Samantha Rose

22 December 1997


Samantha Rose, who was given the name "David" at birth, was a transgender woman who worked as a computer analyst for Westpac Bank. As far as the Inquiry has been able to ascertain, she identified as female. She often wore female clothing to work and had confided in several friends regarding her gender identity. She sometimes used the name "Samantha", including in correspondence with friends and when she volunteered at radio stations 2RPH and 2SER. On the radio she used a more feminine voice. At the time of her death she was undergoing hormone replacement therapy as part of her affirmation of her gender. The Inquiry will refer to Ms Rose consistently with her own preference.

On the morning of 22 December 1997, police found Ms Rose deceased in her home at Kensington. She had been last seen in the early afternoon of 20 December. The time of her death seems likely to have been some time on 20 or 21 December. She was found lying on her back near the kitchen table. She was wearing female clothing. A kitchen chair was fallen over near her head and her unit was in a state of disarray. She had suffered major injuries, including fractures to her skull and severe bruising. Her injuries were consistent with numerous heavy blows to the head with a blunt object. There was no evidence of forced entry to Ms Rose's unit, suggesting she may have known her assailant.

At the inquest in 1999, the Coroner found that Ms Rose had died due to head injuries inflicted by a person or persons unknown. No charges were ever laid against any person. One person of interest to investigating police has subsequently died.

Strike Force Parrabell assigned this case, as it did 15 of the 23 cases it treated as unsolved, to the category of "insufficient information to establish a bias crime".