One of Australia's most troubling domestic violence cases took a surprising twist when the killer sacrificed his freedom to keep a secret.
Borce Ristevski was carrying a secret as friends, family members and mourners gathered around him at the funeral for his wife Karen.
What they didn't know at the time was that the Melbourne man had killed his long-term partner and the mother of his only daughter, Sarah, at their Avondale Heights home earlier in 2016.
Borce would admit to killing his wife months later in court but there remains one secret he will not reveal — how and why he did it.
Next month marks five years since Karen was killed at the hands of her husband, bundled into the boot of his car and driven to dense bushland where her body was dumped and left to decompose to such a state that the cause of death was unable to be ascertained.
Her death is part of a pattern of behaviour by men in Australia whereby one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
Ristevski secret cost him years in prison
In April 2019, Ristevski stood in the Supreme Court of Victoria while Justice Christopher Beale sentenced him for killing Karen and trying to cover it up while her body was missing for eight months.
The then-55-year-old showed little emotion as he was jailed for a minimum of six years in a sentence that sparked outrage from the public.
Ristevski's plan appeared to have worked. He and his lawyers had gambled on silence — hoping that by not revealing the truth about what he did to his wife he would escape the maximum penalty.
Justice Beale hinted that Ristevski may have escaped a more lengthy jail term because facts were omitted.
He said he "simply could not say whether" the killing of Karen was "middle or upper range of seriousness for manslaughter" because of the secrecy and "insufficient information".
Justice Beale said "without knowing the level and duration of the violence perpetrated by you before causing your wife's death" he had struggled to rank the level of manslaughter committed by Ristevski.
But it would not be long before the tactic backfired.
Prosecutors appealed and in December of that same year the Victorian Court of Appeal punished Ristevski for refusing to tell why or how he killed his wife of 27 years.
His original sentence of nine years with a minimum of six was set aside and a new sentence of 13 years with a minimum of 10 years was inserted in its place.
Outside court, Karen's brother Stephen went a step further, telling reporters capital punishment — the death penalty — should be reinstated in Victoria.
Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said Ristevski showed a "total lack of remorse" for what he had done.
"His conduct after he killed his wife significantly aggravated his offending," she said.
"Ms Ristevski should have been safe in her own home.
"Mr Ristevski did not simply maintain his silence but took immediate positive steps to avoid his crime being discovered."
She said he had "not shown one scintilla of remorse" for what he did.
Prosecutor Brendan Kissane told the court Ristevski's silence was an indication of the seriousness of the killing.
"What silence means … when one puts all of that together … what one can say about what occurred in the house is that it must've been something significant," he told the court.
"What one concludes is that something bad must have happened in the house."
Sherele Moody, who has documented the violent deaths of 2400 women and children in Australia for the RED HEART Campaign, told news.com.au many women's deaths were "entirely foreseeable and preventable".
"It is fairly evident from the number of women and children killed over the past decade, that intimate partner and domestic violence is still far too common in Australia," she said.
If you're in danger NOW:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay
Where to go for help or more information:
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz
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