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Paul Charles Denyer 'happily' killed 3 women. Now there's a fight to keep him behind bars.

Elizabeth Stevens was just 18 years old when she died. 

Debbie Fream was only 22. 

Natalie Russell was 17 years old when her life was taken from her.

All three women were brutally murdered by Paul Charles Denyer 30 years ago. 

In 1993, over a period of seven weeks, the seaside Melbourne town of Frankston was "under the cloak of darkness" as then-21-year-old Denyer stalked the suburb, randomly picking out three young women as his targets.

He murdered them, without mercy.

Read more: Less than an hour after taking a life, Paul Denyer sat down to dinner at his girlfriend's house.

"He hated women and that's one of the reasons he killed them. He'd been fantasising about killing women since he was 14 years of age," Darren Russell, whose 17-year-old sister Natalie was a victim of Denyer's, told 60 Minutes on Sunday night.

After he was caught, Denyer "happily admitted" to his crimes, said reporter Tara Brown.

First, he murdered 18-year-old Elizabeth Stevens, who went missing after getting off a bus to make the short walk back to her home. 

Just weeks later, he targeted new mum Debbie Fream, who had left her 12-day-old baby at home with a friend while she ducked down to a milk bar only 650 metres from her house. 

Her body was found four days later.

"She wasn't just confronted with the torture of her own potential demise, but she... she was so close to home," homicide detective Charlie Bezzina told 60 Minutes.


"It meant nothing to him. It's like looking into the eyes of a shark. There's nothing there. It's void. And this is what this person is."

Three weeks after Debbie's murder, Denyer found his final victim: 17-year-old Natalie Russell.

At the time, a postal worker had noticed an old, rusted Toyota Corolla parked near Natalie's normal route home. It had no number plates, front or back, and there was a man hunched over in the driver's seat, which raised suspicion. 

With reports of a killer on the loose, she called the police. 

By the time officers arrived to search the vehicle, it was empty because Denyer had already ambushed Natalie, stabbed her to death, dragged her body through a hole in the fence that lined the track and hidden her in the scrub.

Her horrific murder led to Denyer's arrest –something Natalie's brother Darren told 60 Minutes was "the only little source of light" they had following her death.

"I think it's upsetting because there's the evil that he did and there's kind of the good that Natalie was able to do out of an evil act," he said. "Her death meant that no one else needed to die. No other family needed to suffer."

In 1993, Denyer pleaded guilty to all three murders. He was sentenced to life with no minimum – however, that sentence was overturned on a technicality, allowing him to apply for parole after 30 years.


Those 30 years are up, and from April 2023, Denyer has been eligible for parole. He's already applied once, in May, and been denied. But there's nothing to stop him from continuing to apply to be set free – and the victims' families are fighting to make sure he stays behind bars.

Listen to crime writer Vikki Petraitis' first-hand insight into the case on True Crime Conversations. (Post continues below.)

Opposition MP David Limbrick, who was Natalie's boyfriend at the time of her murder, is one of the many who is determined to keep Denyer in prison.

"Until we get some sort of reassurance [and] we're satisfied that he can't harm another woman, then we have to continue that fight," he told Channel Nine's 60 Minutes. 

"Denyer was diagnosed with a sadistic personality disorder," added Darren, who was a doctor at the time of his sister's murder. 

"So, he has shown himself to take delight in other people's suffering, in hurting other people, in tormenting other people, in torturing other people. That's how he got his kicks. We've got no reason to believe that's changed.

"I think history tells us that these individuals generally don't redeem themselves," he continued. 

"And it's only when they're physically no longer capable of harm that we should be thinking of releasing them from custody."

Feature Image: Nine.