Alleged killer told police of shotgun, knife struggles

Tara Cosoleto |

The police interview of Carol Clay and Russell Hill’s accused murderer has been shown at his trial.
The police interview of Carol Clay and Russell Hill’s accused murderer has been shown at his trial.

Accused murderer Greg Lynn demonstrated to police how he fought with missing camper Russell Hill over a knife before the older man was fatally stabbed. 

The airline pilot’s interview with Victoria Police was played to a Supreme Court jury on Monday, as he stands trial accused of murdering Mr Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, in March 2020.

It’s alleged Lynn killed the couple at Wonnangatta Valley, in the state’s northeast, and then disposed of their bodies in bushland before burning the remains months later.

Lynn, 57, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder.

Court sketch of Greg Lynn
Greg Lynn told police Carol Clay was shot when a gun went off in a struggle between him and Mr Hill. (Paul Tyquin/AAP PHOTOS)

In his November 2021 interview, Lynn outlined to police the week he spent camping and hunting deer in the High Country, at times indicating his location on a map.

He first encountered Mr Hill and Mrs Clay on March 19 when the couple arrived at his campsite, noting they had been very cordial and pleasant.

Lynn told police Mr Hill acted less friendly the next morning as he prepared to go hunting, noting the older man pointedly mentioned a friend had been killed in a hunting accident.

Lynn said as he returned to the campsite hours later he saw a drone hovering overhead and later realised it belonged to Mr Hill.

When he confronted Mr Hill about the drone, Lynn said Mr Hill threatened to send police the footage of him hunting close to the campsite.

Lynn told officers he removed himself from the conversation but decided to blast music from his car stereo in what was a “childish thing” to do.

Later that evening, Lynn said Mr Hill approached his car and took his shotgun and ammunition from inside the vehicle.

Lynn told police he confronted Mr Hill and the older man told him to “f*** off” before shooting a couple of rounds into the air.

A struggle ensued over the gun, Lynn said, with another shot being discharged and striking Mrs Clay in the back of the head.

Lynn maintained he did not have a hand on the trigger at any point and Mr Hill dropped the gun after Mrs Clay had been hit.

Lynn told police he returned the gun and ammunition to his car and turned off the radio when Mr Hill came at him with a knife, yelling that Mrs Clay was dead.

The airline pilot said he blocked Mr Hill’s punch and another attempt to strike him with the kitchen knife, demonstrating how he grabbed Mr Hill’s arms.

Lynn told officers as he fell to the ground, the knife went through Mr Hill’s chest.

The older man tried to crawl away but died at the scene, Lynn said. 

Photo of burnt out campsite tendered to court in Greg Lynn trial
Greg Lynn told police he dumped the two bodies on a track after burning the campsite, (HANDOUT/SUPREME COURT OF VICTORIA)

Lynn told police he panicked and believed he was going to be blamed for the couple’s deaths, so he placed their bodies in his car and burnt their campsite.

He admitted there was a lot of blood, both at the campsite and in his trailer as he drove the bodies to the Union Spur track and left them there. 

Lynn told police he went back to the track in June 2020, once a COVID-19 lockdown lifted, to check on the bodies. 

He returned in November of that year to burn the remains. 

“There’s not going to be much left for the families … there’s not much to see,” Lynn told police in the interview.

Lynn said he wanted the couple’s deaths to “just go away” and tried to “keep his head down”, but he knew he was on a police watchlist.

He admitted being paranoid, believing his work colleagues and sporting associates were trying to get information for detectives.

“Too many people have said too many odd things to me,” Lynn told police. 

“It’s a bit like the Truman Show where everyone knows what’s going on but you don’t.”

When asked if he felt better having come forward to police, Lynn said, “I guess so”.

“I just wish it had never happened,” he said.

The rest of the police interview will be played to the jury on Tuesday.