WHO IS 'JOHN': Cold case hunt for man behind fake name

DETECTIVES are chasing new leads in one of Queensland's oldest murder mysteries - the 1972 disappearance of air force policewoman Gaye Baker.

Investigators from the Homicide Investigation Unit cold case team announced recently they were reviewing the 23-year-old's disappearance and made a public appeal for information.

Gaye vanished from Clayfield after driving to the bowls club to meet a man who'd given her the fake name "John Taylor".

The RAAF policewoman - who grew up in a poor household - had been saving money to help pay for her sick mother's medical care and to realise her dream of travelling the world.

 

RAAF policewoman Gaye Baker, who went missing in 1972.
RAAF policewoman Gaye Baker, who went missing in 1972.

 

She'd taken on a second job as a "hostess" with an escort agency where she'd be accompanying men to functions and corporate events.

On July 2, 1972, Gaye drove her yellow Datsun to Bayview Tce where she planned to meet a man for her first booking with the agency. He'd told the agency's secretary he wanted a date to an end-of-stocktake work pool party. He did not ask for a specific person or make any requests in relation to who his date should be. All the details he gave - including the existence of the party itself - were later discovered to be false.

 

Gaye Baker’s yellow Datsun.
Gaye Baker’s yellow Datsun.

 

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said her team was sifting through calls to Crime Stoppers as a result of the recent public appeal.

"We've received some valuable information that could help us determine what happened to Gaye," she said. "But we believe there are still people out there with knowledge of this crime who could help provide answers for her family."

Sen Sgt Kentwell said police still wanted to hear from anyone who saw Gaye's yellow 1971 Datsun 1200 sedan with registration PUM 800 in Clayfield on the morning of Sunday, July 2, 1972.

 

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell, who is on the cold case. Picture: Annette Dew
Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell, who is on the cold case. Picture: Annette Dew

 

Police also want to speak to anyone who saw a dark brown or maroon Holden Monaro or Valiant Charger in the Clayfield area on the same day.

"It's never too late to come forward," she said. "We ask that anyone with any information, no matter how small or irrelevant you think it might be, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

"Even if you originally spoke to police and haven't yet been contacted again, please get in touch."


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