Michael Murphy, one of the five men who brutally raped and murdered Sydney nurse Anita Cobby in the 1980s, has died in prison after a long battle with cancer.
Corrective Services NSW confirmed to news.com.au that Murphy had died in palliative care last night at the age of 65.
He had been suffering from liver cancer before his death, spending time between his prison cell at Long Bay jail and Prince of Wales Hospital in his final months.
"The Corrective Services Investigation Unit, which is part of the NSW Police Force, is investigating and will prepare a report on the death," a Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said.
"All deaths in custody are subject to a coronial inquest, including deaths resulting from natural causes."
The spokeswoman confirmed Murphy had died in Long Bay jail hospital just before midnight yesterday.
Cobby's widower John was elated Murphy had died, telling The Daily Telegraph: "One down, four to go".
"I hope it was painful for him," he told the publication.
"One down, four to go."
Murphy had been in an out of hospital for about a year and was recently asked if he would apologise to Cobby's family.
"Why would I f**king apologise to anyone while you b******s leave me in this f**king [hospital] room and treat me like this?" he responded.
Murphy was the oldest of the five men who abducted, raped and murdered Cobby as she walked home from a shift.
The 66-year-old was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 1987 with his brothers Leslie and Gary, ringleader John Travers and Michael Murdoch.
He had spent most of his incarceration in Goulburn prison's maximum security wings.
Gary and Les Murphy, Travers and Murdoch, who are aged around 50 and 60, remain in various maximum security prisons to live out their days.
The horrific case still sends shockwaves around Australia more than 30 years after Cobby's brutal murder.
Cobby, a 26-year-old nurse, was walking home from Blacktown Railway Station in February 1986 when she was kidnapped, raped, beaten and killed.
She would usually call her father to be picked up from the railway station but on the night of February 2, the payphone at Blacktown was broken and there were no taxis waiting.
Cobby decided to just walk home but as she made her way down Newtown Rd, the group of five men drove up beside her and stopped.
Two of the men jumped from the car and grabbed Cobby, dragging her inside kicking and screaming.
After forcing her clothes off inside the car, the men punched her repeatedly, breaking her nose and both cheekbones before forcing her to perform sexual acts on all of them.
She was raped repeatedly inside the car before the men drove her to a remote paddock in nearby Prospect, hiding her in the grass after a concerned neighbour came to look for the 26-year-old.
The men then dragged Cobby along a barbed wire fence in the field before raping and beating her again.
After hours of horrific torture, the ringleader of the group, Travers feared Cobby would talk and be able to identify them.
After encouragement from the other four men, Travers slit Cobby's throat, almost completely severing her neck and leaving her to die alone in the dark field.
Two days later, a farmer found Cobby's naked body face down in the Prospect paddock.
She had been beaten, repeatedly raped and tortured, and had her fingers broken and bones dislocated.
Cobby's family and her heartbroken husband later identified her by the wedding ring the men had left on her broken finger.
Justice Alan Maxwell labelled it "one of the most horrifying physical and sexual assaults" and "a calculated killing done in cold blood".
It's understood Murphy showed no remorse in the more than 30 years since Cobby's death.
When Murphy was recently asked whether he would apologise to the family, he said: "Why would I f***ing apologise to anyone while you bastards leave me in this f***ing room and treat me like sh*t."
Retired Chief Inspector Gary Raymond, who was a detective on the case, said such was the impact of the crime, anyone from Blacktown who remembered it could also recall where they were the day Cobby's body was found.
Mr Raymond knows where he was, and how it felt to every police officer and husband who had a wife or girlfriend at home.
What happened to Cobby that night was something no human being should have endured, he said.
"What she went through … no one deserved to die like this," he told news.com.au "Those men had no excuse for the brutal way they treated her. She was shown no mercy."
Cobby's father Garry died in 2008, and her mother Grace in 2013.
She is survived by a sister, Kathryn Szyszka.