Elizabeth Henry’s body was found northwest of Brisbane.
Elizabeth Henry’s body was found northwest of Brisbane.

‘She knew she was going to be murdered’

PREGNANT mother of six Elizabeth Henry knew her murder was coming.

Twenty years ago this week, the Fortitude Valley sex worker was found naked, battered, burnt and branded like livestock.

The brutal slaying shocked Queensland, triggered fears of a Jack the Ripper copycat and saw an overhaul of prostitution laws.

But two decades later the torture killing remains unsolved.

Speaking out for the first time, devastated family members have their own theories on the disturbing execution.

One involves her killing as part of a twisted underground pornography scene involving snuff films.

Family members at the site where Elizabeth’s partially charred body was found at Samford.
Family members at the site where Elizabeth’s partially charred body was found at Samford.

"Some people seem to think they're just an urban myth but they certainly do happen," her sister Mary told The Sunday Mail.

"She knew she was going to be murdered, she said people were after her to kill her."

Brother Peter said Elizabeth had told him she planned on exposing the snuff film ring.

"That's what Liz said to me about these guys doing snuff movies," he said.

He cited DNA evidence indicating she died during or shortly after sexual activity.

But he said there were other theories that meant the shattered family was left guessing what happened.

Elizabeth Henry was 30.
Elizabeth Henry was 30.

In 1998 the Valley was still shaking off its tag as Queensland's seedy dominion of sleaze and corruption.

Prostitution was illegal and sex workers lined Brunswick and Harcourt Streets for clients.

Exactly 20 years ago today Elizabeth, who battled mental illness and alcohol addiction, reluctantly returned to the job after a two-month break.

She was last seen about 11pm working on Harcourt St in New Farm.

Hours later her body was found dumped beside Bygotts Rd at Samford, northwest of Brisbane.

After bludgeoning the 30-year-old to death, the killer had tried to incinerate her body. She was four months pregnant. Strange branding marks were discovered on her back.

In 2002, an inquest returned a finding of murder by persons unknown.

Police at the murder scene off Bygotts Rd in Samford in February 1998.
Police at the murder scene off Bygotts Rd in Samford in February 1998.

In 2003, a police taskforce began investigating the murder along with the killing of two other sex workers and the vicious bashing of another.

Taskforce Midas led to the conviction of serial killer Francis Michael Fahey for the murders of Valley sex workers Julie Louise McColl and Jasmin Crathern.

But the 52-year-old paramedic was eliminated from Elizabeth's case.

Homicide Group's Detective Inspector Damien Hansen said the cold case unit was still actively investigating her murder.

He said the unit kept an "open mind" when it came to theories involving snuff films but there was no evidence supporting it.

Detectives strongly believe others know who the killer is and time may help erode their wall of silence.

"Relationships break down and then some people aren't as loyal to people they may have been in the day … someone might come forward," he said.

A $250,000 reward is on offer for information leading to a conviction of Elizabeth's killer.

She’s pictured with one of her six children.
She’s pictured with one of her six children.

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