DETECTIVE Acting Inspector Paul Elliot sets the record straight on some of the rumours surrounding the death of Shandee Blackburn.
Q: There have been quite a few rumours going around town, one that there is a gang of African descent that calls itself The Brothers that may be linked to Shandee's murder. Are police aware of this rumour?
A: Yes. It's obviously a concern that people are targeting one particular race of people when we have no evidence that that particular race of people has had any involvement in this matter. We don't just point the finger at anyone, which is what the community are doing.
The biggest issue, and I'm talking from experience here, is social media has no bounds. Social media is not bound by evidence, the truth or what we base our decision-making processes on.
The community really needs to be made aware of that because you can put anything on social media and someone somewhere along the line will believe it and that's how rumours start.
Q: Is there a gang in Mackay called The Brothers?
A: Not that I'm aware of and I've got no information to suggest that there is.
Q: There have also been rumours of other stabbings in Mackay over the weekend and Monday night. How many other stabbings were reported?
A: There was one unlawful wounding incident reported to police; there have been no more reported.
Q: There have been rumours that there is a drug rehabilitation house on Boddington St. Is that true?
A: Not that I'm aware of, and I would know that.
Q: Did Shandee die on Boddington St or in hospital?
A: My initial media responses were that she passed away at the scene. Her death certificate (says she died) at the hospital.
Q: Why do you think there has been so much public interest in this investigation?
A: If we go back to Jill Meagher that prompted a very big media response. She was a young female person who was walking home at an odd hour at night.
Every homicide is devastating. Everyone should be allowed to walk home.
For argument sake, you've got a young looking girl going home and you've got a middle aged man going home under exactly the same circumstances. They still should have the right to get home. It doesn't matter, they should have the right to do what they want.
Q: Do you think this murder has created fear in the community among women?
A: I don't know whether this particular incident has or social media has. I'm not saying it has, but I could point the finger that if people were getting concerned about what's going on, then social media has got a lot to say for that.
SHANDEE'S LAST ROUTE
The map below shows the route Shandee Blackburn took on her way home from work at Harrup Park Country Club on Friday night.
View Shandee's Route in a larger map
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.