VICTORIA Police say the homicide investigation into the deaths of two Portland’s women is ongoing but will not comment on whether they have spoken to a mystery woman who claims to know who committed the crime more than 20 years ago.
Nanjing Night Net

Homicide Squad Detective Inspector John Potter said police had spoken to a number of people as part of their investigation in the murder of Claire Acocks and Margaret Penny.

“The investigation is active and ongoing,” he said.

Detective Inspector Potter encouraged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.

Mrs Acocks, 49, and Mrs Penny, 58, were murdered in a Portland hair salon between 3.05pm and 4.35pm on May 3, 1991. Last week Port Campbell author Leonie Wallace told The Standard that while researching her book on the murders she received a text message from a woman who claimed to know who committed the crime and that her story had never been told.

“We have shared various text messages and telephone conversations since then, with our last contact only a few weeks ago,” she said.

“Despite initial scepticism, I think she is genuine.

“Paranoia and concerns for her own family have so far fuelled her reluctance to reveal the full extent of what she allegedly knows.

“I am clinging to the chance this woman does hold that final vital piece of information and am optimistic she will soon find the courage to speak.

“Surely the killer shared what occurred with at least one other person, perhaps a trusted relative, a partner or a friend. Over time loyalties can change and people mature, so after close to 21 years, it would be incredible if these factors could align.”

Police suspect the women were murdered at about 3.30pm when two screams were heard at the Old London Coiffure hairdressing salon on the corner of Julia and Bentinck streets, and when the screen door at the back entrance was apparently opened violently.

Anyone with information about the crime can contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

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