Magazine article proves killer’s lies
A DECADE before Lindy Williams sat silently in a Brisbane court while a judge sentenced her to at least 20 years in prison for murdering and dismembering her partner, the Sunshine Coast mum claimed to have gone through a similar harrowing ordeal with a knife attacker.
Late last week, Williams was found guilty of killing her partner George Gerbic in their Queensland home before cutting him into pieces and setting his torso on fire as it sat on the side of a road in Gympie.
Mr Gerbic's body was found in September 2013, less than a week after police claim Williams murdered him but despite the quick finding, it still took investigators 10 months to formally identify him. It's also likely his cause of death will never be known.
But in July 2014, after months of doorknocking and groundbreaking detective work, police knocked on the door of Mr Gerbic's Sunshine Coast home and charged Williams with the 66-year-old's murder.
While Williams never denied driving 80km to leave her dismembered partner in Gympie, the 60-year-old mum was adamant about not being a murderer.
In an interview with police 10 months after her partner's charred remains were found, Williams told detectives that on the night of Mr Gerbic's death, the couple had bitterly fought about his sexuality.
Williams claimed the fight became violent and he lunged at her with a steak knife, leaving a deep gash on her arm.
As Williams fought off her partner's advances with a bar stool, she claimed he slipped on the blood that had been dripping from her sliced arm and hit his head on the kitchen bench.
She left the house and days later, when she walked back into their shared home she found her partner already dismembered and wrapped in plastic.
Williams' story was a harrowing one - but less than a decade before she sat with police and told them about the terrifying knife fight, the Queensland mum-of-two sat down with Woman's Day.
In May 2007, the magazine published an article titled "I survived a crazed stalker", detailing Williams' "kidnapping and torture at the hands of a sadistic psychopath".
The article was used as evidence in Williams' murder case as well as testimony from her long-time friend Janice Brennan, who told the court Williams was "verging on hysterical" when she confessed she had fabricated the entire ordeal and had cut herself.
In the 2007 article, Williams was quoted as saying she'd been cut multiple times across her arms, legs and chest.
"He became angry and called me a devil and said he had to carve the sign of the devil into me. I pleaded with him not to but I couldn't convince him. He carved it into my arm. Thankfully it's healing quite well," she told the publication.
Two 17-year-old boys wandering through the bush in Mount Coolum National Park eventually found Williams, covered in blood and unconscious.
Bradley Whittaker was one of the two to find Williams, telling news.com.au they found her sprawled across the rocks, halfway up a hill and close to antidepressants and other medication.
"She was busted up, completely silent," he said.
"When we woke her up she was pretty out of it but then became really distressed and frantic.
"She was covered in heaps of cuts and had blood everywhere, she wasn't in a good way."
Once Williams had made a full recovery, she even invited Mr Whittaker and his friend Adam Doyle to tea at their house.
"It's crazy to think about that now," Mr Whittaker said. "She invited us over to say thank you but that was it."
On Thursday, a jury rejected Williams' claim her partner's death was an accident and found her guilty of murder and interfering with a corpse.
The jury was instructed to decide if Williams was a calculated killer or an abuse victim who panicked and tried to cover up Mr Gerbic's death.
"This isn't a panicked act immediately after an event," crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC said in closing submissions.
"Throughout this time, she's dealing with all the friends, she's sending some emails and making conscious decisions about what she's going to do.
"She's covering up something she has to cover up."
Mr Fuller described her as "manipulative" and "calculating" and went as far as to suggest she self-inflicted her arm injury.
Williams' defence lawyer Simon Lewis said her cover-up was sparked by stress and confusion, not guilt.
Both sides of her Brisbane Supreme Court murder trial agreed the 60-year-old was a liar.
Mr Lewis even labelled Williams' story about finding her partner dismembered and wrapped in plastic as "rubbish" but implored the jury to see the mum-of-two as a victim.
"Is it a cover up of a murder or just the cover up of somebody whose life has gone to hell in a handbasket?" Mr Lewis asked the court.
Despite her defence, the jury took less than a day to find Williams guilty.
On Friday, Justice Peter Flanagan handed down his sentence and admonished Williams for stopping the Gerbic family from getting closure.
"For 10 months you undertook a very detailed and sophisticated cover-up," Justice Flanagan said. "That cover-up, included lying to so many people.
"The act of cutting up George Gerbic with a saw which you had purchased from Bunnings is from any view a horrific act.
"This surely must be one of the worst cases of interference with a human body.
"Because you dismembered his body, it remains unknown where his head is, where his lower body is, and where his hands are.
"It has denied the family the closure that would come from being able to bury their father."
Williams was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 20 years.
She'll be eligible for parole in 2034 at the age of 76.
- With Wires