Notorious Melbourne serial killer could be released within months
One of Victoria’s most notorious serial killers, who murdered three young women in cold blood, could be out of jail as soon as next year.
Paul Denyer, 50, who is known as the Frankston serial killer and now identifies as Paula, lodged an application for parole earlier this week. It’s not known if Denyer explicitly identifies as transgender or what their transition has been.
Denyer murdered 17-year-old school girl Natalie Russell, 18-year-old Elizabeth Stevens and 22-year-old mother Deborah Fream in the Frankston area in Melbourne’s south-east in 1993.
Denyer was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1993.
Denyer’s sentence was later appealed and they were granted a non-parole period of 30 years, making them eligible for release in 2023.
On Wednesday, Natalie’s parents were told Denyer’s parole period had been brought forward by several months due to COVID-19 conditions in prison.
Natalie’s best friend Karen told 9News her grief for losing her friend was still as strong as ever.
“It actually never goes away. There is a an impact, either big or small, every single day,” she said.
She said the thought of Denyer being released made her go cold.
“It’s a really big shock and it makes your entire body go cold and you go into a massive panic, and your brain starts running and you’re just left wondering what’s next.”
Natalie’s friend Lee has said there is no parole for those grieving Denyer’s victims.
“Frankston is 29 years, two months and 21 days into a life sentence and we have no chance of parole,” he said.
At the time of Denyer’s sentencing, Justice Vincent said: “Perhaps there will come a day when you will be able to walk among the ordinary people of our community. Whether you will ever do so must await the passage of years and the decision of the executive government at the time.”
There is concern Denyer’s release would have an impact on the Frankston community after the fear caused at the time of the crimes.
Stevens was murdered after she got off a bus on her way home from the library on June 11.
Seaford mother Fream was killed when Denyer ambushed her in her car on July 8.
A fortnight later Natalie was murdered as she walked home from school.
When asked about Denyer’s case this morning, Premier Daniel Andrews said Denyer belonged in jail but said he would not interfere with the parole process.
“He is where he should be, behind bars,” Andrews said
“But there is a process and we should let that process unfold.”
The parole board is due to meet in April.
In May last year, Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick campaigned for the government to intervene and ensure Denyer did not become eligible for parole.
Limbrick was Natalie’s boyfriend at the time of her death.
He said the pain of her loss has stayed with him.
“It feels like yesterday for all of us … you learn to live but it never goes away, the pain,” he said.