Who killed Simone? Even now there's debate in the community
NEARLY a decade after she was murdered there is still debate over who killed Simone Strobel.
A German national holidaying in Australia, Simone was killed in Lismore in early 2005 while travelling with her boyfriend, Tobias Suckfuell, his sister Katrin Suckfuell and friend Jens Martin.
Tobias was later named the prime suspect by German authorities.
A subsequent inquest at Lismore, which Tobias and Katrin refused to attend, heard circumstantial evidence suggesting he murdered Simone by suffocating her with a pillow and then, possibly with Katrin's help, carefully concealed the body under palm fronds in the nearby bocce court.
However, discussion on social media after a West Australian judge threw out an attempt by Tobias Suckfuell (these days calling himself Toby Moran) to block the publication of a book on Simone's death, showed there are still people on the Northern Rivers who believe Tobias is innocent.
"It can never be proved, the people that did it hung themselves," one person said. "I feel so sorry for this man, he lost someone so close and is seen as a suspect, it is disgusting. Just shows how wrong the justice system is."
Do you believe Tobias Suckfuell should be a suspect in the Simone Strobel murder case?
This poll ended on 03 October 2014.
Yes, he appears to have a case to answer
No, there's no way he did it
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"I'm a local and I still dont know who did it," another person said. "There has been fingers pointed all over the place as to who or whom is responsible for her death."
However, those who still believe in Tobias's innocence appear to be in a minority.
"I think they know exactly what happened to her," one person said. "One of those three def know what happened to her, ridiculous inconsistencies between the three of them. Poor Simone."
"Why didn't Tobias come to the coronial inquest to protest his innocence," another person asked. "Why has Tobias changed his surname? Wants to disassociate himself with his old name perhaps?? GUILTY!"
As far as gathering the evidence needed to press charges over the case, police remain where they were at the adjournment of the inquest in 2007 - waiting on advances in DNA technology that would reveal the killer.
At the end of the 2007 inquest, then Deputy State Coroner Paul McMahon pleaded with Tobias and Katrin to give their version of events.
At the time, Mr McMahon said evidence to the inquest was "suggestive of his involvement in his girlfriend's death, or make it suspicious as to his motive and actions".
"There are also suspicions Katrin had some involvement, if not in Strobel's death, then in the covering-up of that death," Mr McMahon said.
"It seems fair and just that they be given the opportunity to tell their story, if for no other reason than to clear their names."
The pair have not taken up Mr McMahon's offer. Katrin is reported to have screamed at Simone's father, Gustl, "I won't say anything. Even if you torture me, I still won't say anything".