The Monster of Mangatiti (2015) Movie Script

The Mangatiti Valley is 30 miles
east of Raetihi. It's isolated,
rough and hostile country,...
so remote that for a long time, wild pigs,
cattle and goats were the only residents.
Then in the early '60s, the land
was bought by the Cornelius family.
By the '80s there was still no
running water, power or telephone.
It was the perfect place for a predator
to hold captive vulnerable young women.
By the time he'd be held accountable,
there'd be seven known victims.
Whoa. Whoa. Hey, hey, hey.
It's me. You're OK.
He's already come back, Doug. He'll know
I'm gone. Jump in the truck, mate. Come on.
Joanne had escaped not
long before I arrived.
I was 19 years old, and I was about to
spend 23 weeks of absolute horror,...
held captive by
William Paul Cornelius.
# Folks round here call me crazy.
# I walk a lonely road,
# I know it's true.
# And if sometimes I'm bad,
# I know they'll understand,
# little girl, it's just
my crazy love for you. #
I'd, um, worked in offices, and I really
wasn't happy doing that kind of work.
I just didn't like being inside all
the time. So I was looking for a job
when I saw the ad in the paper -
tutoring correspondence in a...
farm situation.
So I just thought it would be a
really different opportunity that
I could work at for six months,
save all my money, cos, you know,
I wouldn't be spending the money.
And it was quite a lot of
money that was being offered.
And then I'd be able to go overseas
cos that's what I wanted to do,
was to travel overseas.
Oh, that sounds fantastic.
Paris, Rome, Berlin...
and Raetihi.
So there's jobs in Raetihi?
Could've fooled me.
Yeah, well, I'm actually doing
some live-in tutoring. The guy who's
employing me seems really keen, but-
Oh, we... we already
met in Tauranga, so... Tauranga?
Christine. Yeah. He's got a sister who
lives up there, so we met at her place.
It is remote.
Initially I-I thought he was a bit
of a... a hippy, because he had long
hair and a beard,
and his son had long hair, but they
were obviously farmers, and I was
used to farmers.
But he was very nice,
he was charming and polite,
and his son just seemed
like a really lovely boy.
Listen. If you're talking about...
Christine. Morning, Heather.
Oh, hi. How's the drive?
Yeah, good.
Morning. Morning, Chrissie.
The river's up. Must be raining
somewhere. But here? Sunshine. Come
on. We'd better get your things,
get you up to the farm.
You can leave your dinky
toy in here if you like.
Don't think it will like the road
up to the farm - it's a bit rough.
Are you sure your friend won't mind?
Yeah. I leave things in here
all the time. No one'll find it.
I mean, they won't go breaking into
it or anything. Benn's gonna be very
excited to see you again.
Looking back now, I realise that
he'd probably interviewed several girls
and he'd picked the one he thought
would be easiest to control.
I think it's 30 miles out to the
farm, but that's as the crow flies.
It definitely takes quite a long
time, through very rough terrain, a
lot of high ranges and deep gorges.
It's not a drive for
the faint-hearted.
# My love's like
a freight train in motion.
# It speeds along the
track that leads to you.
# Through the sea and snow,
# no matter where you go,
# this never-ending crazy love for
# you. #
Initially, when we were first
driving out to the farm, I... I felt fine.
He was a very charismatic person
who was just friendly and nice,
just seemed like a really nice man.
And then we got to a gate that was
locked, and that was a private road,
and I... I didn't know about this.
I knew that the farm was remote, but I
didn't realise it wasn't on a public road.
I started getting... a bit nervous,
cos I, sort of, thought, 'Oh,
I'm going to the middle of nowhere,
and I don't know this person, and,
'you know, this is
a little bit scary.'
Get out the car.
Come on. Jump out.
I wanna show you something.
I've got nearly 3500 acres here.
Beautiful country.
Isolated, yeah,...
but beautiful.
Remote, the wife said.
She hated it.
It wasn't enough.
I'm sorry.
Oh, look, don't worry. I understand
you're probably a bit nervous, but
you've got nothing to worry about.
You know, you can trust me.
Everything's fine. You won't
have to work the farm or anything.
Just keep Benn up with his lessons
and maybe cook the odd meal or two
if you don't mind.
