November 23, 1968 (Saturday)
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Allan “Sammy” G. Whyte (17)
- Alternative Names:
- Allan or Sammy Whyte
- Allan or Sammy Bullock
- Born March 12, 1951
- Caucasian Male
Maureen J. Braddy (16)
- Born August 24, 1952
- 5’4″, Caucasian Female
- Blue Eyes; Black Hair
- Potentially Pregnant at time of Disappearance
*Please note this article has is based largely on secondary sources (e.g. newspaper reports, coroner’s inquest) and conflicting statements may exist. Such conflicts are noted where possible.
Allan George Whyte (17) – Allan was one of 14 children, son of his mother’s first husband. After she re-married, Allan sometimes was called ‘Allan Bullock’ or by his nickname ‘Sammy’.
Allan was an active young man, steady by nature and consistently employed. He sometimes worked on farms with his brother Kevin, taking advantage of the fishing and camping opportunities. Family describes him as shy, sweet, and family-oriented, local with a relatively small group of friends.
*The primary focus of the case was on Maureen, leaving Allan’s disappearance relatively overlooked. Notably, Allan’s basic descriptors (hair color, eye color, height) are missing from public reports,
Maureen J. Braddy (16) – Maureen was the third of ten children, on relatively pleasant (though not close) terms with her siblings and extended family. She had an unhappy relationship with her father, possibly due to domestic violence.
She was kind and caring, her sister says . . . “quiet, reserved, shy, reliable, responsible, obedient” (Coroner’s Inquest, p. 5) Maureen was a good girl who usually tried to do the right thing. She was active in her church (Jehovah’s Witness) though her parents were not. Maureen was rather strong-willed and independent, ready to stand up for those in need. While well liked by those who knew her, Maureen was a ‘small-town‘ girl with little worldly experience and a relatively small group of friends. Her siblings continue to pursue the truth about her disappearance today, more than 40 years later.
If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact: Victoria Police Crime Investigations Unit at (+61) 5448 – 1370 or CrimeStoppers (+61) 1800-333-000 | online.
Key Persons in the Case
- Maureen Braddy:
- Stanley Braddy (Father)
- Kathleen Muriel Braddy (Mother)
- Charlotte Braddy (Grandmother)
- Valerie O’Donoghue (Aunt)
- Allan Whyte:
- Robert Whyte (Father)
- Lillian Whyte (Mother)
- Robert Bullock (Step-Father)
- Kevin Whyte (Brother)
- Witnesses to the Inquest:
- Ted Beasley (Stanley’s Friend)
- Judith Paynting (Maureen’s Friend)
- Jillian Siddall (Maureen’s Classmate)
- Karen Ray (Bible Study Teacher & Friend)
Map of Events
Prior to the Disappearance
Maureen’s home life appears to have been unhappy; her father is described as a fierce authoritarian with tendencies towards physical and verbal abuse. Frightened, Maureen and her siblings were reportedly close neither to each other nor home. Unsurprisingly, Maureen asserted her independence at a young age.
*No one mentioned the abuse at the time of the disappearance; rather, this information came out decades later at the coroner‘s inquest. Mr. Braddy denies the accusations and says the children were both happy and close to one another.
At 15, Maureen dropped out of high school and started a new job as an egg packer at Crystal Egg Factory in April 1968. On November 4 of that year, Allan also started a new position at the factory, and the two became quick acquaintances though whether there was the potential for more is uncertain. Three weeks later, they vanished without a trace.
Nov. 18 – 21 (Mon. – Thurs.)
Maureen is acting strangely all week. Maureen visits her grandmother early in the week distressed and in trouble. According to Maureen’s aunt Valerie, Maureen tells her grandmother she had seen something at home and needs to get away.
Some suggest Maureen was pregnant and certain family members agree, but there is no evidence. Allan seems unaware if this is true, and it is unlikely Allan was the father. Allan and Maureen had only known each other two weeks at that point.
Nov. 22 (Fri.)
Judith Paynting (Maureen’s Friend) sees a large bruise on Maureen’s upper arm, but Maureen refuses to explain. At some point, Maureen asks Judith “what would you think if I ran away“, but Judith assumes it is not a serious statement (Coroner’s Inquest, p. 7).
Nov. 23 (Sat. Afternoon)
12:30 – 1:00pm ➱ Jillian Siddall (Maureen’s Classmate) finds Maureen wandering Long Gully Oval recreation area. Maureen appears to be crying, but she cheers up when Allan arrives. She tells Jillian she’ll be fine now.
4:00pm (16:00) ➱ Karen Ray (Maureen’s Friend) visits the Braddy home but finds Maureen’s father and grandmother in a loud argument. Karen leaves.
