There is a $50 000 reward for information leading to the killer of Betty Shanks, a young, vibrant, beautiful woman who was brutally murdered on the corner of Thomas and Carberry Streets, Wilston – on Brisbane’s north side – some time between 9.30pm and 10.00pm on the 19th of September 1952.

I reckon I know who may have done it. It’s someone that no-one has ever named before as a suspect. And I reckon I know why.

Because he was a mate of the investigating officers. A golden boy. A dead-set rat, about to become an integral member of the pack.

I suspect that Glendon Patrick Hallahan killed Betty Shanks.

In fact I am as sure of it as any amateur sleuth can be 63 years after the event and without any eyewitness accounts or proper forensic evidence to back me up. But all it will take is a match between a bloodied hand print fount on a fence and the fingerprints taken of young police recruits in the year that Betty Shanks was slaughtered, if such records still exist, to prove whether I’m right or wrong.

What’s the bet that both the hand print and the young recruits prints are gone?

Because I’m from Geebung and was brought up to tell officers of the constabulary my name, date of birth, address, and not a breath else it is highly unlikely that I will ever see a red cent of the 50 large, not that I would want it anyway. Blood money has never been my style. In fact neither has money, full stop, but justice is, has, and always will be.

But I put Glendon Hallahan in the frame.

Well at least that’s the name he called himself after the murder anyway. Who knows what his real name was at the time, or before. He only appears on the electoral roll under the name Glendon Patrick Hallahan once in his life, in 1958, just after he’d returned from Mt Isa after fitting an innocent bloke up for the Sundown murders and sending him to the gallows.

Guess where Hallahan lived in that year?

Just up the road from Betty Shanks.


Guess how old he was when she was brutally murdered?

20. Just a couple of years younger than her.

Guess what he did 8 months before Betty was murdered?

Joined the police force.

Guess how the poor woman’s body ended up in someone’s yard?

It was thrown over the fence.

Guess what Glen Hallahan was in 1952?

Big and bloody strong.

Guess who found Betty Shank’s battered and lifeless body?

A copper by the name of name of Alex Stewart, another young constable.


Stewart found what used to be Betty, but was now simply a bloodied and battered corpse, in his his neighbour’s front yard. He reckoned that he woke up the previous night after he heard a girl scream, looked out the window, saw not a f*cking thing, and so  went back to bed.

Slept like a baby as Betty was beaten to a pulp and had the living sh*t kicked out out of her right outside his window apparently.


Believe in fairies? I don’t.

Guess who the chief investigating officer in the Shanks murder was?

Detective-Inspector Frank Bischof (below right).


Guess what DI Bischof later became?

Commissioner of Police.

Guess which other policeman was prominently involved in the early stages of the investigation, and in fact worked 18 hours straight in the aftermath of the discovery of Betty Shank’s lifeless form?

Terrence Lewis, later Sir Terrence Lewis, even later just plain Terry Lewis the dishonored guest of Her Majesty.


Guess who the 3 young detectives who became Frank Bischof’s trusted corruption money collectors were? The blokes known as the Rat Pack?

Tony Murphy. Terry Lewis. And Glendon Patrick Hallahan.

Guess who in 1972 is alleged to have killed a bloke named Jack Cooper, a bar manager that the beat on the street said was about to roll over on Murphy, Lewis and Bischof?

Glendon Patrick Hallahan.

Guess who was for years rooting Shirley Brifman, the whore who was the star witness for the prosecution in the perjury trial of Tony Murphy, a trial that fell over after she died in the most mysterious of circumstances a year after Cooper’s death?

Glendon Patrick Hallahan.

There were only 4 clues that the murderer of Betty Shanks left behind.

Guess what they were?

One – the crime was so vicious that it had to be the work of a violent psychopath.

Guess who was widely and broadly regarded in both police and underworld circles as a vicious, violent psychopath?

Glendon Patrick Hallahan.

Two – there were two bloodied hand prints on the fence of the yard in which Betty Shanks body was found. This suggested two things.

Firstly, the murderer was young and fit enough to vault a fence.

Guess who, in 1952, at the age of 20, was young and fit enough to vault a high fence?

Glendon Patrick Hallahan.

Secondly, the prints clearly evidenced that the killer had large hands.

Guess what size Glendon Patrick Hallahan’s hands were?

Large. Real large.


Three, the murderer kicked Betty Shanks so hard in the head that he left traces of black nugget brand shoe polish on her face.

Guess who had that year become a member of the Qld Police Force, where shoes shined to a glimmer with black nugget shoe polish were an essential component of the uniform?

Glendon Patrick Hallahan.


Four, a highly unusual pattern of dots of irregular form, approximately 4cm in diameter, was clearly visible on Betty’s face and was noted and recorded by the doctor performing her autopsy. Respected crime journalist Ken Blanch believed the pattern was consistent with the imprint left by a canvas gaiter commonly worn by soldiers.

Guess who else wore gaiters?

Police officers.

A taxi driver claimed he saw a ‘moon-faced’ man jumping the fence at the murder spot at about 10.30pm, and claimed to have seen the same man on the bridge at the nearby Newmarket train station about 3 hours later. Given that the station is no more than 1km from the murder scene, if the taxi driver’s story is true old moon face must have walked there on his hands.

Another taxi driver claimed to have picked up a man aged between 30 and 35, whose face and clothes were covered in blood, near the Newmarket Hall and driven him to the Red Hill Post Office. The driver claimed that the man – who funnily enough fit the description of Bischof crony and later successor as Police Commissioner Norm Bauer – at first wanted to be driven to Ashgrove, where coincidentally Bauer lived, but changed his mind and asked to be dropped off at the post office instead.

Despite the similarity in description and the matching addresses, the man is highly unlikely to have been Bauer.

But while we are talking coincidences, guess what Alex Stewart, the copper who found Betty Shank’s dead body, later became?

A taxi proprietor.


Funny hey? Unless of course you are Betty Shanks and her family, and then it is not funny at all, far from it in fact.

Did Glendon Patrick really do it? Is it even his real name?

I don’t know, and I don’t know.

But gee he’s a good fit.

If I was a cold case detective I’d be pulling out the old file right about now.

And hey fella’s, I know I didn’t lag, but if I prove to be correct I reckon a slice of the 50 large would come in pretty bloody handy, if you know what I mean.

Don’t forget me will ya?