No, that's cool. Well, I enjoy cooking.
Well, that'll be a treat.
I'm a pretty ordinary cook, myself.
Come on.
So I felt quite reassured and
thought I was just being a bit silly.
It was about another hour over
the clay road. Finally we reached a
condemned bridge high over a gorge.
And after that we were there. I was
still a bit apprehensive, but I was
really excited too.
Hi, Dad!
Hey, son.
I thought it was... I mean, it
was very rustic, if I can call it that.
I think the cabin was built back
in the 1940s, but it was adequate.
Benn, why don't you show Heather
around the place while I get her pack?
OK. Inside and out? All right. Come
with me. This is your room. This is
where you'll sleep.
I had my own room, which was very
nicely made up, had a nice bed
with a new quilt on it.
This is your bed.
So that was all very tidy, and,
yeah, it didn't worry me at all.
Um, everything was there.
And then this is where we all
eat dinner. And, uh, we've got veggies...
Well, I thought I was gonna be there
for six months, so I did take some
personal possessions with me.
Not a huge amount, but just things
that were sentimental to me.
There's no electricity going, so
it's not like there's a radio going
or anything like that, so you...
you just hear the outside noises.
But very peaceful, very very quiet.
I just thought it was exciting, so I wasn't
really a big TV watcher, I was a reader,
so it didn't really bother me.
I just thought it was something
different and would be just
a really cool experience.
He wants me to meet the pigs. Good-oh.
Get him to tell you about the schoolhouse.
Schoolhouse? Work in progress.
Gotta have a schoolhouse.
That's the piglet's mum. She'll
be ready for butchering soon.
This is where we milk our cow, Bluebell.
I named her. It was in a book I read.
I thought his son was lovely.
He was just such a gorgeous kid.
He told me his mum had left with one
of the cattle musterers and taken
his younger brother with her.
Hey, I... I don't
think we should be-
Jed's my little brother.
Dad was really cut up about it.
You too, I imagine.
I'll show you the chooks.
He's shown me the, um...
I was just putting your things out
for you. I hope you don't mind.
So, you play the flute?
Um, yeah, just a bit.
I'm not very good. Well, we should find
out. Maybe have a tune tonight, eh, Benn?
Yeah, sure!
No, honestly. It's just a hobby.
The kids were all happy.
The dogs were too. They ate their...
quick... quick... quick... quickly!
Quick... ly.
Schoolwork before breakfast?
You have got him fired up.
Oh, thanks, Bill. You don't have
to do this every morning, you know.
Oh, I need something hot when I get
back from the cattle. You sleep, me work.
Sunrise and me - we're
best of mates. Eh, Benn?
It was just lovely. I-I didn't have
to do much. You know, I mean, wash
my dishes or wash my clothes, and,
you know, maybe sweep the floor
and teaching Benn correspondence.
You know, we went for horse rides,
and he did all the cooking, and,
yeah, it was just...
it was quite picturesque,...
and, um, it was just really nice.
Oh, and, uh, if you hear a bang later,
don't worry. It's just the hunters trespassing.
So five sixes are?
Hey! Come on. You can't get
through with it that easy. Six sixes?
I understand now, looking back,
that that first month was actually
a period of grooming, um,
for what he intended to do anyway.
Um, but at the time I... I didn't
understand that.
Another hour, I reckon. Maybe we
should make a cuppa while we wait, eh?
Hey, um, if you'll show me how,
maybe tomorrow morning I can do
the porridge. And dinner.
You can't do everything.
Oh yeah.
Thanks. If you don't mind.
I mean, you do some cooking, and,
uh, I'll get a chance to finish
off the schoolhouse.
Oh, that reminds me -
take a trip into town tomorrow, get
Benn's next correspondence stuff.
Great. Maybe I'll go
write a letter, then.
Miss Petrie. And I'd like to put
some money into Miss Petrie's post
office account, Ange, if, uh, that's
no bother.
Sure. I'll get a form.
You need some shampoo, too, eh?
I do, yeah, but I need to post this.
I'll get this off for you. You check
on Benn. Wait for me. Then we'll
go to the store together, eh?
You don't need to be paying for
shampoo. 'All found', I said, eh?
