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Paul Denyer - The Frankston Serial Killer

Rating: 66 votes, 4.92 average.

Paul Charles Denyer was born on the 14 of April in 1972. He was born in Campbelltown, Sydney in New South Wales to Maureen and Anthony Denyer. He was the middle child in a family of five boys and one girl.

The reason for any odd behaviour he showed as a child was explained in saying that he fell on his head as a baby.

His family moved to Victoria when he was nine years old. He did not fit in at his new school, Northvale Primary and began to create his own toys, which included knives, clubs and sling-shot guns.

He would disembowel his sister’s stuffed toys from a young age and murdered their cat when he was ten, hanging it in the backyard from a tree. Denyer also cut up and killed two goats in a nearby paddock.

It is known that he was sexually abused as a child by his elder brother. There were no charges. He was also overweight compared to the other children his age which left him on his own.

He was rejected and out casted, this made him violent and angry towards those around him.

At the age of twelve he stole a car, and at thirteen he was charged with the offence of wilful damage and calling a fire-brigade even though nothing was wrong. By the age of fourteen he knew that he would become a killer and admitted it after his capture. Denyer was charged with assault for forcing a boy to masturbate in front of some younger children at the age of fifteen.

He took up the nickname “John Candy”, after the comedian who played in The Blues Brothers, as looked like him, being very overweight. Denyer was however six feet tall and weight 120kg.

When he was twenty he moved in with his girlfriend, Sharon Johnson, who he’d met whilst working at Safeway. He is the only person who he said he would never harm. They lived at a block of flats at 186 Frankston-Dandenong Road. He was unemployed and remained without a job, after being discharged from Safeway for intentionally running into a mother and a child with a band of trolleys.

Crime History:

In February 1993, Denyer broke into the flat of a neighbour named Donna. She was a mother and was returning home with her child. He brutally murdered her cat and its kittens with a homemade knife and wrote on the walls threats to kill Donna using the cat’s blood. Denyer was never caught, although after capture later that year he confessed that he’d really been there to kill Donna, however she was not home.

All of his other victims were not objectively chosen, only the fact that they were female, as he “hated women in general”. He only wanted someone to kill and it wasn’t specific besides gender.

Denyer said: “[I] just wanted to take a life because I felt like mine had been taken many times.”

On the 11th of June, 1993, he murdered Elizabeth Stevens, an eighteen year old student. Denyer took her from Cranbourne Road in Langwarrin where she’d just exited a bus at 7pm. It was raining and she couldn’t hear him. He approached from behind her and held an aluminium pipe with a wooden handle in her back, telling her it was a gun and that he’d shoot her. He took her into Lloyd Park. He respected her privacy whilst she went to the toilet and then walked with her at gunpoint and strangled her unconscious with his hands. Denyer then stabbed her in the throat a number of times and picked her up; walking another few steps until he threw her down to the ground and stood on her neck to finish her off.

Denyer took Steven’s body to the drain and left it where it was later found. It did not seem that she had been sexually assaulted. She was found topless, despite the fact that Denyer never admitted to taking her shirt off, as he never denied it, however it was never looked into.

On the 8th of July that same year, Denyer attempted to abduct Roszsa Toth as she was walking close to Seaford Station. He came from behind once again, covering her mouth with his hand and he held the fake gun up to Toth’s head. She bit his finger, hitting his bone on the inside with her teeth. They wrestled and she ran to flag down a car. After a few more minutes of struggle she successfully had the attention of a driver and Denyer ran.
Directly afterwards, he caught a train so he could leave the area and arrived at the next stop, Kankook Station, where he exhibited Debbie Fream enters a milk bar. He climbed into the backseat of her car, ignoring the empty baby seat, and crouched down, waiting for her to return. She got into the car and he emerged, thrusting the fake gun into her waist and demanding she drives to a paddock in Carrum Downs.

He strangled her amidst some trees using a cord and she was unconscious within five minutes. Denyer then stabbed her in the neck and chest and she fell down, he continued to stab her neck. He wanted to see the size of her breasts, and when he saw her bare flesh and stabbed her once in the stomach.

Denyer covered her in bush and drove away in her car, which he dumped close to him home. Her body was found four days later and it did not seem that she had been sexually assaulted.

By this stage, the public knew it was the same person and he was known as “The Frankston Serial Killer”.

Denyer’s final murder victim was a seventeen year old girl, Natalie Russel, who was riding her bike home from school through a short-cut near Syke Road on the 30th of July. Denyer had come beforehand to cut three holes in the wire fence, large enough to climb through. He followed her at about 3pm, from a distance on the other side of the gate. He pulled her through the second hole he’d cut.

