AMBUSH NOW! SHOOT… SHOOT... SHOOT!
Those were the words inside the head of the maniacal killer behind the Hoddle Street massacre, as he began the terrifying shooting rampage that killed seven people and injured 19 others.
Julian Knight was 19 years old when he opened fire on passing motorists in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill on August 9, 1987.
“Shooting quickly. No aim. No time. Ammo going quickly,” Knight wrote in a chilling account obtained exclusively by Sunday Night.
“Car stopped almost 10 metres away. Right in front. BLAST! BLAST! So noisy. Figure in passenger seat buckles. Vehicle reverses. Moves quickly.”
The breathless, staccato-style recollection is one of two documents handwritten by Knight in his jail cell inside Port Phillip Prison in Victoria.
"These notes were written after I'd mentally gone over that night and psych'd [sic] myself back into that frame of mind," he wrote at the end of the manifesto.
As a teenager, Knight dreamed of a career in the military and joined the army cadets while he was still in high school. On the weekends he served in the Army Reserve, where he befriended Des McArthur.
“He was a very good marksman,” Des told Melissa Doyle in a Sunday Night special investigation.
“We actually did range practice in affiliation with the regular army and only two people got 20 out of 20, and that was Julian and myself.
"They always used to say, 'at the end of this course you'll be trained killers'. They're teaching you to fire weapons that are designed to kill people."
But Knight’s army career was short-lived. After six months of relentless bullying at a military college in Canberra, he snapped.
While out at a nightclub, Knight pulled out a pocketknife and stabbed a senior cadet in the neck.
“When he was asked to leave, it would have really devastated him, he would have felt as though he had no life,” Des said.
When Knight returned to Melbourne, his despair was compounded after he found that his friends had abandoned him and his girlfriend had dumped him.
Then, a few days later, the car he planned to sell to pay off debts broke down. It was Sunday, August 9, 1987.
After drowning his sorrows at his local hotel, Knight decided to take his private war to the streets of Melbourne.
On Hoddle Street just after 9:30pm, the teenager took aim at passing motorists.
"Firing on vehicles on both sides of the street," he wrote in his manifesto.
"Some hit! Stop.
"Some hit! Move on.
"Some drive through... hit? Reload, reload."
Knight surrendered to police and was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison, which meant he could’ve been eligible for parole in 2014.
But as the date approached, the Victorian government passed legislation specifically designed to stop the mass murderer ever being released on parole.
Knight has since challenged the law in High Court and a ruling to determine his fate is expected soon.