How a killer came so close to cap­ture

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - KATE KYRIACOU

PO­LICE have ev­i­dence that a sweaty and di­shev­elled Ray­mond Mul­vi­hill emerged from the bushes near a Ca­role Park drain af­ter bury­ing Shar­ron Phillips – two days af­ter she dis­ap­peared from a con­ve­nience store at Wa­col, 18km south­west of the Bris­bane CBD.

A cou­ple came for­ward last year af­ter see­ing news re­ports of po­lice search­ing the area, and gave a per­fect de­scrip­tion of Mul­vi­hill emerg­ing from the bushes in 1986 – right down to the colour of the shovel he was car­ry­ing.

It was a chill­ing fit to a story Mul­vi­hill, on his deathbed, told his son, as he or­dered him to “give the girls back” and re­veal the lo­ca­tion of Shar­ron’s re­mains to po­lice.

As he lay dy­ing of can­cer, Mul­vi­hill told his son, Ian, he had been “nearly caught” by a cou­ple as he car­ried his white shovel back to the car, af­ter bury­ing the 20-year-old on the Satur­day night.

Shar­ron was last seen late on Thurs­day, May 8, when her car ran out of petrol at Wa­col.

She found a pay­phone out­side a con­ve­nience store and called her boyfriend, ask­ing him to pick her up.

She called again an hour later – shortly af­ter mid­night – when he hadn’t ar­rived.

It later emerged he had be­come lost and had been fur­ther de­layed by a flat tyre.

Po­lice can place Mul­vi­hill at the phone booths where Shar­ron was wait­ing, mo­ments af­ter mak­ing the sec­ond phone call. Mul­vi­hill would park his taxi at the rear of the shop where the cab’s owner lived with his fam­ily.

He was the night driver and worked a 4pm–4am shift, but reg­u­larly fin­ished at mid­night dur­ing the week.

Po­lice in­ter­viewed the owner of the cab and his wife. She re­called hear­ing noises out­side on the night of May 8, and got up to in­ves­ti­gate, but she had looked out the front door rather than the back.

They also tracked down a po­lice of­fi­cer who fol­lowed Mul­vi­hill’s son Ian to the shop af­ter pulling him over for a bro­ken tail light. Ian was there to pick up his fa­ther but be­came caught up in the kid­nap­ping.

In a deathbed con­fes­sion in 2002, Mul­vi­hill told Ian that af­ter leav­ing him at the fam­ily home, he drove away with Shar­ron in the boot of Ian’s

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