Australia Samantha Murphy, 51, last seen leaving her property to go for a run in the Canadian State Forest, Ballarat 100km NW of Melbourne, 4 Feb 2024 #8

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Here is the reference and press conference where the reporter asked about an incident at a Ballarat Hopsitality venue

Post # 360 by @Detective Willy
There was 1 question asked at the first press conference that I still find interesting - this one that was asked at the 5m 50 sec mark.

The reporter asks if this could be related to "an incident at a Ballarat Hospitality Venue". (I read this as a Pub or club).

As we have seen in the past, the press often have more inside info than the general public. Does anyone know what this incident was at the Ballarat Hospital Venue?

IMO it is either a dumb question or one that has been intentionally left alone and not spoken about for operational reasons?
This is all just My Opinion :
I think the Murphy’s were out to dinner at one of Ballarat’s hospitality venues on the Saturday night prior to that fateful Sunday.

I think the reporter was asking whether there may have been an incident at that venue, that may have had an impact in Sam’s disappearance … as opposed to saying ‘there was an incident ..’.

However, since we’ve now heard that PS was out at a party that same Sat night, and that police were asking hospitality venues for cctv’s, I wonder if there was an incident somewhere.
Does anyone know where the 80th celebration was held, as it’s quite common for these things to be held at local ‘clubs’ eg. Golf, Bowls, RSL etc.

As I said, just my thoughts ..
 
Would there have been any harm from the police in revealing where the dinner took place? Usually they would say a dinner at home, or a dinner at such and such restaurant. After all it helps the public come forward with clues, as they might have been there, or nearby.
I’d say it’s either irrelevant or they’re intentionally keeping it quiet so that they can handle it themselves. The police aren’t backward in coming forward with requests of the public.
 
Today I drove from Melbourne to an area south-west of Ballarat. Someone else was behind the wheel and as we approached Ballarat the GPS directed the driver to a short cut. I hadn’t really been paying attention to where we were as I was wrangling children in the car at that moment, and suddenly saw the sign for Woowookarung and realised we were driving through it, on Recreation road! After all the photos, footage and discussion here, it was really kinda surreal. I kept looking around for some sort of an indication that this was an area of recent high scrutiny but- nothing. I half wanted to request that the driver turn the car around! We continued on the journey right through to Mount Clear, with my eyes out on stalks.

My main takeaway from this drive was how true it is what everyone has said about how it’s not at all remote in the Rec Road area. The road does noticeably change to a dirt road during that patch as it passes thru the Canadian Plantation / Woowookarung Regional Park, but it never feels remote compared to other parts of bush nearby. within less than 5 mins you’re back into suburbs. Not saying that anyone involved in this incident entered via McCarthys / Yankee Flat the way we did, obvs, just that Google maps must send lots of people that way, if they’re driving up the M8 Western Freeway from Melbourne and … basically it would be good luck to get up to much mischief in that area without a few witnesses, even on a Sunday morning.

imo
As you discovered Recreation Rd , whilst a gravel surface is still a major short cut for locals travelling to and from Melbourne… volume approx one a minute .
Did you notice the acute turn off to Boak Rd on the left just before you hit Mt Clear suburbia … this is a track much less travelled and the focus of much police scrutiny some weeks back .
 
As you discovered Recreation Rd , whilst a gravel surface is still a major short cut for locals travelling to and from Melbourne… volume approx one a minute .
Did you notice the acute turn off to Boak Rd on the left just before you hit Mt Clear suburbia … this is a track much less travelled and the focus of much police scrutiny some weeks back .
Yup I sure did. By that stage id worked out where I was and was swivelling my head like mad! No question that track looked more remote. Also the terrain off to the side of Rec Road was steep in parts, would be hard going to walk and hats off to all who have done so to search.
 
I tried, BN.. you have a turn, now..
To be fair though Trooper, if someone is ‘catching up’, very often there’s responses from others before one realises. I’ve been caught, and it actually puts me off posting my thoughts quite often.
So I think perhaps best we just be considerate to those not as agile as others, as we want to encourage dialogue …. imo
 
Borce Ristevski pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Victoria Supreme Court - after 3 years of denying involvement in his wife's disappearance and death.

