April 17, 1994

This post follows on from April-15-16, 1994 in describing the last movements of Melissa Hunt (Hallett) before her battered body was found in Burrenjim Dam on April 25, 1994.

Melissa wakes up at Matthew Henderson’s on the morning of Sunday, April 17, they have sex again according to Henderson, but following the pattern of recent days, she doesn’t stay still for long. Matthew sees her off in a taxi by 10am.

But in another account, she leaves on foot and walks to her friend’s home at Jesmond. Melissa and this friend worked together at Cassandra’s on Hunter St in their past. Melissa may have asked if she could stay with this friend indefinitely but is told a short stay is okay, but nothing more.

She telephones her other friend in Charlestown, who sends her boyfriend to pick up Melissa from Jesmond. They go back to the marital home in Whitebridge and Melissa picks up more clothes, again arguing with Scott, before leaving about 4pm. She telephones her Jesmond friend and lets her know the phone number of where she is staying in Charlestown. She is given a key to this home by her friend.

Matthew Henderson then phones Melissa and invites her back to his place for the evening. She changes from wearing a purple skirt to pink tracksuit pants and boots. Matthew later says she is wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt as well. She leaves her other clothing where she is staying.

Melissa is driven by her friend’s boyfriend from Charlestown and she arrives at Henderson’s sometime in the evening. He says they have sex and smoke a bong. Henderson’s neighbour, Mr Adamson, says Henderson told him that Melissa is coming and he also says they had previously discussed Melissa’s visit on April 16.

At about 9pm on April 17, Adamson hears a very loud argument at Henderson’s. He knows Melissa is in the house, he’s heard her voice and coughing. The argument is so loud, he later tells the police, he is forced to turn up the volume of the television program he is watching. After 15 minutes, he says, there is silence.

Another witness tells police that her boyfriend visits Matthew Henderson on “the day that she [Melissa] got murdered”. She says that her boyfriend went to “Matt’s” home at Lambton road with two other men to “score some pot”. Melissa and Matt argue while these men are there and their visit lasts about an hour, according to this witness.

When her boyfriend comes home he tells her that Matthew Henderson and Melissa were screaming and yelling at each other. The witness expresses concern for Melissa and says, “Is Beaker [Melissa] still there, I’d like to talk to her?” Her boyfriend says no, Matthew is walking Melissa home.

It’s unclear if investigations were able to confirm if the visit of these men, whose names we know, is on the evening of Sunday, April 17. But we do know that Melissa has not been at Henderson’s in recent time, until April 16 when there was no evidence of a fight. But she is there on the night of April 17 and there is separate testimony of a loud argument. Were these three men, alongside Henderson, among the last to see Melissa alive? On thing is certain, all these people knew each other well before and after Melissa’ murder. Their lives intersect in various ways past, present and future.

According to Matthew Henderson – who does not mention anyone else being present at his home on the evening of April 17 – Melissa stays with him until very early the next morning. He says during the evening, he and Melissa talk and lie together in bed until he notices the name Scott tattooed on Melissa’s wrist, and learns Melissa is now married. “She always told me she was going to get my name tattooed on her.”

Henderson tells police they argue and he is upset because being with a married woman is not his thing. Melissa refuses to “cuddle” him and the last thing he hears her say is, “I’m not coming back after tomorrow.”

Except, another witness tells police that Henderson told them about Melissa’s marriage weeks before these events.

Also, if the loud fight occurs between 9pm-9.15pm and then all is quiet, why does Henderson tell police that Melissa leaves his home shortly after an argument and, according to his timeline, this occurred around midnight. Which is true? Where in fact was Melissa after 9.15pm on Sunday, April 17?

>> I’ll continue detailing what we know of Melissa’s movements during this time, immediately before her death, in the hope it stirs someone’s memory, or someone’s conscience.  Next up Monday, April 18.<<

If you know anything about the murder of Melissa Hunt, my sister, please contact Crime Stoppers or contact me through this blog.

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