The 1968 Disappearance of Allan Whyte and Maureen Braddy
The young couple vanished without a trace from a YMCA dance in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
Maureen Joyce Braddy was born on August 24, 1952, to Stanley and Kathleen “Muriel” Braddy. She is the 3rd eldest of ten siblings. The Braddy family resided at 12 Vinton Street in California Gully, Victoria, Australia.
Maureen attended the California Gully State School and later Eaglehawk High School before dropping out to work full-time as an egg packer at the Crystal Egg Company in Bendigo, Victoria. Her employment began on April 9, 1968.
The Braddy children frequently suffered physical abuse at the hands of their father, Stanley Braddy, Sr. He subjected them to brutal beatings with a three-foot-long toasting fork, a willow removed from a garden tree, or a water-soaked leather strap.
Maureen seemed to be the most strong-willed child of all the Braddy children and often stood up to her father. Her family described her as dependable, quiet, and responsible.
While working at the Crystal Egg Company, Maureen met Allan Whyte.
Allan George Whyte, also known as Allan Bullock, was born on March 12, 1951, to Robert and Lillian Whyte. His mother had 14 children — four to Robert Whyte and ten to Robert Bullock.
Allan resided with his mother and a sister on Mitchell Street in Bendigo. He briefly attended White Hills Junior Technical School, but he could not read or write. Still, he always had a job. Allan started working at the Crystal Egg Company on November 4, 1968.
Friends and family described Allan as “settled in his ways, family-oriented, shy and quiet.”
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALLAN WHYTE AND MAUREEN BRADDY
On the night of November 23, 1968, Allan Whyte, 17, and Maureen Braddy, 16, attended a YMCA dance on Mundy Street in Bendigo, Victoria.
They were last seen around 9 pm outside the dance hall when Allan’s older brother, Kevin Whyte, asked Allan if he wanted to go to a party at his flat, located further down Mundy Street. Allan declined and said he was going to take Maureen home.
No one has seen the young couple since.
The next day, Maureen’s eldest sister, Rhonda Schepers, and her husband, Harm Schepers, visited the Braddy residence after learning Maureen had not come home the night before. Rhonda then reported Maureen missing to the police.
Lillian Whyte said she went to the Bendigo Police Department on Sunday afternoon to advise the police her son was missing. However, there is no record of this visit. It either never happened, or someone discouraged her from formally reporting Allan as missing.
Several months later, on June 28, 1969, Lillian returned to the police station to see if the police regarded Allan as a missing person. Following several police inquiries, Allan Whyte was formally reported missing by his mother on October 9, 1969, nearly one year after his disappearance.
For over 30 years, the local police believed the young couple ran away together, even though they did not take any personal belongings with them. Furthermore, Allan left behind his newly-purchased vehicle, and he never touched his bank account. Maureen failed to pick up her last paycheck at the Crystal Egg Company.
Rumors circulated that Maureen Braddy was pregnant with another man’s child when she disappeared.
In 2001, Detective Sargeant Brendon Murphy of the Homicide Squad at Bendigo Police Department reopened the case after receiving new information and declared it a murder investigation.
The only suspect in the case is Stanley Braddy, Maureen’s father.
A BIZARRE STORY
In October 2009, Stanley Braddy, Sr. gave a strange interview with the Herald Sun in which he claimed Maureen passed away in 2008 under a different name.
Stanley said, “She got a new name. She was with that Allan, and he’s still alive and kickin’.”
He declined to reveal Maureen’s new name, but the Herald Sun reported it as Carol Joy Carroll, a 62-year-old mother of two who died on November 17, 2008. Coincidentally, she had a daughter named Maureen.
However, Stanley’s story confused John Carroll, Carol’s husband. He said, “I know nothing about this. I don’t know what’s going on. This is terrible.”
John denied that his wife was Maureen Braddy. He said he and Carol married in 1964, four years before Allan and Maureen had vanished. Carol was born and raised in Swan Hill.
CORONER INQUEST HEARING
In November 2011, the Victorian Coroners Court granted the victims’ families a one-week inquest into the decades-old case. The first hearing occurred on March 26–28, 2012, and the second on March 18–21, 2013.
About 30 witnesses testified, including Stanley Braddy, Allan and Maureen’s siblings, friends, and Maureen Braddy’s neighbors. Her mother and brother, Stanley Jr., had passed away by this time, but court officials used their previous police statements at the hearing.
Stanley Braddy gave another bizarre tale of Maureen and Allan’s fate. He testified that kidnappers abducted the young couple at the Stanhope Hotel.