Nov. 23 (Sat. Evening)
The local YMCA on Mundy Street is hosting a party for Saturday night. Allan takes Maureen home to get ready and meets the family for the first time.
7:00 – 8:00pm (19:00 – 20:00) ➱ Suzanne (Maureen’s Sister) brings her boyfriend (Stuart) by to meet the family before heading to the YMCA as well. Her father tells Stuart not to worry about bringing her home early that evening; which seems out of character.
Allan and Maureen are supposed to stay for dinner, but leave early. Suzanne remembers Maureen wearing a pretty red, woolen dress with a small drawstring clutch purse (key later).
The Parents Night Out
Maureen’s Mother ➱ testifies that Charlotte Braddy (Maureen’s Grandmother) asked them to drive her to Kamarooka to visit family. The trip is approximately 80km (49mi) round trip, requiring at least an hour’s drive. They return between 11:00pm and Midnight, but Maureen is not home yet.
Maureen’s Father ➱ initially says they stayed home all night. He later recants and agrees they drove to Kamarooka. On returning, he drops his wife off first and then drives his mother home. This would require a longer trip than a simple drive. He returns around Midnight.
Problems ➱ The children don’t recall their grandmother visiting that evening, nor do people living with the grandmother. Suzanne says her father talked with her boyfriend for hours and was still there when she left around 9:30pm – 10:00pm.
Nov. 23 (Sat. – The Dance)
Allan and Maureen seem cheerful and positive at the dance, and neither gives any sign of plans to run away or concerns at home. Despite her earlier distress, Maureen seems fine to her friends now.
9:00pm (21:00) ➱ Allan and Maureen decide to walk back to her family’s home. Kevin Whyte (Allan’s brother) invites both of them to come by his home for an afterparty which would last until around 2:00am, but Allan turns him down. Allan plans to take Maureen home and then return for his car later. The trip from the YMCA to Maureen’s home in California Gully was approximately 3mi (5km) one way.
After walking away into the night, both Maureen and Allan vanished into mystery.
Nov. 23 (Sat. – Disturbance at the Braddy Home)
9:00pm to 10:00pm (21:00 – 22:00) ➱ Judith Paynting (Braddy’s neighbor) hears a man and woman screaming, then two gunshots approximately 4 min. apart. A car leaves from the area of the Braddy home around 15 – 20min later. *Judith originally placed this event a day or so before the disappearance and did not report the incident at all until 2002. If true, this would occur after Suzanne left.
Stanley Braddy later testified he never owned a gun, but this is reliably refuted by several witnesses including investigators who had to remove a gun from his possession.
10:30pm (22:30) ➱ Maureen’s siblings note a disturbance outside the girls’ bedroom window.
- Jennifer ➱ Overhears parents arguing. Is under the impression they are upset with Maureen. In the girls’ bedroom, she hears a bang, yelling, and another bang.
- If correct, the parents would need to leave almost immediately afterwards to make the trip to Kamarooka.
- Debra ➱ Hears muted yelling and distinct thumps (like something hitting the wall below their window). She ignores it and pretends to be sleeping.
- Similarities to Judith’s testimony, but the timeline is off and the sounds are quieter.
- Lynette ➱ The only one to look outside the window, but she is only 8 and has limited memory of the night. During the 2013 inquest, Lynette testified to memories recovered under hypnosis. She saw her father and his friend Ted Beasley outside carrying a young man covered in blood.
- Ted Beasley’s son argued she mixed the night up with another in which he was injured. He was bloody and had to be carried inside by the two men. Lynette disagrees.
- The hypnotist is not specially licensed for this and warned the testimony was not entirely reliable.
- George ➱ Sees Mrs. Braddy aggressively watering the flowers beneath the window. She sends him to bed, but he later notices blood on the flowers.
- Cannot say with certainty it is the same night.
Nov. 24 (Sunday Morning)
2:00am ➱ Suzanne returns and notices Maureen is not there. Her bed is still made and her purse is on the bedside dresser. Suzanne remembers Maureen carrying it to the party, suggesting Maureen also returned home at some point. Maureen’s mother sees the purse, but cannot recall whether Maureen had it that night. Judith (Maureen’s friend) recalls Maureen having a small, light colored bag on her shoulder at the party.
When Suzanne bends down to remove her shoes, she notices small traces of blood. She has not cut herself and cannot explain how it got there. When entering the home, she passed through the front yard and a side door near the flowers George say Mrs. Braddy cleaning and the girls’ window.
The Parents‘ Morning
Maureen’s Mother ➱ Says she awoke around 6:00am – 7:00am and noticed Maureen still wasn’t home.
