The tragic theme connecting the Claremont murder victims
Each of the Claremont serial killer's victims became separated from their friends moments before they were abducted or lured away from the leafy Perth suburb's entertainment strip.
Had secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, waited about 45 minutes, she could have left Club Bayview with her friends following Australia Day festivities in January 1996.
She went to leave about 1.30am then called for a taxi from a phone box at 2.06am but vanished by the time it arrived minutes later.
Her friends left the club about 2.15am.
Had childcare worker Jane Rimmer, 23, listened to her friends when they urged her to join them in a taxi as they left the Continental Hotel around midnight on June 8, 1996, rather than insisting she wanted to stay out alone, she would likely have been safe.
Instead, she was captured on CCTV about five minutes later, then never seen alive again.
Solicitor Ciara Glennon, 27, had "ummed and ahhed" about going out with colleagues to the same venue less than half an hour before it closed on March 14, 1997.
Had she decided to go home instead, she may still be here.
It was a cruel twist of fate for each woman, but the chance discoveries of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon's bodies in bushland meant their families could at least lay them to rest.
Ms Rimmer was found in Wellard when a rogue rooster ran in front of a car, prompting a family to stop so the children could chase after it and the mother could pick death lillies.
She then discovered the decomposing naked body.
"I felt on the back of my leg it was a stick, but it was a foot," Tammy Van Raalte-Evans has testified.
Ms Glennon was found in Eglington by a man searching for cannabis plants.
Ms Spiers' body has never been found.
The Claremont serial killings haunted Perth for more than two decades until ex-Telstra technician Bradley Robert Edwards, 51, was charged in December 2016.
Perth's so-called "trial of the century" over the first 17 days has heard from witnesses including Edwards' two ex-wives, his love rival and three women he admits attacking.
In harrowing testimony, the social worker who Edwards assailed from behind at Hollywood Hospital in 1990 said she struggled until he suddenly stopped.
"One minute I was, I felt, fighting for my life and the next minute he's just saying 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry'."
Security guard Rick Marshall said he found Edwards with his head in his hands, muttering "I don't know what came over me".
The 18-year-old woman who Edwards recently admitted attacking as she slept in her Huntingdale home in 1988 was initially unsure if the man straddling her back was her boyfriend.
Edwards hesitated when she told him she loved him, then when she reached behind and realised it was not her partner, she dug her nail into his face.
The 17-year-old girl who he also recently admitted abducting from a park, dragging through Karrakatta Cemetery, then twice raping in 1995 was too frightened to fight or scream.
"I kept my eyes shut - I thought it would be better if he thought I couldn't see him," she said in a statement.
"I thought at the end of it all that he was going to kill me."
The trial has had frustrating moments when witnesses began dropping bombshells but were cut off, with defence counsel swiftly objecting to anything not in statements.
Edwards' second wife blurted out she was "sick and tired of the lies", "I feared for my life" and "I was terrified while writing this" when questioned about notes she compiled detailing his ATM transactions.
One statement showed two withdrawals from Claremont in December 1996, despite Edwards claiming he had no association with the area.
The man who had an affair with Edwards' first wife while living with them was stopped from elaborating when he described the moment the secret lovers were caught hugging and kissing.
The love rival started to pack, telling the woman: "I don't fancy sleeping here another night knowing what he's got in his room."
Trilby Smith was cut off when she testified she and Annabelle Bushell hitched a lift from a man in a white station wagon with a Telstra logo in late 1996, but her friend suddenly pulled her from the vehicle saying "that man was..."
The court has also heard from people who saw the murder victims on the nights they vanished and witnesses who reported being woken by "blood curdling" screams.
Edwards has showed little emotion during the trial, which is before a judge alone and will resume on January 6.