Police launch new appeal for 1992 Paradise Point homicide

Homicide detectives have launched a fresh public appeal into the murder of 89-year-old Hugo Benscher at his Gold Coast home in 1992.

On the morning of Sunday, June 21 1992, Hugo was found deceased at his canal-front Paradise Point home.

He was found bound and gagged on the floor, with a head injury.

At the time of Hugo’s murder there were several burglary and home invasion offences in nearby Gold Coast canal estates.

Hugo, inventor of an inflatable ball bladder and valve for sporting equipment, was born in Hamburg in 1903 and immigrated to Australia in 1948.

He lived most of his life in Sydney with his wife and sons, retiring to the Gold Coast in 1986 after his wife died.

During his six years living on the Gold Coast, he was a regular attendee of the Runaway Bay Yacht Club.

Investigators from the Cold Case Investigation Team, with the assistance of the Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch, commenced a full review into the unsolved 27-year-old homicide investigation this year.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell of the Cold Case Investigation Team said investigators were confident the renewed focus could see people come forward with new information to solve the case.

“Police firmly believe that with public assistance, irrespective of the passage of time, the offenders will be brought to justice, giving Hugo’s friends and family some closure,” Detective Senior Sergeant Kentwell said.

“In the coming weeks, detectives will travel to New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania to reinterview original witnesses and to approach new witnesses identified during the review. It is our intention through today’s appeal to urge anyone with information to come forward.

“We are especially interested in speaking with anyone who interacted with Hugo at the Runaway Bay Yacht Club, or knew of those who did around 1992, to contact police.

“We are seeking information from anyone who has knowledge of a boat in the canal around the time of Hugo’s murder, as neighbours at the time recalled waking late in the evening on Saturday, June 20 1992 to the sound of a high revving outboard motor.

“We are also wanting further information received during the initial investigation about a beige Datsun and male driver reported as being seen around Hugo’s home around the time of his murder.”

Hugo was last seen alive on the morning of Saturday, June 20 1992 and last known to be alive when he received a phone call at approximately 8:00 pm on that night.

A $250,000 reward remains in place for information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for their murders. In addition, an appropriate indemnity from prosecution will be recommended for any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the crime, who first gives such information.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.