Eurydice Dixon: Accused killer’s dad ‘appalled’
THE father of a man charged with the rape and murder of Melbourne woman Eurydice Dixon has spoken out, saying he's "as appalled as the rest of society".
Jason Todd, the father of accused murderer Jaymes Todd, has extended his condolences to Ms Dixon's family as he revealed he hadn't seen his son since Ms Dixon was found dead in a Melbourne Park early on Wednesday.
Jason Todd told the Daily Mail that Jaymes still lived at home with his parents and their two other boys.
"It's indescribable. It's a very hard time for me and the family, and I feel greatly for Eurydice's family and friends and offer my condolences," Mr Todd said.
"There is nothing I can do to change it or make it better, but I wish there was. That comes from our whole family - we're as appalled as the rest of society about what happened to her.
"I know nothing about what happened, I haven't even seen him yet and I've got nothing to tell you, I'm probably going to get dragged over the coals for this."
Mr Todd did not want to discuss his son's Autism Spectrum Disorder, which was mentioned by Jaymes' lawyer when he appeared briefly in court on Thursday.
'IT WAS A NORMAL NIGHT'
Meanwhile, more detail has emerged about the low-key final show Ms Dixon performed before her brutal murder.
Inside a largely empty room above a pub that serves haggis and Scottish cocktails, Eurydice Dixon made the most of a quiet night.
She tinkered with new material in front of less than 20 people on the stage of the dinky comedy room at the Highlander Bar in Melbourne's Highlander Lane.
The room was less crowded than usual as Melburnians returned to work the Tuesday after a public holiday.
Friends and familiar faces were there, including mentor Kieran Butler, who ran the gig. He'd been around Ms Dixon since she first plucked up the courage to knock on his door for open mic nights at Studio 59 in Richmond.
"It was a normal night," he told news.com.au. "We were starting out at a new room after moving from Richmond to the city. Tuesday night was a mixture of workshopping and her normal routine."
The 22-year-old from Carlton North often experimented with new material. She was intelligent and a natural on stage, but would go minutes without a laugh, testing whether her gags were as funny out loud as they were inside her head.
"She did material that first night that was unique. It made us go, 'where did she come from?' She was prolific and often workshopped new ideas on stage. She could think laterally like a lawyer and see things from both sides.
"She was a feminist but she could flip feminism on its head and be critical of it, too. That's what made her different."
After some of her shows, Mr Butler drove her home, but she wanted to walk on Tuesday night. She was followed, raped and murdered before being dumped in a park for a passer-by to find.
Her alleged killer, 19-year-old Jaymes Todd, is in custody charged with one count of rape and one count of murder. He won't appear in court again until October.
Ms Dixon's friends are left to pick up the pieces. On Thursday night, about 80 comedians from across Melbourne gathered at a pub in the city to celebrate her life and remember her jokes.
One joke in particular stayed with Mr Butler.
"She did this great bit making fun of people who were crying about the death of David Bowie: 'Do you know him? Were you friends? Would he have gone to your wedding?'"
The laughs are what unites the community she leaves behind, and what will help them cope with her tragic death.
"Most of us use humour to get through life," Mr Butler said.
On the night of her murder, Ms Dixon said goodbye to her colleagues and friends, blew a kiss to her partner, comedian Tony Magnuson, and walked into the darkness.
Police won't say whether Ms Dixon was followed the entire 4.5km from Highlander Lane to Princes Park where her body was found. They won't say whether she was murdered at a second location and dumped in the park. But they're confident her killer did not know her.
Mr Todd handed himself in to police at Broadmeadows police station after CCTV images of him "from the Melbourne CBD" were shared by police.
In court on Thursday, he yawned and closed his eyes for much of the hour-long hearing. The court was told he suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder and is socially regressive.
Ms Dixon's murder has shaken Melbourne - and all of Australia. At a press conference on Thursday, Superintendent David Clayton urged women to "be aware of their own personal security". But the message sparked a strong response from women who say they are tired of being blamed for the dangerous situations they find themselves in.
Sally Rugg, executive director of change.org, wrote on Thursday that women are scared "all the time".
"When we hear that young women are raped and murdered while walking home at night, it shakes the rest of us to our core. Not because it's unthinkable but because it reaffirms what we're scared of *all the time*."
Melbourne University student Abbey Dalton wrote that women shouldn't be taught to be "vigilant and careful".
"Instead … teach men that they don't have more of a right to a woman's body than she does to her life."
Author Jessica Walton wrote that she was terrified to walk home late, but has to.
"Whenever I walk home late at night I get scared. My walk from the station includes an unlit street. I have to walk through two parks. I worry that my disability makes me too slow to run. I plan out what I would do, say. Don't victim blame, @VictoriaPolice. It's not us, it's them."
On Friday, tributes were piling up at Princes Park, where Ms Dixon's body was found alongside a pair of black shoes.
It's a reminder of the beautiful young spirit who touched so many with her comedy and of the fear that gripped women upon hearing of her brutal death. It's a fear they've experienced before - one that many live with every day.