Search form

Man To Stand Trial For Disney Animator’s Murder

A former boyfriend of Sydney teenager has been committed to stand trial for allegedly murdering an 18-year-old Walt Disney animator, Lyndsay van Blanken, according to many newspaper accounts in Australia.

William Matheson, 22, was committed on April 27, 2005, in Sydney's Central Local Court over her death in November 2003. A trial date has yet to be set.

Accounts say he was the last person known to see van Blanken alive on Nov. 24, 2003, outside the Charing Cross Hotel in Waverley, in Sydney's east.

In January 2004, her badly decomposed body was found doubled over in a cricket bag in the storeroom of a block of flats in Queens Park.

She had been scheduled to fly to Seattle at the end of 2003 to marry her 22-year-old fiancé, an American national she met over the Internet.

Prosecutors told the court that Matheson bought a large black cricket bag, like the one in which her body was later found, two days before the disappearance of van Blanken.

According to the brief of evidence, Matheson had argued with her on the afternoon that she disappeared.She had allegedly been worried that Matheson could not come to terms with the end of their relationship, as she had been first girlfriend.

Police reported that this particular type of sports bag on wheels was only sold at one store in Sydney's eastern suburbs. That store had sold only one such bag, on Nov. 22, and Matheson had admitted being near the Bondi Junction store around the time it was bought.

He later claimed his sports bag had gone missing before the murder, according to the police. Two weeks after the murder, police stopped Matheson in the early morning with a backpack containing, among other things, an axe, scissors, surgical gloves and a bottle of holy water. He allegedly told police he was planning to have a picnic in the park by himself.

It is alleged in the brief that Matheson had numerous marks on his hands and arms when interviewed two days after van Blanken's disappearance. He told investigators they were scratches from his pet rats and cats.

According to court documents, Matheson has a family history of schizophrenia. His brother committed suicide in 1991.

Upon hearing that van Blanken's body was found, Matheson had allegedly said to his father, "I think I did that." He later added that he had felt responsible because he had not seen her home after meeting her on the afternoon she disappeared.

He is also alleged to have told his parents he had been hearing voices ordering him to harm them and himself.

Mathesons mother said he had been a loner who had developed problems at high school. "I could see that something was wrong with William. He was not a normal young man," she told police.