Raymond Keam reward: ‘Gay hate’ murder appeal


A $1 million reward is being offered for information about the murder of Sydney man Raymond Keam more than 34 years ago.

The body of the 43-year-old father was found by a member of the public on the grass at the northern end of Alison Park at Randwick, on January 13, 1987.

A post mortem revealed he died from severe head injuries but no one has been charged over his death.

In 1988, an inquest found Mr Keam, a martial arts expert with four children, died after being struck by a person or persons unknown.

A $1 million reward is being offered for information about the murder of Sydney man Raymond Keam (pictured)

At the time it was suspected of being a possible gay-hate murder and he was targeted by a violent group who attacked several other gay men around that period. 

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said he hopes the $1 million NSW Government incentive will bring detectives a step closer to solving Mr Keam’s brutal murder.

‘Raymond Keam was a young father of four children when his life was viciously taken more than three decades ago in Sydney’s east,’ Minister Elliott said on Wednesday.

‘We acknowledge that there was a dark and violent period in our state’s history when people were dismissive of suspected hate crimes and NSW Police have been working tirelessly to ensure every possible resource available is utilised when reviewing and reinvestigating these cases.

‘It is my hope that the NSW Government $1 million reward will encourage any member of the public that may have information about Raymond’s murder – not matter how big or small – will come forward.’ 

‘Gay hate’ crimes were unfortunately common across Sydney between 1970 and the early 1990s. 

Mr Keam was found dead by a member of the public on the grass at the northern end of Alison Park at Randwick (pictured), on January 13, 1987

Mr Keam was found dead by a member of the public on the grass at the northern end of Alison Park at Randwick (pictured), on January 13, 1987

Mr Keam (pictured), a martial arts expert and had four children, was found with severe head injuries

Mr Keam (pictured), a martial arts expert and had four children, was found with severe head injuries

Men were often found slain in parks, homes or washed up on sharp rocks around the bottom of Sydney’s clifftops. 

In 2019, police reviewed Mr Keam’s case and a new investigation began.

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, said the unsolved homicide review identified further possible lines of inquiry that detectives are now exploring.

‘A reinvestigation into the murder of Raymond Keam has commenced, with officers now re-examining all available physical and forensic evidence and re-interviewing key witnesses,’ Det Supt Doherty said.

‘Detectives are particularly interested in speaking with anyone who may have been a victim of an assault or who may have witnessed assaults at Alison Park, Randwick, in the years prior to and after Raymond’s death.’

Raymond’s partner, Ms Diane Smart, hoped the $1 million reward may bring new leads for investigators to finally provide justice for Raymond and give some peace to his family.

Mr Keam pictured unwrapping presents with his young children on Christmas day

Mr Keam pictured unwrapping presents with his young children on Christmas day 

‘Raymond was a kind and caring partner, father and step-father. At the time of his death we had been planning out our life together – then it was all ripped away in an instant,’ Ms Smart said.

‘I didn’t just lose my partner that night, I lost my life and my future, and we all lost a huge of part of our family. Raymond was a bright, strong, smart and generous man, who can never be replaced.’

Raymond’s daughter, Stephanie Keam, said her father’s death has caused immense pain for her family for the past three decades.

‘Thirty-four years ago, I not only lost my father, but a good friend, and have always felt a shadow over me not knowing why he was so cruelly taken from us,’ Ms Keam said.

‘When something like this happens to a loved one, it changes you – it leaves a stain. We are all desperately hoping to find some answers and we ask anyone with information to come forward to police and help our family find peace.’  

In recent years, police have been examining cold cases suspected to be ‘gay hate’ related murders. 

Raymond’s daughter, Stephanie Keam, said her the loss of her  father (pictured) has caused immense pain for her family for the past three decades

Raymond’s daughter, Stephanie Keam, said her the loss of her  father (pictured) has caused immense pain for her family for the past three decades

The reward comes after detectives last year had a breakthrough in the murder of American student Scott Johnson, 27, who was found naked at the base of a cliff in Sydney’s northern beaches on December 10, 1988. 

Three inquests were carried out into his death, with the third finding he was potentially murdered.  

In May last year, detectives charged Scott Phillip White with murder over Mr Johnson’s death.

At the time, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell said there are at least 23 unsolved murders that occurred at known gay beats, but could be many more.  

He said the arrest gave him hope similar cold cases could be solved. 

‘There are other cases that are around Alexandria, all of the beats… that we attribute to gay hate crime have not been solved,’ the assistant commissioner said. 

‘I’m very hopeful that cases like this reverberate through the community and we can get more information – that’s what we need, we need more information in order to pursue these cases.’

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Augenaut detectives with Mr Keam’s case is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. 



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