$1m reward on offer for information about Melbourne cold case murder

Police have released forensically updated composite images of a man being sought in connection with a cold case murder in Melbourne 40 years ago.

A $1 million reward is being offered for information about the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Thomas Cooper.

Mr Cooper and his 16-year old girlfriend were sitting in a car at Ricketts Point, in Beaumaris, on August 18, 1980, when a man wearing a hat approached the car and smashed the driver’s side window.

Mr Cooper tried to drive away but the man shot him several times.

His girlfriend managed to steer the car away from the area and was uninjured.

A composite image of a Caucasian man with a mustache wearing a hat.
A police composite image of a man in a hat wanted in connection with the murder investigation.(Victoria Police)

Murder scene a popular spot for couples to go parking

Detective Inspector Dean Thomas, from the Victoria Police Homicide Squad, said the motive for the murder was unclear.

“There are a number of possibilities, including that the shooting was sexually motivated and the girl in the car may have been the target,” he said.

“We know that many couples regularly went to this location, so the offender may have been stalking the area in the lead-up to the shooting.

At the time of the murder, police released a composite image of a man they wanted to speak to.

That image has now been forensically updated to show what the man might look like in 2020.

Police also said the man may have been wearing the hat as part of a disguise.

“I want people to consider whether these digital images show a person they know or can identify for us,” Detective Inspector Thomas said.

“That person may not necessarily be from the Beaumaris or Ricketts Point area, and they may not necessarily have regularly worn a hat.”

Detective Inspector Thomas said Mr Cooper’s family had gone 40 years without answers about his death and hoped finding his killer would finally give them peace.