Sunday, March 18, 2012

“Manhunt"' 60 minutes

Story transcripts


Friday, March 16, 2012
Reporter: Charles Wooley Producer: Danny Keens

He's Australia's most wanted man and the most elusive.
Malcolm Naden has been on the run for seven years, crisscrossing some of our harshest terrain.
It seems every time the police get close, Naden slips back into the scrub and the shadows. He's becoming a legend of sorts - like those bushrangers of old.
And just like them, there's a bounty on his head.
But Malcolm Naden is no hero.
He's a desperate man, armed and dangerous and he needs to be caught. But join this manhunt for a few days, as Charles Wooley did and you soon realise just what the police are up against.

Full transcript:

INTRODUCTION – CHARLES WOOLEY: He's Australia's most-wanted man and the most elusive. Malcolm Naden has been on the run for seven years, crisscrossing some of our harshest terrain. It seems every time the police get close, Naden slips back into the scrub and the shadows. He's becoming a legend of sorts – like those bushrangers of old. And just like them, there's a bounty on his head. But Malcolm Naden is no hero. He's a desperate man, armed and dangerous and he needs to be caught. But join this manhunt for a few days and you soon realise just what the police are up against.
STORY – CHARLES WOOLEY: Only a four-hour drive from Sydney, but as remote as you can get. There are places here no man has stood. 80,000 hectares of ancient geological violence, the Barrington Tops National Park is so tortured, twisted and bewildering it defies navigation. It is also where Australia's most-wanted fugitive, Malcolm Naden, plays a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with police.
POLICE: I need to remind you all about the dangers out there in regards to Malcolm Naden. He has shot already to avoid apprehension and he is an extreme danger to us.
CHARLES WOOLEY: This is Strike Force Durkin – one of the biggest police manhunts in Australian history. And as with our most famous cop chases, this one has been infused with the mystique of the bush-ranger – part threat, part legend.
CHARLES WOOLEY: We've spoken to a few local people and I'm not sure they have the feeling he is that dangerous anymore?
POLICE: This person is a murderer, he has shot to avoid apprehension and we consider him extremely dangerous.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Malcolm Naden is alleged to have committed a litany of crimes. Arrest warrants have been issued for the sexual assault of a Dubbo school girl and the murder of 24-year-old Kristy Scholes. Naden's also wanted for questioning over the disappearance of his cousin, 24-year-old Lateesha Nolan.

MICK: I've got a feeling that she might be around here somewhere. This is where her car was found, just up the side of the river here.
CHARLES WOOLEY: It's seven years since Lateesha Nolan was last seen. Her car was found here, by the Macquarie River in central New South Wales. And mysteriously, years later, her wallet washed up on the bank. For dad Mick Peet, this place is the only physical link he's got to his daughter. How do you think he's bearing up?
JENNY: He doesn't deal with it good. I see it every day and it breaks my heart. So it hurts cause I don't want to see him go through what he has to go through.

