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Renewed push to solve the 1988 gay hate killing of Scott Johnson in Sydney

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Renewed push to solve the 1988 gay hate killing of Scott Johnson in Sydney

A $1million reward is now on the table for anybody who is able to provide information into the gay hate killing of mathematician Scott Johnson 30 years ago.

The 27-year-old’s naked body was found at the bottom of a cliff at Sydney’s North Head on the morning of December 10, 1988.

His death has been subject to three coronial inquiries over the years – the first ruling he died by suicide and the second delivering an open finding.

But in November last year, Coroner Michael Barnes ruled the American died as a result of a gay hate attack.   

A $1million reward is now on offer to help find the killer or killers of American mathematician Scott Johnson (pictured)

A $1million reward is now on offer to help find the killer or killers of American mathematician Scott Johnson (pictured)

A $1million reward is now on offer to help find the killer or killers of American mathematician Scott Johnson (pictured)

On the 30th anniversary of Mr Johnson’s death, police have increased the reward for information tenfold, making the case only the seventh in New South Wales to have a $1million reward, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

His family, who have refused to give up the search for answers, have welcomed the increased reward. 

The renewed hopes and plans to review the case from ‘a fresh set of eyes’ comes after his brother, Steve Johnson, returned to Australia.

‘Someone knows what happened to Scott, either because they were present or because they heard of what happened from others who were present,’ Steve said.  

The naked body of Scott, a mathematics PhD student, was found at the base of a 60m cliff near Blue Fish Point, just south of Manly, on Sydney’s northern suburbs.

The haunt was a well-known gay beat. 

The coroner last year said while the mathematician (pictured) died as a result of a gay hate attack, there was insufficient evidence to identify the perpetrators

The coroner last year said while the mathematician (pictured) died as a result of a gay hate attack, there was insufficient evidence to identify the perpetrators

The coroner last year said while the mathematician (pictured) died as a result of a gay hate attack, there was insufficient evidence to identify the perpetrators

Since the discovery of Scott's body, there have been three inquests into his death. He is pictured above with his brother Steve, who was welcomed the $1million reward for answers

Since the discovery of Scott's body, there have been three inquests into his death. He is pictured above with his brother Steve, who was welcomed the $1million reward for answers

Since the discovery of Scott’s body, there have been three inquests into his death. He is pictured above with his brother Steve, who was welcomed the $1million reward for answers

‘It is likely that those who were involved in Scott’s death would have bragged about it given the culture of gay-hate amongst groups in Sydney at the time,’ Steve said.

He encouraged ‘anyone who has any information to come forward and provide it’.  

New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said Mr Johnson’s case was one of the most challenging he had ever seen.

‘It is one of the greatest hindrances has been an unwillingness for witnesses to come forward,’ Mr Fuller said.  

Spear fishermen found the 27-year-old American mathematician's naked body near Blue Fish Point at Manly's North Head (above, file photo) in December 1988

Spear fishermen found the 27-year-old American mathematician's naked body near Blue Fish Point at Manly's North Head (above, file photo) in December 1988

Spear fishermen found the 27-year-old American mathematician’s naked body near Blue Fish Point at Manly’s North Head (above, file photo) in December 1988

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