Australia Australia - Marion Barter, 51, missing after trip to UK, June 1997 #15

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BabeBlues

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The original post from Feb 2022 says that
Pierre H. de GAYE ad was also from the Le Courrier Australien:

Australia - Australia - Marion Barter, 51, missing after trip to UK, June 1997 #7

Here’s a link to Trove, ad dated 10 Feb 1994: Advertising - Le Courrier Australien (Sydney, NSW : 1892 - 2011) - 10 Feb 1994

Le Courrier has headquarters in Sydney but is circulated nation-wide. The inquest asked if RB placed similar ads like the Monsieur Remakle one in pepers specific to QLD and Gold Coast. He said he might have. But no one has ever found any. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Back in the 90's the Sunday Mail (Qld newspaper) had at least one full page of personal ads. It was like the Tinder of looking for love, if one was going to post an ad in QLD this would be the most likely choice. Those papers can be viewed at the State Library in Brisbane
 

BabeBlues

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I agree and also the one thing he showed some shock and real emotion about in the inquest 'I thought she was my closest friend in the whole world' or the 'best friend of my whole life' or somesuch he said.
Also it is very interesting that there is very little info and almost no photos on the internet of MC. I do recall one photo floating around at some point, a group photo but I can't seem to find it. She acted in one movie, yet again no photos.
 

Estelle

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Wow.. incredible plan. He would have had that cooking up for ages …if his remakel ad was seen in 94 and two years later he successfully got MB to do the name change.
I have always thought that MB did reply to the December 1994 ad RB placed in Le Courrier Australien which someone she knew gave her. However, they may have talked on the phone once or she wrote him a letter giving all her details. Even though Sally said she was married at the time, MB may have been separated under the one roof. What year did she divorce?

MB may have told RB that she was separated but still living under the one roof with her husband so RB lost interest as he's not interested in married women and may have been busy with other potential scams who had replied even though he said he did not hear from anyone. RB may have told her that they could meet after her divorce was through.

IIRC he placed the ad in her last week of school that year on the Saturday and her purse was stolen that week when she left her car door open when carrying books.

It has been my theory that it was RB who stole her purse as he decided to go to her house to see where she lived and she was leaving for school so he followed her to the school and took the opportunity to steal her purse.

I say this because later a woman was caught on the CCTV of the service station trying to use or using MB's credit card. Sally saw the CCTV and said the woman looked like Marion. IMO it was DdH! I guess other cards were in that purse too.

IIRC MB and Sally lived together those school holidays (1994/5) so MB could have divorced by then or was legally separated. It would not have appealed for RB to meet Marion then if MB's daughter was living with her or she was still legally married.
So when RB read about MB receiving the Teaching Excellence Award in 1996, he renewed his interest in MB. He still had her phone no so he rang her to suggest meeting at the Arts Centre because it said in the media that she was now divorced.

RB talked about his travels and enthused MB to travel, etc. so he knew she was open to travelling, would prefer to do it with someone and that she was interested in marrying again etc. So they built up a rapport as friends.

RB then set up his plan and moved house and then pursued MB more in 1997.

MB talked about her desire to travel to go on the Orient Express at Christmas 1996 to her family so perhaps RB had got her excited about it by then.

I wrote a similar post which Peralta agreed could have happened ages ago. I'm sure that Peralta has the relevant dates which need to be added so we can see if this scenario could have occurred. But it is my gut feeling that this is what may have occurred.

IMO RB does research on his prospective love scam victims before he meets them but once he meets them, he moves faster.

The usual objections to this scenario are that RB moves fast plus that people think MB would not have been reading Le Courrier Australien.

But it is a national paper distributed all over Australia and MB knew some French and was a Francophile. She could have used a dictionary to translate the ad, was revising her French by reading it in the library or was given it by a friend who knew MB was separated and looking to meet men.

IMO we cannot discount this theory but if you can, please pick it apart.
 

Estelle

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I know she wasn’t well traveled previously but being a bright school teacher I doubt she would have listened to him and left IDs in left luggage (it’s just a manned room) but if it was an actual locker..it’s possible.. I only remember the Left luggage room…due to the bombing risk in the 70/80s I’m not sure there was lockers at Heathrow.
You are correct. There are no luggage lockers at Heathrow airport. There is just a storage room. But I think RB could have been right back to it as soon as he could. The lockers were at Amsterdam airport.
 

