Raymond Edmunds will never be freed and for good reason. He attacked women in their homes, in some instances when a child was also in the bed. WARNING: Graphic Content.

WARNING: Graphic content

The scent of a dairy farm lingered on the skin of serial rapist and killer Raymond Edmunds.

It was an offensive mix of milk, manure and chemicals.

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He was dubbed "Mr Stinky" by a sub-editor of the now defunct Sunday Press newspaper in Melbourne due to the foul odour noticed by his rape victims.

The name stuck like his smell.

Edmunds, now aged 75, has been behind bars for decades and will never again walk free.

But he is due to be sentenced for even more rape charges on Thursday.

THE MURDERS

It took two decades for police to pin Edmunds to the murders of two teenagers in February 1966.


Abina Margaret Madill, 16, and Garry Charles Heywood, 18, spent their final night out on the town with friends in Shepparton.

As could be expected, the teenage group was drinking and some sexual activity also occurred.

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Mr Heywood had planned to drive Ms Madill back to Lake Victoria in his FJ Holden car.

"As a token of their intention to return to drive the other young people home, he and she left some personal possessions with their friends," sentencing judge Alastair Nicholson said in 1986.

"Mr Heywood and Ms Madill then departed. They were never again seen alive."

Abina Madill. Photo / News Limited
Abina Madill. Photo / News Limited
Garry Heywood. Photo / News Limited
Garry Heywood. Photo / News Limited

The 18-year-old panel beater's car was found near the lake at 5am the next day.

It had been abandoned and a large scale search for the teenagers began.

On February 13, three days after the disappearance, Ms Madill's white handbag was found in a dry creek bed next to the Goulburn Valley Highway, south of Shepparton.

The bodies of the two teenagers were found two weeks later.

They were both flat on their backs but were 300 metres apart.

Mr Heywood was fully clothed and died from a .22 bullet which had been fired into his skull.

Ms Madill was found with no clothing on her lower body and had been battered to death, suffering a fractured skull.

Her stockings were found some 64 metres away tied tightly in a loop of 50-centimetres.

"Fibres found in Mr Heywood's trousers matched those found on the stockings, indicating that his legs had been tied with those stockings," Judge Nicholson said.

A small pile of "neatly folded and placed together" clothing, including garments missing from the 16-year-old girl, was also found.

Forensic examination revealed two spent .22 cartridge cases, the bullet removed from Mr Heywood's head and a small black plastic plug were from the same weapon — a Mossberg self-loading .22 rifle.

In March 1985, Edmunds was charged with indecent exposure in Albury and his fingerprints were taken.

"Those fingerprints … pointed to this applicant as the killer of the two innocent young people 20 years before," Judge Nicholson said.

"For, on the driver's door of Mr Heywood's car found by the lake on that Friday morning, there were two fingerprints.

"They matched the right middle and right ring fingerprints of the applicant taken by police."

Edmunds had worked as a share farmer on a dairy farm at Ardmona, 10km west of Shepparton.

In 1976, the son of the farm's owner came across a piece of wood in a shed on the property.

It was found to have been sawn from the wooden stock of a Mossberg .22 self-loading rifle.

A search of the soil around Edmunds' house after his arrest uncovered a number of spent cartridges, revealing they'd been fired from the same rifle found "in the dense copse of wood" near the bodies of Ms Madill and Mr Heywood many years beforehand.

The judge was satisfied on the evidence before him that Edmunds, who was 21 in early 1966, had abducted the pair at gunpoint and raped the 16-year-old girl before killing her.

"The crimes of murder committed in the context of rape were horrific and the applicant had thereafter demonstrated himself to be a persistent, dangerous rapist," three Court of Criminal Appeal judges determined in late 1994, dismissing an application by Edmunds to appeal his sentence.

He will die in jail.

THE RAPES

Being on the run for the murders gave Edmunds decades to terrorise the Victorian community.

He also pleaded guilty in April 1986 to three counts of rape and two counts of attempted rape committed between July 1971 and February 1977.

These were in the suburbs of Donvale, Greensborough, Wheelers Hill and Chelsea Heights.

He was sentenced for the five offences in October 1986.

The judge directed some of the terms of imprisonment be served concurrently and ordered he serve 30 years behind bars.

Judge Nicholson said Edmunds "treated (the victims) as some kind of inferior species that you are able to perpetrate your designs upon at will".

He did not fix a minimum term — given the two life sentences imposed for Edmunds' murders — but said he would have otherwise imposed a fixed term of 25 years.

