Blood, Hair Yield Leads in AC/DC Manager's 1993 Murder

Inquiry identifies person of interest, long since dead
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2023 12:00 PM CDT

Australian authorities say they've identified a person of interest in the murder of AC/DC manager Crispin Dye some three decades after the fact. Dye, 41, a musician in his own right, was celebrating the release of his first solo album under the name "Cris Kemp" in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, on Dec. 23, 1993, when he was brutally attacked in what his friends viewed as a hate crime motivated by LGBTQ+ bias, per the Sydney Morning Herald. He died in a hospital on Christmas Day as a result of severe head trauma, per the Guardian. New South Wales police failed to solve the murder, despite a $100,000 reward. An inquiry was reopened this year, however, finding authorities had missed a number of opportunities to catch Dye's attacker or attackers.

For one thing, Dye's clothing hadn't undergone forensic analysis. For another, detectives had failed to find two now-degraded pieces of paper in Dye's shirt pocket, one of which included a name and phone number. Blood on the back of Dye's jeans was found to contain DNA from "unknown male A," who matched with DNA collected from the scene of a 2002 break-in in Sydney, per the Herald. The evidence "is consistent with his having made physical contact with Mr. Dye on the night he was assaulted," said Counsel Assisting the Commission of Inquiry Meg O'Brien. The individual with a lengthy criminal history had actually "been arrested in late 1993 and early 1994 for his involvement in two fights," per the Herald. But he died by suicide in 2002.

O'Brien noted "there was eyewitness evidence that three men were seen standing around Mr. Dye, moving him around and then running away." In another break, a hair found on Dye's shirt provided a partial DNA profile of another person, "unknown male B." But the hair is too degraded to obtain further DNA markers, O'Brien wrote. Had it been found earlier, "there is a chance that it ... would have permitted a more fruitful analysis," she said. O'Brien also noted the missed papers "may have been a source of fingerprints or DNA, which in turn may have provided the police with information about Mr Dye's assailant or assailants" so many years ago. Despite the unanswered questions, the inquiry found "reason to suspect that the attack was motivated by LGBTIQ bias, either in whole or in part." (More cold cases stories.)

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