Sunday, September 14, 2008

Juanita Nielsen investigator ignored by Sydney media

Barry Ward, one of the two journalists who originally investigated the murder of Juanita Nielsen, has posted a comment beneath another story on this blog. It is worth bringing to the fore:

I have just discovered the Kings Cross Times blog and refer to your articles on Juanita Nielsen.
Some of your readers may know my name or even recall meeting me when Tony Reeves and I conducted our investigation into the killing back in the 1970s. The following is one of many articles I have written on the subject over the years. It will enlighten those who may not have been around at the time. The battle continues……

This year brings the 33rd anniversary of the murder of Kings Cross newspaper publisher Juanita Nielsen. It will also mark another year in the silent conspiracy of corruption that surrounds what may have been the crime of the century in NSW.

When Tony Reeves and I began our journalistic investigation back in 1975 we described it as the story of a lifetime, then The Story That Won't Go Away. For three decades we've been rebuffed in our attempts to force a commission of inquiry, to expose the truth behind this sordid tale of police and political corruption, of betrayal and heinous brutality.

But the story hasn't gone away, and neither have I -- although I was forced to leave Australia because of my activities.

The story surfaced again recently with the publication of a book whose author claimed to have found a witness with new evidence. I wrote a critique showing that his book was merely an extension of the official version of events, the cover-up, and e-mailed it to all of the Sydney media. Even though I am well know to most of them and the fact that my critique contained some astonishing facts only one editor bothered to reply and that to tell me that he preferred the police story!

This shouldn't really have surprised me. Our erstwhile colleagues in the Sydney media have long been not merely ambivalent but antagonistic in their approach to this story and to Tony and I. Orchestrated by the PR Dept of the NSW Police, they have accepted the official version of events without the slightest attempt at corroboration. Even though they all reviewed the book they wouldn't consider my critique of it, just as they ignored a major story that touched upon the case back in 1975.

Let me explain. In the course of our investigation Tony and I traced Eddie Trigg, the last person said to have seen Juanita alive. Within minutes we had been beaten up, abducted and handed over the Darlinghurst Police who threw us into jail for the night. "A good yarn," we agreed, when the goose bumps had abated. There was more good copy to come.

We pleaded not guilty to the spurious charge of being found drunk in Darlinghurst and, thanks to two pro bono barristers, fought the case as it lasted eight days over as many months. The charge was eventually dismissed but not before the case, which also involved two QC's on "watching briefs" for unidentified clients, had set two legal precedents. Another good yarn, we agreed. The transcript ran to 175,000 words.

But not one of those words was reported by the Sydney media. Like our allegations surrounding the killing of Juanita, the story was ignored. It might never have happened.

No one wants to know the truth about the Nielsen conspiracy. My rationale is that the political implications are too far-reaching, too dangerous. That, though, doesn't explain the shameful attitude of Sydney's journalists. They are a disgrace to the calling that Tony and I love.

If you'd care to read my critique of the Rees book and get an insight into what Tony and I achieved you can do so courtesy of the only branch of the Sydney media not afraid to run it. It was published without question by Fiona Prior on the Henry Thornton current affairs website. Read it by clicking on to the hyperlink below: No, there was no response to it, legally or officially…….

I have written a novel which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Nielsen conspiracy but, like their media colleagues, Sydney’s publishers have proved ambivalent. So I have self-published it Those who wish may download it at

My warmest regards to those Victoria Street residents and other caring folk who may remember me.

Barry Ward


Ciel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. said...


July 4 will bring the 36th anniversary of the unresolved murder of Juanita Nielsen, the 36 year-old campaigning editor of a Kings Cross newspaper who disappeared without trace and whose remains have never been found.

The date will also mark the publication of a book by Barry Ward, a former Sydney journalist who claims to have exposed the plot behind the murder and identified the killers and their associates.

With colleague Tony Reeves he investigated the case over four years and says he can prove that the plot was the consequence of police and political corruption at the highest levels.

Abducted, beaten up and jailed on spurious charges but unable to force the judicial review their allegations demanded, the pair left Sydney when an underworld tip warned that death threats they had received were about to be activated.

Still a working journalist in his late 70s Ward now lives in London and has spent many years since his return campaigning to expose the truth of Juanita's death.

On the 20th anniversary he wrote a 6,000 word cover story for Sydney's Newsweek Bulletin in which he refuted the official police version of events and named the killers. There was no response, legal or official. See an on-line version of this at

For further background detail please also see

Ward's book, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, is now available on-line. For a preview please visit