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'Bound And Gagged': Fresh Investigation Into 89-Year-Old's Mysterious Murder

After a lifetime of hard work in the heart of Sydney, Hugo Benscher moved to the Gold Coast for a well-earned retirement. 

The Hungarian migrant had been in New South Wales since 1948 but relocated north to the sun-drenched paradise after his wife died in 1986. He moved into a home in Paradise Point on the Gold Coast canals.

Benscher became a well-known member of the community and was a regular attendee of the Runaway Bay Yacht Club.

But after just six years of living on the Gold Coast tragedy struck.

Benscher, then 89, was found dead in his home on the morning of Sunday June 21, 1992 -- more than 27 years ago. He was discovered bound and gagged on the floor with a head injury.

Hugo Benscher. Photo: Queensland Police.

A full-scale police investigation into the alleged murder ensued. At the time of Benscher's death there were a number of burglary and home invasions at nearby Gold Coast estates.

Police confirmed that Benscher was last seen alive on June 20 and that he received a phone call at about 8 pm the same evening. Hugo's neighbours also reported waking to the sound of a revving outboard motor in the canal outside late that same Saturday evening.

Despite investigations, police were unable to charge anyone in relation to Benscher's death, but on Thursday evening Queensland Police revived their attempt to find answers.

Benscher's Gold Coast property. Photo: Queensland Police.

A fresh public appeal for information into Benscher's death will see police reinvestigate the 27-year-old cold 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 of the Cold Case Investigation Team said.

The back of Benscher's Gold Coast home. Photo: Queensland Police

“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."

Police are especially interested to speak to anyone who knew Benscher from the Runaway Bay Yacht Club. They are also appealing for anyone who has knowledge of a boat in the canal near Hugo's house at the time of his alleged murder to contact police.

Police are also seeking information about a beige Datsun car and a male driver seen around Benscher's home close to the time of his alleged murder.

An artist's depiction of the 'male driver' police wish to speak to. Photo: Queensland Police.
The beige Datsun of interest in the investigation. Photo: Queensland Police.

A previously announced $250,000 reward remains in place for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people involved in Benscher's alleged murder.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au