Elizabeth Dixon was found slumped across the front seat of her own car in the bush. Photo: Police Media Police at the scene where Elizabeth Dixon was murdered in 1982. Photo: Allan Jolly
Detective Sergeant Frank Tracey investigated the death of Elizabeth Dixon in 1982. Photo: Chris Cole
A man charged with the murder of Elizabeth “Betty” Dixon in Newcastle 33 years ago has appeared in Maitland Local Court.
Ms Dixon’s body was found slumped across the front seat of her car in bush near Ashtonfield in Newcastle’s north-west in 1982. An autopsy found she had suffered 27 stab wounds.
Rodney Lawrence, 64, from Stockton, made no application for bail as he was led into court in handcuffs on Thursday.
Duty solicitor Peter Cleaves told magistrate John Chicken: “I cannot be in a position today to make a substantial bail application.
“This warrants a bail application and my suggestion is that next week in Newcastle I can be in a position to make that application.”
The magistrate formally refused bail and Lawrence was remanded in custody, to appear by way of audio visual link in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday next week.
Bearded, with a moustache, Lawrence was dressed in jeans and a dark jacket.
According to police papers tendered to the court, Lawrence murdered Ms Dixon at Ashtonfield between April 3 and 4, 1982.
Ms Dixon flew from Northern Ireland in 1979 for a year in and decided to stay.
The Saturday before Easter in 1982, Ms Dixon, 31, left the Greenhills Hit-N-Dip Sports Centre, where she was a regular squash player, and vanished.
She was known to have made a quick visit to some nearby shops and possibly went back to her flat in Metford.
The following Monday, a jogger found her body.
A murder investigation continued sporadically until Lawrence was arrested on Wednesday.
The suspect, who was a well-known Maitland sportsman in 1982, was arrested at his home at Stockton and taken to Maitland police station for questioning.
The Maitland Mercury, Newcastle Herald