Could She Be The Sixth Victim?
A woman’s naked body was discovered by bird watchers in the early hours of this morning. Verna Julenthorpe’s, 37, body was found on a naturalist’s boardwalk a Nudgee Beach at 5.00am today.
Nudgee Beach has become the tragic scene of what looks like another homicide. Many suggest that it was orchestrated by the Storm Killer.
‘Nudgee Beach Storm Covered Her Screams’
No attempt was made by the murderer to conceal her body.
It has been suggested that because she was found after a night of localised thunderstorms that Ms Julenthorpe murder has the hallmarks of five previous murders investigated by police several years ago – traits indicative of the Storm Killer.
Police are playing down speculation.
I spent many hours at Nudgee Beach, photographing, fishing and sailing. It’s reasonably close to Brisbane’s populous but it’s an almost forgotten place. Hardly anyone lives there and there’s no highways that pass through it. You’d have to know it to get there. It’s serene and a perfect place to be alone.
This made it wonderful for my photography classes too. I’d run students out there for some unspoiled sunrise-postcard shots well before breakfast. We’d stand out on the mud-flats in the dark waiting for the dawn light to colour the scene. I’ve lost count of how many shoes I muddied over the years trying to capture the perfect shot!
There’s a walking trail that winds its way around the mangroves with a bird-hide at its end. It’s tucked away in the trees. Those wanting to observe the wildlife can do so without disturbing them. We photographed from there too. Students enjoyed shooting the birds that waded in the shallow waters for an early feed.
Nudgee Beach by Night
When writing this new novel, there was a need to find another isolated location close to the city. A murder to be committed there had to follow the same pattern as the previous five: in the open, at night, during a thunderstorm and in a public place – at least public by daylight.
No one usually visits Nudgee Beach at night especially if there’s a storm imminent.
There are no lights on the boardwalk. Why would anyone walk along a darkened trail anyway? There’s nothing to see. It’s almost a pointless exercise visiting at night.
But couples do meet there from time to time. Some go to watch a moonrise across Moreton Bay while others… well, they go for other reasons.
There are two car parks at Nudgee Beach. One is right at the beach front. It’s big, wide and the bitumen goes up to the water’s edge. There are barbecue facilities and toilets. Tourist buses use it all the time. A bright flood light illuminates the primary traffic areas to discourage vandalism.
The second car park is on the other side of a field, hidden amongst trees, at the end of the main road. It’s not a sealed car park and it doesn’t face the beach. There are no facilities or lights there. Not even nearby residents can see down into that black hole once someone has passed into it. Venturing further into the mangroves via the boardwalk is as good as falling off the edge of the planet.
And so a scene is set. All we need is a reason for two people to come together during the evening.
Dating and photography. There’s two good reasons.
She’s on a dating site looking for love. To make a conversation last with a nice fellow she’s met online, she tells him that she’s into photography. His profile says he’s a photographer (funny that) and keen to meet a woman. Both are married but neither make mention of this. The discussion switches to photographing lightning. The two decide to meet up at Nudgee Beach to capture a storm without any of the city lights spoiling their backgrounds.
Like the various rendezvous in the first novel, this meeting starts out quite benign. (Yes, sex is inevitable but in this genre it’s benign.) Photography leads to a kiss-and-cuddle and then the clothes start to come off. Their action turns serious when the storm approaches. As it builds, so does the intensity of their lovemaking until well, the crescendo and cannon signifies the end of sex… and of life.
She’s left on the boardwalk with her neck choked and legs open. A camera bag is found beside her with her phone inside, minus a SIM card. Our photographer will do to it what he did with all the others… and his wife won’t know that six pieces of jewellery are now hanging right in front of her nose.
Okay, I’m sick. I get it… but I write for the neo-noir genre which teeters between psychological thriller, horror, erotica and murder mystery. It’s supposed to be bad and all things evil.
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