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Cold case murders: retired gangster speaks out

Retired Torbanlea gangster Gary "Shorty" Dubois says he and his wife Jan have been home "the whole time".
Retired Torbanlea gangster Gary "Shorty" Dubois says he and his wife Jan have been home "the whole time". Valerie Horton

RETIRED Torbanlea gangster Gary "Shorty" Dubois says if police want to re-arrest him over the murders of Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters, they know where to find him.

Speaking from his Stafford Estate home on Tuesday, Mr Dubois rejected media claims he and his wife Jan had been "hiding out" since fresh evidence in the cold case triple murder was allegedly uncovered in recent weeks.

Mr Dubois and his former underworld associate Vincent O'Dempsey were arrested following an inquest into the murders in the 80s.

Charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.

It had been more than two decades since Mr and Mrs Dubois, who retired to Torbanlea with family six years ago, had felt the gaze of police but the past came knocking in May when a senior homicide detective went to their home and told them he had some questions.

There had been reports Mr Dubois and Mr O'Dempsey had both "gone to ground" following raids of a property with links to the murder investigation near Warwick last week.

He would not speak about 40-year-old case on the advice of his lawyer, but Mr Dubois said on Tuesday he and his wife had been home "the whole time".

Barbara McCulkin.
Barbara McCulkin.

"Everyone's saying I'm ducking and diving but I'm not - we have already seen them (the police), they have been here, we have been down there (to Brisbane) and that's it.

"I didn't answer any questions … but we have done what they asked of us."

Police have always suspected Ms McCulkin was targeted because she knew too much of the inner-workings of the Clockwork Orange crime gang and the notorious fire at the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub, which claimed the lives of 15 people in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley in 1973.

Ms McCulkin was due to be placed in witness protection in New South Wales the day she and her two girls disappeared from their Highgate Hill home.

Jan Dubois admitted that up until May, she had believed police interest in her husband "was well and truly over with" but should he be tried over the murders, she hoped he would be treated "fairly".

"Look … this is really awful for their families … but he is innocent … I have been with him long enough to know," Ms Dubois said

"You can only imagine the grief that family must be going through … it's awful for everyone."

A $250,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to a conviction.

Topics:  cold case, detectives, editors picks, law, police, torbanlea



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