Stan said the group wanted Allan but took Maureen as a bonus.
He refused to identify a political figure who showed up at his house one day and told him about the abduction. The man told Stan to leave it alone, that the two were still alive and happy, had children, and did not want to be found.
Detective Sergeant Allan Birch called the tale “wholly incredible.”
Judith Paynting (nee Todd) was a neighbor of the Braddy’s and a friend to Maureen. She testified that on Friday, November 22, 1968, she noticed a ball-sized bruise on Maureen’s arm between her shoulder and elbow. When Judith asked her about it, Maureen said she could not talk about it.
Between 9 pm and 10 pm later that night, Judith heard a gunshot, then screaming, followed by another shot and a car leaving. She acknowledged the sounds could have been a car backfiring, but she was familiar with both and said it was more like gunshots.
The screaming “sounded like one woman and a bloke.” The shots were three to five minutes apart, and the car left about 15–20 minutes later. According to court documents, she described the screaming as “loud and distressed,” and her mother told her to stay out of it.
Despite never seeing Maureen again, she did not give her statement to the police until 2002.
Another friend of Maureen’s, Jillian Siddall (nee Yates), went to school with Maureen. She said that at around 12:30 pm or 1 pm on Saturday, November 23, 1968, she saw Maureen walking around the Long Gully Oval in Bendigo with her hands behind her back, kicking a soda can on the ground.
Jillian asked Maureen if she wanted a ride home with Jillian and her father, but Maureen declined. Jillian noticed Maureen had been crying, but the reason is unknown. Allan Whyte showed up around this time, and Maureen’s mood immediately improved.
Jillian also attended the YMCA dance and saw Maureen, who appeared to be in good spirits, despite being upset earlier. There was no indication Maureen intended to run away.
Graeme Bullock, a cousin of Allan Whyte, testified he had been in regular contact with Allan in the days and weeks before his disappearance. Allan never mentioned leaving the area.
According to court documents, Muriel previously stated that in the early evening of November 23, 1968, Allan Whyte attended the Braddy residence, where she and Stanley met him for the first time. Stanley had little interaction with Allan. Maureen asked if Allan could stay for dinner, but the couple left for the dance shortly after.
Suzanne Diss, Maureen’s sister, testified that between 7 pm and 8 pm on November 23, 1968, Suzanne also brought her then-boyfriend Stuart Diss home that evening for the first time. Suzanne recalled Maureen wearing a red wool dress and carrying a clutch bag.
Stanley spent a couple of hours talking to Stuart. The couple left the Braddy home between 9:30 pm and 10 pm for a night out. When Suzanne returned home around 2 am, Maureen was not there, and her bed was made. She noticed Maureen’s handbag on the dresser, which she thought was strange because Maureen always took it with her. Suzanne thought Maureen must have returned home after the dance.
Maureen’s other sister, Jennifer Braddy, 12 years old when her sister disappeared, said an argument took place that night.
“I knew there was something happening because mum was upset, dad was arguing, and I knew Maureen was in trouble. I was standing — I had got up, and I was standing in the passageway, mum’s seen me and she told me to go back to bed.”
Jennifer also recalled hearing a bang, screaming, then another bang.
A few minutes later, she heard something outside her bedroom window. Jennifer shared a bedroom with sisters, Lynnette, aged seven, and Debra, aged 10. Jennifer said she heard a scuffling noise and saw a figure at the bedroom window but could not tell who it was. Scared, she went back to bed. Jennifer did not hear anything after this.
Debra testified that she heard muffled screaming — similar to putting your hand over your mouth and screaming — and a couple of noises after that, but to her, they sounded more like “thuds on the wall.”
“Dad — later he came into our bedroom. He switched on the light. He came over to my bed. He put his hand on the side of my face and then he went to Lynnie, and as he left the bedroom he switched the light off.”
Debra pretended to be asleep.
Lynnette testified with a similar story. She also woke up to a commotion outside the bedroom window. Unlike Jennifer and Debra, she got out of bed to investigate.
“They came from around the camellia bush towards the window. I saw — I noticed one of them was my father. I looked and I thought to myself, “Oh, what’s he up to?” I noticed he was in the company of another man and I noticed that they were holding something. As they got closer, I realized what they were holding was a young person. I couldn’t really tell you who it was because it was covered in blood, what I believe to be blood now, and I saw Ted Beasley.”
