Home Decades Events Wollongong Mutilation Slaying (1966)

Wollongong Mutilation Slaying (1966)

On 29 January 1966, a  57-year-old cleaner was brutally slain as she worked alone in the Piccadilly Arcade in Wollongong, NSW (Australia).

The mutilation of Wilhelmina Kruger (pictured below right) instilled fear in women throughout the city of Wollongong.

Mrs Kruger, who had been employed at the arcade for three years, had been working for two hours when her killer struck shortly after 4:00 AM.


Despite a desperate struggle with her attacker, Mrs Kruger was dragged down three flights of stairs to the lower parking area. She was repeatedly stabbed in the face and body and was strangled.

Her broken false teeth, shoes and keys and a trail of blood led down from the upper floor, testimony to her savage death.

After the murder, police scoured North Beach for a bundle of blood-stained clothing after information that a man had been seen acting suspiciously in the area.

They interviewed scores of people including taxi drivers, railway employees and council and hospital employees.

They investigated psychiatric patients and searched desperately for four people seen separately near the arcade at the time of the attack. A State Government reward of $10,000 was continually renewed but the killer was never found.

Some detectives working on the case believed they knew the identity of the killer. They believed the man, who was serving a life sentence for another crime, may also have been responsible for the Wanda Beach murders of two girls in the same month.

But the lack of evidence meant they were unable to link him with the death and Wilhelmina Kruger’s murder remains unsolved.