1966: Wilhelmina Kruger – one of Wollongong’s most brutal unsolved murders

Around 4am on the 29th of January 1966 Wilhelmina Kruger drew her last breath.
According to a Sydney detective sergeant, this case is “one of the most vicious in the history of this state.

Kruger, a 57 year old cleaner, was found horribly mutilated at a foot of stairs in the lower car park of the Piccadilly Arcade Centre.

The stairs where Wilhelmina’s body was found. Photo credit: Emma Korhonen; forgotten illawarra

People remember her as a friendly and kind woman, which raises a lot of questions as to why she was the target of such a brutal crime.
Reportedly, a day before her death, Kruger spoke to a fellow staff members and told them she felt as if someone was watching her.

The aftermath of Kruger’s death made many people, particularly women, frightened and wary. A $10,000 reward was issued for anyone who led police to the killer, however the killer was never found.

Alan Basset, jailed for his involvement in the Wanda beach murders, was believed by some to have committed the Piccadilly murder due to similarities between the two cases. However, due to lack of evidence this link ceased to exist.

There is still no certainty about who murdered Kruger. In addition, two women from Wollongong are aiming to make a documentary based on Wilhelmina and her murder.

If you have any additional information on this crime, please share it by reporting it to the Wollongong Police on 4226 7899 or Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.


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