Estelle

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Wow.. incredible plan. He would have had that cooking up for ages …if his remakel ad was seen in 94 and two years later he successfully got MB to do the name change.
In order to trust RB so much to even change her name, IMO MB and RB knew each other longer than we have realised. (see my theory)
 

Eyespywithmylittleeye

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Also it is very interesting that there is very little info and almost no photos on the internet of MC. I do recall one photo floating around at some point, a group photo but I can't seem to find it. She acted in one movie, yet again no photos.
The pic I think you are talking of was from a school newsletter where she taught, a field trip somewhere
 

Estelle

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I just don’t think he’s that clever… unless he actually does have dementia now his testimony was SO clumsy, sloppy and was not forensic in any way shape or form.. he basically bluffed every answer …a very intelligent person would not incriminate themselves in this way…
I think RB is very cunning and that requires intelligence above average. The way he performed on the stand was to muddy the waters by confusing others. Also he may have been pretending to have dementia.
 

Getro callum

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I don't see why RB should be ruled out from this incident, the secret boyfriend is exactly his MO. Maybe people say he wouldn't do this so close to home but what do we know about him - the tip of the iceberg.
It would be interesting to see if there was any interaction between them at all ...she being a disability support worker and all..

I don’t think he had enough self control to limit his scams to far reaching areas.. if he spotted an opportunity it would have been second nature to start the *urgh* ‘charm’ offensive..
 

Estelle

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When he travelled overseas at the time Marion did, he was using his passport of Richard Lloyd Westbury, a name he travelled on many times since 1992. He had already changed his name legally to FdeH back in 1992, so he wasn't Westbury anymore, but he travelled on that passport illegally.
I'm confused with the date of 1992. Which name did he use to marry DdH, become an Australian citizen and receive his disability pension? I thought he changed his name legally before he married DdH.
 

Estelle

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This is definitely possible… but if she did have problems accessing more of her money at Barclays surely the paperwork she needed would be at Heathrow .. to me the return trip flight / smells of RB still…… but it would be interesting if she had caught him out o/s or something happened mid journey home..

Even if he did leave her there alive or deceased…how would he have got someone to take her flight so quick after her phone call?

IMO he had all his ducks in a row before he even left Australia. IMO he has accomplices overseas and would have had the woman ready to take the flight and also the hitman organised.IMO He planned MB's itinerary, booked her accommodation (so he would know where she was) and probably chose her outgoing flight.
 

Getro callum

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I have always thought that MB did reply to the December 1994 ad RB placed in Le Courrier Australien which someone she knew gave her. However, they may have talked on the phone once or she wrote him a letter giving all her details. Even though Sally said she was married at the time, MB may have been separated under the one roof. What year did she divorce?

MB may have told RB that she was separated but still living under the one roof with her husband so RB lost interest as he's not interested in married women and may have been busy with other potential scams who had replied even though he said he did not hear from anyone. RB may have told her that they could meet after her divorce was through.

IIRC he placed the ad in her last week of school that year on the Saturday and her purse was stolen that week when she left her car door open when carrying books.

It has been my theory that it was RB who stole her purse as he decided to go to her house to see where she lived and she was leaving for school so he followed her to the school and took the opportunity to steal her purse.

I say this because later a woman was caught on the CCTV of the service station trying to use or using MB's credit card. Sally saw the CCTV and said the woman looked like Marion. IMO it was DdH! I guess other cards were in that purse too.

IIRC MB and Sally lived together those school holidays (1994/5) so MB could have divorced by then or was legally separated. It would not have appealed for RB to meet Marion then if MB's daughter was living with her or she was still legally married.
So when RB read about MB receiving the Teaching Excellence Award in 1996, he renewed his interest in MB. He still had her phone no so he rang her to suggest meeting at the Arts Centre because it said in the media that she was now divorced.

RB talked about his travels and enthused MB to travel, etc. so he knew she was open to travelling, would prefer to do it with someone and that she was interested in marrying again etc. So they built up a rapport as friends.

RB then set up his plan and moved house and then pursued MB more in 1997.

MB talked about her desire to travel to go on the Orient Express at Christmas 1996 to her family so perhaps RB had got her excited about it by then.

I wrote a similar post which Peralta agreed could have happened ages ago. I'm sure that Peralta has the relevant dates which need to be added so we can see if this scenario could have occurred. But it is my gut feeling that this is what may have occurred.

IMO RB does research on his prospective love scam victims before he meets them but once he meets them, he moves faster.

The usual objections to this scenario are that RB moves fast plus that people think MB would not have been reading Le Courrier Australien.

But it is a national paper distributed all over Australia and MB knew some French and was a Francophile. She could have used a dictionary to translate the ad, was revising her French by reading it in the library or was given it by a friend who knew MB was separated and looking to meet men.

