As a society it should not matter where someone ranks in in life when a murder occurs.Their death MUST be investigated to the fullest extent.So maybe with some info from someone we can find out what really happened to Reggie Mullaly?
January 18, 2016
Left to die under a bridge
The body of Reginald Mullaly, 69, was found in September 2015 under a bridge in Bathurst, with 11 stab wounds to his arms and chest. Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.
Every day Reginald Mullaly would stir from his makeshift shelter under the Denison Bridge and take the $8-$9 cab ride into Bathurst’s CBD.
Twice a week, he would stroll into the Reliance Credit Union and withdraw a few hundred dollars from the almost $30,000 he had in his bank account.
This money would be spent on pies at a bakery, cans at the bottle shop and a loaf of bread to feed the ducks on the banks of the Macquarie River.
Dawn, the sister of homeless man Reginald Mullaly, holds a photo of him. Photo: Kate Geraghty
His spare change would go into the guide dog donation tin at Liquorland.
It is this money that police suspect might have led Mr Mullaly, who chose the life of a vagabond despite the thousands in his bank account, to be targeted in a vicious and fatal attack.
The 69-year-old homeless man’s body was found lying under the bridge he called home on September 20, 2015.
The shelter under Denison Bridge in Bathurst where Reginald Mullaly slept and where his body was found. Photo: Kate Geraghty
He was clutching a tissue and was holding it up against a bloody wound on his temple. Small blood spots dotted rocks that formed his sleeping nook.
A blanket, given to him by staff at the bakery, covered his bottom half and his boots were off, as if he had settled in for the night.
Days later, staff at the Newcastle Morgue removed his six layers of clothing and found 11 stab wounds on his body.
A bag where Reginald Mullaly’s body was found. Photo: Kate Geraghty
“It’s a cowardly attack on a vulnerable member of the community,” Detective Senior Constable Adrian Graham said.
Mr Mullaly was last seen about 3.15pm on Thursday September 17, when a taxi dropped him off at his usual spot near Lions Club Drive.
Police are still hunting for the person or persons responsible for Mr Mullaly’s death but they believe his financial status, in stark contradiction to the itinerant life he led, may have been a motive.
A hat where Reginald Mullaly was found. Photo: Kate Geraghty
While detectives found about $70 in Mr Mullaly’s wallet at the crime scene, his attackers may have been disappointed to find he did not have a bank card to access the money in his account.
He inherited tens of thousands of dollars after his mother died a few years ago but resisted putting it towards accommodation.
It was no secret that Mr Mullaly had money but the exact figure would fluctuate depending on who you spoke to in town.
Reginald Mullaly was last seen getting out a taxi on September 17 last year. Photo: NSW Police
Twice a week he would withdraw enough cash to cover his daily routine, which seldom changed.
Some days he would sit beside Kerry Hodge, as he strummed his guitar and sang Johnny Cash songs on the Howick Street footpath.
“With his little bag alongside him, he would have a bit of a beer hidden and he kept it so nobody could see his beer,” Mr Hodge said.
Detective Senior Constable Adrian Graham stands near the shelter where Reginald Mullaly’s body was found. Photo: Kate Geraghty
“But I knew and I didn’t mind because he never, ever, ever, said anything to upset me.
“Then he would come along with bread and feed the little sparrows.
“Now that he is gone, I am feeding the sparrows for him.”
Reginald Mullaly’s sister Dawn holds a lock of his hair. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Mr Hodge, who was one of the last people to see “Reggie” alive, had heard that Mr Mullaly often knocked back offers for accommodation.
Despite his generosity, people would sometimes confront Mr Mullaly for money, Mr Hodge said.
One of five children, Mr Mullaly was well known in the area, having grown up fishing and shooting on a property near Newbridge, about 30 kilometres outside Bathurst.
Kerry Hodge, a friend of Reginald Mullaly and one of the last people to see him alive. Photo: Kate Geraghty
He moved between the family property and his sister Dawn’s house in Bathurst and worked as a wardsman at the Bathurst Base Hospital and a shearer in adulthood.
But it was his penchant for a drink and Dawn’s loathing for alcohol that often caused their relationship to become unstuck.
“He lived with me for 13 months and just one day he would pick up with fellas that he knew,” Dawn said.
“He always knew he could come back [to my house] but the conditions were no drink and you smoke your rollies outside.”
They were simple conditions that would have put a roof over his head. Yet Mr Mullaly wanted to do things his way, even if it meant sleeping in the dirt between two bridge pillars.
“Say he lived with you and you had the TV too loud, if you started the mower or vacuum cleaner or you were watching Home and Away on TV, that would be enough to make him pack up and leave,” Dawn said.
“He packed up and left in what he stood up in.
“I just don’t understand it because Dad was a hard worker and mum was and the four of us girls don’t drink.”
Despite their differences, Dawn always kept a caring eye on her drifting brother and was there when he needed help.
On Wednesdays, Mr Mullaly would meet Dawn’s daughter at the river, where they would feed the ducks together. Sometimes he would return with his niece to Dawn’s neat and comforting home.
If he didn’t show up, Dawn would go looking for him. Once she reported him missing.
Those who knew Mr Mullaly conceded that, while sometimes he was gruff, he caused nobody any harm.
“It doesn’t matter if you live in a mansion or under a bridge, you don’t deserve to be murdered,” Dawn said.
“There is someone out there that knows what happened and I’m just hoping they come forward.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Bathurst police on 02 6332 8699.