Former Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn still in control after alleged murders of Russell Hill and Carol Clay

Scribbled notes, a knowing wink and a major twist: Inside the tense courtroom where ex-Jetstar pilot accused of murdering camper lovers revealed his side of the story about their deaths

  • Russell Hill and Carol Clay were allegedly murdered in bush
  • Gregory Lynn, 55, was charged last year with their murders
  • Bodies were allegedly burnt by Lynn after he allegedly killed them
  • Lynn claims Mr Hill was responsible for the death of Ms Clay 

Seated behind protective glass and guarded by two burly guards, former Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn still looks like a man in control of his own destination.  

Lynn, 56, fronted a preliminary hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, which at its conclusion next week could see him sent to trial at the Supreme Court of Victoria.  

For two days he has listened intently to the evidence being put before the court, taking notes and conversing with his barrister after being hit with folders of new information containing the transcripts of his recorded calls from prison. 

Lynn is accused of murdering Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, within rugged bushland at the Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps in March, 2020. 

Former Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn as he appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Tuesday

Former Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn as he appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 

Greg Lynn is seen with his wife Melanie - who is a flight attendant - with the pair meeting through work

Greg Lynn is seen with his wife Melanie – who is a flight attendant – with the pair meeting through work

Russell Hill (pictured with his missing drone) is believed to have filmed campers in and about the area where he was allegedly murdered

Russell Hill (pictured with his missing drone) is believed to have filmed campers in and about the area where he was allegedly murdered

Dressed smartly in a suit and perfectly woven tie, Lynn gazed upon those in the court knowing full well he is being studied by court sketch artists. 

Seated directly across from his glass cage, solicitor Chris McLennan gave him a confident wink. 

Lynn is being defended in court by Melbourne barrister Dermot Dann, KC, who has represented some of the most high-profile accused persons Melbourne has seen. 

His supportive flight attendant wife Melanie Lynn has been noticeably absent from the Melbourne courtroom, instead tuning into a videolink that appears on a television screen that can be seen by Lynn.

Mrs Lynn keeps her camera switched off, leaving Lynn to gaze only upon his wife’s name. 

He faces life in prison should he be convicted of the alleged murders. But Lynn isn’t banking on spending his life behind bars.  

‘Murdered’ campers revealed to be ‘childhood sweethearts’ 

Two campers allegedly murdered by Gregory Lynn in a remote national park were ‘childhood sweethearts’ who had kept their relationship secret for 15 years, a court has been told.

In a summary of the case against Lynn provided to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court police said Mr Hill and Miss Clay had rekindled a relationship about 15 years earlier and would go on regular camping trips to ‘spend time together’.

The pair were childhood sweethearts who had drifted apart and had children with other partners, documents tendered to the court said.

Mr Hill had been married to another woman for 51 years at the time of his death, and police facts tendered to the court revealed his wife believed he had gone camping alone.

‘Those close to them believe that they kept their relationship a secret to spare Hill’s family from distress,’ the police statement of facts read.

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On Tuesday, his defence to the crime was finally aired in public – at least part of it.

The court heard Lynn told detectives Mr Hill had come at him while the pilot was armed with a shotgun. 

The pair allegedly wrestled for control and the gun went off, hitting Ms Clay in the head, the court heard. It remains unclear how Mr Hill is alleged to have died.

Lynn claims Carol Clay (pictured) was shot dead when her secret lover Russell Hill tried to grab his shotgun

Lynn claims Carol Clay (pictured) was shot dead when her secret lover Russell Hill tried to grab his shotgun 

According to a prosecution summary, investigators allege Lynn got into an argument with the campers before killing them both.

‘The circumstances of their deaths, and the accused’s behaviour afterwards are consistent with the accused having intended to cause death or at least cause each of them really serious injury,’ the prosecution summary read.

The badly burnt remains of the elderly couple were found by Victoria Police Missing Persons Squad detectives on November 30, 2021 – just days after Lynn’s arrest.  

Timeline to tragedy in the case of Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, who were found dead within rugged bushland at the Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps in March, 2020

Timeline to tragedy in the case of Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, who were found dead within rugged bushland at the Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps in March, 2020

On Monday, weed sprayer Robert Williams told the court he believed he had seen Mr Hill in the wilderness in the days before he was allegedly murdered.

He described Mr Hill as a ‘grumpy old bugger’ who buzzed him with a drone.

‘I was getting droned out,’ he told police.

Homicide Squad detectives had made a big issue over the fact Mr Hill had entered the wilderness with a DJI Mavic drone, which he had only just recently purchased. 

They had called on the public for help in finding it in the long months the elderly couple had remained missing. 

Mr Williams said he saw the drone hovering over other people’s campsites, which he believed were being filmed by whoever was in control.

Mr Williams waved as it filmed him and it circled above him several times.

He watched it as it hovered over and around several campsites for 35 or 40 minutes, before he lost sight of it near Wonnangatta Cemetery.

He didn’t see who was operating it but thought it was intrusive.

‘You’re going down there to have a peaceful camp and somebody’s flying a drone over top of you,’ he told the court on Monday.

Mr Williams believed he had seen Mr Hill drive past him on March 20 – the day detectives believe he took his last breath.

The torched remains of Russell Hill and Carol Clay's campsite in the Victorian Alps

The torched remains of Russell Hill and Carol Clay’s campsite in the Victorian Alps

The experienced bushman claimed a man aged in his 70s had driven past him at a blistering pace. 

‘He drove past quickly without stopping or even waving to me, which I thought was a bit odd,’ he told police. 

‘I thought “bloody grumpy old bugger” must be on a mission to get somewhere.’

Sydney campers Damir Javor and Goran Miljkovic had seen the couple as they parked their vehicle at a camp site believed to be shared by Lynn.

The pair had been coming into the area for years to get away from the big smoke. 

Mr Miljkovic told the court he often heard the night silence pierced by the distinct sound of gun fire. 

‘You can hear gunshots at night which I assume are poachers trying to kill stags for their antlers,’ he told police. 

The preliminary hearing continues next week.  

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