When evil came to Leeton: The Stephanie Scott murder

On Easter 2015, in Leeton, NSW, around five hours from Sydney, a chill hung in the air of the usually bustling country town.

Leeton was a quiet, unassuming place. Nothing bad ever seemed to happen there. People kept their doors unlocked and every one know each other at the local grocery store. The worst crime would be a scuffle outside of the pub on Friday night. But five years ago, evil came to Leeton. 

On Easter Sunday, 2015, 26-year-old schoolteacher Stephanie Scott said goodbye to her fiancé Aaron Leeson-Wooley, and headed into Leeton High School for a few hours.

Stephanie was a drama and English teacher at the local high school. And in a few days time, she was getting married to the love of her life. Friends and family would tell you just how excited Steph was to become Mrs Leeson-Wooley. She’d been planning her wedding for months – and it was nearly here.

That Easter, Stephanie had decided to dedicate a few hours to preparing work for her students while she was away on her honeymoon. See, Steph had a heart of gold. She was adored by anyone and everyone who met her. Spending a Sunday devoted to making sure her pupils wouldn’t miss a beat while she was away was typical Steph. 

But that day at Leeton High, Steph would come face-to-face with a monster. The excited bride-to-be was brutally murdered just days before she was due to say I do. The story of her death is utterly heartbreaking and touched so many people who had never even met her, including Leeton journalist Monique Patterson.

Monique – who once edited the local paper The Irrigator – wrote a book on Stephanie’s murder and the effect it had on the town of Leeton. She joins us on today’s episode.

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