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Betty Dixon was stabbed 27 times in frenzied attack

By Deborah McAleese

Published 29/10/2015

Detectives in Australia examine the scene of Betty Dixon’s murder
Detectives in Australia examine the scene of Betty Dixon’s murder
The body of Holywood woman Elizabeth Dixon was discovered in her car in bushland north of Sydney in April 1982
The funeral of Ms Dixon

Just three years after she had begun an exciting new life along the east coast of Australia, Betty Dixon's beaten and bloodied body was discovered abandoned in bushland.

She had been stabbed 27 times in the chest and neck and hit about the head with a sharp object. Her hands had been tied behind her back with a black shoe lace in a neat bow.

Betty was last seen alive leaving her local squash centre on Saturday, April 3, 1982.

Police believe she may have stopped at some shops before returning home to change out of her sports gear.

A short time after leaving the squash centre she disappeared.

Her final moments would have been terrifying.

Three days later a jogger discovered her body slumped across the steering wheel of her Mazda car which had been dumped in bushland.

Police remained baffled by the killing of this popular 31- year-old from Holywood, Co Down, for more than three decades. The murder weapon was never found.

However, a bread knife that was discovered missing from Ms Dixon's kitchen, is believed to have been used to kill her.

The case was eventually handed over to a cold cases unit of New South Wales police.

Detectives were hopeful that advances in modern forensic technology would help them find her killer.

Two years ago a significant reward was promised by the government for information leading to an arrest.

At the same time detectives began to re-interview some of the people who gave evidence to police at the time of the murder.

Renewing appeals for information, a detective described Betty as a "respectable young woman who held down a full-time job, was active in social settings and in squash tournaments."

He added that she "enjoyed a good circle of friends and family" and that "there was nothing which pointed to her becoming a victim of such a crime."

"Some victims may have some sort of association with a criminal element, but not Miss Dixon," he said.

For many years police have suspected that the young woman knew her killer.

Due to the nature of the sustained and frenzied attack, detectives considered that her murder had been personal.

"I think it's fair to say it is more likely than not (that she knew her killer), either socially or where she lived or possibly where she worked," the detective said in 2013.

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