We never learned what happened. He didn't tell the court what happened.


Victoria's Court of Appeal has ruled Ristevski's original nine-year maximum jail sentence is inadequate given his steadfast refusal to say what happened before he bundled his wife's body into the boot of her car at Avondale Heights on 29 June in 2016.
"To this day, the respondent has shown not one scintilla of remorse. He has subjected those affected by the death to the most awful state of the unknown."

This was another horrible & inexplicable occurrence. Why do people think ‘oh it’s ok, I’ll just kill them’, FFS.
For some reason, his daughter sticks by him. Does she think he didn’t do it, or was there more to it.
I wonder if by some chance his ‘Guilty to Manslaughter’ plea at the last minute was to spare her the grim details.

Jmo.

Edited to add ‘Off topic sort of’ but relevant in the scheme of things I believe.
 
The police most likely will be going undercover/ surveillance and watching areas of the bush of interest / other places as well, that they are focussing on

to see who turn up and is hanging around

I am finding it hard to believe SM body is in there

She could have originally been in there, but I think her body has been moved, so she is not found

With the hot conditions at the time and the body decomposing, it will give a very foul smell, especially in the bush when no other smells are around

Which can be detected from a considerable distance, depending on various factors such as wind direction, temperature etc... You can smell a body, sometimes a mile away

It can also keep decomposing for several weeks

As I have mentioned before, the place has been searched vigorously and still no body, including with dogs,
Air wing and helicopters with specialised equipment on board

Unless she has been buried very deeply

Possibly with machinery, If the soil is hard to dig

but it would be a risk if someone saw something and someone else could be involved

buried in a yard, possibly dismembered, taken out to sea

The police seem to think she is buried in the area, but it might not be true, could be a ploy
I’m with your thoughts Nifty.
The only way I can consider her body being in that area, is if in a mineshaft. But we’ve been told they’ve been searched / not disturbed / dogs would detect etc.
How long did they have cadaver dogs searching for ?
Do we know if the Technology dog is still sniffing out the area ?
I’m really confused as to why they’re not looking further afield - but maybe they are. I’m pretty sure Police don’t have a high focus on satisfying our curiosity!

As an aside & back to previous discussions re ketamine : Woman dies, another in ICU after mass drug overdose at Gold Coast hotel

All my own personal thoughts only .
 
Thanks for this info as I’ve never looked into Veterinary studies so have no clue.

However, it’s quite possible that she never aspired to be a Vet. .. maybe a vet nurse etc. Or perhaps this is a ‘stepping stone’. Who knows. And to be honest it’s her life & her choice.
I’m sure she’s doing it pretty tuff with the information that she’s currently having to digest, re someone who ( its reported) has been her long-term boyfriend. I hope she does ok & moves forward with her goals.

And I think the same for Sam’s kids. What a dreadful thing for so many people to have to deal with. It’s so wrong. imo.
Hi Warshawski, you're most welcome.
What her goals are is of little concern to me; I was simply responding to a comment posted above || snipped> "...one who is not a registered vet yet" <snipped || & making the distinction that the course she's apparently taking won't end up with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science BVSc - it's all a bit off-topic (imo).

b4 anyone gets too excited & *assumes* I'm saying her life hasn't changed - I'm not - but I'll stake my house on the following - IF she had a living mother/father on the 4th Feb 2024, penny to a pound she *still* has a living mother/father & good luck to her...
-----------------------
SM's family, her children, MM, mother, father, sister, who knows how many others, have had their lives ripped apart; 4th Feb 2024, a line in the sand was drawn in their lives, not a line that the wind will blow the sand back over, making the horror & desperation of this heinous crime disappear - they've had an indelible line carved thru their hearts & psyches; nobody gave them a choice.

