Mystery over three friends found dead with gunshot wounds while on holiday


Mystery surrounds the tragic murder of three young friends on holiday as police launch a fresh appeal to solve the case.

The friends were holidaying in Mount Isa in Far North Queensland in October 1978 with their dog, Tristie, when they were found dead.

Police said 23-year-old Karen Edwards, 31-year-old Tim Thomson and 21-year-old Gordon Twaddle left Alice Springs for a motorcycle trip to Mount Isa.

Karen Edwards was 23 when she was murdered. Source: Queensland Police

They were planning to travel down the east coast and celebrate Christmas with family in Melbourne.

Karen, Tim and Gordon were last seen alive leaving the Moondarra Caravan Park in Mount Isa in a brown and white Toyota Landcruiser long-wheel-drive with a man on the morning of October 5.

The trio were found dead in bushland at Spear Creek, 12 kilometres north of Mount Isa, with gunshot wounds on October 24.

The Queensland Police cold case investigation team, along with the Mount Isa Criminal Investigation Branch, started a review in the search for answers into the unsolved 40-year-old homicide investigation last year.

Gordon Twaddle, 21, was found in bushland with gunshot wounds. Source: Queensland Police
Tim Thomson, 31, was found dead with two of his friends. Source: Queensland Police

They are hoping renewed focus could lead to a breakthrough in the case.

“Despite 40 years passing, we remain committed to solving this case, bringing those responsible to justice and ultimately providing closure to the victims’ families,” Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said.

A $250,000 reward remains in place for information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for their murders.

The trio were last seen at Moondarra Caravan Park. Source: Queensland Police
Police are hoping people recognise Tim Thomson’s distinctive motorcycle. Source: Queensland Police

Det Snr Sgt Kentwell said the renewed investigative focus was no longer linking the triple homicide to other murders publicised at the time.

“While we are keeping an open mind, we are no longer focusing on links to the murder of John Tzelaidis who was found deceased near Karratha in Western Australia a few months earlier,” she said.

Anybody with information should contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or lodge a report online

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