He put his hand on her mouth and, because he did not have the gun, he held the knife to her throat. He accidentally cut some of the skin on his thumb off, however he continued to attack her. Russel knew she was up against the man who had killed two other women and attempted to, another. She offered him sex in exchange for her life. Denyer was disgusted by this and refused, and made her kneel in front of him and then lie down while he leant over her, holding the knife up in front of her eye.

Denyer put a leather strap around her to strangle her however it snapped. Many times she attempted to scream and struggle, he repeatedly told her to stop and eventually when she got up to run he slashed her throat. He put half his hand into her neck and twisted her trachea so she could not breathe. He threw her onto the ground and cut at her head, almost ripping her whole head off, and she died. He left her there, kicking her as he left to ensure she was really dead.

It was considered the cruelest of all of the murders. She also was documented as not to have been sexually assaulted.

It did not appear that the killer’s modus operandi (MO) was to rape women, only to murder them. He would specifically chose women and from the areas near Frankston that he would have been familiar with. Denyer would sneak up on them from behind and would attack them when they were on their own as they would be more vulnerable. He would always leave their bodies in bushes and shrubbery and it would be the same place as where he killed them.

His weapons of choice were devices to strangle his victims, homemade knives and a fake gun. Denyer would begin the process by ensuring they could not speak, by threatening to kill them and covering their mouths, and then choking them unconscious. He was then able to stab them, usually around the neck and upper torso. Denver never went for the heart and he saw them die slowly.

Denyer’s only motivation was that he just hated women. He would steal a wallet, however it wasn’t what he was looking for. He did not know these women and didn’t choose anyone specifically, he wanted anyone female.


The fatal piece of evidence that revealed Denyer as The Frankston Serial Killer was the piece of skin that he left behind when killing Russel. When investigators took him in for questioning when his yellow Toyota Corona was spotted near all three killings, they asked for some DNA samples to test to it. Before the test results even returned, he admitted that he killed all of them.

However, to get him into the investigation room, they left a note under his door when he wasn’t home, telling him they were doing routine checks on the neighbourhood. Johnson, his girlfriend, called the Station and said they would come. Denyer was cool and collected the entire crime. He gave his alibi, mostly just saying he was waiting for his girlfriend. She could back that up, seeing as she was unaware of his murderous activity. However, Denyer knew that he would be caught out by the DNA test so he turned himself in.

That was the only evidence left behind, and the presence of his car being noted. The eye-witness account from Tosh did not give very much information as she’d never clearly seen his face and didn’t really focus on his physical description whilst running for her life. If she had documented it, then it is highly likely he’d have been caught earlier, him being six feet tall and that overweight.

Denyer was arrested and interrogated immediately by Detective Darren O’Loughlin. The questioning began at 4am and continued for over twelve hours. He was kept in custody until his trial.

Trial and Sentence:

On the 15th of December in 1993, Denyer pleaded guilty to all charges in the Supreme Court of Victoria to Justice Frank Vincent.

Clinical phsycologist, Ian Joblin, explained to the court after analysing Denyer in custody that he was a “sadist” and that he “found pleasure” in murdering women. It was noted that he didn’t show any remorse for his actions whilst he was being interrogated.

Denyer was prosecuted murdering Elizabeth Stevens, Debbie Fream and Natalie Russel and for abducting (rather than claims for assaulting) Roszsa Toth. He was sentenced to three life imprisonments and eight years for abduction. He would be unable to go on parole and would face life in jail with no chance emancipation.

On July 29th, 1994, Denyer appealed to the Supreme Court of Victoria and was allowed a 30-year non-parole period in prison. It meant that he may one day be able to leave jail and be released back into the community.

At the moment, he is fighting again with the courts. He appealed in June last year for gender re-assignment surgery, which he was denied, and he is now arguing to be provided with makeup to wear in jail. This has not been approved, specifically as it would have to be tax-payer funded. He also is appealing to have his name changed to “Paula”.


Paul Denyer facts – Freebase. Date accessed: 19-03-10

PAUL DENYER in the Serial Killer Calender. Date accessed: 19-03-10

Paul Charles Denyer is the Frankston, Victoria, serial killer who murdered 3 young women Crime Library – Crime Library on
Date accessed: 19-03-10

Serial Killer Central. Date accessed: 21-03-10

serial killer true crime library*serial killer news*list of serial killers*serial murder*female serial killers*crime scene investigation*tueur en serie*omicidi seriali*. Date accessed: 21-03-10

Updated 03-21-2010 at 04:13 AM by Heathcliff



  1. Heathcliff's Avatar
    Sickening assignment.
    I'd better get a good score...
  2. Dirtbag's Avatar
    Fascinating. A few typos but a gripping read nonetheless.
  3. Heathcliff's Avatar
    Uh, yea. I just noticed a few mistakes, just fixed them before.

    With most of my school assignments, I have to say what they want to hear about. Leaves me void of many possibilities, however it produces a decent product nonetheless.