What Happened to Tamela Dyson Menzies?

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Tamela “Tammy” Dyson Menzies, 23, disappeared from Queensland, Australia, on July 23, 1995, after a short stint in drug rehab and legally changing her surname. For years, she was involved in the shady underworld of Brisbane and Fortitude Valley, and her lifestyle may have contributed to her disappearance.

Who was Tamela Dyson Menzies?

Tammy was born Tamela Lisa Dyson in 1971 and raised in Victoria. At 17, she relocated to Brisbane, and her only sister Olivia followed shortly after. Both secured work in the adult entertainment industry at clubs in Brisbane’s southside and the Gold Coast, including Hot Lips and the Red Garter in Fortitude Valley.

Tammy moved again in 1989, living between New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria. She became involved with Natalis Lebler, and they had two children, Jyles Lebler in 1991 and Rainey Lebler, in 1994.

Tammy continued working in the adult entertainment industry using the alias “Pebbles.” Unfortunately, her profession led to dangerous associations with criminals involved in drugs and organized crime in Brisbane.

By mid-1995, Tammy lived in Inala with her new partner, Ricky Devisser. For unknown reasons, she arranged for her boys to stay with her mother, Loretta, in Victoria. Her mother later told the police that she believed this to be temporary and that Tammy would return for her sons.

Several months later, Tammy called Olivia in a distressed state, and Olivia said Tammy looked as if someone had assaulted her. Olivia subsequently drove Tammy to the Currumbin Clinic, a drug rehab facility on the Gold Coast. It is unclear why she took Tammy there and not to the police to report the assault.

Tammy was in rehab from July 16, 1995, to July 20, 1995. On that day, the center discharged her into the care of a still-unidentified woman, who claimed she was Tammy’s sister. The woman was not Olivia. Police have never been able to learn the woman’s true identity.

Around this time, Tammy legally changed her surname to Menzies, as if seeking a new identity for herself.

On July 21, Tammy completed a Statutory Declaration signed by a judge in Tweed Heads, giving her mother custody of her children and possessions. The following day, she called Olivia but sounded strange. She was talking about people from the underworld, Olivia said. Two days later, on July 23, she called her mother, and then vanished.

Disappearance of Tamala Dyson Menzies

Photo credit: Queensland Police

Tammy’s mother reported her missing to Victoria Police on September 8, 1995, when she had not heard from her and Tammy failed to see the boys. There were several unconfirmed sightings of her, including one at a Brisbane nightclub and another at Southbank. Additionally, investigators received reports that she had moved overseas and that she was living on a Queensland farm. However, Tammy never contacted anyone again.

Furthermore, Victorian police received a call from a man who identified himself as Jeff. The man told them he knew Tammy’s location but would not give it.

A coroner’s inquest was held on January 10, 2012. State Coroner Michael Barnes said he could not establish the date, time, and cause of death in Tammy’s disappearance. However, he stated that he believed she was deceased and indicated she may have been a victim of foul play. 

Where the Case Currently Stands

Queensland’s Homicide Cold Case Investigation Team held a press conference in April of this year. The team announced a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Tammy’s suspected homicide. Authorities will also give immunity to any accomplice who first offers such information. It does not include the person who committed the crime.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said that Tammy’s whereabouts have remained unknown despite extensive investigations at the time. (Colahan, 2024)

“Tammy associated with criminals that were known to police and vanished without a trace after giving custody of her children and possessions to her mother; we believe the circumstances of her disappearance is suspicious,” Kentwell said.

“We are urging the person who collected Tammy from the Currumbin Clinic on July 20, 1995, to contact police. Anyone who knew Tammy or her movements in Brisbane and the Gold Coast around her disappearance is encouraged to come forward with any information, no matter how small.

“There are people out there with information. Tammy’s family and her two boys deserve answers, so if you know something, please come forward.”

“We were only little boys when our mum disappeared and we have wondered what happened to her all our lives,” Jyles said. “She won’t be at our weddings, and she will never get to meet her grandchildren. Someone obviously knows something.”

Rainey said his grandmother, Loretta, never gave up trying to learn what happened to Tammy and desperately wanted closure.

“It hurts every bloody day,” he said. “She wouldn’t just disappear and leave us behind.”

Kentwell said police also wanted to speak to anyone in Brisbane or the Gold Coast with information on Tammy’s movements around her disappearance.

“I believe that Tammy’s lifestyle at the time has resulted in us being here today,” Kentwell said. “Relationships and loyalties do change — people who are scared may no longer be.

“We do believe that with public assistance, irrespective of the passing of time, this crime can be solved, offenders can be brought to justice and we can provide some answers to Tammy’s family and friends.”

Tammy’s loved ones described her as an “outgoing, happy-go-lucky girl who loved music, tarot cards and astrology, and who dreamed of one day becoming an actress.” (Colahan)

Tamela Dyson Menzies missing poster

TCD’s Thoughts

Tammy may have fled the area due to her dangerous associations but met with foul play. Someone might have tracked her down. However, I believe she likely died shortly after she vanished.

Who had assaulted her before she entered rehab? The answer to her whereabouts could lie with them.

I definitely believe she feared for her life, and that is why she gave the boys to her mother and changed her surname—to make it harder to find her. She knew something about someone or maybe owed money to an individual and that person came after her.


Colahan, Mackenzie. “Queensland police announce reward to help solve Tammy Dyson Gold Coast cold case suspected murder.” ABC News. April 17, 2024. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-17/police-reward-tammy-dyson-gold-coast-cold-case-murder/103732814

QPS Media. “$500,000 reward announced for information into the 1995 murder of Tammy Dyson.” Queensland Police, April 17, 2024. https://mypolice.qld.gov.au/news/2024/04/17/500000-reward-announced-for-information-into-the-1995-murder-of-tammy-dyson/

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True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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