A Presumed Murder in Tiny Town Still Perplexes Cops

Writer Mitch Moxley explores the question: What in the world happened to Paddy Moriarty?
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2021 7:35 PM CDT
A Missing Man, 12 Suspects, and a $250K Reward

It has the ring of an Agatha Christie tale—a man goes missing and is presumed murdered in a remote town with only a dozen or so residents, most of whom are in their 70s. But as Mitch Moxley writes for Truly*Adventurous, the case of Paddy Moriarty is indeed real. The 70-year-old and his faithful dog disappeared one night in December 2017 from the town of Larrimah in the Australian Outback. Police have yet to find his body or crack the case despite a two-day coroner's inquest and a reward for information that was recently raised to $250,000. Maybe the most important thing to know about Moriarty is that the native of Ireland was, as the local bar owner called him, a "bit of a larrakin." Meaning, he liked to stir up trouble. Investigators at the inquest seemed particularly interested in his feud with the local pie-maker, a woman who lived across from Moriarty.

"To ask who threw the first kangaroo was, perhaps, to get lost in the details," writes Moxley. For the record, the reference is to dead kangaroos the pair were known to drag onto each other's property. Then there's the man the pie-maker hired as a gardener of sorts, but also seemingly to protect her from Moriarty. At the inquest, the pie-maker recalled warning the gardener that Moriarty might poison trees he was planting. In an expletive-filled response, the gardener told her that if that happened, "there will be the first murder in Larrimah." These two aren't even the only suspects, and it remains possible that Moriarty did not meet with foul play at all. At his home, however, police found his much-needed glasses, cash, his truck, and even dinner in the microwave, suggesting he did not merely walk away into the Outback of his own accord. (Read the full story.)

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