Jaidyn Raymond Leskie

It was the 14th of June in 1997. Australia was in the middle of winter, and 22-year-old Bilynda Murphy, who lived in Moe, about 130 kilometres east of Melbourne, was looking forward to a night off from her usual motherly duties. See, Bilynda had two kids: Breehanna, who was about two and a half, and Jaidyn, who was just over a year old. About six months ago, Bilynda broke up with the father of her children, and she and her new boyfriend were finally getting into a new routine.

Bilynda’s new boyfriend, Greg Domascewicz, had already offered to babysit for her so she could take a night off from being a mom. That Saturday morning, Greg, who was 28 years old, rode his motorcycle to Bilynda’s house and asked again if she would trust him to watch one or both of the kids. Even though she and her sister had already made plans for a babysitter to watch both of their kids that night, Bilynda gives in and says she’s happy for Greg to watch over one of her kids, who is about 13 months old at the time. Greg has already taken care of the kids for a short time, and he seemed to like the baby boy, so what was the problem?

Greg watches Jaidyn alone for a few hours, and then the two of them drive him to Bilynda’s sister’s house, where a babysitter is already watching Jaidyn’s older sister and cousins. This plan was easy enough, and everyone involved knew what was going on. Greg went home right away on his motorcycle and came back a short time later with his car to take Bilynda and the kids somewhere.

Bilynda is waiting for Greg to come home when she hears on the news that it will rain that night. She makes sure to dress Jaidyn in the right clothes: grey tracksuit pants with green trim at the bottom that say “Baby Games,” a green long-sleeved shirt, a blue-grey windbreaker, and a red jacket. The toddler always has a pacifier with him. It is attached to his clothes with a small pin so that he won’t lose it when he drops it. Bilynda also puts extra clothes, bibs, diapers, bottles, snacks, and anything else Jaidyn might need over the next few hours in a small bag.

Greg comes back with his car about half an hour after he left. He and Bilynda put Jaidyn’s car seat and themselves in the car. Greg is taking Bilynda and her 2-year-old daughter Breehanna to Kadee’s house, which is also where he’s supposed to drop off Jaidyn later that day.

Around 1:30 that afternoon, the four of them get to Kadee’s house. There, Bilynda says goodbye to her boyfriend and her son. She looks at the car as it drives away and waves goodbye to Greg and Jaidyn, who both wave back. But Bilynda didn’t know it at the time, but this was the last time she would ever see the boy alive.

This is Jaidyn Leskie’s story.

Bilynda and Kadee Murphy were both born in the 1970s, and because they were around the same age, they became very close. Even though Kadee was three years older than Bilynda, the two girls stayed friends as kids and teens. The two sisters didn’t start fighting with each other until they were young adults.

Kadee, the older sister, got pregnant with her first child at the beginning of the 1990s. During her pregnancy, she met a young man named Brett Leskie. She fell in love with him. Kadee and Brett get married in October 1992, right after Kadee’s daughter Harley was born. Soon after that, Kadee gets pregnant again, but this time with Brett’s baby. That baby, a girl named Shannan, comes into the world in 1993.

Not long after that, Kadee and Brett split up and filed for a divorce. Many of their friends don’t understand why Kadee thinks Brett is cheating on her, but it soon becomes clear that she is right. Not just with anyone, but with Bilynda, Kadee’s younger sister. When Brett and Bilynda, who is 17, start dating a short time later, that is almost certain to be true.

Even though their relationship started out with a lot of drama, Brett and Bilynda were very happy together for the next two years. They get married quickly and have their first child, a daughter named Breehanna, in January 1995. A little over a year later, on April 30, 1996, they have a son named Jaidyn Raymond Leskie.

Over the next year or so, the relationship between Jaidyn’s parents, Brett and Bilynda, would start to get worse. Brett and his best friend, Greg Domaszewicz, used to own and run an auto shop. After Jaidyn was born, Bilynda and Greg started an affair that they were able to keep secret for a while. But in April 1997, Brett found out about their relationship and decided to end his engagement to Bilynda. He moves right away to the other side of the country and leaves the three children he had with the two Murphy sisters behind.

Still in her early 20s, Bilynda is now alone with her two kids, Breehanna and Jaidyn. She decides to keep seeing Greg, the man she was seeing behind the back of her fiance. She doesn’t know that he has a secret of his own. He is dating Bilynda, but he is also still sleeping with his ex-girlfriend, Yvonne. Yvonne would later become a part of this scandalous story.

Greg and Bilynda seemed to get along pretty well most of the time. Even though they met in a way that could be called cheating, they seem to have made each other happy. Greg didn’t have a job at the time, but he did odd jobs here and there and fixed cars for friends and other people. On the other side of town, he had his own house where he lived with his three dogs.

