The last surviving brother of suspected murder victim Lucille Butterworth says he may die without answers to 'the perfect crime'.
The last surviving brother of suspected murder victim Lucille Butterworth says he may die without answers to 'the perfect crime'.

Last family member may die without answers to woman's murder

THE last surviving brother of suspected murder victim Lucille Butterworth says he may die without answers to "the perfect crime", as the family now mourn the loss of her fiancé.

Since age 15, John Butterworth - now 66 - has searched tirelessly for information into the disappearance of his sister who vanished from a Claremont bus stop in 1969, aged 20.

The Butterworth family was last year given hope of finding Lucille's remains after Mr Butterworth was informed of a witness coming forward to police.

Lucille Butterworth's disappearance remains unsolved. Picture: Supplied
Lucille Butterworth's disappearance remains unsolved. Picture: Supplied

But no tangible evidence has been found.

Lucille's fiancee John Fitzgerald this week passed away following a long illness, aged 74.

The pair met through their shared love of ballroom dancing, and developed a relationship while working at nearby shops in New Norfolk.

Mr Butterworth described his late sister's partner as "very astute and a good businessman" who will be missed.

"He was quite a go-getter and sort of an entrepreneurial-type in his earlier days," Mr Butterworth said.

"John spent some time living in Melbourne where he ran a takeaway business before coming home where he was quite successful in running a New Norfolk bottle shop.

Lucille Butterworth's fiance at the time of her disappearance John Fitzgerald has sadly passed away following a long illness. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE.
Lucille Butterworth's fiance at the time of her disappearance John Fitzgerald has sadly passed away following a long illness. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE.

"He was just a lovely guy, very gentle, and was pretty good to me when Lucille went missing. He used to come over to my parents house to speak with my mother following Lucille's disappearance. He and mum used to comfort each other."

The Mercury Newspaper's front pages from the biggest stories of the decade between 2010-2019. 2015 September 1: An inquest into the 1969 suspected murder of Hobart woman Lucille Butterworth heard the main person of interested, Geoffrey Charles Hunt, made a
The Mercury Newspaper's front pages from the biggest stories of the decade between 2010-2019. 2015 September 1: An inquest into the 1969 suspected murder of Hobart woman Lucille Butterworth heard the main person of interested, Geoffrey Charles Hunt, made a "full and frank" confession during questioning about the death of another woman, Susan Knight. Hunt has never been charged in relation to Ms B

Mr Butterworth said he was saddened that Mr Fitzgerald died without finding answers into Lucille's disappearance.

LUCILLE'S BROTHER STILL DIGGING FOR ANSWERS

His death follows the passing of Lucille's parents years prior, and the death of her brother, Jim, last year.

"It's very upsetting. Jim's passed away, Mum and Dad are gone, now John Fitzgerald's gone. To be honest, I cannot see this ever being solved," Mr Butterworth said.

"I still hold a small hope that someone may come forward, but it's 51 years and it's very hard not to come to terms with it.

"It's got to the situation where, although it's still open, unless someone comes forward with credible information, I can't see it going anywhere and I'm afraid, my wife Deb and I are going to pass away at some stage [without finding answers].

"I don't like to admit that somebody has committed a perfect crime, but it looks that way."

Kassie-Lee McDiarmid of Hobart who is the daughter of Jim Butterworth. The Butterworth family are upset that Jim Butterworth passed away before police released witness statements in relation to the death of Lucille Butterworth sister of Jim. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES
Kassie-Lee McDiarmid of Hobart who is the daughter of Jim Butterworth. The Butterworth family are upset that Jim Butterworth passed away before police released witness statements in relation to the death of Lucille Butterworth sister of Jim. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

Mr Butterworth said the search for his late sister had taken an emotional toll but said his immediate family had been pillars of support.

"Over the last few months I've had some bad nights," he said.

"I talk to my daughter about it, and also Deb who has come to the conclusion that I have to get over it which I'm finding pretty difficult.

"I refuse to give up, I refuse to say that something won't reveal itself for us."

Originally published as Last family member may die without answers to 'perfect crime'



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