It’s been three decades since the serial kidnapper, rapist and presumed child killer known as Mr Cruel terrorised Melbourne.
Mr Cruel is believed to be responsible for as many as 12 attacks on women and children in Melbourne since the mid 1980s, including the rape of an 11 year old girl in Lower Plenty in 1987, the abduction of Sharon Wills in Ringwood in 1988, the abduction of Nicola Lynas in Canterbury in 1990 and the abduction and murder of Karmein Chan in 1991.
To this day Melbourne’s most notorious child predator still hasn’t paid for the lives he’s destroyed.
Mr Cruel Profile
However, while we do not yet know Mr Cruel’s name, there is plenty we do know about him based on the physical evidence he left at the crime-scenes and the eyewitness accounts of his victims.
Here’s what we know:
- Mr Cruel had forensic knowledge
Mr Cruel went to great lengths to avoid leaving behind any forensic evidence that detectives could use to catch him. It has therefore been suggested that perhaps he had some level of forensic knowledge.
- Bathed two victims and wiped sinks and benchtops to remove fingerprints
- Transported victim to release site in garbage bags
- Made victims brush teeth and clean nails
- Left no DNA at crime scenes or on victims
- Told Nicola Lynas “you will be taken to a hospital and they will test you you will be examined by a police surgeon. They’ll be looking for evidence to link me to you and they won’t find anything.”1
2. Mr Cruel had access to property under flight path
It is believed the perpetrator had access to a property which was located under one of the two main flight paths into Tullamarine Airport.
- Both Sharon Wills and Nicola Lynas heard planes landing while in captivity. Nicola Lynas told detectives she could hear the planes banking after they passed over her.
- An investigation into flights operating that day determined the likely location of the property as under either the Tullamarine east-west or north-south flight paths.2
- Spectrum Taskforce Head David Sprague said that based on how loud the planes were, they might have been just 400m above the house.
- Police searched 30,000 houses in 15 suburbs including Coolaroo, East Keilor, Niddrie and Westmeadows without luck
3. Mr Cruel followed media about his crimes
- Watched Lynas family press conference with Nicola and spoke to her about it, saying “Think you’re worth $25,000?”
- Went out to buy the Sun and seemed to enjoy the stories about his crimes and the parallels being drawn to other abductions
4. Mr Cruel probably videotaped his victims
- Sharon saw a wooden tripod at the foot of the bed she was held in
5. Mr Cruel used red herrings
- Pretended to talk to an accomplice during Lynas abduction
- Pretended to be seeking $25,000 ransom during Lynas abduction
- Pretended to make a phone call during Lower Plenty home invasion
- Pretended to be looking for money during Lower Plenty, Wills and Lynas attack
- Spraypainted Chan’s car with words ‘Pay back Asian drug dealer. More anon. More to come.’
6. Mr Cruel listened to radio
- Left radio on 3TT throughout Wills attack
- Played KZFM in his car during Lynas attack, and had radio on in his bedroom
- Brought in radio and tuned it to 3KZ in Lower Plenty attack to mask sounds of attack
7. Mr Cruel’s lifestyle gave him freedom of movement at certain times
- Slept in until 10am during the Lynas attack on a Wednesday morning in July 1990
- Was unshaven during Lower Plenty attack in August 1987
- Abductions of Sharon Wills, Nicola Lynas and Karmein Chan occurred in or leading up to school holidays
- Was able to conduct extensive stalking and surveillance in the lead up to his attacks
8. Mr Cruel’s language
- Used terms “bozo” “worry wart” “yous” and “missy” to his victims.
- Lower Plenty victim and Lynas described his voice as ‘deep’ ‘gruff’ ‘uneducated’
- Wills family described him as ‘no accent, well spoken, fluent English’ suggesting that he was Australian
- “You’re not going to be a hero are you?” to John Wills, “Think you’re worth $25,000?” to Nicola Lynas; “Do you feel brave?” to Lower Plenty victims
9. Mr Cruel could tie knots
- Knots used by sailors, truck drivers, farmers and fishermen.
