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   Jul 05

Juanita Neilsen: The Kings Cross crusader who disappeared 40 years ago

Juanita Nielson was an outspoken critic of rapid developers of the Cross.This weekend is the 40th anniversary of the death by murder of vanished heiress Juanita Nielsen, who fought courageously against developers of Darlinghurst and Kings Cross during the early 1970s when police corruption was almost breath taking. But nobody knows who took her breath away; or if there are people who do know, they’re silent upon the matter.
Nanjing Night Net

She wrote editorials against those in charge of the destruction of Victoria Street from her modest cottage in it, so it wasn’t far to go to work, her work being a crusade. It is hard to kill an enigma though, and her abduction around midday all those years ago has only intensified people’s grief for her martyrdom and the timeless pain of remembrances engraved into footpaths and back alleys.

She loved most of the ordinary tenants of The Cross to a point of devotion that’s possibly biblical. She loved the children of those ramshackle streets so overcrowded that they played literally with no room to kick a broken tennis ball or wrestle one another. She adored the higgledy-piggledy ad-libbed slums as they contained really cherubic characters who laughed as much as she did herself.

Unluckily, some of the just-as-real characters around in 1975 were thugs and gangsters in the pay of her nemesis Abe Saffron, who owned just about everything in town, including allegiances of police fond of a quick buck followed by a quick schooner. It is nigh on impossible to believe but not one single copper displayed the slightest concern over Juanita’s unparalleled disappearance.

Juanita kept the appointment with Eddie Trigg, night manager of The Carousel Club to chat about advertising in her paper Now And Then!, which circulated around The Cross and was outspoken in criticism of rapid developers such as Frank Theeman, the brother-in-horror of Abe Saffron. Friends of Juanita were amazed she kept the appointment in the heart of her enemies’ camp.

After 11 that July 4 morning 40 years ago , she was never seen again and there are now endless rationales as to what happened, who did what. The effect is rather like the intoxication of some untested opiate. Eddie Trigg was the last person to see her alive, it is said; he shot her too, it is said; but it could have been anyone around town keen on a bloodied envelope stuffed with money.

Eddie gave her a cup of tea as he and Juanita discussed a half-page of advertising the club wanted to take out. It could have been spiked because not long later a friend of hers, a hairdresser over the road from The Carousel Club said she’d seen Juanita but her famed bouffant was flat so whoever it was could’ve been an impersonator.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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