Trudie Adams Disappearance: Did A Crooked Cop Protect Major Suspect?

Four decades after Trudie Adams vanished while hitchiking home from a dance on Sydney's Northern Beaches, the relationship between the main suspect and a corrupt cop is under the microscope.

Despite four police investigations since her disappearance in 1978, Adams' body has never been found and no one has ever been charged with her murder.

Now, questions of whether or not a corrupt law enforcement officer played a part in protecting the case's prime suspect are being raised in Barrenjoey Road -- the second season of the ABC's Unravel podcast, which is investigating why Adams' case was never solved.

Within a couple of weeks after 18-year-old Adams went missing on Barrenjoey Road, fourteen other women said they had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted in the same area.

Trudie Adams disappeared from Sydney's Northern Beaches in 1978. Image: supplied

Police have long suspected the assaults-- during which the women were picked up by two men while hitchhiking, threatened with a weapon and raped in bushland while their eyes were taped shut-- could be linked to Adams' disappearance.

Speaking on The Project on Monday night, Barrenjoey's lead journalist Ruby Jones explained the peculiar relationship between the man suspected of her death and former NSW Crime Commission boss Mark Standen.

READ MORE: What Happened To Trudie Adams?

READ MORE: More Women Come Forward After Trudie Adams' Disappearance Exposed

Ruby Jones and Neil Mercer at Barrenjoey Road in Sydney's northern beaches. Photo: Supplied.

"Neville Tween was never questioned about any of this for 30 years and that's despite some of these women actually identifying him," she said.

Neville Tween was a local career criminal who police suspected had raped the 14 other women and murdered Adams.

In a statement tendered to the coroner's court, former NSW police detective Gavin McKean wrote that "I strongly believe [she] was kidnapped off the street by [Neville] Tween and [Raymond] Johnson for the purpose of sexual assault."

Trudie Adams

"What we've been told is that Neville Tween became a informant to Mark Standen in the early nineties," Jones said.

Mark Standen is a well-known corrupt law enforcement officer. In 2011, he was found guilty of conspiring to import and supply 300 kilograms of pseudoephedrine into Australia as well as using his position to pervert the course of justice.

A suspect in the 1978 disappearance of Trudie Adams, John Anderson, leaves Glebe Coroners Court in the rear of a police car, 2011. Image: AAP

Now serving a 22-year sentence in prison, Standen has been in correspondence with Jones.

"He's told us about his relationship with Neville Tween in quite a lot of detail," she told The Project.

"He's explained that they lived in the same area, he says that socialisation was unavoidable and he's painted it all as pretty innocent. But you know, we are talking about a serious career criminal and a cop who we know turned out to be corrupt at the end of the day."

Now known as John David Anderson, Tween is currently serving an 18-year sentence for a 2006 conspiracy to import $7 million worth of cocaine, has always denied the allegations.