After more than 30 years, police have made a major breakthrough in Melbourne’s notorious Mr Cruel child kidnapping case.
Given the moniker of “Mr Cruel” by The Sun newspaper, the perpetrator allegedly assaulted three girls sparking fear in the homes of Melbourne families in the late 1980s and early 1990.
Although the case remains unsolved to this day and the identity of Mr. Cruel remains a mystery, new details provided in Channel 9’s Under Investigation have revealed a link between the three abductions.
Using geographic information system (GIS) technology, investigators found that Mr Cruel’s victims were all abducted or later found at electrical substations which has led police to believe may be linked to the industry.
Senior law enforcement investigator Mike King told Under Investigation “there are reasons why he selected those locations to drop off those victims.”
“There are absolute reasons why he selected the victims he did,” he said.
“The fact that it’s all in about a 20-minute drive from each other, in that area the offender has to feel comfortable in order to function.
“From a geographic perspective, we just have to keep thinking, why is he comfortable in this area? Why is he selecting the victims where he is? And why is he disposing of them where he is?”
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Under Investigation also spoke to a witness who as a young girl lived on the same street and went to the same school as Mr Cruel’s second victim. The woman said her brothers saw a man allegedly filming them as they played football in “a big grassy area” approximately six weeks before her friend was abducted and assaulted.
“The area the houses are around is specifically for the power lines. No kids would play up there apart from my brothers. There’s no reason for anyone else to be up there. It’s dangerous,” she said.
“You don’t go to that area by accident. Only someone who knew those power lines and the access it had to the houses on the back fence would know it.”
Police, at the time, described Mr Cruel as a highly intelligent individual who meticulously planned each attack. It’s alleged he conducted surveillance on the victims and their families and ensured he left no forensic traces behind. He protected his identity by covering his face at all times with a black balaclava that featured white stitching covering the eyes and mouth.