"Looks like she trusted the wrong guy".

Uncategorized Jul 08, 2022

It was back in the early 90’s. I had been a Police Officer for a few years and I felt fortunate not to have experienced too many horrible things so far. That is, compared to some of my colleagues who always seemed to be on the shifts when the really bad stuff happened.

I had seen seen my fair share of gory accidents. I had seen death a number of times from a number of angles. I had helped comfort people in nasty car and motorbike accidents. I had listened to a victim of rape sob as she retold her gut wrenching experience. I had even seen a body of a man that was barely recognisable after jumping from a 30 story building. 

But I still felt grateful that the areas I worked in and the shifts I scored had not exposed me to more of the things that keep other cops awake at night.

But there is one experience that has stuck in my head for 30 years. To this day I wonder how this women is and if she made it through the trauma to live a happy and peaceful life. I often think about the situations we encounter and all the people we cross paths with. Mostly we are unaware of the impact we have on others or they have on us.

There are elements of this story that are cloudy for me. I expect that is because it’s so long ago, but also because I may have blocked it out of my memory. I have told this story to a few people over the years, but it is only recently that I have really been able to connect the dots and understand the profound impact the event had on me. 

So, here’s what I do remember from that night where I heard those haunting words’ Looks like she trusted the wrong guy’

I was working nightshift, which started at 11.00pm and finished at 7.00am. I think it was around 1.00am or 2.00am. We were called to an address in South of Melbourne, not too far from the city. 

The message that came across the police radio told me, and my male colleague, that a women in her 20’s had come home to her townhouse and had seen blood in the lounge room and leading up the stairs. She wasn’t sure where her flatmate was, she was too scared to go up the stairs. We were told she would be waiting outside for Police to arrive.

I remembering trying to picture the scene that was described over the radio as we drove with our flashing lights to the given address. We were informed that ambulance was also on the way and would meet us there.

When we arrived the ambos were already there and the 2 male officers got out of the ambulance. They seemed pretty calm, which contrasted my elevated heartbeat and sickening feeling in my stomach. 

I can’t remember if anyone spoke to anyone before we entered the house or if the housemate who made the call was at the front, I just remember suddenly standing inside the door of the townhouse. My memory tells me the carpet was white and the furniture was a light colour. That may be true or it may just be that the blood I saw in the lounge room, on the floor and on the furniture dominates the colour spectrum in my memory.

There was a narrow staircase heading up to the bedrooms and there was blood smeared along the wall leading upstairs.

I was scared. What were we about to see? I noted that the ambos and my partner seemed much more calm than I felt as we walked up the stairs. The ambulance officers were in front, then my partner, then me.

I followed them into a bedroom and I remember gasping in horror. Lying face down on the blood soaked bed was a women with long wavy dark hair. Her hair was drenched with blood, the room smelt bad and I thought she was dead. But she wasn’t. She was groaning softly.

The next bit is a bit of a blur, but there is something I clearly remember soon after we entered the room. One of the ambos said “Looks like she trusted the wrong guy”. 

I remember thinking how that comment seemed out of place. It felt cold and somewhat uncaring as this women fought for her life. I don’t think we knew anything of the backstory that may have led the victim to be in this position. Being female and also in my 20’s, I think my brain was trying to make sense of the comment and how it all fitted together with what I was witnessing.

I remember everyone continuing to look more calm than I felt. I was panicked inside. Who was this women? What happened to her? Will she be ok? What can I do? Do we know who did it? Who was this guy that she trusted too much? Are other women at risk from a crazy man on the loose?

The ambos switched into action to attend to her and I think detectives arrived to start the investigation into what happened. I remember staying around a bit longer, almost in a daze, but then the services of the uniformed police were no longer required. The victim would be taken to hospital, the detectives were now in charge and we could be on our merry way to continue the remainder of the nightshift.

So, off we went. Everything after that is foggy in my memory and I suspect I pushed down some of the horror of that scene and how much it actually impacted me. 

I know that the vision bubbled up to the surface when years later I gave birth to a daughter and two years later another daughter. The vision and the memory sat somewhere in my head and as I raised my girls I often heard an inner voice whisper to me ‘how can you make these girls strong enough and smart enough and careful enough that they will never be lying in a bloodied mess in their own bedroom’.  

I never followed up what happened, if anyone was arrested or how the young women was after the assault. I wish I had. The only extra parts of the story I remember was seeing some pictures of the women’s head, taken at the hospital.  Her long dark hair had been shaved off and in the photo I could see long gashes in her bald head that had been stitched up. 

I don’t know how many times she had been hit, but my memory tells me it was more than 10. The same cop who showed me that pic said something about her knowing the guy who did it, but my memory fades from there.    

Fast forward to today and I step back and look at the work I have done for the past 20 years. Somehow, after leaving the police force and working in sales and management for a few years, I found myself diving deep into the topics of safety and protection with a focus on truth, lies and human behaviour. 

When I left my corporate job in 2001 with the view to starting my own business, I was unsure what that business would be. The universe magically presented me with an opportunity to partner in a training business with another former cop who had expertise as a Polygraph operator. Truth, lies and interviewing skills were at the core of the programs we created.

I took over the business 6 years later and have been fortunate to present to thousands of people in Australia and around the world about topics involving truth, lies and human behaviour.

I love the corporate and government work and gain great reward and satisfaction working with professionals who have an interest in uncovering truthful and useful information in high-stake interviews, meetings and interactions.

With a different hat on, I also love the 1:1 and small group work I do sharing skills and awareness with women to help them better read behaviour and avoid high risk people and situations. Much of this work focusses on single women who are activity dating and seeking a long term relationship.

I think back to that women who was not safe in her own house and in her own bedroom. She might be in her late 50’s now, maybe even her early 60’s. 

If she ever read this article I would like to say this to her. ‘I was there on what was likely the worst night of your life. I cried for you then and I still do to this day. I dearly hope you not only survived, but you thrived in life. Please know that your story serves as a core part of my inspiration to continue to use my gifts and experience to help other women to feel safe, be safe and truly thrive in life and love’


Elly 🙏🏽



































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