William Albert Day
Missing since August 1970 from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Circumstances of Disappearance
In May 1969 William traveled across the north of Australia, arriving in Sydney in June 1970, shortly thereafter forming a relationship with a man named Peter Brown. In August 1970 William wrote to his family in England saying that he was traveling to Queensland. This was the last contact William had with his family.
In a letter to his family in Ipswich in 1970, Mr Day told them he was heading to Brisbane in a camper van with an English friend, Peter Brown. They never heard from him again. Police assumed he was one of countless foreigners who arrive in Australia and lose touch with relatives.
Brown's real name was Peter Macari. In May 1971, he telephoned the Australian airline Qantas and said there was a bomb aboard a Boeing 747 that was en route between Sydney and Hong Kong. He threatened to activate it unless he was paid A0,000 (then £234,000), and said an identical bomb was hidden in a locker at Sydney airport. Army experts found the airport bomb, which they said was capable of blowing up a plane. Qantas paid the ransom in A notes, a decision made without consulting police.
Macari then telephoned again and said there was no bomb on the 747. Police found a third of the ransom money hidden in an old butcher's shop in Sydney. Macari and his Australian boyfriend, Raymond Poynting, were arrested and pleaded guilty. Macari was deported to Britain after serving nine years of a 15-year term.
It was only when Mr Day's parents read a newspaper report about Macari's release that they realized he was the man referred to in their son's letter. When interviewed by Australian police, who flew to Britain at the family's request, Macari denied having met Mr Day. In fact, he virtually assumed Mr Day's identity before he was arrested, buying a Jaguar and plane tickets and opening bank accounts in his name. Mr. Day's family are convinced he was murdered because he found out about the extortion plot. However, police never found enough evidence to charge Macari.
According to reports, Billy traveled to Australia with a friend, David Burt. They explored Western Australia for six months, then split up. Macari arrived in Australia a few months later on a false passport, having served jail terms in Britain for stealing cars and possessing unlicensed guns. A friend of Macari's, Ivan Jay, later told police that Mr Day had been dropped off in Brisbane to go his own way. The extortion case was later made into an Australian film called Mr Brown.
Investigators New South Wales Police Source Information: Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
1 800 622 571
New South Wales Police
UK Independent - 5/6/02
New South Wales Police
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