10. Mr Cruel almost certainly had prior criminal or tactical experience
- Controlled multiple adult victims in Wills and Lower Plenty attacks
- Cut phone lines
- Entered via various means: removing window pane with knife, forcing roll-out window, pushing key through lock
- Had weapons and handcuffs
- Carried a kit containing housebreaking implements and restraints3
- Evidence of planning suggests offender spent time conducting reconnaissance and surveillance on his victims.4
11. Mr Cruel possessed a gun
- Lower Plenty family described his gun as a small black pistol-style handgun.
- Wills family described a dark-coloured handgun with a square grip, a squarish barrel with a silver bit at the end, possibly a pistol.
- The Lynas sisters described the gun as a gun with a silver barrel and a brown wooden handle.
- Karmein Chan was shot with a .22 calibre weapon
12. Mr Cruel’s physical appearance
- Mr Cruel went to extraordinary lengths to ensure he was not seen by his victims and descriptions varied
- Lower Plenty description: aged mid 20s. Australian. 178cm to 183cm tall, slim to medium build with brown, greyish/white hair with white spots in it. Greyish/white bushy eyebrows. Unshaven, with a couple of days growth. Oval face, soft hands, possibly right handed. Wearing blue denim jeans, good condition, close fitting, a brown tweed sports jacket, a blue nylon waterproofed zip up jacket, blue runners with white flashes down the side, white soles in good condition and white cotton socks. Navy blue balaclava with an open face and some type of material covering the eye area. Dishwashing or surgical gloves light in colour, possibly yellow.5
- Wills attack description: Australian. 173cm to 180cms tall, thin to medium build. Had either a moustache or whiskers, possibly an early beard growth. Aged mid 20s to 30s. Right-handed. Hairy chest. Wearing a dark coloured boiler suit, gloves and a dark coloured ski mask or balaclava which had eye and mouth holes and white stitching around the eye and mouth holes, possibly with red stitching as well.6
- Lynas attack description: just under 170cm (though Nicola’s sister estimated his height at 182cm), well built, slightly big stomach, like a beer belly. No body odour; hands felt hairy with rough skin and shortish fingernails; arms were quite solid and stocky with fine hair; that he had fine hair on his chest and no hair on his back.7
13. Mr Cruel took trophies from his victims
Mr Cruel stole several distinctive items from victims including:
- Ecuadorean Shirt Company parka with fake black fur collar
- a gold diamond engagement ring with the number 4132 stamped inside
- classic gold record set by London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Rosemary Lynas’ driver’s licence, Medicare card and credit card
- Ken Done beach bag
- A PLC summer uniform, tracksuit pants and school jumper
- A Melbourne football club beanie
14. Mr Cruel’s car
During the Dec 1988 and July 1990 abductions of Sharon Wills and Nicola Lynas, Mr Cruel transported his victims in a car:
- It was a four-door vehicle with carpeted floor, bucket seats, a low glove box and a floor gear shift
- The vehicle smelt clean but sounded old and he had trouble starting it
- The floor carpet, front door, arm rest and press down lock were all cream coloured
- He told both girls the car was stolen, which may suggest the car was not in fact stolen
- On the night Nicola Lynas was released, a White Commodore Vacationer sedan with three blue stripes along the side was seen acting suspiciously nearby
- Two separate witnesses have reported seeing a ‘ute’ or ‘truck’ near where Karmein Chan’s remains were discovered – NB these sightings have not been verified by police
FBI Profile of Mr Cruel
On 24 April 1991, the FBI provided the following profile of Mr Cruel to Victoria police based on their ‘research and investigative experience in similar cases’:
- he may reside or work in proximity to his first and last known attacks i.e. Lower Plenty, Templestowe.
- he is likely to be employed or involved with a school due to the use of school uniforms and timing in school holidays (though NB the Lower Plenty attack and abduction of Nicola Lynas did not occur during Victorian school holidays)
- he will appear genuinely dedicated to students and this may have been recognised with awards which seem to make him above suspicion
- he will have kept home-made pornography including of his victims
- he is a functional individual with steady employment, is generally regarded as a good neighbour, polite, quiet, somewhat introverted, and may be involved in community projects
- if he has a partner they will have been away during the time of his attacks and will know of his sexual dysfunctions, use of pornography and schoolgirl uniforms etc.
- those around him may have noticed changes in behaviour during and after attacks, including uncharacteristic use of alcohol, interest in religion, missing work or appearing distant and preoccupied
The FBI profile was criticised by forensic psychologist Ian Joblin and other local experts as simplistic and potentially off target at the time of its public release in April 1992.