But looking back, it’s easy to see that Greg and their relationship had problems that Bilynda might have missed. Greg seemed to care a lot about Jaidyn, Bilynda’s young son, which was a cause for concern. He often told Bilynda that he didn’t like the babysitter she had hired to watch the kids, and he always offered to watch Jaidyn when the sitter wasn’t there. He never really cared about Bilynda’s other daughter, 2-year-old Breehanna, or their cousins, Harley and Shannan (who were constantly around and being watched by the same sitter).

Greg’s interest in Jaidyn kept getting stronger through the Australian winter, and he kept offering to watch Bilynda’s kids whenever she needed him to. In June 1997, just a few days before Bilynda finally let him watch Jaidyn for a few hours, Greg gave the one-year-old a strange haircut that looked a lot like his own receding hairline. He had also cut little triangles into the back of Jaidyn’s hair, which was an awful fashion choice. Bilynda asked him why he cut Jaidyn’s hair, and Greg joked that he just wanted her to look more like him.

You see, you never knew if Greg was serious or just making fun of you. He had a weird, sarcastic sense of humour that came out at the weirdest times. There were times, like when Jaidyn got a new haircut or when he joked that aliens had taken him and his dogs, when you weren’t sure if he was making fun of you.

This brings us to the afternoon of June 14, 1997, when Greg drives away with Jaidyn Leskie, who is one, in the back seat of his car. Meanwhile, Bilynda, who is 22, is getting ready to go out for the first time in months. Greg gives Bilynda an extra $70 in cash and tells her to have a good time before they leave. Later, Bilynda said:

“Then I kissed Jaidyn while she was still in her car seat. Greg then left in his car.”

After Greg and Jaidyn left, Bilynda started to think about the evening’s activities. That night, she and her sister planned to go to a friend’s birthday party in Traralgon, a small town about 30 kilometres east of Moe. They planned to leave their kids with a babysitter while they went to the party. Since it was clear that Jaidyn was with Greg, the sitter would have less to do with the other three kids until the sisters got home that night.

Since they didn’t have any plans for a while, Bilynda and Kadee spend the next couple of hours with their daughters at Kadee’s house.

Greg, who now has Jaidyn, goes back to his small house on the southeast corner of Moe. It doesn’t take him long to get there after leaving Kadee’s house. Greg starts to work on his car as soon as he gets home. He lets Jaidyn play with his three dogs for a few minutes, until it starts to rain and she has to go into Greg’s garage to stay dry. About now, Greg’s phone rings inside, and he has to go answer it. He runs inside and grabs the phone. It’s an old friend of his, who, to his surprise, sounds upset. This friend tells Greg that he heard rumours that Greg wanted to kill him, which is a serious accusation. Over the next hour or so, they talk about a lot of different things and argue about who said what and when.

Greg finally gets off the phone around 3 o’clock and tells his friend that someone just pulled into his driveway. No one knows for sure if anyone had stopped, so this could have just been a convenient excuse. But Greg says that after this call, he keeps working on this car for a few minutes, until Jaidyn, who had been hanging out in the garage and playing with Greg’s dogs for the past hour, falls down and needs to be cleaned up. Greg brings Jaidyn inside, cleans him up, and gets him something to eat. At this point, he sees that Jaidyn’s lip is cut, so he calls Bilynda to check on her.

Bilynda and her sister are still playing with the kids, and that’s where she is when Greg calls. He tells her about the last call he had with his friend, which surprises Bilynda because she thought they were still close. He then tells her that Jaidyn is doing well. Greg talks about how Jaidyn fell outside and cut his lip, but he says they are fine and that he will give the boy a bath before bringing him home.

When Bilynda talks to Greg on the phone, she can hear Jaidyn playing with the dogs in the background. This gives her peace of mind that Jaidyn is fine. At this point, he had just learned to walk and could only say a few words, like “Mum” and “Dad,” but “dog” was one of them.

Over the next few hours, Bilynda and others would try to get in touch with Greg, but they wouldn’t be able to. Bilynda thinks she tried to call Greg between 15 and 20 times that night but couldn’t reach him.

Greg’s friend was also going to stop by his house that night around 7:30 to pick up some Nintendo controllers, but when they saw that Greg’s car wasn’t there, they kept going. This friend planned to call back later and change the time.

Bilynda, Kadee, and Kadee’s boyfriend left for the birthday party at about 8:00 PM. Still, Bilynda couldn’t get in touch with Greg, and she was starting to worry about her one-year-old son, whom she had left in Greg’s care. That worry would keep growing as they left town and drove by Greg’s house on the way out. Like Greg’s friend, they didn’t see his car in the driveway, so they thought he wasn’t home.

Shortly after Bilynda got to the party, she kept trying to call Greg, but the calls kept going to voicemail or ringing. She hadn’t seen or heard from Greg in hours, and she didn’t know where he or her son were.

