Content warning: This post deals with issues around sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers.
In 2007, a woman by the name of Andrea* was walking along the highway near Millaa Millaa in the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland when a man pulled over beside her in his Holden Ute, offering her a lift.
He was polite, she thought. Like a good samaritan recognising someone who needed a hand.
“He was talkative, he was polite. He just made me feel okay to get a lift,” she told 60 Minutes on Sunday night.
When she got in the car, he began driving and didn’t stop until they arrived at his home. He needed fuel, he said. She went in and had a coffee.
“I thought he was actually being helpful and helping me so I could go home,” Andrea recalled.
“He asked me if I wanted to stay overnight, I said no.
“That’s when I noticed that the door was locked, but it wasn’t when we first came in.”
She looked at him and told him she wanted to leave.
“I unlocked the door and said I’m going (but) he caught up to me.”
When he caught up to her, he grabbed her, pulled her arm around her back and started smashing her head with a piece of wood.