Frankston serial killer Paul Denyer to stay behind bars

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Frankston serial killer Paul Denyer’s bid for parole has been refused.

In seven weeks in 1993, Denyer – then 21 – murdered Elizabeth Stevens, 18, Deborah Fream, 22, and Natalie Russell, 17.

Homicide Detective Senior Sergeant Rod Wilson interviews Paul Denyer in 1993.

Denyer was originally sentenced to life with no minimum by Justice Frank Vincent, but the Court of Appeal set a minimum of 30 years making him eligible to apply for parole this year.

Russell’s father, Brian, said he was notified of the Adult Parole Board’s decision on Wednesday that the application had been dismissed.

“We are very happy. It comes as a great relief,” he said.

Retired detective inspector Bernie Rankin, who was stationed at Frankston at the time, said he was delighted and relieved by the news.

“It was just too great a risk to release him. He was, and is, a cold-blooded killer who has shown no remorse for what he did,” Rankin said.

“He will always be a danger to the community.”

Denyer admitted that he had wanted to kill from the age of 14 and had been stalking hundreds of women since he was 17.

The decision to refuse Denyer’s parole will renew a push by MP David Limbrick – who was Russell’s boyfriend – for the government to legislate to keep Denyer in prison.

Deborah Fream was serial killer Paul Denyer’s second victim.

Jake Blair was just 12 days old when his mother Deborah Fream went to a milk bar to buy some eggs for an omelette. Denyer hid in the back of her car, then abducted and murdered her.

For years, Blair didn’t know the awful truth of his mother’s death. He has joined the relatives of Denyer’s victims demanding the killer is never paroled.

“He has done nothing to deserve it. He will never change, and they must keep him inside,” he said.

The Adult Parole Board said in a statement that due to strict confidentiality provisions in the Corrections Act 1986, it was unable to comment.

Previously reflecting on the Denyer case, Vincent said his thoughts were the victims.

“There were the young women who were killed, and their families and those around their families and those involved in the hunt for the killer, but there were many thousands of women and others who had to live with this fear,” he said.

Then-premier Jeff Kennett has recalled, “You could have thrown a match and the place would’ve exploded. There was outrage, but more importantly there was this genuine, genuine fear.”

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