Louise and Charmian Faulkner Disappearance - Background


Louise was born on 7 April 1937 in Colac, Victoria and was the youngest of three children. Both her hips were dislocated at birth requiring a plaster cast for the first few years of her life and she suffered from a chronic lung complaint. Louise described her childhood as having lacked attention and affection from her parents and a close relationship with her older brother and sister.

Louise moved to Melbourne in the late 1950s and obtained work as the program manager of radio station 3AK. In 1961 Louise met Barry Clark and they married in 1962. In 1963 Louise was employed as a typist at EM Purdy Auction House, and it was here that she first met George Sutherland, a married man 16 years her senior. Louise left her job later that year due to the birth of her first child. Whilst in hospital she and the new baby received numerous gifts, cards and flowers. Louise kept all of the cards as a memento, two of which were from George and his wife Beryl Sutherland.

Twelve years later in 1975 George met Louise again and he arranged for her to work at Mason and Greene, an auctioneering firm in North Melbourne. By this stage Louise had two further children, John and Rosalie, but her marriage to Barry had degenerated over time. After she began working at Mason and Greene, Louise appeared to become infatuated with George, and an intimate relationship developed.

In July 1975, Louise travelled to Adelaide with George where they stayed in a motel together. This resulted in the breakup of both their marriages. Louise never returned to her marital home but moved into a flat on Acland St, St Kilda. Her previous husband retained custody of their three children who would travel to Louise's flat for weekend access visits. By this stage Louise applied for and received social security payments due to her worsening arthritis.

According to her ex-husband, Louise had not been responsible with money, which caused financial difficulties and tensions in the home. He also described Louise as being manipulative and flirtatious with men, and resorting to violence during their arguments. Friends and associates of Louise described her as being a vivacious, generous, caring and good-hearted individual but with conflicting views of Louise's promiscuity.

Whilst the relationship with Louise continued, George separated from his wife Beryl, moving to his holiday home in Parkers Corner, a small settlement near Erica. The Thomson Dam was in the early stages of construction during this period and George obtained a fencing contract with the Board of Works for the dam township of Rawson and also with a local landowner, Geoff Maynard, a potato farmer. On this potato farm he had access to a white Holden Ute.

Although the Sutherlands' divorce became absolute in 1977, in 1978 Beryl reconciled with George and shifted into the Parkers Corner property. They never married but continued a de facto relationship.

Louise’s divorce came through in July 1977 and she stated in court that she was pregnant with George Sutherland's child. Louise would tell her friends she wanted to marry George but didn't think he would commit. After the divorce and heavily pregnant, Louise embarked on a two week holiday with George, driving through New South Wales to Sydney. On 30 October 1977 Louise gave birth to Charmian Christabel Alexis Faulkner. Louise named the baby after Charmian Clift, an Australian writer. George attended the hospital soon after the birth and paid the maternity bills, however he appeared uninterested in Charmian and never provided any maintenance.

George continued his relationship with Louise after the birth of Charmian, visiting the flat on occasions. On other occasions Louise would travel to Gippsland and spend weekends with George in motels in the Erica, Moe and Yallourn areas. Louise did not have a car and had never held a driving license, relying on George to do considerable amounts of driving during the course of their relationship.

In January 1980, George and Beryl's teenage nephew came to live at the Parkers Corner property, helping George with the fencing contract and the potato farming. George would drive his nephew home to Woodend every three to four weeks, using the opportunity to visit Louise in St Kilda.

On 16 April 1980 Louise spoke to a long-term friend on the phone and informed her that she was going away with George to his potato farm at Erica for a few days on 22 April 1980.

Read more about this topic:  Louise And Charmian Faulkner Disappearance

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