Man arrested over 1992 cold case murder
POLICE have arrested a 62-year-old man over the cold case murder of wealthy Gold Coast widower Hugo Benscher, found bound, gagged and bashed in his canal front home in 1992.
The 89-year-old inventor was believed to have been the victim of a violent home invasion, with luxury properties in the area hit by a gang of thieves around the time of the murder.
The Homicide Investigation Unit's cold case team announced last year Mr Benscher's death was being reviewed in the hope of providing answers for his family.
Detectives travelled across Australia to reinterview witnesses and renewed a plea for information from members of the public.
Mr Benscher was last seen alive on the morning of June 20, 1992, and was known to be alive that evening when he had a conversation with someone over the phone.
Neighbours would later tell police they woke to the sounds of a high-revving outboard motor that night, leading police to consider whether a group of thieves had approached the house from the water.
Me Benscher was discovered dead in his home the following morning. He had been tied up, blindfolded, gagged with electrical tape and bashed over the head. The house had been ransacked.
"I would like to provide closure for this man and him family. It's a tragic situation," Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said after announcing the case was under review.
Mr Benscher was a frequent visitor to the nearby Runaway Bay Yacht Club where it is believed other customers may have learned of his wealth.
The retiree made his money from inventing a seamless inflatable ball bladder and valve that is still used in sporting equipment today.
He moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast in 1986 after the death of his wife, buying the large waterfront home and a fishing boat that he kept moored out the front.
His son, Ron, who is now in his 70s, said last year the case depended on people coming forward.
"This has got to be the last chance I think after 27 years. If nothing is achieved on this sort of occasion, I think, you know, what are the chances down the track?" he said.