Police reveal 'obvious line of inquiry' in Bondi killer's motivation as online posts emerge

A mixture of ominous, eerie and seemingly serene social media posts have emerged from the man behind the horrific stabbing rampage at Bondi Junction.

NSW Police have conceded an "obvious" line of inquiry into the motivation of Bondi Junction knifeman Joel Cauchi is whether the 40-year-old Queensland man set out with the intention to target women.

The man, previously known to police, killed five women and one man during the horrific shopping centre rampage on Saturday.

Speaking to the media in Bondi on Sunday, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said she had received reports the man was motivated by a desire to attack women and it was "an obvious line of inquiry" for the investigation.

"Many people have looked at the video footage that has come out over the past day and are wondering, do you believe this man was targeting women?" a reporter asked.

"That's been reported to me as well. And obviously that will be an obvious line of inquiry – and that's concerning, but that will form part of the investigation," she said.

NSW Premier Chris Minns (right) and Police Commissioner Karen Webb (left) pictured at Bondi media conference Sunday.
NSW Premier Chris Minns (right) and Police Commissioner Karen Webb (left) speaks to the media at the scene of yesterdays mass stabbing on Sunday. Source: AAP

Commissioner Webb added that anyone who has watched a series of harrowing videos of the incident online "can see for themselves" that it appeared women were targeted more than men.

"Do you believe it's possible for somebody to be ideologically motivated against women … and therefore would you call this an act of terrorism if that is the case?" the reporter pushed.

"I think that's stretching it in terms of a definition. And it's really too early to say," Commissioner Webb replied.

FOLLOW LIVE: Westfield Bondi Junction stabbing live blog

Earlier on Sunday, Today host Karl Stefanovic expressed his disgust at the potential motivations of the killer. “I don’t care what the excuses are, and I hope there’s a special place in hell reserved for [knifeman Joel Cauchi], given the fact that he walked past men, and didn’t do anything about it and attacked women,” he said.

Eerie posts of Bondi knifeman emerge

As the history and past behaviour of Joel Cauchi begins to be picked over, a mixture of ominous, eerie and seemingly serene social media posts have emerged, painting a picture of a man happy to be enjoying the city after moving to Sydney.

Just days before his rampage, he posted about surfing at the iconic beach just 2kms away from the shopping centre where his "carnage" unfolded.

Photos of Joel Cauchi at the beach and smiling from his Facebook page.
Photos of Joel Cauchi from his social media page. Source: Facebook

“Hi I am surfing Bondi this afternoon if anyone wants to meet there for a surf!” he wrote in a Sydney Beginner Surfing and Adventuring Facebook group, which has more than 6,000 members.

On April 3, the man also shared a post on a ‘Language Exchange’ Facebook group, asking someone to help tutor him in Swedish.

“Hi I am looking for a fluent Swedish speaker for a language exchange! I am a fluent English speaker and can teach that in exchange for being taught Swedish if you are interested,” he wrote.

More alarmingly, an older post from back in December 2020 when it's believed he lived in Brisbane, seen by The Courier Mail, indicated an interest in firearms.

"Hi I am looking for groups of people who shoot guns, including handguns, to meet up with, chat with and get to know," he wrote.

Attacker struggled with mental health

Cauchi’s social media profile suggests he grew up in Toowoomba in the Darling Downs region of southern Queensland, and police believe he lived in Brisbane before recently moving to Sydney.

In the wake of yesterday's tragedy, Facebook users have commented on his page, expressing their horror at the incident he carried out. "Thank goodness you didn't get your hands on a gun ... the devastation you have caused is horrible enough," one person wrote, according to screenshots shared online.

Initial investigations by police suggest the horrific attack was related to Cauchi’s mental health.

"We know that the offender in the matter suffered from mental health, we are continuing to work through the profiling of the offender," Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke told media on Sunday morning.

Commissioner Webb on Sunday said police had previously interacted with Cauchi. "He's not known criminally, but he has come to the notice of law enforcement, in this state and Queensland for mental health related issues," she said.

According to The Courier Mail, it's believed Joel Cauchi had schizophrenia and had been off his medication.

If you're struggling, know that help is available 24/7.

Lifeline: Call 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online.

Kids Helpline: Call 1800 55 1800 or chat online.

Beyond Blue: Call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.

1800RESPECT: Call 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732 or chat online.

with NCA Newswire

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.