Greg’s next-door neighbour, Mariann McKinnon, who lived on the other side of a vacant lot from him, tried to call him around 8:00 PM. She had given money to some of his friends, and he was supposed to give it back to her earlier that day. So she first tried to call around 8:00, but, as you might expect, Greg didn’t pick up. He didn’t answer any of her other calls that night, and it took him a couple of hours to call her back.

Greg doesn’t call Mariann until 10:00 PM. He tells her he doesn’t have the money but asks if she has any diapers he could borrow for Jaidyn, who Greg says is still awake. Mariann says she doesn’t, but it’s likely that a gas station or convenience store down the road does. They talk for a few minutes before saying their goodbyes. No proof shows that Greg bought more diapers that night, but it is possible that he did.

Around 11 o’clock at night, Bilynda calls Greg’s home phone again. It takes her hours, but she finally gets through. But during this phone call, it becomes clear that something is wrong. Greg tells Bilynda that “shit’s happened” and that Jaidyn burned his bottom by standing too close to a heater in Greg’s house. Because of this, he took Jaidyn to a hospital nearby so that the burn could be treated, and they put some kind of cream on the burn mark. Greg didn’t think this was enough of a treatment, so he says he took Jaidyn to another hospital nearby to get a second opinion. At the second hospital, before being watched by staff. This is where Jaidyn was when the two were talking on the phone.

As you might guess, this makes Bilynda feel scared. She is still having a birthday party with her family and friends in another town, but she tells her sister Kadee that she is going to go find out what’s going on with Jaidyn. But Kadee tells her that Greg was probably just kidding or exaggerating, and a follow-up phone call with Greg confirms that: he says that Jaidyn did have a small red mark on his bottom, but he was fine. Even though Bilynda is drunk, she agrees with that and continues to trust her boyfriend.

The two talk for a little longer, and Greg’s comments seem to make them laugh. Their conversation ends on a nearly uncertain note.

Over the next hour or so, Greg’s house is pretty quiet. At this point, as far as anyone knows, he is still watching over Jaidyn and has been home for at least a couple of hours. This is after he went missing for a few hours in the late afternoon and early evening for unknown reasons.

But between midnight and one in the morning, Mariann McKinnon, Greg’s neighbour who he had called earlier that night, hears what sounds like Greg’s car starting up. She knew it because it started with a very clear sound, and she remembered it happening between midnight and 1:00 AM, not around 2:00 AM, which is when Greg said Bilynda called him to pick him up at Ryan’s Hotel, the pub she was at.

Greg does come to the pub between 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning to pick up Bilynda, but she is already drunk. But when she gets into the car, she is surprised to see that Jaidyn is not there with Greg. Jaidyn is nowhere to be found, and the back seat is empty. Greg seems to stick to his original story when Bilynda asks him where her son is. He tells her that Jaidyn is at Maryvale Hospital getting care from nurses and doctors because of the burn on his bottom.

Greg says no when Bilynda says she needs to go to the hospital right away. He tells Bilynda that showing up so drunk wouldn’t look good, and he says something about taking Bilynda home and coming back for Jaidyn. Greg had an open bottle of Jack Daniel’s whisky in the car, and he tells Bilynda to take a few sips as they drive home. Over the next few minutes, Bilynda kept asking Greg questions while she was drunk, but he kept dodging them by giving vague, noncommittal answers.

A few minutes later, when they get to Greg’s house, they see that one of the windows has been broken. Greg starts looking around to see if anything was taken as the two run inside. Bilynda tells him to call the police, but he doesn’t because he thinks he knows who broke the window and doesn’t want to get anyone in trouble with the law. Greg is on the phone with his ex-girlfriend Yvonne a short time later (who, if you recall, he had been continuously sleeping with on-and-off since their breakup). Greg yells at her for a few seconds and asks, “Is this one of your sick games?” He then hangs up in a huff.

Greg and Bilynda then head outside so that he can drive her home. As they walk to the car, they see a severed pig’s head in the yard. Even though this sounds like the end of a long, complicated story, it’s not: Greg and his ex-girlfriend Yvonne used to own a pig together. Greg has been saying for a long time that Yvonne killed the pig against his wishes. So, this pretty much proved that either Yvonne or her family broke the window and probably left the pig’s head as a warning or joke against him.

Even though all of this sounds strange and a bit chaotic, I promise that these details are important. A lot of this information would be important later on, such as the fact that Greg’s ex-girlfriend Yvonne might have something against him and that the pig’s head was important. It’s all pertinent, I promise.

After finding this strange thing at Greg’s house, he and Bilynda get in the car and head back to her house on the other side of town. At about 3:20 AM, he drops her off and tells her he’s going to find out who broke his window. After calling the babysitter and a guy she met at the birthday party earlier that night, Bilynda goes back inside and falls asleep within minutes. She also calls Greg once before falling asleep to ask him and Jaidyn to come back when they are done with what they are doing.