OK. Thanks, Bill. That's lovely.
There we are. Thanks, Ange.
I'll fill that in later.
I'll tell you what - me and Benn'll
head off tomorrow arvo and, uh,
you can have a nice,
hot bath in front of the fire, use
some of that shampoo we bought ya.
There you go. Come on, Benn.
Let's give Heather some privacy, eh?
We'll take a ride
for a couple of hours.
Enjoy your bath.
Whoa. Bugger.
Benn! Forgot my smokes. You wait
here a minute, OK? Be back in a minute.
He's fast asleep.
Oh good.
It was very very cold. It never snowed while
I was there, but it was bitterly cold.
Bloody freezing.
Hot coffee and warm toes, eh? Warm
yours too, if you like. Better than
your freezing bedroom. There you go.
You can take it in
there, if you like.
Because I'd spent a month with
him and I quite trusted him,
I confided in him something quite
awful that had happened to me, um,
relatively recently that
I hadn't really told anybody else.
Nearly two years ago...
I had a car accident,...
and I ended up in,...
Got a few battle scars myself -
pigs going me,... the ex.
You OK?
They're different kinds of scars.
I'd had to go to hospital for
a couple of nights, and while I was there,
I was indecently assaulted by a
doctor. Maybe that's what made
me feel vulnerable to Bill.
I'd already been made to feel
powerless. I already felt that
people could do things to me
that I couldn't do anything about
and that no one would ever believe
it could have happened.
You're a beautiful woman.
I can see how a man
might be tempted.
But forcing himself
upon you like that,...
it's just... crap.
He's a bloody loser.
You've just gotta put it all behind
you now. You know, put it all behind
you, and you win, he loses. Yeah?
Come on.
You're a beautiful girl.
The first time,
I did consent to sex.
But it was not far into it when
I came to my senses and realised, 'I
don't wanna be doing this. He's old.
'What am I doing?'
But I felt it was too late.
I remember the next morning I
actually got my period, which
was quite good, cos I thought,
'Oh well, there's an excuse I can use,'
because I didn't want to do that again at all.
And I thought that
would keep him away.
You awake?
I know you're awake.
Breakfast in bed for my girl.
Special treat for the woman I love.
Oh, I fancied you from the
first time I saw you, eh.
What a night! We're gonna be good
together, you and I, eh? You'll
see. You're young.
We're gonna have lots of babies,
aren't we? But work before pleasure. Hmm?
I gotta get into it.
You enjoy your breakfast.
Over those next few days, he just
starting acting really weird.
Like, scary weird. It was like he
was a different person. Like, he was happy,
really happy.
It was very very scary.
Then after, I don't know, maybe about four
or five days, he came to my room and...
and hopped on the bed. And I said
I didn't want to, but he would
say things like,
'Oh, but, you know, we already have'
and 'I love you' and 'we can have babies'
and all this kind of stuff and would
just... just force himself on me.
I think because I thought that
I had actually consented as an
adult, I felt responsible.
So even though I was saying no and
he wasn't listening, he made me feel
like I couldn't say no.
And it just got increasingly scary.
I'm done! 11 and 12 times.
I'm coming.
Don't forget Bluebell.
But I... I... I have to
take Benn through his-
He can go with ya. He likes Bluebell
more than he likes his schoolwork.
Don't you, Benn?
Do as you're bloody well told!
He started getting...
angry at things,...
getting violent. How he spoke
changed. So, he started swearing a lot.
He was cruel to animals.
He became quite aggressive.
Keep up, ya mongrel! Keep up!
Beating horses, beating dogs with alkathene
pipe, kicking - yeah, things like that.
So I had this person who was really
nice, then I had the same person who
was, kind of, this elated weirdo,
and then this person who was aggressive
and angry and violent and scary all in one,
and I never knew which one he was
gonna be from any hour of the day.
And all the time,
my things kept going missing.
He slowly took away anything that connected
me with my life outside the valley.
I found your wee pills, your
contraception pills. Huh?
Please. Please.
I'm... I'm filthy.
All that cleanliness
crap, it's overrated.
Germs make you stronger.
What do you want me to do, eh? You
want me to clean myself up as well?