Ted Beasley was a close friend of Stanley’s. When his son Donald Beasley testified at the hearing, Donald believed Lynette confused her version of events with a time when he was injured at the Braddy residence in 1968. Donald was six years old at the time. His father and Stan had carried him bleeding from outside into the Braddy kitchen.
Lynette stuck to her story and believed the boy was Allan Whyte.
STANLEY BRADDY’S INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS
In an October 13, 1999 statement to police, Muriel Braddy said that her mother-in-law, Charlotte Braddy, visited their home on the night of the dance and asked them to drive her to her daughter’s home in Kamarooka. They agreed.
Stanley and Muriel arrived back home between 11 pm and midnight. Maureen was not home at this time, and Stan and Muriel went to bed soon after.
Stanley’s initial statement contradicted Muriel’s version of events that night. He stated that he stayed home that night and went to bed at his usual time at 10 pm.
Stanley turned around and said that he did drive Muriel and his mother to his sister’s home in Kamarooka. Later that evening, he dropped Muriel off at home and went back to his mother’s house, returning home around midnight.
Stanley’s sister testified that she did not see her brother on the day Allan and Maureen disappeared. Furthermore, none of the Braddy children recalled seeing Charlotte at their house that day.
Muriel also told police that she awoke at 6 am or 7 am the morning after Allan and Maureen disappeared. She was upset that her daughter was not home and mad at Stanley for leaving it up to her to deal with it.
However, Stanley said he and Muriel had a restless night worrying about Maureen and that he was up before daylight, checking on Maureen’s bed. He made several phone calls that morning to inquire about her whereabouts, but he could not recall who he called.
Robert Braddy, Maureen’s brother, testified that he awoke on Sunday morning, November 24, 1968, and noticed Maureen had not slept in her bed. When he told his parents that she never came home, he stated, “It sort of came across as if they couldn’t have cared. They didn’t jump out of bed and go and look or anything like that.”
Several theories surround the disappearance of Allan Whyte and Maureen Braddy.
Allan and Maureen are still alive.
In her 1999 police statement, Muriel Braddy said she received a phone call from Maureen four weeks after her disappearance. Maureen said she wanted to come home. Muriel heard a male voice in the background saying, “What are you doing?” Then the call terminated.
Muriel believed the call was placed from the Nagambie Lake Motel but gave no reason for her belief.
Muriel also said she had seen Maureen in the Nagambie/Stanhope area on several occasions and sometimes at the Braddy home.
The police investigated Muriel’s story and found it to be unsubstantiated.
She was diagnosed with dementia a short while later.
Maureen and Allan are still alive following their kidnapping from the Stanhope Hotel.
Stanley Braddy initially told people that he believed the young couple met with foul play. He later changed his mind when Muriel convinced him she and Stanley Jr. had seen Maureen in Nagambie, about 94 km east of Bendigo.
Then in 2012, he told the bizarre abduction story mentioned earlier.
“Now when they picked him up at the pub, Maureen was an added attraction, he’d never been with a girl before. But when they grabbed him and said that, ‘We want you,’ she said, ‘Leave him alone, he’s done nothing.’ And she was gonna dob ’em in. They took her too. Someone wanted a son somewhere. I’m afraid it’s a bit like your slavery job, somebody got a quid out of it somewhere.”
Stanley claimed he received this information from two now-deceased Bendigo police officers who told him to keep his mouth shut, or they would make him disappear.
Stanley Braddy killed the couple and dumped their bodies in a well and abandoned mineshaft.
The victims’ families believe that Maureen’s body is in a well on the Braddy property, and Allan’s is in an abandoned mineshaft.
Suzanne Braddy Diss said she had returned home sick from work and noticed her father near the well.
“It appeared that he was doing something with the concrete surface over the top of the old well.” She further stated that “he pulled something over the top of the well, and I could not see down into it.”
Suzanne’s husband, Stuart Diss, gave evidence that he had looked down the well about three months after Allan and Maureen vanished but only saw “bits and pieces, rusty bed frames et cetera.”
To date, authorities have not dug up the well, saying the financial and personnel cost to investigate is expensive. Furthermore, there is not enough evidence to “warrant that sort of resource level,” said Detective Sergeant Allan Birch.
The current owner of the Vinton Street property agreed to the digging if Victoria Police had a warrant.
POLICE INVESTIGATED STANLEY BRADDY
According to court documents, Stanley Braddy’s statements to the police occurred on October 13, 1999, in an interview dated February 6, 2003, during a recorded conversation on June 8, 2011, and in another recorded interview dated June 8, 2011.