- According to a detective who worked closely with the victim. Shocking Australian True Crime Stories, Paul Anderson
- ‘Infiltration: The True Story Of The Man Who Cracked The Mafia’, p 129, Colin McLaren
- Spectrum Task Force Special Circular 12 August 1991
- ‘Victoria Police and FBI dossier on shocking Mr Cruel child attacks’ Herald Sun Keith Moor, April 8, 2016
65 thoughts on “Who is Mr Cruel?”
Could Mr. Cruel be Peter Scully, or is the timeline wrong?
His name is thrown up from time to time. As far as I know there is nothing to rule him out, but he’s just one of hundreds of paedophiles who lived in Melbourne at the time. You could look up his address at the State Library to see where he was living.
he’s more than just a pedophile don’t down play this
ok every body listen i have some information about mr.cruel: mr. cruel now is have 70 years old born in 1952 and he have 12 crimes but the last with that girl was found death is not the same person, hes last 4 crimes, explain:1 crime per year, but in 1 year is making his target and the plan his plan was making in airservices Australia Melbourne. On his notebook or something and probely is in another continent
in asia: 46% australia:67% europe:78% USA:89%. Please take this information and realpy me btw im not good at english pls no hate.
Creaul is Australian he went to lakeside high school he married his wife he was separated at the time of all these offences he killed his wife an had two sons and now in prison for25 years.
I definitely think it was Peter Scully! I’ve been doing research and the timeline lines up with Scullys age, description, everything.
That can’t be he’s a different age doesn’t look like the description and he’s in jail
No Scully had way more confirmed victims than Cruel did.
It was one of the great bookie robbers, he died in a Melbourne airport robbery in 92 can’t Ren his name norm Lee or norm Allen something like that,strange coincidence that their was no more attacks
Ian bassett maybe?
His in his 60s white hair in jail for murder police know who creul is all they need to do they know the safe house they need to get a warrant look behind the garage brick wall l feel they find the equipment he had used he has two sons.
i think its moorabin airport and that he burgles his intended victims homes before and gets his access ready and likely places a listening device…
maybe, especially cuz moorabin airport is in a pretty quietish area
yep and ive delivered to there and even though the planes are small when they fly over they sound huge…
Could mr cruel safe house be home of friend or relative on holiday, cause attacks are close to school holidays
If he is as meticulous about his surveillance and care around removing forensic evidence suggests, then driving an older vehicle that he has trouble starting shows unusual lack of care inconsistent with all that. Suggestion- it could be car of someone who does not drive much so battery loses charge or it isn’t serviced as much. That could be an older person’s car or someone with disability or health issues minimising car trips so eg battery splutters or starts to go flat or fuel slow to uptake – specifically an old woman who may not have skills or strength or training to service her old car or a widow whose husband no longer around to take care of it. Or old or disabled man without mechanical skills or current ability to maintai n vehicle. School holiday timing suggests safe house and car could belong to older person like that who goes away to stay with family or friends around school holidays or is put into sometime of care during those times. Any cross checks with respite care agencies for older or a disabled person put into care around the dates of the abductions? Cross reference any owners of the type of car referred to registered within the target GPS zone and specifically, any such cars disposed of or not re-registered after the last known use of it. The older owner could have gone into full time care or died. Their death could be another possible explanation for why attacks seemed to stop. If eg the presence of or need to care for elderly and/or disabled person came to an end the house may need to be sold as well to fund full time care or distribute assets under a Will to beneficiaries if they died. Any deceased estates sold or changed hands under a Will in the target area after the last attack? If the perpetrator had onerous responsibility for caring for an elderly or disabled person excepting around school holidays, that may have cramped their ability to pursue their own relationship, warped their sexual development so they remained fixated on girls age around the age they were when their sexuality budded but was somehow blocked by other life events eg sick parent or widowed parent. The interest is schools, school uniforms and specifically PLC – more than a mere fetish. It connotes aspiration to be around or be attracted to upper class girls. They may be seen as nicer, more polite or better catches?
