Bondi killer Joel Cauchi advertised himself as a male escort

The man behind the horrific stabbing rampage at a Bondi shopping centre suffered from extensive mental health issues and reportedly advertised himself on a website for Australian escorts.

Assistant Commissioner Roger Lowe from Queensland Police revealed on Sunday afternoon that authorities were contacted by the family of Joel Cauchi after they saw footage of the deadly rampage and suspected it was their son with the knife in his hands.

Cauchi last spoke to his family in March, and it's unclear if he had a fixed address after moving from Queensland to NSW earlier this year. "To my understanding, there's been limited contact with his family in terms of phone calls or texts. He would periodically text his mother with an update to where he was," Commissioner Lowe said.

Commissioner Lowe addressed the media on Sunday, pictured on camera here.
Assistant Commissioner Lowe addressed the media on Sunday about what police previously knew about the killer. Source: ABC News

Cauchi was diagnosed with a mental health disorder at the age of 17, Assistant Commissioner Lowe said, adding that to the best of his knowledge he did not have a job. "He is a single man with no family."

The important questions, he told reporters, for the coming investigation being conducted by NSW Police will centre around his “interaction with [mental health] practitioners, his recent whereabouts … and what changed from a person who is 40 and has for a number of years functioned in society.”

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In a discovery first reported by The Australian newspaper, Cauchi recently began offering sexual services on an escort website.

In a post, reportedly taken down the morning after the attack, Cauchi described himself as an "athletic good looking 39 year old guy" telling prospective customers he offered various "closed door" services.

"Let me gently massage all of your body, and have me in any and every way," the ad said, according to the paper.

Joel Cauchi pictured wearing a dark floral button-up shirt.
In one image on the escort website, Cauchi was wearing a dark floral button-up shirt. Source: Facebook/The Australian

Commissioner Lowe said the man's family were helping investigators since first reaching out to them.

"[They are] assisting us in all elements they can to gain an understanding of why their son, in this particular case, allegedly behaved in this manner and killed people in a public place," he said.

Despite Queensland officers engaging with him in December 2023 during a "street check", Commissioner Lowe noted that he had never been charged with a crime in the state, and had no record within the courts for a domestic violence order.

"Mental health in society is not a crime and we do not run an intelligence regime on persons who suffer from mental health," he said.


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