The horror, the absolute appalling, shocking, disgusting life-changing horror that was perpetrated on SM's family on the 4th Feb 2024 & the ongoing cruelty of silence..

In my respectful & honest opinion - what's happened to her as opposed to the primary victims simply can't be compared.

moo/imho.
 
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Going back through things I’ve read and heard (as that’s all we’ve got to go on right now…), I have some things to consider:

All IMO

When PS was first arrested (before he was charged), LE / media were saying if anyone sees SM, to please contact crimestoppers. It made me think SM could still be alive / held captive somewhere. Did LE think she could be alive still? Or was this just the way it was reported in MSM?

Then 30 hours later, came the charge of murder, obviously after more evidence was uncovered since the arrest (PS vehicle and phone etc).

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but maybe I was thinking PS had said or done something that led LE to believe she MAY still be alive… or maybe it’s just semantics playing with my mind.

IMO
 
Happy Easter websleuthers. Hope the Easter Bunny came! Two excited little people at my place after seeing the bunny ate the carrot and left bunny sized footprints.

Thoughts are also with SMs family today - another day without their beautiful mum, wife, daughter, sister, friend
 
Gosh… another crazy thought… imagine if she was being held captive with injuries, she’s managed to escape but succumbed to her injuries in a location totally unknown… very far fetched and all IMO.
 
Going back through things I’ve read and heard (as that’s all we’ve got to go on right now…), I have some things to consider:

All IMO

When PS was first arrested (before he was charged), LE / media were saying if anyone sees SM, to please contact crimestoppers. It made me think SM could still be alive / held captive somewhere. Did LE think she could be alive still? Or was this just the way it was reported in MSM?

Then 30 hours later, came the charge of murder, obviously after more evidence was uncovered since the arrest (PS vehicle and phone etc).

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but maybe I was thinking PS had said or done something that led LE to believe she MAY still be alive… or maybe it’s just semantics playing with my mind.

IMO
Yes, I pricked up my ears at the mention of seeing Samantha too. By this time police had come out and said they don't believe she was alive, and I'm sure they don't say those words lightly. It's a huge statement to make. I'm pretty sure those were words (regarding seeing Samantha) were from police and not media. Very interesting.
 
Respectfully, can I ask why her name is a no-no? It IS her name, that is undisputed. It's undisputed that she went for a run and never returned. It is undisputed that police have charged someone with her murder. I don't see how using her name should be a problem. Using just her initials makes it cold and uncaring. MOO
Some of us are also following a long term high profile case where the names are suppressed, but we are able to use their initials, as per the courts. JS and SD. So initials become our norm.
 
Going back through things I’ve read and heard (as that’s all we’ve got to go on right now…), I have some things to consider:

All IMO

When PS was first arrested (before he was charged), LE / media were saying if anyone sees SM, to please contact crimestoppers. It made me think SM could still be alive / held captive somewhere. Did LE think she could be alive still? Or was this just the way it was reported in MSM?

Then 30 hours later, came the charge of murder, obviously after more evidence was uncovered since the arrest (PS vehicle and phone etc).

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but maybe I was thinking PS had said or done something that led LE to believe she MAY still be alive… or maybe it’s just semantics playing with my mind.

IMO

The fact that SM body hasn't been found, you would think, is there a possibility she could be alive somewhere ?

But it's now sadly 8 weeks today since she has disappeared.

And why would someone still keep her alive now ? When she can identify

The fact the police have charged the accused with murder, even without her body

The police must have some damming evidence

The police have to prove she is dead, to get a murder conviction.

If the accused doesn't give one

They will have phone technology and intelligence / people coming forward, weapon, evidence in their searches plus DNA etc...

But will it be enough in court, without her body ?

If police had CCTV, dash cam, video/photos on the accused phone or if it was sent to someone else to prove
he killed SM, that will be a good outcome

As well the 5pm ping doesn't prove SM was alive in Buninyong at 5pm.

But it opens the door of, maybe.