Maureen’s Father ➱ Says they stayed awake all night worried about Maureen, checking her bed. Claims to have called people as soon as it was light, but cannot state who he called. Children did notice him coming in to check their room that night.
Neither the families nor the police suspected foul play initially and consequently undertook minimal efforts to find them.
Nov. 24 (Sunday – The Search)
When Maureen failed to return by morning, her parents walked the neighborhood but found nothing. Rhonda (Maureen’s sister) arrived that afternoon and filed a missing person’s report with police. Afterwards, the Braddys left the investigation to authorities. Robert (Maureen’s brother) has no memory of his parents looking for Maureen.
When Allan failed to return at midnight, his mother Lillian became concerned. She visited the police station, but there is no record of a missing person’s report. It is not clear whether this is because A) she was not that upset; B) the police convinced her not to file, or C) whether police misplaced the report. Kevin Whyte does not recall their family being particularly worried that Allan was in danger, but some sources say the family though Allan was working a job.
Lillian visited the police again on June 28, 1969 after several months passed. At this point, he was still not officially listed as missing. In fact, the formal missing person’s report was not filed for Allan until October 9, 1969, almost a year after the disappearance.
It appears both police and family initially suspected Allan and Maureen were lovers who had simply run away together. This remained the prevailing opinion until the 1990s, and no serious efforts were made to locate them. The case remained completely dormant from 1988 to 1999. Consequently, much of the evidence that might have been key to solving the case vanished over the decades that followed.
Senior investigators reviewed the case and concluded in 2000 that there was likely foul play involved. However, they also reported that future investigations are unlikely to yield further insight into the events of that night.
Theories & Suspects
They Were Alive
In 1999, Mrs. Braddy told police Maureen called her approximately four weeks after disappearing. Maureen asked to come home, but a male voice said “what are you doing!?” and the call dropped (Coroner’s Inquest, p. 15). Mrs. Braddy believed the call came from the Nagambie Lake Hotel, but gave no reason for thinking so. She also claimed to have seen Maureen in the area several times, but there is nothing to prove these statements. Mrs. Braddy was later diagnosed with Dementia and may have been confused.
In 1999, Mr. Braddy told police he always suspected foul play was involved. He claimed he saw Maureen in the Nagambie | Stanhope area with his son Stanley Jr. Stanley Jr refuted this statement, but has since passed away.
In 2012, Mr. Braddy told police Allan and Maureen were kidnapped from the Stanhope hotel. Allan was the target as someone “wanted a son. . . Maureen was an added attraction . . . it’s a bit like your slavery job, somebody got a quid out of it somewhere” (Coroner’s Inquest, p. 16). He learned of the kidnapping from two Bendigo police officers (including a Frank Baker) who said someone influential was involved and he should leave the matter alone. Maureen was in good hands and there was nothing to worry about. Mr. Braddy went on to say that the influential people involved included a member of Australia’s parliament, and that the government was paying for Allan and Maureen’s living costs for some time.
*Allan had left his car behind at the YMCA, so how did he and Maureen reach Stanhope Hotel (85km |52mi) at least an hour away.
Mr. Braddy appeared unbothered during the investigation and inquest.
In 2009, Mr. Braddy told people his daughter and Allan had been living in Swan Hill (185km | 114mi away from Bendigo). Maureen had passed away the year before, and he attended the funeral at Swan Hill Cemetery.
The woman he mentioned was later identified as Carol Joy Carroll (nee Murray) who was older than Maureen by seven years married John Carroll four years before the disappearance. While her daughter is named Maureen, her husband insists Carol was a Swan Hill local.
Maureen’s aunt believed for many years that Charlotte Braddy (grandmother) had arranged for Maureen to run away with Allan to an undisclosed location. She was told by the grandmother not to tell anyone so as to protect Maureen.
They Were Buried in the Well
It appears that public and family opinions hold that Maureen and/or Allan were buried in the old well that sat on the Braddy property. This theory is unsubstantiated and based purely on conjecture.
Suzanne (Maureen’s sister) saw her father standing over the old well the afternoon of November 24th, the day after the disappearance. He appeared to be messing with the concrete covering and had two carpets with him.
Her boyfriend Stuart looked down into the well three months later but did not see anything out of the ordinary (nor did he see the two carpets).
In the 1970s, Mr. Braddy built an extension to the home overtop of the old well, a portion of the house which still stands today. A search today would require removing the concrete slab floor and undermining the building structure. Police have presently refused to take on the financial and logistical burden given the lack of evidence. Nonetheless, more than 3,200 people have signed an online petition to plead for the opening of the well.
They Were Buried in an Old Mine Shaft
The family believes Allan and/or Maureen might have been dumped in an old abandoned mine shaft, as the area around Bendigo is heavily populated with them. They hired psychics to identify key locations, but nothing has even come of the search.
