It was a warm July, 1990. Mr. Cruel wasn’t national news yet. He was known in the Melbourne area where he had struck two victims, both boldly in alarming circumstance. The first in her own home after having tied up the rest of the family; the second was in the most bizarre and premediated circumstances. He tied up the family at gunpoint and then abducted the 10 year old victim from her own home and took her to his lair where he assaulted her over an 18 hour period, ostensibly filming it in the process. The he drove her to another part of town and dropped her off.
This wasn’t your average creep. This was a Grade A, D Choice creep.
The attacks had come about 1.5 years apart. So it wasn’t like he was a scourge. . . yet.
But he was obviously a very strange and premeditative predator and therefore potentially a very omnipresent menace. The Melbourne Police also realized this jacket job knew his thing. He had excessive zeal in limiting forensic evidence. This was an enormous clue, for it indicated he believed he could be identified by even the slightest clue such as a hair left behind. Nevertheless, he was leaving a pattern. He had struck homes near main thoroughfares. Easy in, easy out, to the communities he stalked in northeast Melbourne.
Although it had been a year and a half since he had last struck, no one on the night of July 3, 1990, would have been expecting an attack on Monomeath Avenue. It was in the heart of the Canterbury area of northeast Melbourne. These were upscale homes in an area hard to stalk. This was an old part of town, with streets cross-crossing in a grid pattern. The other locations had been close to highways and main streets, not deep in a community. There was little way to stalk these streets and blend in.
Toward the center of the long street, far from any easy escape, one of the homes was owned by an English executive of a British company. Tonight was their last night in the home. They were preparing to go back to England. They were moving in closer to town to rent a townhouse for their last month remaining in Australia. They were away tonight. Their daughters Fiona and Nichola were home. Nichola was only 13.
In any case, somehow Mr. Cruel had long stalked young Nichola and entered the house tonight while her parents were away. It was after 11 p.m. He entered the house through the parents’ bedroom window– a sure indication he knew they were not home tonight. The girls had eaten a pizza and were sleeping together in the same bedroom tonight since they were alone.
Mr. Cruel crept into the bedroom. With the blunt end of a knife he tapped on Nichola’s head. She awoke to see a man in a ski mask. He wore gloves, and had a gun. He started with his usual lines to keep the girls calm. He said he only wanted money. At gunpoint, they led him around the house to where money was kept. Nevertheless, he didn’t take any, including 4,000 dollars in traveler’s checks. He led them back to the bedroom and then took out precut clothesline and hogtied Fiona on her stomach. He led Nichola back to the kitchen and took the keys to the family’s rented car.
Then they went to Nichola’s bedroom. Here Mr. Cruel took a number of pieces of her clothes. He told her to dress. He put the extra clothes he took into one of Nichola’s bags. In the hallway he stopped so Fiona could hear his questions. He asked about the father’s employment, and then said he was taking Nichola for 25,000 dollars ransom. He would call later with the instructions. Fiona was obviously to relay this to the parents.
Mr. Cruel then led Nichola out to the family’s car, ordered her onto the floor, then pulled down a cap she wore over her eyes. He drove off.
Fortunately, Fiona had looked up and out the window. He noticed that as the two had walked to the car, with Mr. Cruel’s arm around Nichola’s shoulder, he must have been about 5 foot 8 inches tall.
Another valuable clue follows. Mr. Cruel drove only a short distance. By Nichola’s reckoning he had had turned left onto Mont Albert Road and continued on. Then he parked and blindfolded her with adhesive tape. Then he started and turned onto another street. They stopped and got out and walked a short distance and got in another car. They drove off.
Mr. Cruel drove up and down streets. Nichola was sure it was to fool her on direction and distances. Eventually they came to the lair. He referred to the bedroom, a kitchen, a toilette, and a separate bathroom. He replaced her adhesive tape blindfold with surgical cotton eye pads which he taped to her head.
It was the same routine as with Sharon Wills. Nichola was put in the bed and assaulted off and on over a period of time. Then she was cleaned up, fed old scraps (like bread and water), then assaulted again. After her first assault, she was leashed via some harness around her neck to the headboard of the bed. Then Mr. Cruel fell asleep next to her. One day she was dressed in her tennis outfit and then assaulted. This nut was real kinky.
Nichola too had taken the chance to look through a slit in her blindfolds. She saw the room, the bathroom, and she too heard aircraft passing over. On Wednesday morning she estimated 7 to 9 jets passed over, and they sounded like they were landing. Mr. Cruel played the radio quite a bit, which of course gave Nichola clues as to the time. She had heard the planes, for instance, before 10 a.m.
The difference here and the previous victim, Sharon Wills, was that Mr. Cruel kept Nichola for 50 hours before dropping her off, like Wills, at a different part of town. She had been completely clean and was minus any forensic evidence. This location was within a few miles of her home, on Tennyson Street in Kew. It was 2 a.m. Friday, her birthday. She eventually got the police and was taken back home.
Several clues exist here that are of value. Nichola was very keen in her observations. We know more about Mr. Cruel’s pad, behavior, and parts of his MO for stalking a victim. We will start to analyze these in our next Mr. Cruel post. The attacks were so brazen, so arrogant, that he was now a household name in Australia. The nation was stunned at how careful this sick pedophile was.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.