ARREST: Homicide detectives from Brisbane arrested a 69-year-old man in Bundaberg. The man was charged with one count of murder.
ARREST: Homicide detectives from Brisbane arrested a 69-year-old man in Bundaberg. The man was charged with one count of murder. contributed

Cold case murder accused remains behind bars

THE Bundaberg man charged with the cold case murder of a man at an inner-city Brisbane hotel faced court yesterday, 43 years after his alleged crime.

Benjamin Jansen, 69, yesterday appeared in the dock of the Bundaberg Magistrates Court charged with the murder of Rex Kable Keen in 1976.

Jansen was arrested by Brisbane homicide detectives in Bundaberg on Monday.

Underneath his green watchhouse issue jumper in court, Jansen wore the blue Hawaiian-style shirt he was wearing during his arrest.

He is charged with one count each of murder and stealing.

The 69-year-old made no application for bail.

Magistrate Ross Woodford ordered Jansen be remanded in custody until August 22.

Jansen will next appear in court via videolink.

Mr Keen, a 46-year-old hotel manager from Bowen, was found murdered in a plush room at the Lennons Plaza Hotel on August 14, 1976.

The breakthrough in the case came, police say, with advances in technology and new information from witnesses who were re-interviewed.

Homicide Detective Inspector Damien Hansen praised investigators for their grit in looking to solve the ice-cold case.

"There's always hope out there," he said.

"Cases don't get put on the shelves, never to be reviewed. We've got a great team that continues to look at how to advance cases."

Mr Keen's family had been waiting a long time for justice, he said.

"It's 43 years ... they'd be going through a lot of emotion at the moment," Det Insp Hansen said.

Mr Keen was in Brisbane for a medical appointment about his liver, to catch up with friends and to see an exhibition.

He booked a room on the 12th floor of the hotel, in Queen St, where he was a regular guest.

Mr Keen's body was discovered in his bed the next morning.

According to police, blood saturated the bed and carpet. A post mortem examination revealed a shattered his skull and two stab wounds near his shoulders. Thousands of dollars and his camera were missing.

Police obtained near identical descriptions of the man seen drinking with Mr Keen but he could not be found.

The case was dubbed the Black Friday murder as it happened on Friday the 13th.