Deb and Janice are cousins, two of eight granddaughters descended from Reg Brown previously of St Lucia, Brisbane. They regret that Grandfather Reg, described to them as a thoroughly decent and devoted family man, was missing from their young lives.
Janice (left) & Deb
Coolangatta Skate Rink, Christmas 1967
A simple google search, however, paints a very different picture of Reginald Wingfield Spence Brown. Results show most considered him a liar, a lone and obsessive predator, and above all, a murderer; an opinion originally formulated by Brisbane detectives in 1947. At the forefront of the accusations was Sub-Inspector Frank Bischof. This sinister profile was set in stone by a judge and jury. ‘Not guilty’ was all Brown said. This was the terrible family secret kept from Reg's young grandchildren.
Nearly sixty years later Deb and Janice began scratching the surface. What commenced as simple curiosity grew into a crusade to give their grandfather a voice. Years of research, virtually placing their own lives on hold, culminated in the 2013 release of Lingering Doubts – Going inside Brisbane’s Arcade Murder.
Although, collectively, Deb and Janice have a diverse and broad work history, they are the first to admit they are not seasoned authors or legally trained. Nevertheless with the encouragement and guidance of Bob Bottom, revered investigative journalist, and a impressive network of supporters, they have not only rewritten their tragic family history but also a disturbing chapter of Brisbane’s criminal history. Based on the support Deb and Janice have received, truth and justice obviously have no expiry date.
Their commitment to raise this old crime, literally from the dead, is due in part to their inherited social conscience and strong sense of family. Now as grandmothers themselves their hearts ache for their forebear who was torn from his loved ones, including his first born and eagerly-awaited granddaughter.