- Published: 10 September 2009 10 September 2009
Desmond (Slim) Holland's murder
ONE of David and Rachel Nunn's descendants, Desmond Holland, became the victim of foul play in 1991 when he was murdered at his home at Dinmore, not far from where his great grandparents first lived. A bit of a loner, Desmond was a regular at a pub a few kilometres away, and it is believed he was attacked after taking a taxi home one night. It was first reported that he was last seen on a Friday night but police later said it was the Saturday night.
This is how Queensland's biggest daily newspaper, The Courier-Mail*, reported the murder on Saturday, January 26, 1991:
A NEIGHBOR heard thumping and loud music and saw lights on about the time a council laborer might have been murdered in his home near Ipswich, police said yesterday. Another neighbor noticed all windows of the small house closed for the first time in at least 11 years.
The partially clad body of Desmond James Holland, 62, was found in a bath half-filled with water at his home in River Rd, Dinmore, on Tuesday.
Chief investigator Det-Insp Wayne King said Mr Holland could have been dead for three days.
A postmortem examination revealed Mr Holland died from a combination of strangulation and drowning.
Police appealed for help yesterday to trace Mr Holland's last movements.
They said Mr Holland was well known in the area and might have been seen going home with someone the day before his death.
Neighbors told police they had never known Mr Holland to close the windows of his home. He lived quietly, never stayed up late and was never heard to play music loudly.
Insp King said Mr Holland was last seen at the Prince Alfred Hotel, Booval, on Friday, January 18. He went to the hotel every day.
The following is an extract from a report in The Courier-Mail of Wednesday, February 6, 1991 about the murder:
A TAXI driver may hold a clue to the baffling murder of Ipswich council worker Desmond Holland, who was found strangled in his bathtub on January 22. Police are seeking the taxi driver who was believed to have picked up the 62-year-old man from Prince Alfred Hotel at Booval on Saturday, January 19.
Desmond "Slim" Holland's body was was found three days later, submerged in water in the bathtub of his Dinmore home.
Det Sgt Ian Claridge, of the homicide squad, also appealed to the "hundreds of people" who were at the hotel on the 19th to come forward.
"Our next breakthrough could all depend what response we get from people who were at the pub that Saturday," he said.
"Someone in the hotel that day may just have seen something which they do not realise could be vital to our inquiries. "Even if they were there and think they did not see Mr Holland we still want to hear from them.
"There could have been hundreds of people in the hotel that day - we would be very pleased to hear from every one of them."
He said a reward of up to $1000 had been arranged through Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible. "If people contact Crime Stoppers their name will not be requested and rewards are paid anonymously in cash."
*I was a journalist at The Courier-Mail from 1986 to 2013 and am a second cousin, once-removed of Desmond Holland - Warren Nunn.