Bondi Junction attack: Police rule out major theory about Joel Cauchi stabbing spree

Georgina Noack
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Police have reportedly axed a leading theory about Joel Cauchi’s murderous stabbing spree through Westfield Bondi Junction last month.
Police have reportedly axed a leading theory about Joel Cauchi’s murderous stabbing spree through Westfield Bondi Junction last month. Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Police investigating the horrific Westfield Bondi Junction massacre have ruled out a major theory about Queensland man Joel Cauchi’s murderous rampage.

In the wake of the April 13 attack, which left six people — five women and a male security guard — dead and more than a dozen others injured to stab wounds inflicted by Cauchi, multiple police sources suggested gender was a motivating factor.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the gender pattern of the attack was “obvious” and would be a line of inquiry.

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“It’s obvious to me and it’s obvious to detectives that it seems to be an area of interest that the offender had focused on women and avoided the men,” Ms Webb said on April 15, but added that police did not know Cauchi’s “motive” for the attack.

Footage from inside the shopping centre showed 40-year-old Cauchi seemingly selecting women as his victims.

One widely-shared clip from inside the Westfield showed a man step between Cauchi and a fleeing mother and two young girls making the knifeman veer away.
One widely-shared clip from inside the Westfield showed a man step between Cauchi and a fleeing mother and two young girls making the knifeman veer away. Credit: Supplied

“I don’t think there’s any other way to look at it,” a senior cop said at the time.

“You can see on the footage he walks past other people. He just keeps moving past them and then attacks a woman.”

And yet, a month after the heinous attack, police have reportedly axed that theory.

“Do I think he was targeting women? No, I don’t. He stabbed three men and a baby, he was just running around stabbing people,” a senior police source told The Daily Telegraph.

The rampage left six people dead, including Westfield security guard Faraz Tahir, 30, architect Jade Young, 47, bride-to-be Dawn Singleton, 25, artist Pikria Dachria, 55, Chinese economics student Yixuan Cheng, 27, and osteopath Ashlee Good, 38, who died trying to save her nine-month-old daughter, who was also wounded by Cauchi.

Cauchi’s parents confirmed to reporters who visited their Toowoomba home that their son struggled with his mental health and had an issue with women because he wanted a girlfriend but had poor social skills.

“He was frustrated out of his brain,” his father said.

Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner Roger Lowe said Cauchi, who was known to police, was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 17, and had received treatment over the years.

Mr Lowe said Queensland Police’s last known interaction with Cauchi had been during a street check in the Gold Coast in December 2023 while authorities had various contact with the 40-year-old over the past four to five years.

Queensland Health said records showed Cauchi last received treatment for his mental health in the public system in 2012 before he started seeing a private psychiatrist.

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