HomeNEWSJetstar pilot Greg Lynn committed to trial for murder of secret lover...

Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn committed to trial for murder of secret lover campers

Former Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn has been committed to stand trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court for the murders of secret lovers campers Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73.

Magistrate Brett Sonnett ruled in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday that there would be enough evidence for a jury to find the 56-year-old killed the couple in the Victorian High Country in March 2020 beyond a reasonable doubt.

Lynn’s commitment to stand trial follows a preliminary hearing that begins Jan. 16.

Greg Lynn, 56, will stand trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court for two counts of murder

Carol Clay (left) shot Lynn before stabbing Russell Hill (right) to death.

Police allege that Carol Clay was shot while standing in the back of the car, which was damaged in a fire after the alleged crime.

Lin remained composed throughout the brief hearing, which was held in a near-empty courtroom without media representatives.

Dressed in a suit and carrying a bundle of yellow folders, he stood to address his barrister despite the clerk’s objections.

At the conclusion of the hearing he was formally found not guilty of the two murders, setting up what would be an epic murder trial.

Lin will now face the Supreme Court of Victoria on February 9 in his first action before a jury that will decide his fate.

He has been in jail since November 2021 and has not applied for bail again.

A jury trial is not expected to formally begin until later this year after a mountain of evidence was deliberated before a Supreme Court judge.

Much of the conversation is expected to revolve around the police record of Lin’s four-day interview, which Lin hopes to erase from the public record.

The content of that interview is now subject to a court-imposed gag order, which will likely remain in place until Lin’s trial.

A previous hearing was told Victorian homicide detectives had compiled a massive 773-page brief of evidence against Lynn.

Many of these pages contain content from Lin’s nine-plus hour interview, which was recorded live at the Cell police station after his arrest in November 2021.

Lynn’s barrister Dermot Dann, KC, has long argued that his client’s interview should be ruled inadmissible from the murder trial.

Greg Lynn, pictured in court last week, was grilled by police for four days

Police made thousands of recordings of Greg Lynn (right) in the 11 months before his arrest in Victoria’s high country. Nearly 300 relevant recordings followed the 60 Minutes special broadcast of the absent campers

Lynn’s barrister Dermot Dann, KC (pictured last week) plans to fight the admissibility of records of his client’s interviews with police

Why do police believe the campers were killed?

Russell Hill knew the rugged Wannaghatta Valley as well as anyone brave enough to venture into the wilderness.

It’s the bravery that police suspect cost him and his secret lover, Carol Clay, their lives.

Those who knew him claimed that he would never back down from a fight.

Weed sprayer Robert Williams told the court Mr Hill was a ‘sick old bugger’ who buzzed him with a drone.

Campers Damir Zavor and Goran Miljkovic spotted the couple as they parked their car at a campsite shared by Lynn.

The couple trailed behind the elderly couple as they drove slowly along the track to their campsite, where two cars were already parked there.

One of the vehicles was a white Landcruiser, while the other was described as a blue Nissan Patrol – the same type of vehicle police seized when Lin was arrested on November 22 last year.

While the exact content of the discussion with Lin cannot be revealed, Mr Dan described it as ‘explosive’.

He told the court last week, ‘It’s just that these items of evidence are potentially variable in the prosecution’s handling of the case.

‘They will have such a bearing on the way in which that trial is conducted… There are very real, very live and very important matters in relation to these two items of evidence.’

The second item referred to by Mr. Dan is a statement of Lynn made by secret recording detectives after his arrest in the desert.

The court heard that Lynn was held in a cell at Sale police station without legal representation or a mental health assessment for the duration of the interview.

‘He was fed, he was given water, he was put to bed,’ Senior Constable Daniel Passingham of the Missing Persons Squad told Mr Dan during the inquest this week.

Without using interview records, detectives will be forced to rely on other evidence, including phone tower data, witness statements, forensic opinions and secret recordings that police kept under surveillance of Lin during the 11 months.

The court heard police briefs were in a folder of transcripts of Lynn’s recordings seized by detectives as part of ‘Operation Lexicon’.

Police allege that Lin regularly talked to himself while driving his Nissan Patrol.

Hours before Special Operations Group officers descended on his car in a helicopter, Lin described the couple’s murder as ‘another chapter in life’.

Honorable Detective Acting-Sergeant Brett Florence (left) and Detective Leading Senior Constable Daniel Passingham (right) lead the charge in solving the mystery of the missing campers

On Monday, detectives responsible for listening to 3,150 secret recordings captured from Lin’s car revealed what he said when police stopped him.

Senior Constable Passingham told the court he heard Lynn thinking about the alleged murder while driving in the Wannaghatta Valley shortly before his arrest.

Senior Constable Passingham said, ‘I heard the accused describe it as a chapter in his life.’

The detective also claimed that Lin mentioned that he had ‘written the book’ while driving alone in his car.

‘They contain recordings taken while driving the Nissan Patrol,’ he said.

On Wednesday, the detective in charge of bringing the case against Lin, Acting-Sergeant Brett Florence, confirmed that detectives were concerned about Lin’s mental health on the morning of his arrest.

‘I wouldn’t say he’s mentally broken’, he added.

Sergeant Florence was the last witness to testify at the preliminary hearing.

He told the court that Lynn had been considered a person of interest in the months since the campers’ disappearance.

‘He was not a suspect. He was a person of interest,’ he told Mr Dann at the inquest.

The court previously heard that detectives spoke to Lynn in the early hours of July 14, 2020 as they worked to check the stories of a dozen others who were in the area around the same time the campers went missing.

Police were keen to speak to anyone caught on CCTV driving into the desert when the campers went missing. It is alleged to be Greg Lynn’s car at the time

Police believe this is what Greg Lynn’s car was like when the campers disappeared

It was a conversation secretly recorded by a detective at the time.

The court heard another man was considered a person of interest in the case after being nominated by Parks Victoria staff.

Sergeant Florence said police spoke to the man, who lived in the area where the campers went missing, but was later dropped.

The court heard that police wanted to conduct a final search of the wilderness area where the alleged murders took place.

Lynn was arrested at the junction of Doolans Plains Road and Moroka Road, Arbuckle – around seven hours after she was heard talking to herself in a ‘frustrated state’.

Leading Senior Constable Passingham said the decision to arrest Lynn was made after his superiors reviewed the recording.

Leading Senior Constable Passingham said, ‘Lynn commented at the end of his time that Melanie (his wife) had three boys to look after, a good rum, whiskey or cocktail would be good’.

After listening to Lin for more than 3,000 recordings, the detective said, he knew something wasn’t right.

He told the court, ‘I had a feeling he was going to kill himself.

Lin was armed with a high-powered centerfire rifle on the unexpected trip.

The mangled remains of Mr Hill and Mrs Clay were to be found just 40 kilometers east as the crow flies over rugged bushland near Dargo.

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