Unless police can prove to the court that the phone was not in SMs possession at the time

that it was in possession of the offender, then there is reasonable doubt that she was murdered EARLIER at Mt Clear.
 
Thank you to everyone for their boots-on-the-ground observations of the local terrain around the outskirts of Ballarat. Really helpful in grasping the environment.

I’m just so curious about the roads off Skirkas—especially Devonshire Road and Brennans Road. They seem to lead to a handful of properties in the hills (are they hills?) to the west of Scotsburn. Of particular interest to me is Webbs Hill Road and whether it climbs steeply at any point where most cars would accelerate to get up it. It’s that accelerating point I’m looking for.
 
Going back through things I’ve read and heard (as that’s all we’ve got to go on right now…), I have some things to consider:

All IMO

When PS was first arrested (before he was charged), LE / media were saying if anyone sees SM, to please contact crimestoppers. It made me think SM could still be alive / held captive somewhere. Did LE think she could be alive still? Or was this just the way it was reported in MSM?

Then 30 hours later, came the charge of murder, obviously after more evidence was uncovered since the arrest (PS vehicle and phone etc).

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but maybe I was thinking PS had said or done something that led LE to believe she MAY still be alive… or maybe it’s just semantics playing with my mind.

IMO
When the “if anyone sees SM” happened, I also thought it was very strange. It did at first reading give me the impression some thought she still could be alive.

I cannot remember who, but someone On here (maybe more than One) made the point of the positioning of the “if anyone sees SM” possibly, if not probably, was in reference to people checking their cctv and dashcam footage and seeing her in that way, not the fact she was still alive.

For me, seeing SM on checked cctv footage made more sense at the time rather than her possibly being alive, And it still does.

IMO
 
When the “if anyone sees SM” happened, I also thought it was very strange. It did at first reading give me the impression some thought she still could be alive.

I cannot remember who, but someone On here (maybe more than One) made the point of the positioning of the “if anyone sees SM” possibly, if not probably, was in reference to people checking their cctv and dashcam footage and seeing her in that way, not the fact she was still alive.

For me, seeing SM on checked cctv footage made more sense at the time rather than her possibly being alive, And it still does.

IMO
Might’ve been a ploy to entice the perp to go check on the body too. Perhaps casually incite a little paranoia to make him squirm.

Like how the police told us (something to the effect of) they were looking for one culprit, and that the public weren’t in danger.

I suspect they had the accused in their sights from very early on and were watching him, and possibly trying to subtlety provoke him, for longer than the speculated two weeks to see if he would lead them to the body.
 
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When the “if anyone sees SM” happened, I also thought it was very strange. It did at first reading give me the impression some thought she still could be alive.

I cannot remember who, but someone On here (maybe more than One) made the point of the positioning of the “if anyone sees SM” possibly, if not probably, was in reference to people checking their cctv and dashcam footage and seeing her in that way, not the fact she was still alive.

For me, seeing SM on checked cctv footage made more sense at the time rather than her possibly being alive, And it still does.

IMO
If they were talking about past tense, CCTV footage, that seems strange wording to me. Police have been quite deliberate, and forceful IMO, when it comes to certain words and phrases they have used. Many questions get the typical "we can't go into those details" type answers, but when the police do give answers or press conferences, they just seem to use quite strong wording. ie: The belief that Samantha was murdered at Mt Clear on the day she went missing.

Might’ve been a ploy to entice the perp to go check on the body too. Perhaps casually incite a little paranoia to make him squirm.

Like how the police told us (something to the effect of) they were looking for one culprit, and that the public weren’t in danger.

I suspect they had the accused in their sights from very early on and were watching him, and possibly trying to subtlety provoke him, for longer than the speculated two weeks to see if he would lead them to the body.
I didn't think so much about checking the body, but someone letting it slip that she was dead and couldn't be found alive. Let's say that person was watching a TV news report that mentioned looking for her alive, and they blurt out something like "good luck with that" or "not going to happen". Or perhaps getting angry that the police were wrong and saying something that made others wary and alert to changes in behaviour or actions.
 
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