Delayed $1m Mr Cruel reward regretted

It is sad the reward over the `Mr Cruel’ murder of 13-year-old Melbourne schoolgirl Karmein Chan was not increased earlier, a crime victims’ advocate says.


Police are expected to boost the reward over Karmein’s murder from $100,000 to $1 million around Wednesday’s 25-year anniversary of her abduction from her Templestowe home on April 13, 1991.

Several other unsolved murder rewards had been increased to $1 million in recent years and victims’ advocate Noel McNamara said it was as though Karmein had been forgotten.

“It’s very sad that many others have had $1 million put on them in the last four or five years and the poor Chan girl has been left out of it,” the Crime Victims Support Association founder told AAP.

“A lot of people that might have been able to help out are probably no longer with us and it’s a sad state of affairs for the Chan family to have to go through all that.

“There’s nothing worse than having a lost loved one and no answers to what actually happened.”

However, Mr McNamara hopes the increased reward will help finally identify Mr Cruel, who is believed to have been responsible for at least four child kidnappings and sexual assaults in Melbourne in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“Hopefully he has confided in someone and they come forward and put the Chan family out of their misery.”

Two other girls kidnapped by Mr Cruel were released but Karmein’s remains were found a year after her abduction.

The original task force investigated more than 10,000 pieces of information and a second investigative team reviewed its work and new leads, exhausting certain avenues of inquiry and eliminating several potential suspects, between 2010 and 2013.

Police have said the Mr Cruel cases will never be closed until they are solved.

New rewards for unsolved Victorian murders have been set at $1 million since December 2014, with past reward cases being reviewed with a view to having their amounts increased.

Police say an announcement regarding an increased reward in the Karmein Chan murder will be made in the near future.