IMO we cannot discount this theory but if you can, please pick it apart.
Wow forgot about the purse… definitely RBS doing… I think he would have had many ads in many papers ..loads of them never even list names or numbers..you just quote the reference and get in touch via the papers classifieds number…
I think he researched these women… it would take a few days/ a bit of effort to establish exactly how much money/ assets they had at their disposal… he wouldn’t have wanted to waste his time on women with interfering relatives or women with no money..

definitely think he stole purse.. may have been taking too long to get info on Marion could have used last name/ spelling & address for property search etc or maybe just desperate for cash? -Gave to Diane ? Or maybe it was like a phishing scheme where the response to the stolen purse gave him more information on who was in her life and watching what happened to her..?
 

Getro callum

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IMO he had all his ducks in a row before he even left Australia. IMO he has accomplices overseas and would have had the woman ready to take the flight and also the hitman organised.IMO He planned MB's itinerary, booked her accommodation (so he would know where she was) and probably chose her outgoing flight.
Hitman ? I don’t see him fitting this scenario at all… & he’s so egotistical he would work alone… (or with MC or wife who does everything he tells her) he gets what he he wants without ‘hurting anyone’ he would (In his own warped way) think he is definitely not hurting anyone by fleecing them of cash.. loads of people think like this… survival of the fittest… ‘if I can outwit you and get all your money’ ..that’s you stupid fault etc..

However if an ‘accident’ occurred…he would also absolve himself of any blame… but to plan on murder from the beginning I just don’t get that vibe from him… he would stick to what’s worked, what he’s good at..(talking absolute *advertiser censored*…& separating ppl from their money)..
 

Estelle

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Wow forgot about the purse… definitely RBS doing… I think he would have had many ads in many papers ..loads of them never even list names or numbers..you just quote the reference and get in touch via the papers classifieds number…
I think he researched these women… it would take a few days/ a bit of effort to establish exactly how much money/ assets they had at their disposal… he wouldn’t have wanted to waste his time on women with interfering relatives or women with no money..

definitely think he stole purse.. may have been taking too long to get info on Marion could have used last name/ spelling & address for property search etc or maybe just desperate for cash? -Gave to Diane ? Or maybe it was like a phishing scheme where the response to the stolen purse gave him more information on who was in her life and watching what happened to her..?
When a person replies to an ad for the first time, they often give the person who advertised too much detail as they are naive and too trusting. If MB replied to his ad in a letter form, she probably did it as we do when writing business letters and give the address and date at the top. He could therefore check out her house to see if it was worth his trouble. She could have told him her phone no too so he could phone her to reply. She would have described her appearance, even sent a photo, her interests, her marital status, her family and so on as well as where she worked.

I used to reply to ads in a magazine named, "Singles" when I was first separated in the 1990s on the advice of my Relationship Counsellor. You had to write to the person. I used to give too much information too. Many people used to assume that the other person was telling the truth about themselves.

But I soon learnt that after meeting some of the men, that their responses were full of lies and they used old photos. I met short men who had claimed to be tall, bankrupt men, men who looked much older than their photo and lied about living separately from wives when, in fact, they were still living with them. One man told me he owned the place where he was living with his children. It was a big two storey house. I asked him if he owned it and he said, "yes". I fell in love with him and two years later, he and his children had left for the day and I was washing up. There was a knock at the door and his real estate agent asked me if he was going to court that day as he was three months behind with his rent. They always say that older men either want a nurse or a purse? This one obviously wanted a purse.

I soon learnt that you needed to check them out fully before you met them (if you can0 but not fall in love with them before you even went to where they lived. Facebook and computers enable us to check many details these days if you find out their surname. There are so many stories I could tell. I could write a book about them.

This is one of the reasons I have been so interested in this case as I could have ended up like Marion!

Luckily I am still happily single.
 

Estelle

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Hitman ? I don’t see him fitting this scenario at all… & he’s so egotistical he would work alone… (or with MC or wife who does everything he tells her) he gets what he he wants without ‘hurting anyone’ he would (In his own warped way) think he is definitely not hurting anyone by fleecing them of cash.. loads of people think like this… survival of the fittest… ‘if I can outwit you and get all your money’ ..that’s you stupid fault etc..

However if an ‘accident’ occurred…he would also absolve himself of any blame… but to plan on murder from the beginning I just don’t get that vibe from him… he would stick to what’s worked, what he’s good at..(talking absolute *advertiser censored*…& separating ppl from their money)..
There are some people who think that RB could have been part of an organised crime gang. I am open to that prospect nowadays.

Because I believe so strongly that MB did not return to Australia, and RB flew back earlier and was in Australia, the only thing that fits this scenario is that he organised someone else to end MB's life. In that way, he can claim he "has never hurt anyone".
 
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Getro callum

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Al
I had some dealing with banks overseas and it wasn’t that easy to do stuff over the phone ..becouse there was no email etc proving your ID was extremely difficult…doing faxes sometimes wasn’t allowed, I vaguely remember having to do justice of peace stuff…I can imagine myself doing something as random as flying home to sort access to my account out..