You want me to use that deodorant
shit, huh? Soften myself up with
soap? Is that what you want? Eh?
Is that what you want?
You'll move into my room tonight.
Don't stop - 200 strokes.
You'll move into my room tonight.
No. I... I won't.
Wh... What'll Benn think?
Please. Please.
He's still awake.
You'll move into my room. Tonight.
That's my mirror. You don't look at
that. You understand? Oh, and stop
your crying. I'm sick of you crying.
OK? No more tears.
The psychological abuse was a big
part of it. I was only 19, just a kid.
And I didn't know how
to handle the situation.
And then things got worse.
I felt so scared and sad when
I realised I was pregnant.
This wasn't how I ever expected I
would become a mother. And now I
felt even more trapped.
I'm not taking you to the fucking
doctor. What's the matter with you?
I think I might be pregnant.
We'd better dig out a pair of shoes,
eh? Give you a bloody good wash
down, sort you out for the visit,
eh? Don't want the doctor
thinking you've let yourself go.
First, though...
There's something bloody
sexy about a pregnant woman.
And by the way -
you speak to anyone out
there about you and me,...
I'll kill ya.
And your family.
I thought the pregnancy check
could be an opportunity to escape.
But we got to the doctors', and him and his
son came in with me into the waiting room,
which I hadn't planned on.
And the doctor...
that I saw was very severe and
stern and looked very obviously
disapproving of some young,
unmarried woman that was pregnant.
And so she was quite cold, and so
I didn't feel I could trust her.
You can sit over there.
Well, you are pregnant;
we just have to work out the dates.
So, we can do scans at the
end of the first trimester.
For now, carry on as normal.
And try and get your weight
up a bit. How's your diet?
It's fine.
You speak to anyone out
there about you and me, I'll kill ya.
# Folks down here call me crazy.
# I walk the lonely...
Oh, he was over the moon,
I had to hop back in the truck
with him and go back to the valley,
and that was just devastating, cos
it was an opportunity to escape,
and I wasn't getting many,
and it wasn't safe enough,
so I couldn't do it.
# It was all I can do. #
I went out to the toilet, which is
an outhouse, and I thought, 'Oh, I
can cry for, like, 30 seconds,
'because if I cry any more then it's
gonna show, so I'd try and get some
sort of release that way.'
But I couldn't. By this stage,
I'd been two months in the valley.
I realised very quickly that there's
no way I could escape. Like, I
couldn't leave the property.
I mean, I couldn't leave on foot. It was too
far. And I had been asked by the police,
'Well, you know, did, did he lock
you up, you know, lock you in a
room?' And... And I've said,
'Well, he didn't need to, because
I couldn't leave. You can't leave.
You wouldn't survive anyway.'
You'd... You'd get hypothermia. On
a very regular basis, uh, threatened
that, oh well,
he'd just push me off the condemned
bridge into the gorge, and he said,
'It won't kill you, but you'll
probably break your legs, and...
and you can just stay there, like,
'you can just die
a slow death down there'.
I mean, there was always the threat
of him feeding me to the pigs alive.
Um, that... that was a constant.
Then he came up with he
would keep me in a cave.
Um, cos there were caves on the
property, and he said, um, 'No...
No one will know you're there.
'You'll starve or you'll die of
thirst in there, and... if you
have any babies, well, I,...
'I can't explain those, so I'll...
I'll have to kill those and feed
them to the pigs.'
And... And that was a real threat
that, um, he held over me all the
so I never knew when
that was gonna happen.
I never knew if I was gonna die
that day or whether I was gonna
to tortured,
or whether I was gonna be at the
bottom of a gorge or was I going
to the cave today. I had no idea.
Thank you.
Don't think you'll be needing
all that, do you? You'll be getting
bigger than those pigs at this rate.
She's getting fat, Benn.
She isn't.
I've been thinking about this family while
I've been out in the bush chasing cattle.
Building's gonna go on hold. The
schoolhouse can stay as it is.
And you, Benn, you're gonna do more
work around the place and less time
on those bloody books.
But what-? And you're gonna keep this
place a lot bloody cleaner.
You're gonna learn how to milk that
cow properly, weed the veggie patch.
Eat up. You're both gonna be busy.
I became kind of like a work slave.