A police officer pulls Greg over 15 minutes after he left Bilynda’s house because he was going too fast. Greg is given a breathalyser test to make sure he is not drunk, and the officer is able to tell that he is not. Greg is let go without a problem, but he doesn’t say a word about his vandalised home or Jaidyn Leskie, the one-year-old boy he was supposed to watch more than 12 hours before, but no one has seen since.

Greg wakes up 22-year-old Bilynda Murphy, who had passed out drunk in front of a heater, about an hour and a half after she fell asleep. Greg wakes Bilynda up at almost 5:00 in the morning and tells her that he has been lying to her for hours.

Greg says that Jaidyn was not in the hospital. Greg didn’t know where Jaidyn was, to be honest. He tells Bilynda that the boy has probably been taken, and that they need to call the police to report him missing.

Greg’s strange sense of humour had come out before, but this time Bilynda could tell that Greg was being serious. He gives Bilynda a hug and says he’s so sorry for lying to her over and over again over the past few hours. When Bilynda asks him why he did that, he says that he didn’t want her to worry.

Greg said that he left Jaidyn at home on his couch when he went to the pub to get Bilynda earlier that night. When they went back to his house a short time later and saw the broken window, he thought that Jaidyn had been taken, but for some reason, he didn’t think to call the police or even warn the child’s mother right away (who was with him at the potential crime scene).

The two hurry to the nearest police station and report that Jaidyn is missing at about 5:15 AM. Greg tells the officer when he files the report:

“Her baby’s been kidnapped. Someone broke my windows and left a pig’s head there.”

During their first talk with the police, Bilynda has trouble staying calm and tells her side of the story through tears. But it’s clear right away that her story and Greg’s seem to be different in some ways, so the officer writing up the police report decides to interview them separately.

Over the next eight hours or so, it becomes clear that Greg’s version of what happened doesn’t quite make sense. He has different ideas about what happened, and the police are so suspicious of him that they decide to put him in jail and search his home and car for any sign of Jaidyn. In the end, they can’t find anything that could be used against Greg, so they have to let him go a short time later. He is then put under active surveillance, and the police keep an eye on him for the next few days in the hopes that he will make a mistake that will lead them to Jaidyn Leskie, who is now missing and can’t be found.

Bilynda Murphy went to a police station in Moe, Victoria, on June 15, 1997, to report that her 14-month-old son Jaidyn Leskie had gone missing. She did this with her boyfriend at the time, Greg Domaszewicz. They had been dating for a few months, and Greg was also in charge of watching over Jaidyn when he went missing.

After the missing person report for Jaidyn was filed, Bilynda was free to go. She and her family and friends, who wouldn’t leave her side, started looking for her missing child. But when Bilynda got home, she noticed that many of Jaidyn’s toys and other things were out of place, even more so than usual. It almost looked like someone had gone through his things while she was gone, but she knew that the police had looked through the house for Jaidyn, so that was enough to explain the mess for now.

Greg was still in police custody, but he was finally let go because there wasn’t enough evidence to keep him there. Greg went straight to Bilynda’s house after he got out of jail. She would later write about it in a book that was never published, and she told reporters at the Herald Sun about it:

“As soon as Greg got out of the police station, he came straight to me. I wanted to kill him on the inside. I wasn’t sure if he was telling the truth or not. I kept asking myself, “Had he done something to Jaidyn?” I wished for a gun. I wanted to shoot him in the foot, and if he didn’t tell me, I was going to shoot him in the other foot. But when it came down to it, I doubt I could have shot anyone.

“I was surprised when Greg walked in and gave me a hug in front of everyone else. Greg had never shown his love for me in front of other people before. Now he told the police I was his girlfriend and showed his love for me in public. Up until now, I never really thought about how he treated me back then. He didn’t want anyone to know about us, and everything seemed fine as soon as Jaidyn left.

This hurt their relationship a lot, but it happened one tragedy too late. Greg and Bilynda had been dating for about a year, both in private and in public, but Greg seemed to be trying to distance himself from Bilynda in front of his friends and family the whole time. He often called her “Leskie’s ex-missus,” referring to his old friend Brett, who was once Bilynda’s fiance. He never showed her any public signs of affection until after Jaidyn had gone missing.

This reminded me a lot of Greg’s old relationship with his ex-girlfriend Yvonne Penfold, with whom he kept sleeping while he was dating Bilynda. Greg had been a bad boyfriend to Yvonne, according to Yvonne and her family. Yvonne’s blood would later be found in an upstairs bathroom of Greg’s house after a forensic sweep.

Greg’s bad behaviour was what got him the broken window and the head of a pig in his front yard. Both things were done by Yvonne’s brother and his drunk friends as a way to scare her. On the night Jaidyn went missing, this group of people gathered outside Greg’s house and waited for him to leave, which he did just after midnight. Then they did something bad. They said that they threw the pig’s head twice at the window. When that didn’t break the glass, they decided to throw rocks at the window before leaving. In the end, they said it was a stupid act of revenge that made an already confusing crime scene even worse.

But in the process of vandalising Greg’s house, the group of guys accidentally saw something that might have been a crime. Over the next few weeks, they would testify and explain certain parts of the story, like when Greg left his house (sometime between midnight and 1:00 AM) and why the window was broken and a pig’s head was found.

No one was surprised, though, when the young men said they had nothing to do with Jaidyn Leskie’s disappearance.

Greg Domaszewicz was supposed to be taking care of Jaidyn when she went missing. As the days and weeks went by, the police began to think that something was wrong. By July, the police were calling this a murder investigation because they didn’t think Jaidyn was still alive.

Greg Domaszewicz, who was the main suspect, kept pointing the finger at other possible suspects when he talked to the police. This was going to be a big part of his defence in court, and he made sure to point the finger at his ex-girlfriend, Yvonne Penfold (whose brother and friends had vandalised his house).

Then, on July 16, 1997, about a month after Jaidyn Leskie went missing, Greg Domaszewicz was officially charged with killing the little girl. He would spend the next year or so in jail while his lawyer, Colin Lovitt, worked on a defence that couldn’t be beat. In the meantime, though, the search for Jaidyn Leskie would go on… and just a few months later, it would come to an end.

About six months after Jaidyn Leskie went missing, on January 1, 1998 (New Year’s Day), a family went on a picnic at Blue Rock Lake to enjoy the summer weather. Here, just downriver from the Blue Rock Dam, about 18 kilometres north of the town where Jaidyn Leskie had gone missing, his body was found.

Police reports from the time say that Jaidyn was found in some of the same clothes he was wearing when he went missing, and that a crowbar was used to weigh down his body in the water. On his left arm, from the elbow to the wrist, there was an elastic bandage. An autopsy would later show that the boy’s arm had been broken just a few days before he died, because there were no signs of healing. The bandage on Jaidyn’s arm looked like it was put there without much thought, and it was thought that it might have been put there after he died (due to the severe pain it would have caused the child).

A few metres away from Jaidyn’s body, police would find the bag his mother had packed for him with snacks, toys, and other things, as well as a wet sleeping bag for a child. Strangely, the sleeping bag looked like it belonged to Bilynda’s sister, Kadee. Kadee had a sleeping bag that looked similar to the one Bilynda had borrowed months before. Even though the sleeping bag couldn’t be found, it was near where Jaidyn’s body was found near the Blue Rock Dam.

The autopsy done on Jaidyn’s body only raised more questions than it answered. In addition to his broken arm, Jaidyn had blunt force trauma to the back of his head, which may have been the cause of his death. Jaidyn also had what looked like a broken rib, but this might have happened days or weeks before he died, and he may have been living with it for a while.

Because Jaidyn’s body was so well-preserved when it was found, it was thought that he had been thrown into the water during the winter, and the cold water had kept his remains mostly intact. But Jaidyn’s body had already started to break down, so officials couldn’t say for sure that the wound on the back of his head was what killed him. Because of this, they couldn’t rule out other possible causes, like being strangled or drowned.

The most shocking thing that came out of the autopsy was that Jaidyn’s blood contained Benzhexol, a drug that is usually found in Parkinson’s disease medicine. This drug was given to Jaidyn a few hours before he died, but it was impossible to say exactly when it was given to him. He could have taken Benzhexol by accident, since he is a child, but the side effects of the drug range from mild to severe (everything from dizziness and nausea to hallucinations).

When Bilynda and Kadee Murphy later looked at pictures of Jaidyn’s body, they both said that his hair looked longer than it had the last time they saw him. Skeptics don’t really believe this, though, because the skin around your hair and fingernails tends to shrink after you die. This could have been a mistake.

After Jaidyn’s body was found, it was confirmed that he had been killed by someone else. And since they already had a suspect in custody, the police moved forward to confirm their long-held suspicions and find out more about what happened to poor Jaidyn Leskie.

Over the next few months, Greg Domaszewicz remained the main suspect. Prosecutors and investigators kept focusing on him as a possible person who did this terrible crime. Officials looking into Jaidyn’s mysterious death were still confused by many parts of his story, or series of events, and these questions would remain unanswered for the next few months.

Greg and Jaidyn left in their car in the early afternoon of June 14, 1997, and no one had seen either of them for about 12 hours. Greg had called his girlfriend, Bilynda, who was at a birthday party in the next town over, as well as his neighbour, Mariann McKinnon, and at least one friend. Bilynda was at a birthday party in the next town over, and Greg couldn’t reach her until after 10:00 PM (who had argued with Greg over rumours that Greg wanted to have him killed). All of these calls came from Greg’s home phone, but there were several hours between them that Greg had told Bilynda were spent at the hospital.

