Was Florence Broadhurst Murdered By John Glover? Australia 1977

A modern view into Roylston Street. I believe Ms Broadhurst's studio was on the right.

This mention of the unsolved killing of Florence Broadhurst is basically a genuine question. John Wayne Glover was one of the lowest that the UK had to offer. He was born in 1932 and drifted over to Australia. He was a killer who targeted older Sydney women between January 1989 and March 1990.

Glover attacked his victims as they made their way home from shopping trips or assaulted them in care facilities. There was a strong sexual element.

According to the sources I have read he cannot definitely be linked to murders earlier than 1989. One of the unsolved murders before 1989 was the high profile killing of Florence Broadhurst.

Florence Broadhurst

She was 78 years old and originally had come from Queensland. By the time she was last seen alive Florence Broadhurst had carved a life for herself as a renown designer and artist. Her studio was on Roylston St, Sydney. She was  last seen alive at about 3.40 pm on 15th October 1977. She was found the following day by police officers alerted to the open street door by a neighbour. She had been beaten to death with a length of timber. Two cups that contained tea were nearby. Was she greeting a potential client or a personal acquaintance?

Glover was convicted of six murders, however, it is said he is suspected of up to seven more. He hung himself in prison in 2005. He was asked about Ms Broadhurst yet denied involvement. I have read he confessed to the six he was sent away for.

In an NFSA documentary in 2005 those that knew Ms Broadhurst suggested that whoever killed her must have known her well. Another aspect was the killer appeared to be familiar with the building. They got in and out without leaving many clues. Notably they seem to have been aware of where a back door key was kept and how to secure the door when they left the building.

A modern view into Roylston Street. I believe Ms Broadhurst’s studio was on the right. It no longer exists and has been replaced by townhouses.

Glover tended to prowl areas north of Sydney Harbour whereas Ms Broadhurst’s place was in Paddington to the south. Glover’s victims were followed as they made their way home or were vulnerable through old age and infirmity. Ms Broadhurst was a sophisticated business woman with a sharp mind and precise manner. That does not make her any better than Glover’s known victims. I just point out she was not struggling home with shopping on the day she died.

However, Glover’s last victim was an acquaintance who invited him into her home. The lady was someone he knew well. He killed her and made an attempt to kill himself. The police had him under surveillance and crashed in to find the scene.

Unfortunately the police file has been misplaced regarding Ms Broadhurst. According to a documentary only a few pages of undated summary remain. Ms Broadhurst is believed to have had 8000 Aus dollars stolen along with some jewellery. She had a habit of leaving the street door open so clients could drop in. That would leave her vulnerable to a mooching burglar as much as Glover.

It could have been Glover. He was a thief and had a thing about older women. However, tea was in the process of being brewed.  This lady, who is described in some contexts as a firebrand, is not likely to have been making tea for a walk in stranger.

Florence Broadhurst

Below is the link to the 9Now film that is currently on YouTube. There are two camps of thought represented. Also mentioned is a possible fraud with Ms Broadhurst as a victim. There you will see her son say the day before the murder he had been loudly telling her to confront a theft situation. Money had been going missing from her bag which she always left out. He wanted to install a safe and have her lock it up during working hours. This his mother refused. Her son believes the theft was by her staff, she did not believe that.

Regarding the tea brewing the film appears to establish that Glover did know Ms Broadhurst. They had attended the same functions. Also mentioned was that Glover and his wife had been to the studio in Roylston street. They had bought items from her.

So who killed this lady? Her background had a fair amount of mystery as well. One small issue as an example of her complexity was her nationality. She was undoubtedly Australian born and bred. She had a good voice and travelled as part of a singing troop. She went through Asia and ended up in London. There she claimed to be French and was involved in the high fashion trade. After WW2 she returned to Australia and up to the time of her death claimed to be British to some. Not only British, but aristocracy.

A successful woman, one who without doubt had talent and drive. As the above indicates she was also one to have secrets, even if they were innocent ones. Such women make enemies deserved or not.

Obviously this is an area of study that many have pursued. If I have anything wrong or you can shed light on a ‘WHO’ in this awful murder I would be all ears.

Cheers

Tim

tim@reasonedcrimechronicle.com

 

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