The workload was phenomenal.
I was so physically and emotionally
exhausted that I felt really confused,
to the point where I couldn't
even make a proper decision.
And then he'd do things
to keep me off balance.
That looks heavy, love. Why don't you put
it down? I've got something to show you.
Um, where are my shoes?
Look, darl - another pregnant cow.
Don't you move.
Take that inside,...
and you cook it up.
Next time you piss me off,...
that will be in there,...
and this...
will be you.
I don't know; I just sort of, cracked.
I just couldn't cope with it any more.
And he was home, and I went outside,
and I just started running.
And I ran across the condemned
bridge and ran up the track and
ran into a little patch of bush.
I very quickly realised, 'Oh my
gosh. He thinks I've tried to run
away, and he's come after me'.
So then I thought, 'What's
gonna happen to me now?'
He drove me to the top of a high
bluff, and I thought, 'Oh, this
it. I've gone too far.
'He's gonna throw me off'. And
I really thought, 'I'm gonna die'.
Why can't you be happy here? Eh?
Look at this place. Look at it. It's
bloody paradise, darling. Paradise.
I just...
It's... It's like you said -
it's hard without TV and radio.
I just miss all that.
He seemed to believe me, but
when we got back to the house,
he told his son I didn't
want to be there any more.
It's not you.
No, please don't go.
I... I... I just miss my family.
Who's gonna teach me? Who's gonna
read to me? Please don't go.
Hey, it's OK. I... I'll stay.
OK? I promise I'll stay.
It's OK.
Raped again that night.
Dear Heather. It's been some weeks
since Dad and I heard from you, and
we're getting very concerned.
It would certainly ease our worry a
bit if you could telephone and let
us know how you're getting along.
No letters for ya. Maybe you should
make a call, let them know you're
doing OK. What do ya reckon?
All right.
I'll listen in, eh?
Just to be sociable.
Now, you keep sitting here.
And don't talk to anyone, you understand?
Wh... Where are you going?
I'm just going in to
see my mates for a cuppa.
Just thought I'd check the community
notices, if that's all right.
It's public information, I guess.
You guess right, Sergeant.
The mind games continued. Some of it
just seemed to be for his own amusement.
Here. You'll fit into
those before too long,
once you lose all that
fat off your lazy bones.
12 minutes.
Turn right instead of left.
Eh? Keep on going...
all the way...
into town.
Hide in the bush if I have to.
I know what's going on in there.
No one leaves from here.
You try, you die.
Go on. Another lap
should do you. Go on.
Hey, there's one here for
Heather. She'll be pleased.
Right. We'll be sad, though, eh? Her Mum
and Dad still want her to go home.
They don't like her being with us.
She'll probably wanna up and leave again.
But... But she can't.
I don't want her to go. I know. Me neither.
But don't worry - I'll think of
something, son. Oh, I've forgotten
to post her letter to them.
You go and jump in the car, son.
Put your money in.
Did you post my letter?
Yep. Didn't we, Benn?
Anything for me?
Maybe soon, eh?
Got some bills, though.
What's for dinner?
You been hunting?
His ex-wife, Joanne, that left
before I went to work in the valley,
had actually run off with another
brother, not a musterer, and Bill
was planning to make them pay.
So, you got news for me, George?
It's been months since I put money
on the table. I want the job done.
It's gotta be made to look like an
accident, like they did each other
in or something.
She took my boy. She took Jed. Now
I have to go through the fucking
courts to see my own son. Well.
My ex-wife and my
own fucking brother.
I want them dead. You know, screw
all this court bullshit - I want them dead.
I believed by now that he
was capable of anything.
You won't be needing that.
You're still crafty, eh?
Still scheming.
Well, I know everything
about you, Punkie.
Yeah. Cos I can look
right inside your head.
I wonder how Freddie is. Huh?
Do you still miss him? You see?
Cos I know.
Now get these clothes off.
You've got a long journey tomorrow.
I just believed he could read my
mind. My boyfriend used to call
me a nickname, Punkie.
You know, it wasn't like 'sweetheart' or
something you could have guessed.
It was nothing he
could have guessed.
Fucking court access. Some court's
telling me that when I can see my
own fucking son. It's a bloody joke.