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I just had an epiphany while reading this…The recent 60 Minutes Australia episode made extensive note of the Electrical Substations being used in reference to his abduction and drop-off points (including the burial site of Karmein Chan), BUT- the FBI profile seems to share the idea of him being associated with a school. What if both were true: if Mr. Cruel is an electrical worker and his wife/partner was a schoolteacher. That would make perfect sense. Anyone else believe this makes perfect sense? (The school holidays would be “good” times for the abductions because the wife would have time off to take a vacation/holiday, and the students/girls would most likely be at home when he broke in)
i just don’t think he would risk doing anything associated with his work as he would increase the risk of getting caught… i doubt he has any connection to the sub stations and after hearing of the faked call where he threatens another family i feel he has a connection to the parents somehow..
If. U think.you know this person how do U report themQa
Car was stolen from a crime he committed in Brunswick murder of two old retiree then he dumb the car
Police need to look where the the ritiree VK commodore was found and see how far the trai station is look on the public transportation and they may find creaul on it paulino they may prove he may been the murder in the case in brunswick
Creaul safe house is near a school in Thomastown high st
I wonder if missing school girl Boon was also a Mr Cruel victim, and the girl who went missing after visiting dentist (though she is a little bit older than most victims)
I’ve always thought it could also be Mr cruel.
That’s interesting, it doesn’t fit with the electrical industry profile however I have always wondered if mr cruel had access to schools via traveling vans that would visit schools all over Victoria back in the 90’s (they still might do I don’t know)
We would have a visit from a few diff types of vans, but one was a dental van.
once or twice a year we would get free check ups etc and anything bigger then a filling would usually be referred to a actual dentist.
After following case extensively. It is apparent Mr Cruel very cunning and manipulative . For example: some victim’s say they could hear planes flying over house . Could it be he played recording of plane’s? . It is also apparent this person has a personality disorder. It could also be possible two people involved, this regards to moving the children from home to car to place of crime. It also happened at a time child pornography was legal, therefore high probability involved in a ungrounded pornography ring or linked to one. Also high probability linked to Bung Siraboon case. Person either self employed at the time or work for large work place that involves shift work . Person is highly skilled. Someone has too know who Mr Cruel is. Smallest detail is most crucial and this how it be solved
The split personality theory would match with testimonies saying he was « well-spoken » and others saying he sounded un-educated
Personally I am more convinced he would play a bit on purpose to further through people off of his trail. If he had a dissociative personality he wouldnt be able to use that to his advantage, if anything it would be a disadvantage
Creaul didn’t work election company je might be able have some knowledge from school however he didn’t work.
Had access to guns. Highly manipulative. Would it be possible worked or conducted contract work for police academy in Victoria? Someone in underground crime during 1980s to late 1990’s must know who this person is. Maybe was injured by Karmein thus explains the extereme violent way of death. I live in hope this case is solved and closed.
I was literally thinking this!
Go on peter Sylvester’s podcast, there’s an episode where a career criminal on his deathbed told a cop,it was great bookie robber the one who looked Asian, Mr cruel apparently told this crook who he was best mates with
MR CRUEL: Definitely a cop. He just yells cop. How can he not be already found. Not saying he might be working on the case but he definitely has access. I mean really electrical substations? Is it really a clue? He definitely is going to be doing again. He’s a SERIAL RAPIST and a MURDERER.
Yesss!!! He just seems to have the same knowledge as a cop
Feel like it may be a policeman past or present as he knows quite a lot of info about dna etc.
I believe it’s moorabin location the planes were heard overhead.
The biggest clue to his identity possibly comes in the first Lower Plenty attack. He asks the victim her name, and then on a number of occasions calls her Kate, Cate. Mr Cruel has made few if any mistakes as evidenced with his crimes never being solved. So why would he make such a mistake. Brian Elkner daughter is named Cate. On his first attack he would have thought it highly unlikely anyone would make a connection to the attacker, the victim and being called the name of his daughter, we know from the physiatrist at his rape trial that Elkner has a gross psychological disturbance that was unlikely to heal. Could that gross physiological disturbance have included sick feelings or worse to his daughter/s which he played out in his fantasy world why attacking and raping. To delve a little deeper, their is a transcript of all the things Mr. fuel said during the Lower Plenty attack. It does not include him calling the girl Kate/Cate. We can then assume he called her this name while playing out his vicious sexual attack on the girl . All part of his disturbed sexual fantasy. Hence this part of his communicstion would not be for public knowledge.
