To read this content please select one of the options below:

Dead Ends

Crossroads of Rural Crime

ISBN: 978-1-80043-645-9, eISBN: 978-1-80043-644-2

Publication date: 19 May 2021


This paper documents the case of a young girl who went missing from a country track in 1972. It considers the function of roads in her disappearance, and the importance and terror of roads generally in Australia. For roads have a role in Australia that is vastly different to smaller, more populous nations. Roads in Australia are absolutely crucial to the maintenance and sustenance of society. So too are the cars and other vehicles we use upon them, but they are just as paradoxical in their effects. As Elizabeth Jacka and Susan Dermody (1988, p. 113) put it so plainly: ‘our cars kill us, and without them we would die’. The case of the girl who vanished from a road is not an unusual event in Australia. However, it has led to a conjunction of long-lasting effects, particularly on the community of Mackay, that are. The case has never been solved, not due to a desire to solve it, but ironically because of the very methods initially employed to do so.



Morrissey, B. and Davis, K. (2021), "Dead Ends", Harkness, A. and White, R. (Ed.) Crossroads of Rural Crime, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 95-107.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited