Richmond murder victim Jennifer Borchardt was killed by her boss.
Richmond murder victim Jennifer Borchardt was killed by her boss.

Clues missed before brutal murder

THE fiance of Melbourne woman Jennifer Borchardt has opened up about his partner's jealous boss and the clues he missed before she was brutally murdered.

Ms Borchardt was stabbed to death inside her Richmond home in July 2017. She was found in a pool of blood by her partner, Robert Hanson, at the home they shared after recently finding each other via an online dating site.

The 49-year-old knew her killer - she worked for him and even gave him a key to her home for emergencies. She thought he was harmless but it turned out she was wrong.

Peter Pavlis, 75, was charged with Ms Borchardt's murder soon after police were called to investigate. He has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Last week, Mr Hanson wrote about the case at length for Take 5 magazine, detailing how his engagement to Ms Borchardt was the catalyst for what he calls a "jealous rage".

"After years of being single, I finally bit the bullet and joined an online dating site. Jennifer looked beautiful in her photo - slim and elegant with long blonde hair framing a pretty face," he wrote.

 

Jennifer Borchardt with The Muesli Company boss, Peter Pavlis.
Jennifer Borchardt with The Muesli Company boss, Peter Pavlis.

"During our drinks, I realised I'd never been so powerfully and instantly attracted to someone. I moved into her home a week later."

The pair moved quickly through their relationship and eventually married. What she told him about her boss, Mr Hanson says, "seemed odd".

Jennifer told him she picked up Mr Pavlis from his home and drove him to work every morning. She told him The Muesli Company boss had a key to her home and would let himself in from time to time "just in case a tradie needs to get in and I can't get away from the factory".

"That's a bit freaky," Mr Hanson told her. She responded: "He's 75 and pretty harmless. Anyway, I've told him we're living together so not to walk in anymore."

On the day of her murder, Mr Hanson found her on the kitchen floor with numerous stab wounds. As he spoke with detectives, Mr Pavlis allegedly turned up.

"That's the guy who did it," Mr Hanson recalls telling police. They arrested and charged the 75-year-old soon after.

 

Richmond murder victim Jennifer Borchardt.
Richmond murder victim Jennifer Borchardt.

Pavlis appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court the next day and did not apply for bail. The court heard he is diabetic and suffers from sleep apnoea and high blood pressure.

He later pleaded guilty to murder and his lawyer, Peter Morrissey, SC, told the Victorian Supreme Court "it's just a sad case of a 76-year-old man with dementia," the Herald Sun reported.

Mr Hanson wrote last week that arguing Pavlis' claim of dementia is a ploy to get a shorter sentence.

"It's sick. How could a dementia sufferer drive to someone's home, murder them, clean up afterwards and then drive away?"

He said looking back it is obvious Pavlis "was secretly infatuated" with Ms Borchardt.

"He thought he owned her and I'm convinced he had a warped fantasy they'd be together one day."

Pavlis, who started The Muesli Company in 1984 and worked with Ms Borchardt for 18 years, is scheduled to appear in the Supreme Court again in July.

-with AAP



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