Only Suspect: Mr. Stanley Braddy
Mr. Braddy has been most notable for two reasons. First, his constantly shifting and often disproven stories about his activities at the time of the disappearance. Second, his apparent total lack of concern regarding Maureen’s welfare both immediately afterwards and in the years since.
He has been described as uncooperative and evasive; a “most unreliable witness who had no interest in assisting either my inquiry, or that of police” (Carrodus, 2014).
In 2012, the Australia police re-opened the case for a coroner’s inquest. Initial hearing were held March 26 – 28, 2012, and a second hearing was held March 18 – 21, 2013.
The coroner reviewed the evidence presented and re-interviewed dozens of witnesses from the time. Much of the evidence against Mr. Braddy and the statements of family and friends was not heard by police until this inquest.
The coroner rebuked the police investigation in 1968 for:
- Failing to take the statements of family or attendees at the party
- Failing to note or remark on any formal connection between Allan or Maureen in the files
- Failing to collect forensic evidence of the locations involved
- Failing to make a plea to the public with the help of public media
- Failing to properly record what interviews were given
- Failing to file a formal missing person’s report on Allan in a timely manner
He did however also note that the lack of concern on the part of police was likely a byproduct of the family’s equal lack of concern at the time. Police were simply acting on the family’s assumption that it was a runaway case.
Ultimately, little is actually known about the disappearance of Allan and Maureen. Most of the so-called ‘facts’ — from the nature of their relationship and Maureen’s home life to the events of that night — are pure supposition.
The only true facts are these:
- On November 4, 1968, Maureen and Allan met at the Crystal Egg Factor of Bendigo and some form of friendship or romantic relationship began.
- On November 22, 1968, Maureen appeared to have bruising, but gave no explanation.
- On November 23, 1968, Maureen and Allan were both at the Braddy home before the party for a brief time.
- On November 23, 1968, Maureen and Allan left the Braddy home and attended a party at the local YMCA. They then left the party walking around 9:00pm (21:00).
- They have not been seen since. Allan’s car (a treasure to him) was left abandoned at the YMCA. Neither touched their bank account afterwards. Maureen’s last paycheck remained uncollected.
In the face of these facts, the coroner ruled that neither Allan nor Maureen had the connections or wherewithal to relocate without assistance, nor is there anything to suggest they actually ran away.
Beyond this, he could not presume. The case was once again closed and the mystery of what happened to Allan and Maureen remains to this day unsolved.
Police are still offering a $1 Million reward for information that could lead to the answer.
- Carrodus, H. (2014) “Coroner Says Lack of Evidence to Charge” , Bendigo Advertiser”, 18 December. Available here
- Corsetti, S. (2018) “Family Still Searching for Clues 50 Years After Disappearance of Maureen Braddy in Wendigo”, ABC Central Victoria, 12 January. Available here
- Deery, S. (2014) “Suspect in Cold Case Double Murder of Daughter, Lover to Escape Charges After Probe Bungled”, Herald Sun, 28 November. Available here.
- Doe Network (No Date) “Case File 2939DFVIC”. Available here
- Doe Network (No Date) “Case File 4297DMVIC”. Available here.
- Fagan, J. (2013a) “Maureen Braddy’s Younger Sister Underwent Hypnosis, Inquest Told”, 19 March. Available here.
- Fagan, J. 2013b) “Father Claims Missing Teens in Braddy-Whyte Case are Still Alive”, Bendigo Avertiser, 19 March. Available here
- Fagan, J. (2013c) “California Gully Well May Be Key to Braddy-Whyte Mystery”, 19 March. Available here
- Fagan, J. (2013d) “Braddy-Whyte Inquest: Maureen Wat in Trouble, Aunty Tells Court”, Bendigo Advertiser, 20 March. Available here
- Fagan, J. (2013e) “Braddy-Whyte Inquest: Father Stands By ‘Slavery’ Claims”, 21 March. Available here
- Fagan, J. (2013f) “Braddy-Whyte Inquest: Detective Angry at Lack of Charge”, 22 March. Available here
- Lambert, O. (2017) “Police Offer $1m Reward for Information that Solves Mysterious Cold Case”, News.com.au, 25 January. Available here
- O’Callaghan, T. (2018) “Braddy-Whyte Case: New Clues and Online Petition in 50-Year-Old Cold Case”, Bendigo Advertiser, 17 December. Available here.
- Robinson, R. (2009) “She’s Not My Wife”, Australia Missing Persons Register, 13 October. Available here
- Worthington, B. (2012) “Braddy-Whyte Inquest” “I Saw a Body”, Bendigo Advertiser, 28 March. Available here