Australia NSW inquiry to investigate 40 years of unsolved Sydney gay hate deaths
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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced the most extensive inquiry into dozens of Sydney gay hate deaths that have gone unsolved in some cases for more than half a century.
The special commission of inquiry will be led by Supreme Court judge John Sackar and will investigate 88 unsolved murders committed against LGBTQI people from 1970 to 2010.
It is thought the inquiry may lead to new evidence being uncovered or bring previously unreported crimes to light.
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A spate of brutal bashings and murders in Sydney brought terror to the LGBTQI community for decades and police were often not interested in investigating the crimes.
Many gangs targeted gay men in parks and toilets, and victims were often found at the bottom of cliffs.
One such case was the murder of, who was found dead at the base of a cliff near Manly's North Head. Police initially concluded the death was a suicide.
Another is the suspected murder of 25-year-old newsreader Ross Warren in 1989, which police initially said was a staged disappearance.
Mr Perrottet says he wants the inquiry to close one of the state's darkest chapters.
"These unsolved deaths have left loving families without answers for too long," Mr Perrottet said.
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"This inquiry provides an opportunity to focus further scrutiny on suspected hate crimes, and under the leadership of Justice Sackar will work to close a dark chapter of our state's history that has left an indelible mark."
The inquiry will have significant powers, with Justice Sackar able to hold hearings, summon witnesses, and inspect documents.
A judicial inquiry was one of the key recommendations of a 2018 parliamentary committee into gay and transgender hate crimes, which found NSW Police were indifferent to such crimes and failed to properly investigate them at the time.
to investigate the murders of 86 gay men and found a third of the killings were a result of gay bias.
The Strike Force found the AIDS crisis fuelled homophobia but concluded it was "almost impossible" to identify a "gay-hate bias" from police investigators working on the cases.
Attorney-General Mark Speakman told the ABC the upcoming judicial inquiry aimed to give grieving families some long-awaited answers.
"This is a really tough subject but an incredibly important one," he said.
"Where there are unsolved deaths that have left loving families without answers for too long … no-one in our community should have to suffer the distress of not knowing what's happened to someone they love.
"I think we have to get to the bottom of many unsolved cases."
Justice Sackar will deliver a final report to the Governor on or before June 30, 2023.
Judge heads gay, trans hate crime inquiry .
NSW has appointed a Supreme Court judge to oversee a special inquiry to investigate gay and transgender hate crimes committed in Sydney between 1970 and 2010.The commission of inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes, headed by Justice John Sackar, will investigate the suspected hate crimes against 88 men between 1970 and 2010.