Jemma Lilley’s fascination with serial killers goes back at least a decade to the crude online novel she wrote about murder when she was a 16-year-old living in her native Stamford, England.
Indeed, she had hoped to become a serial killer.
Lilley once boasted that she knew how to commit murder and get away with it.
She wanted to kill and the feeling was getting stronger. And when she finally lived out her fantasy with her obsequious housemate Trudi Lenon in June last year, Lilley gloated that police were too dumb to catch her.
Yesterday a Perth jury found Lilley, 26, and Lenon, 43, both guilty of the murder of Aaron Pajich, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum who “inhabited a child’s world”.
If Lenon is to be believed, Lilley crept up behind him with a garotte before stabbing him.
According to Lilley’s own confession to one of her staff at Woolworths in Palmyra, where she ran the nightshift, Lenon was actively helping.
“It was harder than I thought,” Lilley told shelf stacker Matt Stray when Pajich was still a missing person.
“Trudi had to hold him down.”
Trudi Lenon. Picture: Supplied.
Pajich weighed just 51kg while Lenon was obese. Lilley cut a slight figure and wore black ballet flats at the trial. She told the jury she “wouldn’t have a clue” how much she weighed and generally wore size medium clothes.
Police photographs of Lilley from the day of her arrest show a heavy-set woman in baggy black clothes. Once a body builder, Lilley appears to have lost a significant amount of weight in the 16 months spent at Bandyup Women’s Prison awaiting trial.
Prosecutor James Mactaggart told the jury Lilley “could hardly wait to blurt out that she had stabbed a person and finally killed somebody” on the day she confessed to Mr Stray on June 18 last year. He gave evidence that was devastating to both accused.
Lilley had been studying murderers for years but she and Lenon — the housemate who made her steak, brought her cannabis and watched Game of Thrones with her after they killed Pajich — carried out a crime that was as amateur as it was cruel. Pajich’s phone records led police directly to the house where he died on June 13 last year in the thrill killing Lilley had hoped to enact. In sickening diary entries that she kept in her phone, Lilley longed for a screaming, pleading victim and pools of blood.
Murdered 18-year-old Aaron Pajich.
Picture: WA Police.
The “clean-up” was anything but. Homicide detectives found blood and incriminating DNA evidence from one end of the house to the other.
A fresh grave in the backyard was covered with a tarpaulin, some concrete and messily laid, second-hand indoor tiles. Mr Mactaggart told the jury that what confronted police in the garden on the night of June 20 last year was not only suspicious, it was “frankly ridiculous”.
The five-week trial that Pajich’s family was forced to endure heard evidence Lilley intended to stay free long enough to commit more murders. The jury heard that she told Mr Stray: “Don’t worry Matt, from now on they will all be vigilante killings.”
Lenon did not give evidence; Lilley was in the witness box for five days. She confidently tried to tip Lenon into strife, alleging she was planning to force a friend to commit suicide with poison.
Lenon and Lilley met only months before they killed together. Lenon was even more overweight than she is now, and looked to Lilley to help her slim down. They swam together almost daily at the Kwinana pool south of Perth. Lilley invited Lenon and her two sons to move into her new house in Orelia, a working-class suburb near an industrial strip. Lenon made Lilley’s lunch, cooked meals for her and brought her tea. They referred to each other by code names — Lenon was Corvina, the name she had used as a submissive in the bondage, discipline, dominance and submission (BDSM) scene.
Lilley was SOS, a murderous character from a book about serial killers that she published online. Lilley claimed this stood for Style or Smile, but Lenon’s lawyer told the court it was an obvious reference to US serial killer David Berkowitz who was known as Son of Sam.
The prosecution told the jury Lenon’s 13-year-old son was friends with Pajich because they both liked computer games. It was Lenon who identified Pajich as a vulnerable target for Lilley.
Lilley said in a text to Mr Stray the day after confessing to him she had committed murder: “I can convince anyone of anything.” She had even shown him a picture of Pajich, then a missing person, in a news story.
“Did you do it?” he asked her by text. She replied: “It’s okay Matt, I’m a good story teller … I was quite convincing, wasn’t I?” she replied. “It’s all an act of, in character. Nothing’s happened.”
But Lilley had given Mr Stray details not even police knew yet. He told the jury he had always been frightened of her. In the days after her confession, he went to police.
The women were silent as the jury delivered their guilty verdicts. Outside court, Pajich’s mother Sharon said the killers must never be released. They will be sentenced in February.
More of the really gory details are available from The Sun: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5300843/inside-the-home-of-twisted-brit-ki...