He 'terrorised, degraded and humiliated' women in their homes. Photo / News Limited
He 'terrorised, degraded and humiliated' women in their homes. Photo / News Limited

Thrown into a jail cell for the term of his natural life, it appeared the community could breathe a sigh of relief.

But Edmunds tried his luck at escaping from Melbourne's Pentridge Prison in 1992.

He was found by a barking prison dog "Sarge" at the last security point of the complex.

"He was hidden in a small steel cabinet on the back of a semi-trailer which had already passed one checkpoint," the Herald Sun reported on June 25 that year.

Edmunds was found huddled inside, covered in steel shelving. He was hauled back into jail.

In late 1993, Edmunds applied to have the lesser term for his sex offences set in stone.

Chief Justice John Harber Phillips, sitting in the Court of Criminal Appeal in Melbourne, heard the case with two others and set a non-parole period of 16 years and eight months.

He said Edmunds' crimes constituted "a blow at the very foundations of a civilised society".

"Each involved an attack at night on a woman in her own home and in the absence of her partner," the Supreme Court judge said.

"Each victim had children in the home with her.

"On all but one occasion the applicant was armed with a long knife, and entry to the homes were gained either by breaking in or by stealth.

"These were vile offences indeed, and represent a pattern of conduct where women were terrorised, degraded and humiliated."

Judge Philip Damien Cummins AM expanded on the atrocity of Edmunds' rapes in 1994.

"Particularly exacerbating is that on two occasions there was a young, terrified child in the same bed in which his mother was attacked and defiled," the judge said.

FURTHER ADMISSIONS

On top of his Mr Stinky moniker, Edmunds also earned the revolting title of Donvale Rapist.

He formally pleaded guilty to 10 charges in the County Court of Victoria earlier this month, having turned himself into police last year about some of his nine additional crimes.

The confessions include the 1971 rape of a woman at Donvale, rapes of two women at Edithvale and Wheelers Hill in 1977, and the rape and indecent assault of a woman at Clayton in 1984.

Edmunds also admitted to falsely imprisoning a woman at Greensborough in 1973, indecently assaulting two women at Wheelers Hill in 1976 and 1977, and assaulting two women at Donvale in 1972 and Wheelers Hill in 1977.

At a plea hearing in September, the court was told Edmunds entered the homes of most of the women at night, threatening some of them with a knife if they didn't do what he wanted.

His tactics mirrored those for which he was sentenced in 1986.

This time, he at times wore a face mask with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth.

Again, he attacked some victims while their children slept nearby.

Edmunds' murder victims were found outside but his rapes were carried out inside homes. Photo / Supplied
Edmunds' murder victims were found outside but his rapes were carried out inside homes. Photo / Supplied

In one case in 1977, a then 31-year-old woman's young son and daughter were in their rooms when Edmunds invaded the home wearing a stocking over his head, the court was told.

Before raping the woman, Edmunds told her he just wanted to "make love", he had been watching her for two weeks and he knew her children were in their bedrooms.

The daughter heard the attack and later spoke of her fear.

"She told (her mother) she had tried to make herself as flat as she could so the accused couldn't find her," prosecutor Russ Hammill told the court.

The woman said the attack had taken a toll on her daughter, including a fear of being alone.

"Even after she was married she always had to have someone with her and was never alone," the victim wrote in a statement read to court.

Judge Susan Pullen said she was having difficulty finding words to describe how "absolutely terrifying" the attacks must have been for the women and their families.

Edmunds' lawyer Peter Chadwick QC agreed.

"Every one of them would be a terrifying experience for the victims and those who were in the house that were aware of it at the time, and traumatic to their loved ones," he said.

Mr Chadwick said he had asked Edmunds why he waited so long to tell authorities about the crimes but he "doesn't have any reason", although he thought it was time to bring "peace of mind" to himself and his victims.

Judge Pullen will sentence Edmunds on Thursday.

Pentridge Prison, where Edmunds was once housed, closed in 1997. Photo / Supplied
Pentridge Prison, where Edmunds was once housed, closed in 1997. Photo / Supplied

TIMELINE

• February 1966: Edmunds murders 18-year-old Garry Heywood and rapes and murders 16-year-old Abina Madill

• March 1985: Edmunds is charged with indecent exposure in Albury, has his fingerprints taken and is arrested one week later

• October 1986: Edmunds is sentenced for the two murders, along with three counts of rape and two counts of attempted rape committed between 1971 and 1977

• June 1992: Edmunds' attempt to escape Melbourne's Pentridge Prison is stopped by a dog

• September 2019: Edmunds is due to be sentenced for a further four counts of rape, three counts of indecent assault, two counts of assault and one count of false imprisonment committed between 1971 and 1984.