Solid result for cold case

February 03, 2018

Ex Shepparton News Journalist Tammy Mills speaks to the ABC about her connection with Ron Iddles during the re-opening of the Michelle Buckingham case

Michelle buckingham cold case murder Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles, Homicide Squad cold case unit, on the Euroa Boundry road Kialla East. Shepparton News on 7/11/2013 CAPTION: Michelle buckingham cold case murderDetective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles, Homicide Squad cold case unit, on the Euroa Boundry road Kialla East.

The murder of a Shepparton teenager in 1983 rocked the community.

Michelle Buckingham, 16, went missing in October, 1983, and was found two weeks later, stabbed to death on the side of a Kialla East road.

Her murder went unsolved for almost 30 years and the case went cold.

It was reopened in 2012, when former News journalist Tammy Mills wrote a series of articles about the case and encouraged former Victoria Police homicide detective Ron Iddles to reopen it.

‘‘Tammy wanted to write the story desperately, she thought everyone had forgotten about this 16-year-old girl,’’ Mr Iddles said.

‘‘Stabbed, left out in a table drain, and she said we needed to do something about it.’’

The work of Mr Iddles and Ms Mills led to the arrest and sentencing of Steven Bradley. He was arrested in 2014 and jailed in 2015.

Next month, Mr Iddles and Ms Mills will host an Inside Story event focused on the murder.

‘‘I told Tammy I didn’t have the staff but she was so persistent and rang back again,’’ Mr Iddles said, recalling their initial conversations.

‘‘If it wasn’t for her persistence it would’ve sat in a box, covered in dust. The local community had a culprit in mind but when I looked at the case I didn’t think it was him.

‘‘I’ve done over 300 homicides and somebody in the community knows, it’s just about trying to get a set of circumstances where that person comes forward.’’

All money raised from the Inside Story event will go to Goulburn Valley Health and Mr Iddles said it would fascinate those interested in true crime.

‘‘People read books and novels about crime but don’t get that insight from somebody who’s been there and done it,’’ he said.

‘‘In the ’80s my old boss said to me ‘remember one thing, you need the media and the media need us’.’’

The Greater Shepparton Blue Ribbon Foundation, in partnership with the News, will host the event and president Dean Lloyd said it would allow people to gain an insight into Michelle’s story.

‘‘There’s a lot of people in our community who would like to have some more clarity about what happened,’’ he said.

Greater Shepparton City Council has come on board to fund some of the event with a grant of $1100.

Michelle Buckingham: Inside Story will be on Friday, March 16, from 6.45pm at Riverlinks Eastbank, Shepparton.

Tickets are $60 and include refreshments.

They can be purchased through the Riverlinks Box Office website or by phoning 58329511.

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