Introduction to Murder

William MacDonald's career as a murderer (but not yet as the Mutilator) started in Brisbane, the capital of the northern Australian state of Queensland, in 1960 when he befriended Amos Hurst, 55, outside the Roma Street Railway Station. They had a long drinking session together in a nearby hotel and went back to Hurst's hotel room where they sat on the bed and drank beer.

The aging alcoholic was so drunk that he probably had no idea that MacDonald was strangling him until it was too late. Later MacDonald would claim that he had no intentions of murdering Hurst when they went back to his room. But the urge to kill him came on suddenly and he squeezed his hands tightly around Hurst's neck.

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As he was being strangled, Amos Hurst hemorrhaged and blood spurted from his mouth all over MacDonald's hands. MacDonald punched him in the face and Hurst fell to the floor dead. MacDonald then undressed Hurst and put him into bed. He washed the blood from his arms, quietly left the building and returned to his lodgings in South Brisbane.

Terrified that any minute there would be a knock on his door from the police, William MacDonald looked in the papers every day for the story of the murder of Amos Hurst. But no story appeared. Five days later when he found Hurst's name in the obituary column he couldn't believe his eyes. It said the man had died suddenly of a heart attack.

What the papers didn't say was that while Amos Hurst's post-mortem showed that he had died of a heart attack, it also revealed that from the severe bruising on his neck that there was a possibility of death by strangulation but under the circumstances it could have been bruising from a fight or some other drunken misadventure and the case was closed.

Unaware of his close scrape with retribution, MacDonald went about his new found career as a murderer with added enthusiasm and bought a sheath-knife and went looking around the wine bars and sleazy hotels of Brisbane for another easy victim to kill.

In a skid-row wine saloon, MacDonald met a man named Bill and the more they drank, the more Bill looked like the corporal who had raped him all those years before.

At closing time the pair took a couple of bottles of sherry to the nearby park for a drink. MacDonald's urge to kill was strong but he waited until his drinking partner passed out drunk on the grass. Then, taking the knife from its sheath, he was just about to plunge the blade into Bill's neck when the urge left him. He sat on the man's chest with the knife raised, but the desire to commit murder had gone. He put the knife back in its sheath and went home, leaving the world's luckiest derelict to sleep it off.

1. Australia's Most Feared Serial Killer

2. The Making of a Monster

3. Introduction to Murder

4. The Mutilator Emerges

5. A Jealous Lover?

6. The Mutilator Strikes Again

7. Vanishes Without a Clue

8. The Mutilator Must Kill Again

9. A City Under Siege

10. The Beginning of the End

11. In Hiding

12. The Mutilator Dead and Buried

13. Doubts Remain

14. The Case of the Walking Corpse

15. Trial

16. ... and Retribution

17. An Interview with the Mutilator, Part I

18. An Interview with the Mutilator, Part II

19. I Meet the Mutilator

20. Alone with the Mutilator

21. Confessions

22. Remorse

23. Making a Wish Come True

24. Bibliography

25. The Author

- Paul Kidd Book Titles

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