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Tragic case remains a mystery


Comments: 25 readers have left a comment

TOMORROW is the 30th anniversary of a crime that sent shockwaves through the Kwinana community – and remains unsolved to this day.

On January 10, 1979, 19-year-old Orelia resident Felicia Wilson was walking home from work at the Kwinana Community Health Centre when she was brutally murdered in bushland just hundreds of metres from her home.

The tragic loss of someone so young and vibrant shocked the rural-industrial community of Kwinana and changed attitudes forever.

Described by those who knew her as warm-hearted and beautiful, Felicia was to be married that February after a whirlwind romance.

Instead, her family buried her in her wedding dress, the jeweller rushing to finish a custom-made wedding ring in time.

Felicia’s story will feature in a collection of 110 of Australia’s most intriguing unsolved crimes, spanning 1889 to 1989, due out next year from Sydney author and historian John Godl.

Mr Godl said he first heard about the case in 1983, when he was at high school in Sydney, and never quite forgot it.

He rediscovered the story several years later when he came across a set of The West Australian newspapers from January, 1979, at the Library of NSW.

“My picture of Felicia is that she was an accomplished young woman who did her parents proud in every aspect of her brief life,” he said.

“She was likely just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think the reason her murder resonates 30 years on when dozens of unsolved murders have been forgotten is the gross unfairness of it all. She had so much to live for and didn’t deserve to die the way she did.”

After she failed to return home that night, her concerned parents began a search that would last until the early hours of the morning.

About 8am the next day, the health centre secretary and two nursing sisters retraced Felicia’s footsteps along the footpath that would have carried her home and discovered her body in the scrub.

Although witnesses came forward to identify two men seen leaving the vicinity about the time of the murder, police never laid any charges.

Mr Godl said police officers and detectives who took part in the investigation had never forgotten the case.

At the time, investigating detective Ivor Thomter told journalists his greatest wish was that it would be solved.

Mr Godl said he believed there might be residents who held a clue that could still lead police to Ms Wilson’s killer.

“The case may never be solved unless someone who knows something, and I’m certain someone in the area does, comes forward,” he said.

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What everyone else is thinking



Is it possible that Petrina Wilson could get back to me concerning the case of Felicia? My email is elizapereira@hotmail.com



I have recently given new information to police, in the last nine years and recently again. I only pray to God that I'm right...

Justin Bryce


I often think about the immense pain and suffering the Wilson family must have gone through. I know it affected my Dad and all of my family terribly. I always remember the 'Felicia' tattoo that Dad had. My little sister shares the same last name in Felicia's honour. I just hope the animal who did this is finally brought to justice.

Petrina wilson


Everyday in my mind.35 years past....still so roar.want u back.xxx

Belinda Wilson


To Michelle We would l Would love to have the photo if you could contact me it would most appreciated.
AngieRae Thankyou for letting us know that your sister has my sisters name it means so much to us it touch my heart and it brought a me to tears. Happy and sad tears.

Ian Wilson


The passing of Felicia stills haunts me especially given the time and place that it happened. It is truly astounding that that the murderer hasn't been found. I left Kwinana aged 17 but it still affects me to this day that the WA police haven't solved it. My thoughts and condolences go out to Belinda, Eugene and family.

Diane Motalli


Happy Birthday Beautiful Lady ...... Dance with the Angels...

Orelia Olivia


This is a tragic story. Does anyone know the location of where it happened? I live in Orelai surrounded by bushland... it's eerie to think it might have happened so close. Rest in peace Felicia.

Helen Smith


I too remember this like yesterday and recognize a couple of other names that have commented. I think about Felicia often, it was 4 days before my 13th birthday, we attended the same modeling classes. My sisters were in the same class as Felicity who was a beautiful person on the inside which enriched her beauty on the outside. After the terrible tragedy I could not stop thinking of Felicia and her paining family.
I was thrilled to see a comment from Petrina, I just want to know if investigators are really doing enough? and send my heart felt condolences and thoughts to Petrina and the Wilson family. I will cherish the photos my sisters and I have.

jacquie Kidd


I so looked forward to seeing you at modelling, you took care of me and i looked at u and saw the most beautiful person id ever met. Your death had great impact on me and even to this say i think of you regularly and of your loving family. I know your in a better place a place as amazing as you. warm wishes jacquie kidd



Felicia was a friend of mine from Crib Point and I will never forget that tragic day either, it just deverstated every one that knew her ... As Angela Ritchie wrote, She was a stunningly beautiful girl, and was beautiful on the inside as well. Her family are genuine and wholesome people and my thoughts are with you all every day for the last 30 years, I will never understand why this happened, you were a great person and fun to be around always laughing and happy, I'll never forget you Felicia

