Kirste Gordon and Joanne Ratcliffe – Missing

Kirste Gordon and Joanne Ratcliffe – Missing from their families since 25th August 1973

Two families although unknown to each other before the 25th August 1973. Now they share a bond no family would ever wish for. A connection that stayed for 48 years with them.

4 year old Kirste Gordon and 11 year old Joanne Ratcliffe were watching an SANFL football match. They were at the Adelaide Oval, South Australia with their families when they went missing.


Both the girls went bto the female toilets in the 3rd quarter of the match. But failed to return to the stands. Several persons sighted Kirste and Joanne leaving the oval with a tall, stoop man. Witnesses reported seeing Joanne appearing distressed and tugging on the man’s arm. One witness even went so far as to slow down to check on the girls. But believing they were with a family member did not want to intrude and drove on.

Numerous appeals broadcast after the girls went missing, with hundreds of calls to South Australian. Despite extensive research and investigations by SAPOL and private investigators over the ensuing years, both Joanne and Kirste remain missing. Joanne and Kirste’s disappearance, and presumed abduction and murder, remains one of Australia’s leading unsolved child abduction cases. The girls are among 13 cases of missing in South Australia. $1 million dollar reward announced in February 2014.


Kirste standing 101cm tall with blonde shoulder length hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion with faint freckles. She was wearing a white pleated skirt, purple jumper, white pantyhose and brown lace up shoes. Kirste also features several distinguishing marks. A slight scar above the bridge of her nose, birthmark at the base of her spine and below the hairline. Kirste would now be aged 52 years old.

Joanne standing 127cm tall with a medium build. Joanne had brown hair in pigtails, with brown eyes and a fair complexion. He was wearing a white blouse with mustard coloured tank top, black jeans, white shoes and white socks. Joanne would now be aged 59 years old.

The suspecting abductor standing approximately 177cm with a stoop appearance. He was wearing a brown hat with a wide brim, a grey check sports coat and brown trousers.
Joanne’s mum, dad and brother have now all passed away. They did not know what happened to their girl.

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