‘Murder boast’ breakthrough in cold case
A WITNESS has claimed she heard Allen MacQueen admit to killing Annette Mason, 15, but was too scared to come forward at a previous inquest because she could hear him threatening to kill her from outside the courtroom.
A second inquest into the violent 1989 murder of the Toowoomba girl began in Brisbane yesterday on the 29th anniversary of her death. The former St Ursula's College student had finished school and moved into a share house just weeks before she was found bludgeoned to death in her bed after a night out with friends in November 1989.
Kylie Nothdurft was yesterday called as a witness and told the Coroner that after Annette's death she heard MacQueen tell a group of people he had killed the teen.
"Allen said 'I killed her' and people said 'who did you kill' and he said 'Annette Mason' and I remember that as clear as day," Ms Nothdurft said.
"Then Craig (his brother) got really angry at him and they had a bit of a punch up out in the front yard and Craig told him to be quiet.
"And then it sort of all settled down and he just kept yelling that he didn't mean to do it and I think they went home after that."
When asked why she had not spoken about the incident at a previous inquest 25 years ago, Ms Nothdurft said she had been too afraid.
"I was 16 years of age, I got pulled out of Bi-Lo, my parents weren't even notified, I was pulled into court and then all hell broke loose," she said.
"I could hear him (MacQueen) screaming, yelling, swearing, (saying he's) going to kill everybody and that's when I froze and didn't want to say anything.
"I was just too distraught."
MacQueen, an armed robber dubbed "The General" of the infamous Angry Gang, was sentenced to life in prison 24 years ago for savagely bludgeoning an inmate to death with weights in the Sir David Longland prison gym.
Annette's 1989 then roommate Denise Mace yesterday gave evidence that after Annette's death she jokingly told MacQueen he was a suspect in the teen's murder and "his face just drained of blood".
"He looked scared like I knew something," she said. "It wasn't the reaction I got from the other guys (I joked with)."
Earlier in the day, a detective who took over the investigation in 2009 said witnesses saw a young girl matching Annette's description running from a man at 4am in the hours before she was found dead. "They (the witnesses) observed the girl running across (the) street and had to brake fairly heavily to avoid hitting her," Detective Sergeant Virginia Gray said.
The inquest continues.