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The house where killer Jaymes Todd hid his secret obsession

Todd would wake each morning and put on clean clothes before travelling to his hospitality and training program at Hester Hornbrook Academy in Prahran, an environment where hygiene is paramount.

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By all accounts he socialised well, had friends and maintained a long-term relationship with a woman who has now disappeared from view.

But by night the aspiring restaurateur stayed holed up in his bedroom watching “snuff porn” – a genre where the woman ends up dead.

Inside that dysfunctional home, his growing predilection for homicidal rape fantasies went undetected.

Todd had a turbulent upbringing as the middle of three boys who was diagnosed with mild autism spectrum disorder and ADHD as a child.

His parents and teachers had been aware of his behavioural difficulties from early on, particularly at school where he had a history of disrupting class.

There were early signs of violence and his anger problems led to him being shuffled between primary schools. Todd’s teachers reached out for help and he was seen by a string of child psychologists before being expelled from high school for bad behaviour.

Jaymes Todd

Jaymes ToddCredit:Jason South

Against the odds he managed to complete his year 10 equivalent and began to study hospitality.

But his thirst for violent porn was growing. He would later admit to psychiatrists that he was frustrated the scenes were not more realistic.

In the months before Todd stalked and killed budding comedian Eurydice Dixon in Carlton North, the 19-year-old kept up the facade of a normal life and attended his aunt’s wedding in Melbourne’s north-west.

In neat clothes with his hair cut short, he shared a table with his mother and two brothers.

But of the more than 500 images posted online from that day, only one captures Todd. He is unsmiling, staring down the lens as others celebrate around him.

Police say by then his addiction to homicidal pornography had become insatiable.

Three months later he would realise his fantasies. Just after midnight on June 13, 2018, he would rape and murder Ms Dixon in an inner-city park after stalking her for nearly an hour.

An image of a man police wish to speak to.

An image of a man police wish to speak to.

In the hours after Todd’s arrest, his father Jason, who runs a local poker league, told The Age he had been in hospital at the time of Ms Dixon’s murder and was unaware of his son’s crimes until after the teen had handed himself in.

“We had no inkling anything like this was possible to happen,” he said.

“Me and my family offer our deepest condolences, we are sorry for what happened and ashamed our family was part of it.”

The family, who have not made a public statement since, were nowhere to be seen as Todd’s case worked its way through the courts.

Todd will spend at least the next 34 years inside a cell in protective custody, where his defence lawyer says his books are lined up in order of height, his cell “as neat as a pin”.

During the killer’s Supreme Court case, forensic psychologist James Ogloff rejected earlier suggestions Todd’s autism spectrum disorder had contributed to his offending.

The professor said while it could in some way explain the teenager’s struggle to express or feel some emotions, Todd had shown he was fully aware of his surroundings during the 54 minutes he trailed Ms Dixon from Flinders Street Station.

Todd also admitted he knew his victim’s ‘‘level of fear’’ during the attack and that he “was glad he was caught”.

The former Todd family home in August 2019.

The former Todd family home in August 2019.Credit:Erin Pearson

Today, the killer’s family home is unrecognisable, the squalor wiped away, the garden cleared.

Fourteen months from Todd’s crimes, the front yard is barren and blinds drawn inside the unoccupied house.

All traces of the life lived there have been erased.

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