– The latest violent crime to shock our city has a chilling similarity to the most terrible one of recent times.
Less than a year after Jill Meagher was taken from a street by a fiend who then brutally ended her life, another young woman is dragged into an alleyway and out of sight.
And, like Jill, she too was walking home alone after a night out.
The 23-year-old must have felt confident enough to pace herself against the pre-dawn traffic, from a city club to her home in a North Melbourne.
Walking along King Street, which is heavily fortified by CCTV, she was seemingly undeterred.
But nor was the stranger walking behind her.
When she got to the northern edge of the CBD, where the last of the cameras cast a watchful eye on the corner of Latrobe Street, this pathetic man made his move.
He tried to talk to her, even hold her hand.
The woman showed no interest and walked on.
It was not until she was walking past a crooked laneway off Chetwynd Street that her stalker launched his savage attack.
As the woman was punched, dragged and pushed across the cobbled stones of Brown Lane, her screams tore through the darkness.
But, unlike that terrible night in Brunswick just off Sydney Road last year, neighbours who heard the desperate cries of this victim acted quickly.
As shrill yells bounced off bluestone walls, at least two locals living nearby immediately phoned the police.
Pava Lawrence and his wife had been asleep in their home just 20 metres away.
But the time they came downstairs, another neighbour had run to the woman’s aid and the police had arrived.
The woman, now brutalised and bloody, sat hunched on a step. The cowardly attacker was running off.
Yesterday, cafe customers sipped lattes just metres from where this sexual predator had struck.
Bloodstains in the alleyway were a lasting mark of his evil.
They would wash away far easier than the growing unease of those who saw the aftermath of the assault.
Mr Lawrence, a shift worker, was overwhelmed by sadness and frustration.
A block away, detectives scoured another laneway for evidence.
They cordoned it off with police tape as an Air Wing helicopter hovered.
Firefighters even extended the long arm of a cherry picker to scan rooftops and prepared to launch a hi-tech drone to pinpoint other clues.
Just like last September, police would refer to CCTV footage in a bid to build another grainy timeline of horror in black and white.
But, unlike in the Jill Meagher case – when CCTV effectively caught Adrian Bayley – they may not find any to refer to.
With no cameras on Chetwynd Street, the assault may have gone unrecorded.
Investigators hope to find the contents of the woman’s handbag, believed to have been thrown by her assailant.
The final act from this gutless offender may have been to rifle through the victim’s belongings looking for anything of value – potentially leaving tell-take DNA – Aaron Langmaid

About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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