One terrible night. Three lives lost. A devastatingly ordinary tragedy.

Content warning: This story includes descriptions of domestic violence that may be distressing to some readers.

At 3.40 in the morning a young woman stands on the side of a quiet highway.

It's not cold in southern Queensland in July, but she is shivering in distress as a handful of cars flash past. 

We'll never know what the man who pulled up alongside her said to make her climb into his car last Friday morning, but given what came next, she likely needed no encouragement. What she was trying to escape was more terrifying than what she might face inside.

The man who stopped his car was a 65-year-old man, Terry Bishop. He was on the road at this hour because he was near the end of a long night drive to a family wedding. He had come from Mackay, 11 hours away.  

The woman who climbed into the passenger seat was 25-year-old Gypsy Satterley.

Both of them are now dead.

Police allege that after Gypsy climbed into Bishop's car, her partner began a chase, revving after them in a car he'd stolen at knifepoint only hours before.

He was, allegedly, so desperate to keep Gypsy from getting away that he rammed Bishop's car, forcing it into oncoming traffic. 

At that moment, a 38-year-old woman called Jessica Townley was driving her sturdy ute down the same highway, in the opposite direction.

The collision occurred at such high speed; she was killed instantly.

Three people dead and one survivor of this terrible chase on a terrible night. The man who lived was, allegedly, chasing Gypsy Satterley with such singular, crazed focus he used his car as a weapon to halt her escape at all costs.


Watch: Queensland police have charged the driver with murder. Post continues after video.

Video via 7News.

Gypsy was a mum. She had two little girls, and her Instagram account is full of them. Posing at the beach. Drinking milkshakes. Spinning in sparkly skirts. The kind of photos every parent takes, and every parent posts. 

Jessica was a stepmum, also to two girls. She was a fiance, a friend, a daughter. 

Terry Bishop was a grandfather of five. A father of two. A husband.  

So much loss. So much mayhem. So many lives shattered for ever.

But the quiet part is, the act that tripped off this chain of horrific events isn't even that unusual. 

Gypsy is the 27th Australian woman alleged to have been killed by a partner or former partner this year, according to Destroy the Joint. It's July.

And you probably already know that. Because headlines that declare these dark, despicable statistics are commonplace. They're wallpaper. Even as a media organisation committed to improving the lives of women and girls, Mamamia struggles to keep pace with these stories, to report them out, to have people click and honour these lost lives. Because the story has become so common, it's unremarkable.


But it is remarkable. Gypsy Satterley, an ordinary young woman with the kind of complicated life that ordinary young women live, was remarkable to her girls, to her sister, to her friends. The fact that she could be with them one minute, and entirely erased by an enraged, violent man the next should never be unremarkable.

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And neither should the loss of Christine Rakic, who was allegedly murdered in Sydney's Rooty Hill on Tuesday, July 11. Christine was 53 years old. She had children, and grandchildren. The man charged with her murder is her ex-husband. 

Amira Moghnieh was 30 years old and a mother to three children. She was killed in Sydney's south on July 5, and the man charged is her husband, from whom she'd separated a year before.

A 74-year-old woman at a retirement village in Rockhamption, Queensland on July 15.

A 47-year-old woman in Alice Springs on July 15, whose husband has been charged. 

Also on July 15, Aleksandra Vergulis, who was 51, was found shot dead outside her home in Campbelltown, Adelaide. Her 22-year-old daughter was also severely injured. Aleksandra's husband has been charged. 

That's three women, in three states, on one day.

Still. A list of names, or no names, some scant details. Women across five decades of life experience, across states and suburbs and cities and countryside.


The brutality and regularity of these crimes has no pattern, no commonality other than this: These women are alleged to have been killed by the men who knew them. Men who were supposed to be among their most intimate and loved supporters.

And behind every name and date, an ocean of sadness. An ever-expanding circle of other humans affected, of lives derailed and destroyed. The cost of male rage is relentless, and unchanging.

Now GoFundMe pages asking for help with funerals and family arrive like mushrooms after rain, pages and pages of tormenting sadness, of "gone too soons", of photographs of women who should still be here, would still be here, if it weren't for a bottomless fury we can't, as a culture, seem to stem.

The young woman shivering by the side of the Bruce Highway deserved better. As did the man who tried to save her. And the woman who didn't even know Gypsy Satterley existed, but lost her life because of the man who wanted her gone.

One terrible night. Such terrible loss.

No end in sight. 

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

GoFundMe pages for Gypsy Satterley and Jessica Townley. 

To remain informed about the shocking domestic violence stats in Australia, visit Destroy the Joint Research on Facebook.

Feature Image: 7News.