Coroner unlikely to name Shirley Finn’s killer

Coroner unlikely to name Shirley Finn’s killer

A CORONER says it is likely he won’t make a finding about who killed Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn, saying there are too many suspects and some inquest witnesses were unreliable.

Coroner Barry King also ruled on Monday he would not accept any more witnesses despite submissions calling for five more.

“At some stage, this inquest has to stop. And in my view, this is that stage,” Mr King said, which caused Ms Finn’s daughter Bridget Shewring to cry.

Ms Finn, a mother-of-three, was shot four times in the head at point blank range while dressed in a ball gown sitting in her car on the edge of Royal Perth Golf Club in 1975.

The inquest heard many allegations and rumours the assassination-style murder was arranged or executed by police top brass, with then-vice squad chief Bernie “The Bear” Johnson’s name repeatedly popping up.

Other notorious names regularly mentioned included former detective and convicted killer Roger Rogerson and Sydney hitman Arthur “Neddy” Smith.

The inquest also heard several times that WA’s then premier, Ray O’Connor, who was the police minister in 1975, had an affair with Ms Finn.

It was common knowledge she was paying kickbacks to police in exchange for not being raided, wanted help paying a big tax bill and was silenced when she threatened to name names, the inquest heard.

THE INQUEST INVOLVED:

* 30 sitting days from 29 August, 2017, to 4 April, 2019

* 70 witnesses giving evidence

* 124 exhibits tendered, some of which contained multiple documents

* Five interested parties represented including Ms Shewring.