A new documentary airing on the ABC tonight has shed light on just how police tracked down Jill Meagher’s killer in the space of just six days in 2012.
A series of high-tech phone tracking allowed detectives to eliminate Jill's husband Tom from the suspect list (her phone was tracked along Tullamarine Freeway, whereas his stayed stationary in Brunswick).
The police’s gaze instantly turned to an unidentified man seen interacting with Jill in CCTV footage on Sydney Road. The man was identified as Adrian Bayley, a notorious sex offender who, at the time of Jill’s attack, was on parole, having served out a sentence for raping five prostitutes over a six-month period.
With police tracking Bayley and Jill’s phones, they noticed the pair travelling on an identical path: along the Tullamarine freeway, into Gisborne – where Jill’s body would later be found – with Bayley’s phone then making the return journey. Jill’s did not.
But the one piece of evidence that tipped police off to Bayley’s involvement had nothing to do with the phone tracking, the ABC reports.
It was the fact that he passed through a toll point on Moreland road at exactly the same time that Jill’s phone also made the journey. He paid for the toll, and CCTV captured his car moving through the checkpoint at 4.40 in the morning.
In the documentary, police detectives reveal that it was this crucial piece of information that led them to Bayley’s door.
Conviction airs tonight at 8.30pm on ABC.