her life in Strathmore, where she raised her three children and went on to become a grandmother and great grandmother.

Her family and friends described her as a dear old lady with a wonderful nature, who was considered the matriarch of the nursing home.

The Homicide Squad conducted an extensive inquiry throughout Victoria and interstate in an effort to identify the person or persons responsible, but no one has been charged.

A reward of up to $100,000 will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner for information that leads to the arrest and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Anybody with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au(opens in a new window).