Images released as part of investigation into 2012 Altona book store assault

Police are today releasing two images of a man in the hope it will provide a breakthrough in the investigation into the 2012 assault of Jill Brookes in her Altona book store.

Jill was located by a fellow trader inside her Harrington Square second-hand book shop around 5pm on Friday, 20 July 2012.

The then 61-year-old sustained life-threatening injuries to her upper body and was conveyed to The Alfred hospital.

Sadly, Jill did not recover fully from her injuries and passed away in March 2021.

Detectives have made a number of public appeals over the past 12 years, including the announcement of a $100,000 reward in February 2014.

In May 2013 a man attended the Altona North police station and dropped a letter into the station mail box in relation to the incident.

The letter contained a newspaper clipping regarding the incident and a note written with letters cut from the paper.

Despite urging the man to come forward and speak to police, he has never been identified.

Investigators are still of the belief the letter may hold the key to the investigation.

While no one has ever been charged in relation to the assault, detectives haven’t given up hope that someone out there could come forward with information to help solve the case.

Today, police are releasing two images of a man who was seen in the area on the day that Jill was assaulted.

The man is first seen walking into the Altona Railway Station just before 3.25pm and catches a train to Westona railway Station, getting off just after 3.30pm.

A witness also said they saw a man fitting the same description walking along Maidstone Street, Altona about 3.30pm.

There is nothing to indicate the man was involved in Jill’s death, however police have never been able to identify him and hope to speak to him in the event he can provide any further avenues of enquiry for investigators.

Detectives are hoping the release of the images will result in information leading to the identification of the man and are also appealing for the man himself to come forward.

Police remain keen to speak to anyone who was in the area between 3-5pm on the day, along with anyone else who may have information about the incident and who is responsible.

The $100,000 reward remains on offer and money up to that amount will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the assault.

In appropriate cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions may consider, according to established guidelines, the granting of indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter.

Anyone with information about the incident or the identity of the man in the images is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at

Quotes attributable to Detective Senior Constable Matthew Noonan, Homicide Squad:

“I have been involved in this investigation for the past 12 years and it’s something that has stayed with me during that time.

“Jill’s family have never understood why this happened to her and sadly, we have never been in a position to give them the answers despite a significant investigation.

“Jill suffered life threating injuries during the assault, and those injuries had an enormous impact on her quality of life up until she died.

“We haven’t given up trying to get to the bottom of who was responsible for the assault on Jill and why, and we’re hopeful that this man may be able to provide us with new lines of enquiry.

“Over the years we have followed up hundreds of information reports and been through countless hours of CCTV to try and find the person responsible.

“I also know this incident had a long-standing impact on the local community in Altona and many people would still like to see justice done for Jill.

“I understand that a significant amount of time has passed, however we are still hopeful that this case can be solved.

“All we need is the right piece of information from the right person.”

/Public Release. View in full here.