The first story, that Greg took Jaidyn to the hospital so he could get treated for a small burn on his bottom, turned out to be a complete lie. That never, ever happened. There was no proof that any hospital in the area had helped Jaidyn Leskie that night, and it was clear that Greg had made up the whole thing. Still, he kept telling that story until the morning of June 15, when he finally told Jaidyn’s mom, Bilynda, the truth.

Greg said that he and Jaidyn had been at home working on his car and just hanging out during these hours when they couldn’t be found. But many people who drove by Greg’s house on the evening of June 14 saw that his car was gone and it looked like no one was home. This included Jaidyn’s mother, Bilynda, who drove by with her sister and sister’s boyfriend on their way out of town. It also included a friend of Greg’s who drove by around 7:30 to try to pick up some video game controllers.

The time Greg was supposed to have left his house to pick up Bilynda at Ryan’s Hotel is also in question (the pub she had been at over in Traralgon). Greg says he left his house around 2:00 AM on June 15. His neighbour, Mariann McKinnon, says she heard Greg’s car start up around midnight, which Greg denies.

Kenny Penfold and Darrin Wilson, who were, respectively, the brother and friend of Greg’s ex-girlfriend Yvonne Penfold, sort of back up this story. These two people went to Greg’s house right before he left for the night and broke his window and left the severed pig’s head in his yard. They saw Greg leave his house around midnight and put trash in a can outside, but they didn’t see him with Jaidyn. Both of them would later say that they didn’t go into Greg’s house on the night in question and that they didn’t see, hear from, or try to kidnap Jaidyn. In fact, they didn’t even think that the boy could have been in Greg’s house when they were breaking things. Police later said that they thought the men were telling the truth because Greg’s neighbours said they saw this act of vandalism.

Greg and Jaidyn’s whereabouts were unknown for several hours after this, and his statements to police didn’t help fill in the blanks. Greg talked in circles a lot, and it was hard for him to give a clear account of what had happened that night. He said that the story about the hospital was not true and that he had lied to Jaidyn’s mother for a long time the night her son went missing. But when asked what happened that night, he didn’t know how to explain the long periods of silence during which he didn’t answer his phone and seemed to be gone.

Greg had a hard time explaining how much time had passed between the time he picked up Bilynda from the bar and dropped her off at her house early on June 15th. He dropped Bilynda off at her house around 3:00 AM, but he didn’t go back until 5:00 AM to tell the truth and report that Jaidyn was missing. We do know that he was pulled over by police around 3:30 for speeding, but we don’t know what happened during the other hour and a half. We don’t know what Greg was up to or where he was during that time.

Bill Morgan-Payler, the prosecutor, would tell the court that Greg couldn’t explain himself the morning Jaidyn was reported missing:

“What he did that morning is the best proof that there was no missing child, only a sad dead one.”

But, as I said before, Greg used all of this as part of his legal strategy. He wasn’t trying to make himself look innocent; rather, he was trying to find flaws in the whole story. Colin Lovitt, his lawyer, wanted to make the jurors doubt that he was guilty. If they could convince even one of the jurors that someone else might have done this crime, Greg would be free to go.

Greg Domaszewicz’s trial would draw a lot of attention from the media in Victoria, and it would be one of the biggest stories of that year. The event, which happened over the course of 34 days in November and December of 1998, was one of the biggest stories in the region that year, and many of the details you’ve heard in this episode came to light because of it.

It was a lot like a real-life soap opera in many ways. The public was told everything about Greg and Bilynda’s relationship, Greg’s affair with his ex-girlfriend Yvonne, the “Pig’s Head Gang” that vandalised Greg’s house, Jaidyn’s mother’s complicated love life, etc. It was like the O.J. Simpson case here in the U.S., where dirty laundry was aired in public, and it ended with a similar verdict.

During the trial, it was shown that the blood found on Jaidyn’s bib and pants belonged to a woman who was not one of the women who had been thought to be involved in the case. Years later, a coroner’s inquest would find that evidence in Jaidyn’s case had been mixed up with evidence from another rape case that had nothing to do with hers. The coroner’s report, which came out in 2004, said:

“After this was found, [forensic scientist Mr. Maxwell Jones] tried to get a new DNA sample from the bib and pants on May 27, 2003. Even though human body parts were found on both the bib and the pants, the DNA did not make a DNA profile that could be found. Mr. Jones thought that this was probably because of the presence of dead organisms.”

During the trial, the defence said that there was evidence that Jaidyn had lived for weeks or even months after he went missing in June 1997. This was another major point of disagreement. The length of Jaidyn’s hair seemed longer than it had been when he went missing, but this could have been because the skin around his hair follicles had shrunk, making his hair look longer than it had been. On the other hand, Jaidyn’s dental records seem to show that she died when she was about 14 months old (which was his age at the time he went missing).

