SECRET PHOTOS OF WILDMAN KILLER
PORTRAIT OF A PSYCHO KILLER LIVING IN THE WILD
SHROUDED in army-style overcoat, a camouflage kitbag slung across his back and a loaded rifle in hand, these are the incredible photos that show how double killer Malcolm Naden managed to evade the police during seven years on the run.
Naden was filmed by a secret police surveillance “bush cam” while striding through near-impenetrable undergrowth in the rugged mountains close to Gloucester, 40km west of Taree on the mid-north coast of NSW. Elusive and adept at stealing the clothing and supplies he needed to stay hidden, police likened searching for Naden as “like looking for a ghost”.
But, angry about the Ned Kelly-style myth that has built up around Naden’s years on the run, Detective Superintendent Michael Willing, who led Strike Force Durkin, has painted a very different picture of the man now serving a life sentence in Goulburn’s maximum security prison for the murder of Dubbo mother Kristy Scholes and his cousin Lateesha Nolan.
“He wasn’t a master bushman, he just got very lucky. He’s a pathological killer who would kill again,” Det Supt Willing said.
The photographs did not come to light until after the fugitive was arrested on March 22 last year, finally ending his 2460 days on the run.
Someone who knows only too well how easily Naden was able to escape detection as he moved through the bush is Jeralyn Pickering, who believes she only narrowly escaped becoming Naden’s third victim.
Ms Pickering had come face to face with Naden in two terrifying encounters while acting as caretaker of Misty Mountain health retreat, near Kempsey on the NSW mid-north coast, in October five years ago. Her stunning testimony, Naden’s chilling confessions plus never-released police footage from Strike Force Durkin feature in an extraordinary Channel 7 docu-drama to air this week.
Isolated and deliberately detached from the noise of city living, Pickering and those living on the property around her had “absolutely no clue’’ of the manhunt for the dangerous killer when she startled a man trying to break into one of the huts. It was only when she yelled out at the stranger “and he jumped behind the building’’ that she realised “there was something just wrong about him (and) the situation’’.
In the following days she felt as if she was being watched while swimming naked in a nearby creek.
On the night of October 30, Pickering was woken by an LED torch blazing into her room and someone rattling the handle of the cabin. Her screams scared the intruder away, but it is what Ms Pickering discovered the next morn
ing that seemed most chilling. A handwritten note read: “Nice moles.’’
The intruder had been watching her, so closely and while she skinny-dipped, to remark on the distinctive moles on her back.
Police confirmed it was Naden after dusting the retreat’s kitchen for fingerprints.
Malcolm Naden: Australia’s Most Hunted airs on Wednesday at 8.30pm on Seven.
Police cameras rigged up in the NSW bush captured images of then fugitive Malcolm Naden; and (left) Jeralyn Pickering feels lucky to have escaped the double murderer.