Ivan Milat, the notorious ‘Backpacker Killer’, is not the most feared person in prison. Nor is it Martin Bryant – the man who went on a killing spree in Port Arthur, claiming 35 lives in what was the worst ever mass shooting in the world at the time. No, the one who needs chains, leather straps and a full-time posse of guards is not even a man.
The most dangerous inmate in Australia is Rebecca Butterfield – a self- mutilating murderer infamous for slicing guards, inmates and herself. And for the very first time, we can reveal the full details of the jailhouse slaughter that saw her become the first inmate to be kept locked up indefinitely under a controversial new law. Meet Australia’s worst inmate, the first woman to ever have her file marked ‘too dangerous to be released’.
Rebecca Butterfield looked across the yard, eyes firmly focused, finger raised.
‘Who’s that?’ she asked.
‘Her?’ Jill, a 28-year- old newcomer, already a veteran of the NSW corrections system, shrugged.
Butterfield said nothing. Instead, she simply sat and silently stared. The woman who had caught her eye was Bluce Lim- Ward. Bluce was considered a model inmate and had not so much as had an argument since being sent to the softest slammer in Sydney.
‘She’s cute,’ Butterfield said, finally breaking her silence.
The big girl licked her lips.
‘It was a fatal attraction,’ Jill said. ‘A real-life fatal attraction.’
Yep, a deadly infatuation involving mimicry, menace and finally murder.
‘Lou was a sweetheart,’ said Jill. ‘She was only in there for something very minor, and she was getting ready to go home when Rebecca came into the jail. It was really f*cking strange what happened. There was no reason for it at all. Rebecca took to her straightaway. She started asking all these questions about her first before actually finding the courage to go and talk to her.’
Lim-Ward was immediately kind to Butterfield. She suspected nothing. And why would she? Lou was a wallflower. A pretty little thing who liked to cook and water the garden.
‘I don’t know what Rebecca’s intentions were to this day. I don’t know why she formed this thing for Lou. Maybe she wanted to have a relationship with her? Something sexual? She could have been that type. But it was definitely a fatal attraction. Shit got really weird, really quick.’
It started with singlets, shorts and hairstyles.
‘She began doing her hair the same as Lou,’ Jill said. ‘If Lou wore it up, then Rebecca did also.
It wasn’t much at first, but we noticed. She started parting her hair to the same side as Lou, cut it to the same length.’