A tiny personal advertisement placed in Le Courrier Australien in 1994 may hold the key to solving Australia’s most infamous missing person case.
A new 7News.com.au podcast, titled The Lady Vanishes, has registered nearly three million listens and has ignited global interest in this baffling mystery.
Former Gold Coast teacher and mother of two Marion Barter travelled overseas in 1997, after selling her home. She told her family she was planning a year-long holiday.
Within weeks, she simply vanished. Marion was 51 years old and the ex-wife of former Australian Socceroo great Johnny Warren.
A series of bizarre twists have since cast serious doubt on the police theory that Marion chose to disappear of her own volition.
Years after her disappearance, her daughter Sally learned Marion changed her name to Florabella Natalia Marion Remakel just before leaving Australia.
Remakel is the same surname as the author of the 1994 Le Courrier Australien personal advertisement, M. F. Remakel.
Marion was three-times divorced at the time Monsieur Remakel posted his ad looking for love.
MONSIEUR, 47 ans, célibataire,
grand, brun, sobre, non-fumeur,
universitaire, multi-proprio, intello,
polyglote, chaleureux, motivé et
jusqu’au-boutiste avec qualités
morales et avoir important, cherche
dame de coeur libre, B.C.B.G, vue
relation permanente et ou mariage
It translates to English as: A tall, 47 year old single man with brown hair – A non-smoker, who is cultured, intelligent and can speak a number of languages. He owns multiple properties or businesses and is highly motivated. He is warm and welcoming, but also quite serious…
He is looking for an unattached lady with a view for a permanent relationship or marriage.
The letters B.C.B.G in the ad stand for – bon chic, bon genre.
There are two options for prospective partners to contact the author. There’s a phone number and a post office box at Lennox Head in northern New South Wales, just 20 minutes from where Marion was last reportedly in Australia.
After nearly a decade of inactivity the NSW Police finalised their investigation in 2011, stating she had been located.
However the lead detective, Det Sgt Gary Sheehan, has since confirmed to 7News police have never physically sighted Marion or her remains, which is the protocol for the finalisation of a missing person case.
Marion’s daughter Sally Leydon, who has been searching for her mother since she disappeared urged anybody with information on the ad or the author of the ad to come forward.
“Unbeknown to me my mother had changed her name to Florabella Remakel, which is a very rare name, and her customs card stated she was now married and living in Luxembourg” Leydon said.
“Anybody who knows anything about this advertisement, M. F. Remakel or my mother Marion Barter, also known as Florabella or Natalia Remakel, please contact us.”
If anybody has any information on Monsieur F Remakel or made contact with him via this advertisement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, download The Lady Vanishes podcast available on all platforms, or visit www.7News.seven.com.au/theladyvanishes
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