Almost three decades on, the cold case murder of father Colin Woodhouse is still puzzling police.
Almost three decades on, the cold case murder of father Colin Woodhouse is still puzzling police.

Who murdered Colin Woodhouse?

ALMOST three decades on, the cold case murder of Worongary father Colin Woodhouse is still puzzling police.

On Christmas Eve 1992, one of the longest unsolved cases on the Gold Coast - despite a $250,000 reward - occurred when Mr Woodhouse was killed.

What is known about the case is the 30-year-old food and beverage manager at Myer Pacific Fair was driving home at about 12.30am after a long day at work.

His killer, posing as a stranded motorist, flagged him down in Quambone St, Worongary just minutes from his home.

Mr Woodhouse went to help the motorist, stepping out of his red station-wagon and standing next to the killer's light-coloured Nissan sedan, the father-of-two was shot three times at close range and the injuries resulted in his death.

Homicide's Cold Case Investigation Team Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said Queensland Police are asking for public assistance regarding information on three factors that could help with the case.

Colin Woodhouse was killed on Christmas Eve in 1992.
Colin Woodhouse was killed on Christmas Eve in 1992.

The first is the initial investigation centred around the murderer's vehicle being a late 1980s model Nissan Skyline sedan.

Detective Kentwell said current information indicates the vehicle maybe an early 1980s Nissan Bluebird sedan.

"We are seeking any persons who might have seen a white or light cream coloured 1980s model Nissan sedan that matches the description in the Worongary and the Gold Coast area around December 1992 to contact police," she said.

The murderer's profile is the second factor, which has been constructed from descriptions by witnesses on the night of the murder.

"The male person is described as aged in his mid-40s, average proportion of build, approximately 180 centre meters tall, olive complexion with a scruffy appearance, short wavy grey hair with a slightly darker moustache and wearing dark coloured clothes," Detective Kentwell said.

Lastly police have more information on Colin's life, including that he worked as a chef and manager at several establishments on the Gold Coast, he often socialised with friends at Jupiters Casino and he was possibly about to make a finical investment.

"It is believed Colin might have been conducting some property development or construction business with persons of Yugoslavian or Serbian descent from both the Gold Coast and Victoria.

"In the weeks leading up to his death, Colin had told friends that a financial windfall was coming his way.

"It is possible that these activities may have resulted in his murder."

Flowers left by Colin Woodhouse’s wife at the scene of his death.
Flowers left by Colin Woodhouse’s wife at the scene of his death.

The latest details in the case show police have made inroads on leads they have been following since Detective Senior Sergeant Doug Lawlor told the Bulletin in 2007 that Queensland Police had interviewed almost 1000 people from as far afield as Melbourne.

He said police would love to find the murder weapon but there were more than 640,000 of the .303 rifles manufactured in Australia, so that remained unlikely.

In 2006 The Bulletin spoke with Brian X who told the story of him and his daughter Fiona the night of Mr Woodhouse's murder.

Brian X said they were driving home to Worongary just after midnight on December 24 and were ahead of Mr Woodhouse by about 10 minutes.

"Fiona was 15 at the time and working at Timezone at Pacific Fair. She was supposed to get a lift home with Colin ... she could have been in his car when he was shot,'' he said.

"But she called us and said she was too tired to wait, so I agreed to go and get her.

"When I left home and went down Quambone Street I noticed a car parked with its boot and bonnet up and when I came back with Fiona nearly an hour later it was still there. I thought that was strange that he had been there so long.

.303 rifles of the type used in Colin Woodhouse’s murder.
.303 rifles of the type used in Colin Woodhouse’s murder.

"Then he stepped out from behind the car and flagged us down so I pulled over and he came to Fiona's window and had one arm on the roof and when we thought about it later he may have even had the rifle behind his back.

"He asked us if we had a torch and I said I could turn around and shine my headlights on his car but he said he would be all right, the problem was only intermittent and should be fixed soon.

"Both Colin and I were driving station wagons, although they were different models, and we thought later that he flagged us down because he thought it might have been Colin.''

Mr Woodhouse's sister Neroli Janetski and her partner Peter described Colin as a family-loving larrikin and said they always have a toast for him on Christmas Day.

"He was a typical big Aussie larrikin at times, and he loved a good laugh," Mr Janetski said.

"Our family now has grown into four generations but there is a gaping hole, there is no Colin," Mrs Janetski said.

Queensland Police are encouraging anyone with information relating to the death of Mr Woodhouse or any other unsolved crime, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000.