Convicted murderer Scott Murdoch found dead in prison

Warning: Disturbing content

The man convicted of the gruesome murder of a Pakenham mother nearly eight years ago has been found dead inside his cell in a Melbourne prison.

Scott Murdoch, 43, was last year sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 36 years for the murder of Kylie Blackwood and for attacking elderly woman Ilona Prohaska with a knife and a hammer.

Murdoch was serving time for the murder of Victorian mother Kylie Blackwood.Credit:Nine News Melbourne

Ms Blackwood, 42, was stabbed repeatedly in her head, neck and chest and had her credit card stolen by Murdoch in her own home on August 1, 2013.

Her twin daughters, then 11, were “confronted by the horrifying sight of their mother lying bleeding on the couch” in the family’s home in Pakenham when they returned from school.

Ms Prohaska was attacked at her home in Endeavour Hills on May 21 of that year. She went to answer the doorbell when Murdoch kicked in the door, knocked her to the ground and held a blade to her throat.

Murdoch then used a hammer to drive the knife into her neck twice, before fleeing with her credit card. She was left with life-threatening injuries but was able to crawl to a medical panic alarm and get help.

At the time of the attacks on Ms Blackwood and Ms Prohaska, Murdoch was on parole for a 2006 attack on another woman in her home.

Murdoch met that woman through a telephone chat service and stabbed her in the throat and cheek and struck her with a paperweight when she refused to have sex with him. The woman, then 37, suffered a brain injury which caused the loss of function in her left arm and left leg.

He was also jailed in his early 20s when he punched a man he believed had sexually assaulted his sister. The victim in that case was left in a coma.

In 2019 Murdoch pleaded guilty over the attacks but then tried to change his plea to not guilty over stabbing Ms Prohaska. He claimed that in the hours before his arraignment he slipped and hit his head on a sink in prison, and was therefore overwhelmed and confused in court that day.

Kylie Blackwood’s family say she was a “dearly loved daughter, wife, sister, mother and friend”.Credit:Nine News

Before his sentencing last year, Murdoch’s defence counsel, Jim Shaw, read the Supreme Court a note from the killer which said: “I hate myself for what has gone on. If I could take it back I would. I know I have destroyed her [Ms Blackwood’s] husband’s and kids’ lives. I am sorry.”

Murdoch, who has two teenage children, was set to spend much of his life sentence in isolation and would have been in his mid-70s when he became eligible for parole.

Murdoch’s death has also been referred to the coroner who will formally determine his cause of death, according to the Department of Justice.

With Simone Fox Koob and Adam Cooper

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