Cat got ya tongue?
Might be a good thing if it has.
Cos one word outta line on this wee trip,
and I swear to God I'll slice
up your whole God damn family.
Including this one. Hmm?
Hungry pigs? Coat hanger -
they've got supper.
When Joanne left she'd taken Bill's
younger son with her and left Benn
in the valley with his father.
Bill was fighting really hard to win
custody of both boys, but in the
meantime, in the school holidays,
they'd swap the kids.
Give me your fucking shoes.
You're gonna write a statement.
And you're gonna say how
much me and Benn miss Jed...
and what a good father
I am to the them both.
- Why? What's-?
- Because!
I got plans. I'll tell
you what to write.
And then my lawyer'll put it into a
proper affidavit, and you are gonna
fucking well sign.
OK. I reside with Bill
and his son Benn...
At a later date we actually went
to family court, and I had to
get up in the witness stand
and swear on the Bible that what
I'd said in the affidavit was true.
in a farm cottage...
Which was...
really devastating for me, because
I knew it was lies, I knew I didn't
write it, I didn't agree with it,
But I was in a court of law, and
I'd sworn on a Bible. That was very hard.
At the end of the August holidays
I thought there might be an
opportunity to escape,
so I took a chance.
Hey, um, after we drop
Jed off, I need some stuff.
What now?
I made up an excuse that I needed to
get some more underwear from home,
because I thought he'd
probably let me go.
Remember - one word from you...
I won't be long.
You can stay for a bit, I'll pick
you up later, pay your folks another visit.
I think it was just my mum was there,
and I didn't tell her what was happening.
All I said was, 'Oh, I'm pregnant.
I don't wanna go back'.
Is it his? The baby.
No. No, Mum, it isn't.
It's, um...
It's just... Look, I'll... I'll go
out there now and I'll tell him that
I'm not going back with him.
I'll come with you.
No. Just let me talk to him.
If you just stay here for maybe two
or three minutes, I'll... I'll be
right back. OK?
I was scared that if she went anywhere
near him that he would hurt her.
And I said, 'I'll just run down,
I'll say I'm not going back, and
then I'll come back.'
I didn't realise it, but my escape
attempt was futile. Mentally, I was
completely under his control.
When I said I wasn't going back, he
just turned back into that person
that he'd been that first month,
and I hadn't seen that person for
quite some time. And he was very upset.
If you do that, I'll never get Jed
back. Benn will probably have to
live with his mother as well.
She's not a good mother, Heather. You know,
there's abuse in that environment.
Benn wants to stay in the valley.
You know that.
I'll never touch you again,...
I swear, but...
just,... please...
come back with me.
I'm begging you.
All of a sudden I felt that I was
responsible for this boy's life,
and by me leaving,
then this is what would happen
to him, and I could stop that.
For many years, I mean, that was
another reason I... I never came forward,
because I just didn't understand why I did
that, when I'd been suffering all of that,
and then I had a chance to escape,
and I couldn't understand it. But later on,
with learning about psychology and
Stockholm Syndrome, I understand
now that actually...
I actually didn't have a choice.
I was that controlled.
You forgot your underwear.
He just went very quiet...
and had a vibe about him...
that I had not experienced before.
He drove off into this rest area,
and it was quite secluded. He was
just, like, dead behind the eyes.
No. No. No.
I really believed he... he was just
gonna kill me and... and dump me there.
He finished, and he just hopped back in his
drivers side, never said a word, and, um,
drove me back down to the valley.
It was a whole new
degree of terrifying.
you wanna leave.
You wanna leave? That's fine. But
you're not gonna take the baby.
Then he raped and sodomised me.
The next morning he, um, got really
aggressive and mad because I'd made
such a mess in the bed,
cos the sheets were all filthy
and covered in blood, and, um,
I was told to clean that filthy mess up
and, um, still wasn't allowed to wash or...
I think I had a bit of a towel,
a towel that I could use.
Because I was living in such
a horrific situation and,
um, so ugly, all I learnt to do was
if... if I was doing the washing,
I... I just looked at the bush,
and that was just goodness. It was
goodness, and it was purity, and it
was clean, and it was untouched.
