Woman who had a bucket list wish to take a life before 25 found guilty of teen's murder
Jemma Lilley was obsessed with serial killers and enlisted her housemate to help her complete her first kill. Only it happened to be a teen suffering from Asperger’s syndrome.
Our twenties are a time when we all try to find ourselves and chase our dreams. But for Jemma Lilley, following her dreams meant committing a horrifying act of violence with her middle-aged partner Trudi Lenon. In 2016, Lilley and Lenon lured a vulnerable teen suffering from Asperger’s syndrome to Lilley’s Perth home where the pair murdered him in an attempt to help Lilley cross off murder from her “bucket list” before her 25th birthday.
British-born Lilley was working in a local supermarket when she met the mother-of-two, Lenon, through mutual friends. The pair soon decided to move in together and began plotting their first murder. Lilley had written an online novel called ‘The Playzone’ where she depicted the gruesome adventures of a serial killer known as SOS. She wanted to become a horror novelist and told her friends and coworkers about her desire to take a life before she turned 25. She even referred to herself as SOS sometimes and soon began wanting to live out her fantasy in real life, hoping to become a serial killer herself.
Mirror reports that Lilley, who moved to Australia in 2010, was socially awkward as a child and expressed a strong fascination with serial killers and graphic horror films. She considered Freddy Krueger from 'Nightmare on Elm Street' a personal hero and christened her home after the eponymous street from the movie. Her house was reportedly filled with horror movie memorabilia including a Chucky doll and a collection of dark images.
Lenon was into the bondage scene and a submissive who was instantly attracted to the dominant and tomboyish Lilley. The older woman had just left a relationship and was in need of money when she moved in with her future partner-in-crime. The pair fantasized about murder and exchanged messages where Lilley talked about how she could not rest until she saw “the blood or flesh of a screaming victim gushing out and pooling on the floor”.
The pair picked 18-year-old Aaron Pajich as their first victim on Lenon’s suggestion. Pajich was reportedly friends with Lenon’s son with whom he shared a love of computer games. The killers knew that Pajich would be easy to lure as he was of a simple and trusting nature.
On 13th June 2016, the pair put their plans into action. Lenon lured Pajich to Elm Street where Lilley attacked him with a garrotte in an attempt to strangle him to death. The plan failed because the wire snapped so Lenon is believed to have pinned Pajich to the floor while Lilley used a knife to stab the teenager to death before burying him in their backyard under 20cm of concrete and tile.
CCTV footage from a local shopping centre showed the killers picking up their victim and Pajich’s phone records revealed that the last call he received was from Lenon. Investigators uncovered multiple bladed weapons including knives, a machete and a bone saw from the house. They also discovered a secret room lined with tarpaulin where the pair may have taken Pajich’s body before laying him in his shallow grave. On being arrested, the pair accused each other of the crime.
The 2017 trial lasted for five weeks during which the prosecution found the evidence against the two to be overwhelming. Even after the murder, Lilley was reportedly elated and bragged to her coworker about the crime. The jury found both women guilty of premeditated murder and they were awarded life sentences with an opportunity for parole after 28 years.
“He was my precious little boy, he was my first born, he was so full of life,” Pajich’s mother Sharon said, adding that she hopes the “disgusting animals” would never leave prison again.