Juanita Joan Nielsen was an Australian publisher, activist for preservation and community problems – especially anti-development campaigns – and heiress. She vanished in Kings Cross, Sydney in 1975 in unusual conditions. Her remains have not been discovered and those who murdered her have never been identified.”
This case has always excited me because I have grown up here in Sydney. I have glimpsed Kings X changed from a seedy, crime-filled part of the city into a trendy, seedy, crime-filled part of the city. It is a very fascinating part of Sydney. Because it is full of methadone clinics, homeless shelters, prostitutes, and some of Sydney’s most costly real estate. It has become a popular little hub with boutique hotels, nightclubs, and cafes. But when you step down the main strip you can still observe the dingy strip clubs, brothels, and drug addicts. Some of Sydney’s most notorious criminals/characters are also involved in this case including Abe Saffron, “the boss of the Cross”. He was heavily active in organized crime and occupied most of the clubs in the Cross.
Juanita In 1975
At the time of her disappearance in 1975, Juanita was campaigning against the ongoing re-development of Kings Cross/Woolloomoolloo/Potts Points. Which were being turned from bohemian/artist kinds of suburbs into swanky apartments for the rich, as well as against the crime which was rampant in Sydney at the time. As she owned a magazine, she had a prepared platform to reach many Sydney-siders and was also quite nicely connected. This most certainly resulted in her disappearance and killing. Her corpse has never been discovered. And her murderers were never recognized (although some were detained for a couple of years for conspiracy to murder her), but she was certainly murdered by the developer who she was campaigning against (or his hired thugs, rather).
Background Of Juanita
The developer (Frank Theeman) utilized scare moves and violence to eject inhabitants from the street where he wanted his new development, going so far as having men abduct one of the inhabitants and keep him for three days in a motel! An ex-police investigator was part of his merry band of thugs as well. Before Nielson’s disappearance, men who worked with and for Theeman had been attempting to get her to attend meetings to talk over advertising in her magazine, etc. but each time she became skeptical and did not show up. At one point, two men showed up at her home to abduct her but were incapable of as she had a male guest over:
When questioned by police on 6 November 1977, Martin-Simmonds substantiated that the advertising story was a ruse and that their real intent was to abduct Nielsen if she was alone and take her to see “people who wanted to talk to her”. He told that he and Trigg intended to “… Just grab her arms and stop her calling out, no actual rough stuff, no gangster stuff.”
One of the assumptions of her location. (and I think it is an urban legend at this stage). Is that she was laid to rest beneath the development she was fighting against on Victoria St. This is one of the motives I find the case so interesting; the development is across from where I worked for five years. And I always thought of her when I was sitting outside on the lawn consuming my lunch.
One of the men thought to be the killer of her Juanita wrote a deathbed admission. Claiming to know where her remains are located. And precisely what occurred to cause her demise, but that data has not been made public (that I could find).