|Other names||The Hampton Rapist|
|rape and murder|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2007)|
He was originally known as The Hampton Rapist, and was later given his infamous Mr. Cruel moniker by newspaper sub-editors. Melbourne Police believe that he is responsible for a series of child rapes and abductions dating back to 1985.
- On 22 August 1987 in Lower Plenty, a man broke into a family home at 4 a.m. armed with a knife and a gun. He tied the hands and feet of both parents and locked them in a wardrobe. The son was tied to a bed and the eleven-year-old daughter was attacked. He cut the phone lines.
- On 27 December 1988 in Ringwood, he broke into the back door of a house at 5.30 a.m., armed with a knife and a small handgun. He bound and gagged the parents, and demanded money. He grabbed the ten-year-old daughter, Sharon Wills, put tape over her eyes, a ball gag in her mouth and abducted her. She was released 18 hours later in the grounds of Bayswater High School.
- On 3 July 1990 in Canterbury, he broke into a house at 11.30 p.m. and tied and gagged a thirteen-year-old girl, Nicola Lynas. He placed tape over her eyes, disabled the phones and searched for money. He drove her to another house and molested her for fifty hours before releasing her at a power sub-station in the suburb of Kew.
- On 13 April 1991 in Templestowe, armed with a knife, he abducted thirteen-year-old Karmein Chan. Her body, with three gunshot wounds to the head, was found a year later.
Mr. Cruel is believed to have videotaped or perhaps taken still photographs of his attacks. Detectives believe that if he is still alive, he will have kept the tapes and/or photos and will still collect, and possibly swap, child pornography. They say he almost certainly continues to collect pornography through the internet and may communicate with children using chat lines. He plans his crimes - for example, in one case he abducted a girl and told her he would release her in exactly 50 hours, and indeed he did. He bathed his victims carefully, with one victim describing the act as "like a mother washing a baby", and wiped benchtops etc. for fingerprints. Shortly before releasing one victim, he thoroughly cleaned the bathroom and then laid down a sheet on the lino-covered floor to avoid leaving footprints. In one case, he took a second set of clothes from the girl's home to dress her before she was freed. In another, he dumped the girl in garbage bags so police could not test her original clothes. The modus operandi is so similar in these cases that police believe it is the same perpetrator.
Two of his victims were able to provide police with details of the house where they were kept. Both were shackled to a bed with a rough neck brace. One told detectives she heard planes landing, leading police to believe the house was on one of the flight paths to Melbourne Airport. Police checked houses in Keilor East, Niddrie, Airport West, Keilor Park and Essendon North.
On 14 December 2010 Victoria Police announced that a new Taskforce had been established about eight months earlier following substantial new intelligence. The new Taskforce has been reviewing both the Spectrum Taskforce investigation and some new leads that have come in the last year or so.
Police have searched 30,000 homes and interviewed 27,000 suspects over the attacks, at a cost of $4 million. There is an A$300,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Mr. Cruel. Police have admitted that some evidence retrieved from the crime scenes at the time has gone missing. One missing item is the tape used to bind one of the victims, which could have provided DNA samples of Mr. Cruel using new forensic technologies.
- Newton, Michael (2009). The encyclopedia of unsolved crimes (2nd ed.). New York: Facts on File. p. 261. ISBN 1438119143.
- Silvester, John (8 April 2006). "'Mr Cruel' filmed his victims, say police". The Age. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- Greg Roberts; Edwina Scott (2010-12-14). "New clues in police hunt for 'Mr Cruel'". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- Victoria Police News - Karmein Chan
- Moor, Keith (4-8-2003). "'Mr Cruel' child Rapist Still Free". The Mercury (M.A.K.O. Australian News). Retrieved 12 October 2010.
- Keith Moor, Mr. Cruel child rapist still free The Mercury (4-8-2003)