Barbara McCulkin
Barbara McCulkin

Court hears of search for Barbara McCulkin and kids

A WOMAN who was seeing Billy McCulkin in the 1970s has told a court she drove him around Brisbane looking for his wife and children in the days after they went missing in 1974.

She has also said that one of the men accused of the cold case triple murder called her days after their disappearance claiming he had nothing to do with it.

Estelle Long said she was in a relationship with Mr McCulkin, who had separated from his wife Barbara. Ms Long and Mr McCulkin married in the 1970s and later divorced in the 1980s.

Ms Long gave evidence at a committal hearing this morning into alleged murders of Barbara and her two girls in January 1974.

Warwick man Vincent O'Dempsey and Torbanlea man Garry Reginald Dubois have been charged with murdering Barbara and the two girls, aged 13 and 11, in January 1974.

Ms Long said days after their disappearance, Mr O'Dempsey phoned her at work.

She said she did not know him but had been warned he was dangerous.

"He said to me 'I want you to know that I had nothing to do with the disappearance of Barbara and her kids'," she told the court.

"I said to him 'don't ever ring me here, you're not my friend, never likely to be my friend' and hung up."

Ms Long said Mr McCulkin told her one night in 1974 that Barbara and his girls had gone missing and that he had last seen them a few days prior.

She said they drove around all night in her car to try and make inquiries into the disappearance.

Ms Long, who described Mr McCulkin as a jealous and violent man, said that night they went to the Woolloongabba police station and Mr McCulkin became upset because police told him to put an advertisement in the lost and found section.

Ms Long said neighbours who lived across the road from Barbara had seen Mr Dubois and Mr O'Dempsey at the house the night the McCulkins vanished.

The hearing continues.

McCulkin case: Committal hearing to continue into next week

A COMMITTAL hearing for two men charged with the cold case murders of Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters is expected to continue into next week.

Warwick man Vincent O'Dempsey, 77, and Torbanlea man Garry Reginald Dubois, 68, have been charged with murdering the mother and daughters, which allegedly occurred in January 1974.

It was expected the committal hearing could have finished today but the court heard yesterday it was likely to continue into next week, as some more witnesses are yet to be called.

Late yesterday one of the main detectives in the case, Detective Inspector Mick Dowie, gave evidence about his investigations, which started last year when the cold case was reopened.

Yesterday Mr Dubois's former neighbour Trevor McGrath, who lived next door to him on the Fraser Coast for about two years until 2012, said Mr Dubois told him he had been accused of murder but that they'd never find the bodies.

Mr O'Dempsey's former girlfriend, who lived with him at Warwick in 2011 and 2012, also gave evidence yesterday and said Mr O'Dempsey had once admitted to her about killing the McCulkins.

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