The prosecution said that Greg Domaszewicz had a history of being abusive, not just to his ex-girlfriend Yvonne but also to Bilynda Murphy and Jaidyn. I’ve already talked about how Greg was dismissive of his relationship with Bilynda, but he was the same way with Jaidyn. Friends and family have said that Greg has locked Jaidyn outside with his dogs and ignored him when he cried. When he was left alone with him, Jaidyn would come back to his mother’s house with bumps and bruises that no one could explain. Bilynda didn’t think much of these things at the time because toddlers often fall down and get into trouble, but when she looked back on them, they seemed very troubling.

The prosecution would say that when they first started looking into the case, they found evidence that didn’t make sense. This included some of Greg’s clothes and wallet from the time he was arrested. Both were drenched, which seemed to indicate that he had put Jaidyn’s body in a body of water. When his house was searched, wet bank notes were found, and bloody tissues found in Greg’s trash seemed to match Jaidyn’s blood type. But, even though these pieces of evidence pointed to suspicion, they didn’t really prove anything.

Even though the state had a strong case against Greg Domaszewicz, they were not able to convict him of killing Jaidyn Leskie in the end. Greg was found not guilty on December 4, 1998, and he was freed after being locked up for more than a year. Greg’s legal team, led by QC Colin Lovitt, was able to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of the jurors, which paid off when Greg was found not guilty.

Because of Australia’s laws against double jeopardy, Greg could not be tried again for the same crime. Even though there was evidence that he had something to do with Jaidyn’s death or disappearance, he was, by all accounts, not guilty.

Even though Greg was found not guilty of killing Jaidyn Leskie, most people thought he was guilty. Many people still blamed him, either directly or indirectly, for the death of the toddler. He is now seen as Australia’s version of Casey Anthony, a parent who likely played a role in the death of her child but was found not guilty in court.

Greg is said to have told a fellow inmate that he did it while he was in jail. This was found out later. In this confession, Greg allegedly told the inmate that Jaidyn’s death had been accidental, and that while Greg was out working on his car, something had happened that caused the jacked-up vehicle to fall on Jaidyn. This would have explained Jaidyn’s broken arm, as well as the painkillers that were later found in his bloodstream; which might have been an attempt to temporarily dull the pain or cause Jaidyn to lose consciousness. However, the testimony of this inmate was later found to be inadmissible, and this testimony wasn’t allowed in the trial.

As if that wasn’t enough, listen to this news segment, in which they report about Greg allegedly confessing to the crime to others; acquaintances of his tied to the Australian criminal underworld:

Over the next few years, the Victorian legal system would try several times to bring back the investigation into Jaidyn’s death, but none of them would be successful. That is, until Coroner Graeme Johnstone launched an official investigation in 2004. His findings were made public in 2006.

This 2006 coroner’s report, which can be found on the podcast’s website, was 101 pages long and went over the whole case from beginning to end. You can read the whole report on your own, but I’ll read from Mr. Johnstone’s “Conclusion and Contribution” section (pages 94 and 95):

“At the time of his death, Jaidyn Leskie was a 14-month-old baby who was completely dependent on the adults taking care of him for protection, support, and food. Remember that he was a “toddler” who could only say three words and had just started walking.

In the end, his parents, Ms. Bylinda Williams (nee Leskie) and Mr. Brett Leskie, who were then divorced, were responsible for his care and safety. But because they were no longer together, his mother, Ms. Williams, had to care for and protect him every day.

On those two days (June 14th and 15th, 1997), Ms. Williams had given her responsibilities to a friend, Mr. Greg Domaszewicz, while she went to see her sister in the afternoon, went to a party, and then spent a lot of time drinking in a local hotel that night and the next morning. So, Mr. Domaszewicz became the babysitter and was in charge of taking care of Jaidyn for a short time.

During the time that Mr. Domaszewicz was taking care of Jaidyn, he died. Most likely, the person died because of injuries to the head. There is still disagreement and guesswork about how he died, such as whether he died by accident, by omission, or in some other way. Not much is known about how he hurt his arm, except that it happened right before he died.

But as a 14-month-old baby who was helpless and needed full support, care, and protection from an adult, it was Mr. Domaszewicz who failed to give the baby the support, care, and protection he needed. If he had, the baby wouldn’t have gotten the injuries that killed him. Whatever happened to Jaidyn and caused her injuries happened while Mr. Domaszewicz was in charge, so he is partly to blame for her death.

Mr. Domaszewicz hasn’t given a better way to explain what happened that makes sense. After Jaidyn died, Mr. Domaszewicz dumped his body in the Blue Rock Dam, which was not far away. He had both the chance and the time to do it. These signs lead to this conclusion and a feeling of comfort and satisfaction:

(a) Mr. Domaszewicz was the last person who saw Jaidyn alive.

