William Allen

28 December 1988


William Allen was a retired schoolteacher who lived in Alexandria. He was 48 years old and he was gay. On the night of 28 December 1988, he was savagely beaten by persons unknown in Alexandria Park, which was a well-known beat. With the help of a passerby he managed to make his way home but he was found dead there the next day. The passerby had been driving in his car when he saw Mr Allen near the toilet block in the park. He stopped his car and Mr Allen came to the passenger's side and shouted, "I've been bashed". Mr Allen's face and hands were covered in blood and he was bleeding from the nose. Mr Allen said that his assailants had bashed and kicked him while he was on the ground and had taken his money and keys. The driver implored Mr Allen to call the police but Mr Allen's response was, "That's what you expect when you do the beat".

The finding by the Coroner, in July the following year 1989, was that Mr Allen had died of the effects of head injury sustained when he was beaten by persons unknown in Alexandria Park.

Six months later, in January 1990, just over a year after Mr Allen's death, a gay man named Richard Johnson was punched and kicked to death near that same toilet block in Alexandria Park. Police charged eight teenagers, aged between 16 and 18 at the time, with Mr Johnson's murder. They became known as "The Alexandria Eight". Three were convicted of murder and five of manslaughter.

The murder of Richard Johnson and the prosecution and conviction of his killers led police to look again at the killing of Mr Allen. Various members of the Alexandria Eight admitted at various times to having been involved in numerous bashings of gay men in both the Alexandria and the Bondi areas. However, it was considered that there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against any person in relation to the death of Mr Allen.

Strike Force Parrabell assigned Mr Allen's death to its second category, "suspected bias crime".