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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Daniel Jack Kelsall found guilty

It took the jury just three hours to find Daniel Jack Kelsell guilty of murdering Morgan Huxley in the early hours of 8 September 2013.

The Crown said he followed Huxley into his home, indecently assaulted him as he lay on the bed, and stabbed him at least 20 times.  There was no motive, it was a simply a thrill kill, something he wanted to do.

You will never find a more unlikely-looking killer than Jack Kelsell, the nerd who doesn't look strong enough to hurt a fly.

Kelsell was adopted and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand in a comfortable home overlooking the harbour.  His parents, Mark and Lynne gave him every opportunity to thrive and spared no expense on his schools, hobbies and summer holidays.

Instead of going to mainstream high school, his parents enrolled him into Athena College, an alternative school based on "self-directed learning."

Jack started home school when Athena closed down in 2009 and continued to study hospitality at Wellington TAFE after his parents and sister moved to Sydney.  But he was so lonely, the family moved him into their home in the well-heeled Sydney suburb of Balmoral.

He spent his days working at Sydney Cooking School as a chef's assistant, playing video games and reading fiction short story websites.

His parents realized by primary school that their son was gay. "Jack's got curly hair and he's gay, we don't make a big deal out of it" Mark Kelsall told the jury.

They were worried he was being over-medicated with Seroquel, an anti-psychotic medication for bi-polar disorder and he was gradually weaned off it.

It was about this time that he began having thoughts of following someone home and stabbing them to death just "for the thrill of it."

Forensic tests showed that Kelsall's DNA was on Mr Huxley's penis, his fingerprint was on Mr Huxley's bedroom door and a shoulder bag Kelsall was seen carrying on CCTV  footage had spots of Mr Huxley's blood on it which he later tried unsuccessfully to rub off.

On that fateful night as he was finishing work, Kelsall saw Morgan Huxley using an ATM machine.  He was obviously drunk as he struggled to get the money out of the machine.

It's no wonder police had a hard time believing Kelsall was their man - how could a nerdy, slightly-built youth possibly kill a fully grown man weighing around 90 kilos? 

 But he did, and we are left wondering how?

Edit 29.4.2015.  Daniel Jack Kelsall has been sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison for the stabbing murder of Morgan Huxley in his Neutral Bay apartment in September 2013.