If she didn’t come home .. she was either dead not long after speaking to sally or had some other reason for not being in contact /having no other activity booked overseas in the weeks after speaking to Sal. And I doubt RB would have flown home after the person using MBs passport ..he usually heads home first..

I mean if she didn’t leave o/s. RB would have had to organise someone taking her place pretty damn fast.. seems unlikely…

Would be interesting if she found out he left and followed him home and he didn’t know about it..

Very interesting !
Also I think he would have done what he did to the other victims..
Greet her at/near airport after she got the hire car, been the welcoming partner pretending to know everything and and show her around etc..so she felt safe and relied on him 100%….told her after a week or so that he had business elsewhere in Europe ..(secretly flew home) rang her saying he’s been robbed in Amsterdam or wherever he pretended to be etc, …got her to western union him whatever cash she had left…after she was unable to access more funds o/s ..he may have got her to fly back to sort it and she was ‘hiding in secret in cheap hotel/motel near him and the first couple of transactions were really her… and then armed with the info/ history of getting previous 5ks out Diane took over the rest of the withdrawals from different branches ..

she could have slowly cottoned on to his scheming and followed him home or found out something about him and the blackmail he was going to do on her went wrong…I would say she definitely would have not been a easy pushover with regards to parting with such a lot of money….. as that was her home and future gone…

He seems slimy and sneaky but cowardly when confronted… I can’t see him intending to kill but if there was an accident or overdose when trying to keep Someone quiet..I could see him absolving himself of any blame…


Lots of swindlers use the old line of ‘can’t tell anyone (where we are-staying etc) because I’m being watched followed etc’

She may have been hiding in secret in a cheap motel close by getting sicker and sicker.. hence the dr visit on the 13th.. it would be have been extremely easy to dispose of her body in australia..he had help, a vehicle and no one’s knew she was back here…
 

Getro callum

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When a person replies to an ad for the first time, they often give the person who advertised too much detail as they are naive and too trusting. If MB replied to his ad in a letter form, she probably did it as we do when writing business letters and give the address and date at the top. He could therefore check out her house to see if it was worth his trouble. She could have told him her phone no too so he could phone her to reply. She would have described her appearance, even sent a photo, her interests, her marital status, her family and so on as well as where she worked.

I used to reply to ads in a magazine named, "Singles" when I was first separated in the 1990s on the advice of my Relationship Counsellor. You had to write to the person. I used to give too much information too. Many people used to assume that the other person was telling the truth about themselves.

But I soon learnt that after meeting some of the men, that their responses were full of lies and they used old photos. I met short men who had claimed to be tall, bankrupt men, men who looked much older than their photo and lied about living separately from wives when, in fact, they were still living with them. One man told me he owned the place where he was living with his children. It was a big two storey house. I asked him if he owned it and he said, "yes". I fell in love with him and two years later, he and his children had left for the day and I was washing up. There was a knock at the door and his real estate agent asked me if he was going to court that day as he was three months behind with his rent. They always say that older men either want a nurse or a purse? This one obviously wanted a purse.

I soon learnt that you needed to check them out fully before you met them (if you can0 but not fall in love with them before you even went to where they lived. Facebook and computers enable us to check many details these days if you find out their surname. There are so many stories I could tell. I could write a book about them.

This is one of the reasons I have been so interested in this case as I could have ended up like Marion!

Luckily I am still happily single.
Wow I’m so sorry, that’s terrible
We’ve discussed and clarified this repeatedly over the past 15 threads / 4 years. Here’s a refresher for anyone who needs it, because I know it’s hard to keep track of it all :)

The $15k that remained in her account was in a high interest earning account, created at State Bank, Ashmore branch (Marion’s usual bank), on the same day her mortgage was discharged.

The contact address she gave for the account was an address in Rye UK. When you search the address, it’s the site where the old Rye Barclays used to be in 1997.

That’s it. It’s not suggested she transferred any money to Barclays Rye.

It does suggest however, that she already knew she was going to Rye when the sale of her house came through.

It’s interesting nonetheless because she usually gave her friend Leslie’s address as a contact/forwarding address because she had no fixed address while traveling.

The $80k+ that was drained, was in her ‘everyday account’ also at State Bank, Ashmore branch.
i wonder if this was organised like this from the beginning (ie.after the house sale)..it may have been what she came home to do..cause it seems the wrong way round..you would think you would place the bulk in a high interest saving a/c and just put enough for a the short term in a current account..15k (5/6k sterling would be enough for a few months holiday in the 90s before getting established..) you would definitely put the 80k in a more secure high interest ac until you worked out what you were going to do..
 
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