Task Force Lincoln: new strategy to solve Goodwin murder

“Help solve a murder, and help yourself” is the message behind the newly launched Task Force Lincoln strategy to crack the cold case disappearance of Susan Gae Goodwin.

Letters to prisoners, prisoner playing cards, advertising on police cars, beer coasters in bars and shop-front posters are part of the new strategy to help solve the murder of Ms Goodwin.

Ms Goodwin went missing in Port Lincoln in 2002 and her disappearance was declared a major crime in 2006 with police still looking for information leading to a conviction or the recovery of her remains. 

SAPOL Major Crime Investigation Branch officer in charge Detective Superintendent Des Bray announced the launch of taskforce Lincoln this week.

The 200 prisoners in Port Lincoln and persons under supervision will receive a letter detailing the case and what benefits they might receive if they can provide information.

The possible benefits include immunity from prosecution, a reduced sentence, reduced penalties, assistance with personal safety for you and your family, assistance with relocation and a $200,000 reward.

“Your family members or friends in prison who assist in solving this murder may be eligible to have their sentence quashed and have a lesser sentence imposed for assisting police,” Detective Superintendent Bray said in his letter to Port Lincoln prisoners.

“Help solve a murder and help yourself,” he said.

Packs of playing cards featuring unsolved murders have been used in prisons since 2015 and includes the eight of clubs with Ms Goodwin’s profile.

“The advertising on the back of police cars and turning police cars into mobile billboards means that everybody in Port Lincoln will see the message about Susan and hopefully come forward with information.”

The taskforce has also put posters in Port Lincoln shop windows and created beer coasters to go out to as many hotels and licensed premises as possible.

“It's fair to say we wouldn't be launching on a major taskforce like this if we didn't have positive lines of inquiry and weren't optimistic about solving the case.

“It may be the case in the past that people have lied to us or perhaps withheld information, and I would say to those people, ‘don't risk your own freedom by covering up’.”

Ms Goodwin’s parents now live in country Victoria with her dad living in Wonthaggi, and her partner at the time of her disappearance, Michele Peterson, still lives in Port Lincoln.