So why The mistake.
That guy did crimes around Thornbury he is not creul.
So back in the early 90’s I went to high school in the eastern suburbs I swear to god i was walking across the main road at the pedestrian lights, something made me look over at the cars stopped at the lights a man in a balaclava and black gloves on, made me look twice he’s dead eyes followed me across the road driving a ford falcon I think about this now and again and thought of this immediately it was a scary time
Do you remember what time of day, what road/suburb and the colour of the vehicle?
What was the colour of the vehicle?
White VK station wagan
please describe the car plssssssss
What farther shows his two boys porn and any it’s there mother then he kills her now his in jail for25 ears his poor boy appeared in court his yelling at Daniel he was in the western suburbs at the time he killed his wife.
He claims he wants out of jail dead or alive once police interview him he will try to kill him self
Somebody knows who cruel is. Please to this person who does know, please call crime stoppers.
I’ve followed this case for 30 years, I just hate cruel so much. To this day I still check and lock my doors and windows to be sure they are locked.
I suggest to investigators:
1. If power stations involved surly police can go visit all companies and look for likenesses and who completed jobs in areas at these time frames, def match to person seen filming the victims house this is significant.
2. Had to have done significant surveillance and he must have photos and videos of these homes in possession of someone must have seen.
3. Bung I’m sure is also a victim of cruel.
4. Have investigators gone on dark web looking for old child pornography there must be something out there
6. Looking at sex offenders in past 15 years and look to see likelihood of electrical work and or look alike in old photos etc.
7. Bayside attacks I’m also sure are cruel. But I feel this is where his parents live and maybe out of town or other or visiting during these attacks but he does not live there.
8. Based on above maybe Moorabbin airport may have been more likely?
One small piece of evidence will catch you cruel. You already made the mistake. The answer is in the case file.They are coming for you.
disagree on the bung case…doesn’t fit the mo of cruel…
odds on he was a taxi driver… able to cruise around at odd hours without raising suspicion…
and i would suggest he’s no longer alive…
I think Bung was taken into a house, so a local. She lived so close to the school and not a scream was heard. I have the same theory with Rhianna Barreau, it was a local
Maybe a family member that when hiring a video camera in the late 80’s he knew how to use it even though he says he never had one. Maybe an uncle who when you as a kid says the boogie man he gets paranoid and wants to know why you said that then is happy your not accusing him . Or a family member who always talks about DNA when it first came out. Or maybe another uncle who is not blood brother thinks he is Mr cruel but can’t say anything and knows it’s him and says he lives in the right spot. And an uncle that stopped using words after evedence came out how he spoke. And someone who keeps getting different cars. My other uncle said . And an uncle that’s is so dam close to your parents no one could ever tell them .
Norman lee, is mr cruel, I do believe. You need to look at pictures, even a witness described him. He died in a robbery in 1992, there is no attacks after that year. They need to investigate more of a timeline for him. That’s who I think it is,
good point but in he died who was hes age?
although it’s believed that he accessed the victims’ houses due to the flight paths does anyone think he could’ve accessed them because of the electrical substations whether it be his knowledge of where they were from research or if he was an employee of sorts that went around from each one which could explain his familiarity with them especially when he allegedly was looking over one of his victims’ fence who just happened to live on land that was taken up by some transmission towers and was caught by the victim’s brothers only to then hide instantly bcuz he knew hed been seen
Imagine… if this could’ve been Karmein Chans killer! You never know!
Between 1990-1993 (I was 10-13 years old) I remember walking down the road I lived on, with a car slowly tailing behind. It was a busy road but I still noticed a man behind the steering wheel watching me. That night, approx between 11pm-1am, I was lying in my bed, awake still, and I heard a noise outside my bedroom window, then I clearly heard someone taking off the window mesh on my window. When I finally realised what the sound actually was, I screamed out to my mum, who was in the lounge room, watching tv. She ran into my room, and the person fled. I don’t remember much else but the next morning we inspected the window and the aluminium frame was bent with the corner hanging out and the mesh had a slash, as though it was big enough to stick your hand in and attempt to see if the window would slide open. Which it does. Our windows were very easy to break in. That day my mum was so scared she ordered our roller shutters to be installed, immediately. And this is why we had roller shutters. We lived opposite a street.. very easy to park there and stalk the house. And my room, right there at the front. You could easily see me at night with my bedroom light on. Ohh those days with those horrible blinds we used to have. You could see everything from outside.