I still think it's a beautiful place. I mean,
I always thought it was a beautiful place.
And the fact that it was so beautiful
is part of what helped me to survive.
Bloody hunters. I had to take a
couple of shots over their head
today just to scare 'em off.
Private fucking property, this.
Don't think they'll be back in a
hurry, though. But just in case,
I'm off to lay some bait. OK? Couple
of dead pig dogs - that'll stop them
coming back, eh.
You're still gonna go away, aren't you?
You're gonna go see your sister's baby.
I had no idea my sister
had had her baby.
And then I realised the only way
Benn could know is if he'd been told.
I figured out that Bill must've been
stealing my mail and learning about
me from my friends and family.
He hadn't been
inside my head at all.
Finally, things started to make
sense. It was like I'd been released
from a mental prison.
This was the turning point that gave
me the strength to believe I could
plan an escape and really do it.
I stole one of his cheques, and
I folded it up really small, and I
unpicked some stitching in my bra,
um, and I tucked it in there,
um, and cos I thought, well,
because I knew he'd been searching
through my stuff and going,
I thought he wouldn't,
he'll never find it,
and it'll always be on me.
- Nine and a half.
- Good.
So I made sure I was getting fitter,
um, that I was getting stronger,
and that instead of feeling
diminished every day,
it was more of a strengthening
exercise that was helping me prepare
for that opportunity to escape.
We're going up bush to do some work.
Cooked meal when we get back, bout
midday, OK?
Benn, come and help me
saddle the horses, boy.
Have that feed ready -
three or four hours.
I went round the back of the truck
and there was a... a pig on the
back, tied up, and I thought,
'I can't drive the truck into town,
because the pig might be on the
back, like, overnight,
'and that's really cruel, and I
can't do that to the pig', which
is pretty silly really.
So I went and got his son, and I
said, 'Oh, can you please take the pig off?
'I'm gonna go and get firewood'.
We've got firewood.
Why do we need more?
I just... I...
I thought I'd be helpful.
So, can I come with you, then?
No. No, no. I... I... I... need you
to stay here and keep an eye on this
pig until your dad comes home. OK?
You're a good boy, Benn.
It was just devastating
cos he was waving goodbye,
and I knew I wasn't coming back
and I was abandoning him in that
environment, and, yeah,
it was horrible.
I carried that guilt
for most of my life.
I stopped and closed every gate I went
through, um, cos every time, I just thought,
'Well, OK, I've just gotta have a
backup plan in case he catches me
that I can talk my way out of it,
'so if I do things that don't look
like I'm escaping, you know, maybe
I can save my life.'
Where's the bloody car?
Where is she? She's gone.
She's locked the bloody keys in.
Jemmy the bloody window.
So I drove into town, and I left the
truck there and with the keys on the
table with a note saying,
'Please take this down
tomorrow,' thinking,
'Oh well, I'm still covering
myself in case I get caught.'
I went to the post office,
and I drew some money out.
Thank you. Um, could you please
tell me when the next bus leaves?
There aren't any today.
You might get a taxi from Ohakune.
Oh. Thank you.
I can't help you, love,
I've got a pickup.
Yeah, for Ohakune. It's me. I'm the one who
called. I thought I'd run out and meet you.
Now, I need to make it to
the Ohakune bus station.
No buses from there today, love.
Uh, look, we might make the one
from Waiouru, though.
Oh, that... that's... that's
good. That's fine. Let's go.
She's fucking dead!
Then I got too scared to go to the bus
station, so I actually jumped off at, um,
a place called Te Manga Junction,
which is where the road would intersect
that you'd either go down to the
Mount or turn off to Tauranga.
And I ran from there, down through
the back streets in the dark, sort
of, halfway down towards the Mount,
and, um, went to my boyfriend's place.
And I think I got there at 10.30 at night.
I stayed, um, at my boyfriend's
for a few days, but I was just
terrified, I couldn't sleep.
Every time I heard a... a vehicle,
I was... yeah, I was just a wreck.
I never went into any detail.
I didn't know how to tell anybody.
On the one hand, I didn't think
anyone would believe me, and then,
there was the fear of
what might happen to them.
I was still in survival mode,
so I didn't trust anybody, nobody.
No. I'm fine, Mum.