Stanley Braddy remains the main suspect in the disappearances due to the many inconsistencies in his statements. Additionally, his actions shortly after his daughter went missing were suspicious.
For one, he did not report Maureen missing to the police; it was another daughter. Second, he barely spoke of Maureen after she vanished into thin air.
Witnesses testified at the hearing that whenever Maureen was brought up in a conversation, Stanley would change the subject or refuse to discuss it.
He also denied owning or having access to a firearm. However, numerous witnesses, including his children and his sister, said otherwise. All of them testified that he did own a shotgun.
Detective Sergeant McClure asserted that on October 13, 1999, he confiscated a 12-gauge shotgun from Stanley Braddy out of concern for his welfare. Stanley denied the incident and said either McClure got it wrong or made the whole thing up.
During the inquest, authorities admitted that the initial investigation into the disappearances was “inadequate.”
Police did not take statements from family, friends, or witnesses immediately after the couple vanished. There was no forensic examination of the Braddy and Whyte homes. Furthermore, the police never made any public appeals on behalf of the young couple.
Because the original investigation was not handled appropriately, the current investigators have little or no evidence to work with. Therefore, Stanley Braddy remains a free man.
Deputy Coroner Ian West concluded in 2014 that Allan Whyte and Maureen Braddy are deceased and died on November 23, 1968. He did not accept the sightings of Maureen made by her mother or that the couple was abducted from the Stanhope Hotel.
There is a $1 million reward for information into the 1968 disappearance of Allan and Maureen.
The siblings of Allan Whyte and Maureen Braddy had hoped the large sum of money would encourage someone to come forward, but so far, no one has.
In 2018, Maureen’s sister, Debra MacDonell, and Debra’s daughter, Jodi, said two women might have clues to help solve the decades-old case.
Jodie told ABC Central Victoria in 2018, “We found a lady that said she spoke to Maureen and Allan on the night of the dance. She overheard the conversation that they were planning to run away.”
Debra and Jodie gave the woman’s contact information to the police.
Right before Christmas in 2017, Debra and Jodie learned of a second witness who said she had seen Maureen and Allan going home on the tram after the dance.
On December 14, 2018, a man named Ray Jelbart met with Peter Horvath, a Braddy family friend and one currently investigating the case. Ray told Peter he had seen Maureen at the dance at around 9:55 pm and asked her to dance. She agreed.
Maureen seemed upset, so Ray asked her what was wrong. “I just broke up with my boyfriend about half an hour ago,” she replied.
It is unclear who Maureen was referring to, but some people who knew Allan and Maureen believed they were in a relationship, while others said they were just friends.
Ray further stated that he and Maureen danced until midnight before going for a drink at a cafe, and Ray drove Maureen home.
Ray vividly remembered that night because it was the first time he had attended a dance at the YMCA. Normally, he went to the dances at the Pacific Ballroom on Saturday nights.
If Ray’s account is true, he may have been the last person to see Maureen Braddy alive.
The families are still pushing police to look inside the Vinton Street well.
As of this writing, Stanley Braddy is still alive but lives in an aged care facility and suffers from dementia.
Bendigo Coroners Court. Finding Into Death With Inquest (2014). Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.coronerscourt.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-12/braddywhyte_redacted_013010_013110.pdf
Corsetti, Stephanie. “Family Still Searching for Clues 50 Years After Disappearance of Maureen Braddy in Bendigo.” January 11, 2018. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-12/family-still-searching-for-answers-maureen-braddy-disappearance/9322920
Deery, Shannon. “Suspect in Cold Case Double Murder of Daughter, Lover to Escape Charges After Probe Bungled.” Herald Sun. November 28, 2014. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/suspect-in-cold-case-double-murder-of-daughter-lover-to-escape-charges-after-probe-bungled/news-story/3ac44bed8257a21bb97070da781c715
Nicole Morris. “Maureen Joyce Braddy & Allan George Whyte.” Australian Missing Persons Register. Accessed August 24, 2020. http://www.australianmissingpersonsregister.com/BraddyWhyte.htm
O’Callaghan, Tom. “Braddy-Whyte Cold Case: New timeline of night at dance after teenagers disappearance 50 years ago.” Bendigo Advertiser. December 21, 2018. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/5823740/braddy-whyte-new-timeline-traced-in-cold-case
“Teen Couple ‘Abducted for Slave Trade.’” The Age. March 18, 2013. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.theage.com/au/victoria/teen-couple-abducted-for-slave-trade-20130318-2gaix.html
Originally published at https://truecrimediva.com on August 29, 2020.