CHARLES WOOLEY: Mick's life is blighted by having to imagine his daughter's final moments – an endless churn of questions.
MICK: I think he may have committed a sex crime on my daughter, she's resisted and I think he's murdered her and put her in the river.
CHARLES WOOLEY: And that is last thing you really want to think?
MICK: That's the last thing I want to think, that's for sure. She was my first child, she was 24-years-old and she had four kids.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Nobody has more interest then you in the apprehension of Malcolm Naden. He needs to be caught doesn't he?
MICK: Yeah, he needs to be caught.
CHARLES WOOLEY: If only to give you the answers you need.
MICK: Exactly.
CHARLES WOOLEY: How have you handled this?
MICK: It's been pretty hard.
ALLAN: I watched the young Naden grow up…
CHARLES WOOLEY: So this is the house here
ALLAN: Yeah, this is the house.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Allan Nolan is Malcolm Naden's uncle – he knew him long before Naden became Australia's most wanted and watched his nephew slide into a dark and isolated world – retreating to his bedroom, shunning even his family. There's a girl dead and another missing – when do you start to add things up, when does Malcolm come into the frame as far as you are concerned?
ALLAN: When Kristy was found in the room deceased and it was Malcolm's bedroom of course.
CHARLES WOOLEY: The room which he keeps locked?
ALLAN: The one that he keeps locked and the one that you don't see him leave. He was isolated in there and well, nobody else was allowed in there. For some ungodly reason he took a life in there.
CHARLES WOOLEY: That was back in 2005 – and Naden's been on the run ever since. Despite thousands of police hours, hundreds of officers in the field and a $2.5 million bounty on Naden's head, he's still out there.
CARLENE: It's very frustrating because it's so difficult, it's so remote.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Assistant Commissioner Carlene York is in charge of Strike Force Durkin. Is it embarrassing to you that after so much time, you still haven't got him?
CARLENE: No, it's not embarrassing. It's a very difficult task. The difficulty has been in that rugged bushland he can get away and then secret himself again so it's a very, very difficult operation and it's quite different to what you would do in a suburban community.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Here, in some of the roughest country in Australia, the fugitive Malcolm Naden is widely regarded as some kind of will-o'-the-wisp, able to vanish into the landscape. From time to time he is seen here, he is seen there, he is sort everywhere – but the sightings are rarely confirmed. He has become as insubstantial as the very mist that so often shrouds this mountain wilderness. One tiny human needle in such a vast and daunting haystack. Adam, from your training, what are the key aspects of survival?
ADAM: You have water, shelter and food – your three basic elements to survival.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Survival and evasion behind enemy lines are matter-of-fact basics for former army reconnaissance and surveillance paratrooper, Adam Mulcahy.
ADAM: He's not going to be up high, he will be down low where the river system is cause this is where you have food, water and you make your shelter quite easily.
CHARLES WOOLEY: And when there is only one person?
ADAM: One person – it's obviously easier to hide with one person.
CHARLES WOOLEY: And Adam shows us how. Oh mate, it's all up and down here isn't it? There's not much flat land.
ADAM: No, not in the Barrington Tops. It's pretty steep in this country.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Oh, but there is a little hideaway! From the outside, I wouldn't have known there was a fire in there.
ADAM: No, you can't see the fire. It is at the base of the tree, the fire is quite small. He could hear them coming, smell them coming, bring down the canopy on top of him, put out his fire. That can all happen in a matter of seconds, someone would walk past and be none the wiser.
CHARLES WOOLEY: And you've got some meat smoking there? Some kind of meat?
ADAM: Yeah, road kill.
CHARLES WOOLEY: You'd eat that?
ADAM: You're in a survival situation so road kill would definitely be an option of choice for food. Preserves the meat over a long period of time. You can sustain for six months having dried meat. It ends up like beef jerky basically.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Adam, you have been trained for this but to do it for five or six years?
ADAM: It would definitely take a toll on someone doing this all the time.
PROF MULLEN: Anyone who's in a situation of long-term social isolation, what happens is they become increasingly aroused, intense. They become increasingly suspicious and they often become increasingly aggressive. His satisfaction comes from day-to-day survival and every day he stays free, I suspect is a day from him which is worthwhile and gratifying.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Police psychological profiling puts Naden in the most severe and unstable category. Forensic psychiatrist Professor Paul Mullen has spent a lifetime with some of Australia's darkest criminal minds – including the man behind the Port Arthur massacre, Martin Bryant. Looking at his behaviour before he went on the run, already he was practicing for a life of isolation?
PROF MULLEN: This was a man who was finding other people increasingly frightening, increasing problematic. He was hiding away, he was sure that he was in danger so he will feel safer out there, away from people, than he did before all these events occurred and he fled.
CHARLES WOOLEY: I know he shuns humanity but is he lonely out there?
PROF MULLEN: Not by this time no. I mean, his world has changed. He probably feels relieved not to have to deal with other people who he fears and suspects and now his world is a world of the bush.
CHARLES WOOLEY: So he has become in fact a creature of his environment, some of the most rugged country in Australia?
PROF MULLEN: Absolutely. Very sensitive to his environment. Probably knows it backwards by now.
CHARLES WOOLEY: But Naden's not only a creature of the wild. He sometimes seeks shelter in the abandoned homesteads that dot this unforgiving landscape. And everyone around here has their own Malcolm Naden story. Lynne and Dave Daly run cattle here, perhaps closer than they might know, to where the fugitive roams free.
DAVE: There was just a bloke who stopped me on the side of the road, saying he was bogged.
LYNNE: He wanted Dave to go off the road down a couple of kilometres to pull him out – he said his truck was stuck. Dave said later, "I wouldn't have a clue if that was Malcolm Naden or not."
DAVE: We didn't know what he looked like until just recently and so there are a whole lot of people who sort of wander around up here, a lot of pig-shooters, a lot of other itinerants around.
CHARLES WOOLEY: But perhaps Naden's closest encounters have been with the very people he's trying to evade. Naden has been within metres of the police – not once, not twice, but three times. In one case – after finding him holed up in a holiday hut – officers let him slip out the back door. And shortly after, Naden shot and seriously injured a pursuing officer – once again slipping the police net.
CARLEEN: Police were going in through the bush when they came very close to what was later confirmed to be his campsite. They didn't see him at all and the first thing that they knew was that he was there was when our officer was shot.
CHARLES WOOLEY: That really ramped up the game, didn't it? Shooting a cop when you're on the run is not a great thing to do?
CARLEEN: No, it's not a sensible thing – it did ramp it up.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Do you want him dead or alive?
CARLEEN: We want to take him alive. We want to negotiate with him and try and reason with him to give himself up peacefully and we'll take him into custody.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Meanwhile, almost a world away on the Macquarie River, a father waits to find out how his daughter died and why and where the body lies. They start to think he is some kind of romantic bush figure, don't they? Not a deranged murderer.
MICK: My daughter didn't lose her life to no Ned Kelly. She lost her life to a murderer.
CHARLES WOOLEY: And a very sad man, really.
MICK: A very sad man. He needs to be brought in and just pay for his crimes.

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