Narrowing the Dragnet–the Hunt for Mr. Cruel

Australia’s Mr. Cruel is certainly the embodiment of calculated evil. His preparations to limit any kind of forensic evidence he might leave behind were meticulously planned, almost over-planned.

But 2 things he forgot– his first attack and his final attack’s disposal site. His route to and from them he did not have to protect. He was a beginner at Lower Plenty with his first attack. He raped the poor girl in the house while her family was gagged and tied up. Then he left and went back to his squalid lair to fester.

I’m sure he chose the most direct route home. Why would he not?

The dump site for Victim 4.


For his next 2 attacks he had to be evasive to protect his route home. At both home attacks the fiend kidnapped the under-aged victims and took them to his lair, there to assault them for 18 and 50 hours respectively. He made sure he drove down side routes and back and forth down streets. Both girls said that he drove all around.

This is curious, as it suggests that his route back home was rather straightforward.


1, marks the attack site in Lower Plenty. This was Mr. Cruel’s first victim. No major highway is near there. But Rural 44 courses down to merge with a very significant route– Rural 40. Arrows mark the way. Click to enlarge.

For these last two attacks he had clearly used the M3 Highway at one point, either to access them or then to drop them back off  in neighborhoods near to where they lived. He passed one of the victim’s home to get to Bayswater, and he stopped just short of Victim’s 3 neighborhood to drop her off in Kew. Each site was off the M3.

But for his final victim this was unnecessary.  He used either Rural 40 or the M3 to access her neighborhood too, but he either never intended to bring her back or something went wrong and she got a glimpse of his face or, worse, something that would easily mark the location of his lair. Precise location would more quickly identify him than a facial composite.

Routes intersect

The route to and from Lower Plenty is marked with yellow arrows (Rural 44 and 40). High Street is marked in red arrows. Dump site for Victim 4 is marked 4. Click to enlarge.

Mr. Cruel drove her to a landfill at High Street and Mahoneys Road. There was no need to disguise his way there. He knew he was going to snuff out her life, which he did with 3 shots to the head. This intersection, under development at that time, is on remarkably straight line from the major streets that he would have used to return from Lower Plenty.

This bolsters the hypothesis that these two locations and the direct routes that service them lead to his lair. We can ad one other factor. Both kidnapped girls that he had returned after their harrowing ordeal reported hearing jets fly overhead while they were kept chained to the bed in his lair. They sounded like they were coming in for a landing. This told police that the lair was under the flight approach to the Melbourne Airport.


Route 40 is significant. It is marked in yellow arrows. It connects the northeast and east area of Melbourne where Mr. Cruel struck with the north of Melbourne and the communities under the airport flight path. It also connects to the M3 (broad red line)Attack points are marked in numbers. Drop off points are marked by stars.  Click to enlarge.

The communities under this flight path were Keilor, Plenty, Watsonia, McLeod, Strathmore, and Coburg. Most important here for us is Coburg. The roads we have discussed above lead straight to Coburg. This is where we begin.

*         *          *

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.


3 thoughts on “Narrowing the Dragnet–the Hunt for Mr. Cruel

  1. I live in Melbourne. It may be of interest to you that the M3, known locally as the Eastern Freeway, was built in stages and did not exist beyond the right-most yellow arrow before 1997, long after the attacks occured


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