Forty one years since she was shot to death in Perth, an inquest is finally to be held into the death of murdered madam Shirley Finn.
Shirley’s daughter Bridget, who has tirelessly pushed for answers into who killed her mum, says the news from the WA Coroner has come as a “huge shock. I never really expected this day would ever arrive.”
“When I got the call from the Coroner’s Office, saying there’d be an inquest, after all this time, I was stunned, “ Bridget, 54, tells The Starfish.
“”I didn’t know what to say. When I hung up, I just started bawling.”
Late last year, police presented the results of a new enquiry to the Coroner, in which they concluded there was little hope of ever laying charges.
Bridget last saw her mother alive on June 22, 1975, after she said goodnight. The next day, Shirley’s body was found in her car at South Perth golf course.
Rumours have flown around Perth ever since as to who would have killed her.
Police have consistently been accused of bungling enquiries, and losing key evidence.
Former detective sergeant Bernie Johnson, first to arrive at the murder scene, is now reportedly suffering from dementia – so it is unclear whether he’ll be able to give evidence at the inquest.
Shirley’s former lover, Rose, who has been in hiding ever since the murder, would presumably be required to attend.
At the time of her death, Shirley Finn, a successful madam well connected to a who’s who of prominent businessmen and politicians, had been having battles with the tax office. Her then-lawyer, Ron Cannon, passed away last year.
Though in an ideal world, the inquest should have been held four decades ago, “still, it’s a chance to finally hear police explain themselves, and learn as much as I can about what happened to my mother,” says Bridget.
“To say I’m thrilled at this news is an understatement. It’s the best thing that’s happened to me in decades.”
To see Bridget’s recent letter to the Starfish click here: http://www.thestarfish.com.au/author/bridget-shewring/