Huge $1 million reward offered to help solve ‘ruthless’ cold case murder of Melbourne teen in 1978

Huge $1 million reward offered to help solve ‘cruel’ cold case murder of 13-year-old girl who was brutally sexually assaulted and murdered during a short trip to a milk bar

  • Victoria Police offers $1 million reward to help solve ‘cruel’ cold case
  • Denise McGregor, 13, was murdered and sexually assaulted in Melbourne in 1978
  • She had been out with her younger sister, but then went to a milk bar alone
  • The teenager then disappeared and her brutally beaten body was found the next day


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The brutal murder and sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in Melbourne more than 40 years ago has never been solved.

Now the Victoria Police is offering a $1 million reward for information to bring Denise McGregor’s killer or killers to justice.

At 6:15 PM on Monday, March 20, 1978, Denise and her 11-year-old sister walked from their home on Bell Street in Pascoe Vale, north of town, to a burger joint.

Victoria Police is offering a $1 million reward to help solve the 'ruthless' murder of 13-year-old Denise McGregor (pictured)

Victoria Police is offering a $1 million reward to help solve the ‘ruthless’ murder of 13-year-old Denise McGregor (pictured)

They arrived at about 6:30 PM and paid for their food with a $5 note that their mother had given them.

The girls started walking home when Denise handed the food to her sister and told her she was going to buy drinks at a milk bar.

Denise’s sister came home around 7pm, but Denise didn’t come back, so she went back to the milk bar to look for her.

Unable to find Denise, her sister returned home and she and her mother got into their car and searched the nearby streets.

She went to a local burger shop with her sister before Denise went out alone to get drinks at a milk bar (pictured, the road where her body was found)

She went to a local burger shop with her sister before Denise went out alone to get drinks at a milk bar (pictured, the road where her body was found)

She went to a local burger shop with her sister before Denise went out alone to get drinks at a milk bar (pictured, the road where her body was found)

The next day, Denise’s partially clothed body was found next to Merriang Road in Wallan East.

She had been sexually assaulted and beaten to death.

Police at the time described Denise’s injuries as nauseating.

Detectives think there are still people out there who know what happened to her.

The next day, Denise's partially clothed body was found next to Merriang Road in Wallan East (pictured, her shoes)

The next day, Denise's partially clothed body was found next to Merriang Road in Wallan East (pictured, her shoes)

The next day, Denise’s partially clothed body was found next to Merriang Road in Wallan East (pictured, her shoes)

Particularly interesting is the fact that Denise had used a CB radio a few times in one of her friend’s homes.

During these calls, she had made contact with an unknown man called “Lightning One.”

Over the past 43 years, the police have spoken to hundreds of people and followed a huge number of leads, but without success.

Detectives believe there are still people out there who know what happened to Denise (pictured), who was murdered and sexually assaulted

Detectives believe there are still people out there who know what happened to Denise (pictured), who was murdered and sexually assaulted

Detectives believe there are still people out there who know what happened to Denise (pictured), who was murdered and sexually assaulted

Police say Denise was well known and popular with children her age in the area and she regularly visited an entertainment center in Broadmeadows.

“She also attended the local high school and was a typical teenager in every way,” police said in a statement on Wednesday.

It’s not the first time a reward has been offered for solving the case.

In June 1978, a $50,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest.

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