Community in shock

The murder of Felicia Wilson is still under investigation by a special police squad.
The murder of Felicia Wilson is still under investigation by a special police squad.

On January 10, 1979, Felicia Wilson (19) was walking home from her new job at the Kwinana Community Health Centre when she was brutally murdered in bushland a few hundred metres from her home in Orelia.

Despite a long running police investigation, the case remains unsolved.

It was a day when the Kwinana community, numb with horror, learnt a heinous crime could happen in their quiet, industrial town.

Miss Wilson reportedly left work at about 4pm but did not make it home.

Her concerned parents began a search that evening, lasting until the early hours of the morning.

Their worst fears were realised when at about 8am the next day a group of colleagues at the health centre found her body.

A centre secretary and two nursing sisters retraced Felicia’s footsteps along the footpath she would likely have taken home and discovered her battered body in the scrub.

Miss Wilson was due to be married that February after a whirlwind romance. Instead, her family cremated her in her wedding dress.

Newspaper reports at the time said she met her fianc´┐Ż Jim a few months earlier and they had just picked out engagement rings from a Perth jeweller.

They had planned to marry at a church in Medina and, only a few weeks earlier, had booked their reception at the Kwinana Hotel.

She was a described as a vibrant and popular young person; in 1977 she was a finalist in the Miss West Coast beauty contest.

Although witnesses came forward to identify men leaving the vicinity about the time of the murder, police never laid any charges.

The crime made national headlines and police reportedly used an Aboriginal tracker to retrace Felicia’s final steps ” and those of her killer.

At the time, investigating detective Ivor Thomter told journalists his greatest wish was that the crime would be solved.

Special Crime Squad Detective Inspector Casey Prins told the Courier the ‘murder of Felicia Wilson is an ongoing investigation being conducted by the WA Police Special Crime Squad’.

Anyone with information they believe may assist in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.