He'd always said, you know,
'No one's gonna believe you. I'll
just get you. I'll kill everyone.'
And I just thought, you know, 'He's
just gonna turn up here, and he's
gonna put me in his truck, and...
'and I'll be back there,
and I'll never get out.'
It's Heather, isn't it?
I need your help.
It's lies. It was all lies, and you
knew that. How did you find me?
I understand why you wrote it, why
you signed it, but you can speak
up in court now,
tell them how he intimidated you.
This is the last custody hearing.
This is the future of my children!
How did you find me?
It wasn't that hard. There's not
many Petries in Tauranga, so...
Oh God. I didn't scare your
parents, I promise.
I spoke to your Mum, told her I was
an old friend from school. She told
me you were here, so I...
This... This is our place!
And you've brought this here?
I need your help.
He'll... He'll know where I am.
He'll know. He'll find out.
There are others too, you
know. There'll be more.
I can't help you.
I'm sorry.
I won't help you.
So can you please leave?
Benn sent his love.
I might've escaped from the valley, but I
couldn't escape my fear of Bill Cornelius.
It would take 23 years, but in 2008 I found
the courage to tell my story.
I had been having some counselling,
but again, I'd... I'd never spoken
about what had happened.
Even at counselling, I just... I
just couldn't go there. And I really
felt like I was starting to unravel.
So, why now, after all this time?
I spent my life living in fear,...
hiding, suffering post-traumatic
for over 20 years.
Still, I managed to move on.
I married Freddie in 1987.
We had six children.
You just push on, huh?
You just carry on with life.
And I felt safe.
Until Freddie passed
away suddenly...
in 1998.
My oldest was 10 and a half,
and my youngest was 1 and a half.
It just came rushing back up, and so,
for a while, I couldn't understand -
'Why am I thinking about that? That
happened a long time ago, like, that
doesn't... it's not relevant.
'I don't understand.' Um, but it was
because I didn't feel safe any more,
and I still believed he could get
me. Um, so that had never left.
It had... It had just
been put in remission.
I've spent a lot of my adult life,
especially after my husband died,
in a kind of hiding,
keeping very isolated,
keeping off the grid.
For a lot of my life I've felt
a huge guilt for all the other victims,...
because I know there were victims
before me and I know there were
victims after me,
and because I didn't speak up,
I felt responsible. I felt guilty.
You've got no reason to feel guilty.
You've come forward now, and that -
that's a brave thing to do.
Yeah. Well, I thought if...
if I do this, you know,...
maybe this'll stop, maybe I'll stop having
the panic attacks, maybe I'll be better.
When I laid my complaint
in September 2008,
the police investigation led to
seven other known victims, three
of whom made formal complaints.
I was told then it would be 18
months to two years to get to court.
Going through the court process
for four years nearly took my life.
The intensity and... and the length of time
of having to live in that heightened state
was emotionally crippling. Because
I had been afraid of this man all
my life, and I had been, in effect,
hiding from him all my life, and...
and now I'd laid a complaint, so
I had alerted him to me.
So my belief that he or a member of
his family or someone he knew might
come and get me was very very real.
And I had to live with that
every day for four years.
But early in 2012 I received the news that
he had been deemed unfit to stand trial
because of a diagnosis of mild dementia
and that he was going to walk free.
And that was devastating news, and at
that stage he still had name suppression,
and I just couldn't live with that.
So I went to the media.
Cornelius was first
charged at the end of 2009.
The final hearing was in...
was on June 15 2012.
Oi, Bill!
He was formally dismissed from court, and then
they addressed the name-suppression issue.
So my name suppression was lifted,
and then he lost his name suppression.
No regrets about unmasking yourself?
No, not at all. I made that firm
decision to not be living in fear
and hiding any more,
because there is no need.
Um, so it's quite liberating.
I felt strong because I wasn't
that 19-year-old captive any more.
Um, I was a grown woman, and I was
speaking out about what he'd done,
and I was holding him accountable.
It's not an easy thing to do -
it's a terrifying thing to do.
Standing up to... to your offender
and taking the power back
and holding them accountable in whatever way
is possible, um, is... is really important.
Um, it certainly helps you...
move forward
as a survivor.