(b) After the event or events that led to Jaidyn’s death, Mr. Domaszewicz had time to put the body in the dam either before picking up Ms. Williams from the hotel or in the early hours of the morning of June 15th or after leaving her at her home and before they both went to the police to report that the child was missing;

c) Mr. Domaszewicz lied to Ms. Williams about where Jaidyn was and how she was feeling before and after he picked her up from the hotel;

d) When Ms. Williams came back to Mr. Domaszewicz’s house from the hotel (when Mr. Domaszewicz says he realised the child was missing), she was not shown Jaidyn; and

(e) Mr. Domaszewicz’s wallet and money were wet (consistent with having entered the water in order to dispose of the body).

Even though it has been decided that Mr. Domaszewicz got rid of Jaidyn’s body, there is still no way to know how the child died, whether it was an accident or something else.”

The 2006 inquest seemed to put a lot of focus back on the Jaidyn Leskie case, and it was very critical of both Greg Domaszewicz and the Victorian police, especially the forensic science unit, whose mishandling of evidence made it almost impossible to re-examine all these years later.

No one else has been charged or even publicly suspected of killing Jaidyn as of yet. Still, there is still a small chance that justice will be done in this case. You see, Australia’s “double jeopardy” laws have been “watered down” over the past few years, so that suspects who were found not guilty years ago can now be tried again. These exceptions are only allowed when new, strong evidence comes to light and the crime is a serious one (such as murder or rape). In some states of Australia, the possible sentence must be at least 25 years or even life in prison.

Many people, like Jaidyn’s mother, Bilynda, still want justice. In the years since Jaidyn’s death, she and Greg have broken up, she’s married someone else, and she’s had more than one child. Even though this horrible story happened more than 20 years ago, Bilynda Williams, as she is now known, still wants Greg to come forward and say everything he knows about Jaidyn’s case. In April 2014, which would have been Jaidyn’s 18th birthday, Bilynda wrote an open letter that was published in the Herald Sun. It said:

“Jaidyn’s 18th birthday should be coming up soon.

I’ve been thinking about it for weeks: What would I do on the day he was born 18 years from now if he wasn’t here?

What would I do to remember my son and do something in his honour on this day?

What I wouldn’t give to have him here when he wakes up in the morning so I could shower him with gifts and wish him a happy 18th birthday.

Instead, there will be no gifts and no one will be there.

Instead, I’m writing you, Greg Domaszewicz, this letter.

I’ve already hit “delete” a million times while typing this because, really, what do I say to you?

I tell Jaidyn “good morning” and “good night” every day.

I don’t always say it out loud. Most of the time, I just think it.

I don’t know how you can look at yourself in that mirror every day knowing what you did to my whole family.

At first, all of this was a bit of a blur. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d wake up to the nightmare that this has been and probably will be until the day I die.

I’m 38 years old now. I still get up in the morning and go to bed at night. I cry and think in silence because I don’t want to bother anyone with how I feel or what I go through every single day.

Because I’ve become bitter and hard to trust, I’ve lost all of my friends and my whole family.

Every day when I drop my kids off at school, I worry that they won’t be there when I come to get them.

I don’t let them stay at friends’ houses very often, in case something bad happens. In a way, I spoil them so they have everything they need at home and won’t want to go to friends’ houses.

I’ll be making my kids’ lunches for school in the morning, and part of me feels bad that I won’t be making his lunch while I’m buttering the bread.

I can be brushing my hair and think about what he would look like, smell like, and how his hair would look.

I’ll be in the laundry room folding clothes and thinking about what he might be wearing. Where are all of his clothes?

I pretend that he is sitting on the end of my bed in the middle of the night, and I stare at the end of the bed, hoping that this is all just a bad dream that I will wake up from.

When Daniel Morcombe’s killer was recently sentenced, part of me was glad to see that pig rot in jail for the rest of his life, but another part of me was a little jealous that Jaidyn’s case is still a mystery.

You can’t even come close to understanding what a mother goes through when her child is taken away.

When Jaidyn went missing, I kept telling myself that he would find me when he turned 18, and I really did believe that.

But he will be 18 soon, and I know that no one will come to the door.

When Michael Roberts drove up to the top of the hill at Blue Rock Dam on the day Jaidyn’s body was found and told me that it was Jaidyn’s body that had been found, I can’t even begin to describe what it was like for a parent to hear those words.

I lost myself when I lost Jaidyn.

I don’t have any real friends or family anymore.

I try to keep people away because it’s hard for me to trust anyone near my kids right now.

As soon as someone gets close to me, I start to worry and look for ways to get rid of them so they can’t hurt me or my kids.

Recently, I was asked what I would do for Jaidyn’s birthday.

Celebrate means to have a good time or remember a good time, and I won’t celebrate Jaidyn’s birthday because I can’t.

Please, before you die, write down what happened and put it somewhere safe, but please, for Jaidyn’s sake, tell everyone the truth.

I know that nothing will ever bring him back to me, no matter what happens in the future, but we deserve to know what happened.

So please, before the end of your own life, just tell the truth.

That much is what Jaidyn deserves.”

The story of Jaidyn Leskie is still not over until someone is found guilty.

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