For many weeks, I had been watching the news after some recent murders in Australia had made the news here in the UK.
The victims were tourists mainly from Europe who, according to the evidence found, died horribly. Countless stabbings, multiple gunshots to the face and even decapitation.
I feared for these unsuspecting people in Australia for I was one of those unsuspecting tourists 3 years earlier who had a terrifying experience in Australia, but police could never find the creep.
It sent chills down my spine as I could relate to the situation and the thought of “what if” would sometimes occur in the back of my mind when I thought back to my otherwise amazing Australian holiday experience.
The murders on the news revealed many similarities between all of the deaths. Each of the bodies were discovered deep within the Belanglo State Forest in New South Wales. The corpses were positioned face-down with their hands behind their backs and poorly covered with sticks and ferns.
Police believed this was the work of multiple killers.
But I knew right away that it was the work of one man, the creep called “Bill”.
You see, when I visited in Australia in 1990. I was backpacking through New South Wales to the next town. I had the essentials packed, enough for me to make camp for a night or two before reaching the next town and repeat.
I enjoyed walking and wanted to make the most of my backpacking adventure. Nearing the town of New Berrima, I heard a car approach from behind me in the distance. This wasn’t uncommon but I knew this car was travelling a lot slower than every other car that had passed me throughout my journey.
Focusing on the road ahead of me, I continued to walk straight and paid no attention to the car, hoping it would pass. The car crawled along beside me, matching my pace. I started feeling extremely uncomfortable and avoided looking at the car.
It was a man driving the car as he called to me asking if I wanted a lift. I looked at him and told him that I was fine. He told me I’m crazy and that I’m asking for trouble. I stopped. He did too.
Confused, I looked at him asking him what he meant. He warned me of some crazed gunmen in the area and that it had been all over the news. They were shooting anything and everything, so it was best to travel by car in these parts.
Honestly, I hadn’t watched the news and this man was obviously a local. He was also driving a new car. I didn’t get the impression of him being a creep as he seemed genuine.
I have a pretty expressive face and I’m sure it was obvious of how uneasy I looked after hearing this because he kept pressing, installing more fear into me, asking if I had seen anyone else walking on this highway. I hadn’t. I was the only person walking on the highway since I started the journey.
He offered me a ride to the next town as it was safe and I accepted his offer without hesitation. We exchanged names and some small talk in the first few minutes. He told me his name was Bill and worked in finance.
After guessing my English accent, he asked where I was headed. I told him my plans of visiting Melbourne before heading back to the UK.
Bill suddenly went silent and suddenly it became awkward. Did I say something wrong? Is there something wrong with Melbourne? I started to worry and tried to change subject to break the ice.
That’s when things took a turn for the worse. Bill reached for something and struck me in the head, causing me to bleed. I felt the car sway aggressively and heard the tyres rush through the gravel as it came to a grinding halt.
He grabbed me and reached for something from the back. Blood from my head was pouring into my open eyes as I tried desperately to see. After blinking in rapid succession to see through the blood, I saw that he now had a rope.
Everything was surreal and happened so quickly that I could not fathom the situation. Bill was pointing a gun at my head. I realised at that moment that it was what he used to strike me. Not to mention, I was suffering from an unimaginable pain, one which I never wish upon anybody to feel.
I tried to open the door, but the handle wouldn’t budge. Seeing my attempted escape, Bill fired a warning shot which shattered the window.
Fearing for my life, I did something that could have gotten me killed – I opened the door using the external handle and with all my force, leaned into the door, rolling onto the dirt ground.
This clearly panickedby my escape and yelled out “there’s nowhere for you to go” followed by sadistic and forced laughter, like he knew that he was going to get me.
I got to my feet and started running in the opposite direction. Faster than I had ever ran before, fuelled by adrenaline. As I wiped the blood away from my eyes with my hands, Bill started revving his car while stationary as an attempt to intimidate me.
My heart had never pounded so hard in my life and my breaths were short. I had probably gotten 500 metres down the road when I could hear the tyres spin through the gravel.
Bill must have decided to come after me and finish what he started. In front of me though was another car. It was heading right for us. I ran down the middle of the road. I took comfort in the fact that if Bill tried to kill me, someone would see it.
I ran towards the direction of the car, waving my arms and begging for help, yelling at the top of my lungs. I knew Bill was racing behind me and as I heard the car noises approaching, I braced for impact.
But as the car passed, I was still standing. Bill had driven past me in the direction I was running. The car I tried to flag down stopped for me. It was a woman on her lonesome with a clear look of concern on her face.
She checked if I was okay and tried to console me as I broke town in tears, covering my already bloody face. Thankfully, she took me into her car and I was safe.
I contacted Police in New South Wales, explaining to them what I knew. I don’t know if the details of my report from 1990 were ever included as part of these killings or not, but I know that my detailed recollection of Bill, his car and what he did to me ultimately helped Police find the sole killer of all those poor souls and my attempted killing.