Another grim year of shocking deaths and unsolved mysteries

GEORGE Town's Aidan Dawson, 21, died in the Launceston General Hospital from stab wounds to his abdomen in February.

Soon after, police charged his partner Dimity Nancy Brown, also 21, with the murder.

But the case did not proceed after the Director of Public Prosecution's office decided it could not disprove that Ms Brown was acting in self- defence at the time.

The murder charge against Ms Brown was dropped in August.

Family and friends were shocked when the death of a Launceston man in Laos was reported in February.

Chris Horrocks, 21, had a lust for life and died living it to the fullest as he travelled the world.

Such was the mark he left on those around him, his good friend Jesse Higgs decided to honour Mr Horrocks by holding musical festival Party in the Paddock every year in his memory.

It's a cold case that has continued to haunt Tasmania and in March it turned 20. Despite the odd lead, police appear to be no closer to solving the disappearance and suspected death of German tourist Nancy Grunwaldt. The backpacker, 26, was last seen cycling near Scamander on March 12, 1993. In 2004 a coroner found it was likely she had been killed and her body and and bike hidden. Her family continues to return to Tasmania every few years to speak with Launceston detectives.

Two brothers from Ravenswood were charged with murdering Tony Brown, 28, of Newnham, during a bar fight at Mowbray.

Mitchell Clay Dowling, 42, and Jay David Blazely, 38, have pleaded not guilty to the murder.

All three were allegedly involved in an altercation at the Mowbray Hotel over a game of pool in July.

The matter is currently being heard in the Supreme Court in Launceston.

Mayfield's Christopher Dean Watkins, 29, went missing without a trace around midnight on August 7.

He had just been dropped off by a friend to Thompson's Lane in Mayfield.

Police and family are unsure what happened to Mr Watkins but hold grave fears for his safety.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers 1800333000.

Riverside man John Evans shot himself dead shortly after killing his wife in their Orana Place home in September.

A motive was not clear and while Mr Evans did leave a note police said it was not a suicide note.

His wife Jill died after receiving blunt force trauma to the head from her husband, police said.

Investigators determined it was a murder-suicide based on pathology results, an emergency phone call made by Mr Evans just prior to his death and evidence at the scene.

The couple were both aged 62.

A Tasmanian man and his pregnant partner were killed when Islamic militants stormed a Nairobi shopping mall and massacred 68 people.

Former Nubeena man Ross Langdon, 32, and partner Elif Yavuz had forged a life together in East Africa where they worked to help disadvantaged communities.

One project Mr Langdon, a talented architect, designed a HIV-Aids hospital in Kenya pro- bono.

Ms Yavuz, had completed a PhD in public health policy at Harvard University and was a specialist on malaria.

Their deaths attracted messages of condolence from the Tasmanian Parliament to the Clinton Foundations.

In December it was revealed a man serving a life sentence for the murder of a Hobart teenager 20 years ago was wanted by police after being paroled. Jamie Leigh Smith, of Smithton, was convicted of murdering Wayne Hodgen, 17, in 1994 after he and another man clubbed him to death in a public park.

Smith was granted life parole in 2009 but two years later was issued with an arrest warrant. Police are yet to locate Smith.

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