To the person asking about where to report, my best guess would be: https://crimestoppers.com.au/
Part of me feels like he’s a dentist/child dentist? Or some sort of medical professional? He knew to have them brush their teeth and he knew to have the girls clean under their nails which is a sterile practice.
He mentions knowing about police surgeons at one point too. There was mention of a girl going missing after visiting a dentist even though she was older.
What really clicked for me was the amount of times he used surgical tape to bind people. Just a very specific and odd kind of tape to use in those crimes.
Could he have just been a big consumer of TV crime shows and learnt about some of the practices from that?
There’s a thread on reddit about someone who believes their stepfather or stepbrother was/were mr cruel
We need to go deeper into this and find details of him that lower the field of who it is. There is a couple things left out here that i would like to note, the way he talks and the audience he targets hints toward him being a child therapist, is there anyone here who by chance would be able to check the medical records of the kids.
I have reasons for assuming that he is a child therapist, the wording he uses in what he has left behind hints toward a job like a child therapist or dentist but I think therapist makes more sense, not to mention almost all his victims are girls, and as study shows girls at a young age are more likely to cave in when faced with adversity or bullying, exactly why i would like to see the medical records of the girls to narrow this down.
My theory is he is either:
1. Had a job as cleaner or something along the lines that have something to do with cleaning since he was meticulous and maybe was a true crime buff.
Reasoning for the true crime buff. He had similarities to the golden state killer with the break ins, the disguises, hanging around longer than needed, talking to himself and tied up other family members.
At the time, accessing to true crime stories would’ve been more difficult with limited access to internet in the late 80s/early 90s. So possibly a subscription to a magazine?
But this leads to something else…like everyone I also think he was highly likely a cop also or in the same industry.
So if he wasn’t a true crime buff and was a cop he would know about the infamous Golden state killer and how the authorities back then reached out to authorities here in OZ about whether Deangelo had moved to Oz.
They found out he didn’t. Another coincidence, is DeAngelo stopped his crimes around the mid 80s, which is also around the time DNA testing was in its infancy and Mr Cruel may have known about what investigators look for and all the potential things they could for in future. He may have picked out what DeAngelo did wrong and how he could do one better.
I think, he could’ve rented the house with the flight path for a short period and may have been frugal with his living making it easier to move.
im thinking cab driver…
Why do you think cab driver?
because he had the ability to seemingly stalk his victims without ever raising suspicions…
i also suggest a connection to the parents…
but yeah he removed victims from thier homes at early times of the morning and that says he could blend in… 1 victim said he had trouble starting his car and that also fits the taxi possibility…
back then anyone could drive a taxi…no checks…
I also think the Mr C was possibly in law enforcement, and became aware of the EARONS’ work as a result.
I was his wife’s mottheers house later in years he killed his wife he didn’t work he separated from his wife her peranys I believe had died which left 2 boys hs in jail doing 25 years for murder
In 1991 I was going to a high school in outer eastern melb. I was in year 7. About halfwY through the year I was outside with my friends when a substitute teacher I had had a few times came up to me and asked to speak to me. He led me away and then proceeded to tell me he wanted my body and that I should come home with him etc etc. Of course this upset me Nd I left to find the principle to tell him what happened. Over the next few days he rang my house a few times to try and apologise and he was also spotted on my street corner ..obviously waiting for me to return home from school.
I’m not sure if police were ever contacted but I remember he didn’t teach at my school after that..
I feel like the whole incident wasn’t taken seriously and if that was to happen these days it would be alot different.
AnywY this teacher looks exactly like the recently released sketch of the guy that was found looking over the fence.
I did ring crimestoppers but they from them or the aurthorities.
I am sorry to hear that your a victim go and report it to police this shouldn’t have happen to you these creaps out there shouldn’t be in our schools however you should report it at a police station remember your a victim of this offence good luck god bless you
Paulino is creaul and his in jail for murder he killed his wife in Reservoir safe house was his mother laws
Now it’s up to police to close in on however once he know he will try killing himself in jail