Michael Duffy reports for the Sydney Morning Herald on crime and other matters. Previously he wrote for Sydney's other newspaper, the Daily Telegraph. He has played in punk rock bands, written biographies of several Sydney characters, and is co-presenter of 'Counterpoint', Radio National's challenge to orthodox ideas.
In the four months of their affair, Kylie Labouchardiere and Paul Wilkinson exchanged over 20,000 text messages. She was a trainee nurse; he worked in the New South Wales Police Force. Although Wilkinson eventually killed his lover to save his marriage, his main weapon was always words. He was a frighteningly convincing liar and left a trail of devastation across the lives of many he met.
The victims of Wilkinson's stories included his own family and those of his wife and his lover. Another was policeman Geoff Lowe, whom he tried to frame for Kylie's murder. Thanks to Wilkinson's lies, Lowe lost his home, his job, and his family.
It took five years to bring Wilkinson to justice. His lies continued to the end, when he sent police to five different locations in the search for Kylie's body. He once texted his wife: 'Everybody has reasons 4 hiding a crime. Mine is the family can live not knowing where and why 4 . . . Call me cruel, call me nasty . . . her family can live their lives in misery 4 all I care F--- THEM.' Kylie's grave has never been found.