Diane Motalli


Thinking of the Wilson family.. 10.01.2011.. RIP Felicia

brian cannon


wh y do they spend millions to catch speeding drivers ,when this country has become so violent to live in ,a person is no longer safe at home or in the street at any time for any woman the best preventive aid is to carry a pepper spray which the POLICE dont like them to have. pepper sprays are legal in w a if you have good cause e gbig dogs or you carry money from your shop to your car or the main reason THE POLICE ARE NOT CONTROLLING THE SITUATION AND ARE VERY SLOW TO RESPOND TO SUCH CASES so get fine, for carrying something to save your life if attackedor relyon luck and apolice force that prefers to chase motorist ,i know what i prefer

petrina wilson


It is consoling to know there are many people out there, that have such fond memories of my sister...Felicia...I do too.I really try hard to cling onto them.The memories before the police and serious people in suits and dad not going work anymore..and alot of photograhers around our home. And mostly my sisters and brothers and my mum and dad being sad...I wasnt hearing as many laughs at the dinner table..Over the past 31 years my memories are fading but I got to and will preciously hold onto them short 5and half years I had with her and retain them close to my heart..and alive in my mind.No one can ever rip them away from me.
I know the police are pursuing and reviewing investigations into Felicias case still at their best.I just pray each day that Felicias killer will be caught.



Its sad to see a young pretty girl's life has ended in such a tragaty



It is a sickening thing to read this story and others about these young women going missing or murdered.I would hate to lose my daughter,wife or children,these mongrels if caught should have chemical castration or even better "Bring back death sentencing "It may thwart some of these deviants into thinking twice.Too much of these crimes against women and young girls goes on undetected ,at least some of us men have consciences and are safe and decent.I hope they catch the mongrels.Very sad indeed.

Walter Sickert


It is sickening that the West Australian Police never solved this case There should be a Royal Commission into how they conducted this murder investigation
The community, Felicia's family, has not been served.

Yvonne Pill


Living in the area at the time as a 13 year old girl,It was devistating for this to happen to a beautiful young woman,who was loved by many,I for one have never forgotten the case, It effected alot of people for alot of time.Hopefully one day justice will be served.



I feel so sorry for her family. I wasn't born at the time as I'm only a teenager. I have lived in Kwinana my whole life and can't belive it could happen in my home town and just a month before her wedding. I had tears in my eyes as i read it. It makes me sick to know the murderers are walking free and still could be in the area. If someone saw them like they did why did they get charged? It's not fair these days you get charged for the most stupidist things. I hope her murderers get locked up. Her family havea life sentance for loosing their daughter/sister/wife to be. R.I.P Felicia.

kelly newman


i wasnt even born when this happened but when i heard about it, it scared me to think who ever did this is still walking around free i use to walk past the spot every day to go to work and it was so sad to know some one died right there in such horrible circumstances

Debbie Owen


A beautiful girl, her murder still unsolved.. This tragic case remains a mystery, you both will be caught, its just a matter of time..
RIP Felicia Marie

Denyse Revi


I went to Technical College with Felicia. She was a great girl and it is so sad that this crime still hasn't been solved. Someone knows! Rest in Peace Felicia XXX

Aliti Mario


A very tragic and such a waste of a young life. Whom I am sure was not only beautiful but had so much to live for. Her killer or killers will be brought to justice, if not in this life time but will most certainly the next and their blood line will also most certainly suffer till eternity. Felicia is in a better and happier place now. RIP Felicia

Angela Ritchie


I remember Felicia very well, she lived across the road from my family in Crib Point Victoria before her family moved here to WA. She even baby sat my younger brother and I once or twice. Our family was absolutley shattered when we heard about what had happened to her, I remember going to the shop to buy the newspaper that morning and there she was on the very front page, I ran all the way home crying, I couldn't believe what had happened to her. She was a stunningly beautiful girl, and was beautiful on the inside as well. To her family, she has never been forgotten by me or my family, and our sympathies are with you as they have been for the past 30 years. RIP Felicia

Lynne King (nee Chilvers)


My heart goes out to the family of Felicia,not having this case solved after all this time seems justice hasn't yet been served.
I was nineteen and working at Boans Kwinana at the time and recognised the family. All males eyes seemed to be on Felicia when she came in. She was a real beauty.Her death seems so unfair.
I pray that our just god will see this case closed soon so the family can begin to heal.

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