Home » Joel Cauchi: The Sydney attacker’s secret life as a male escort

Joel Cauchi: The Sydney attacker’s secret life as a male escort

The knifeman behind the Sydney shopping centre massacre led a secret life as a male escort, it has been revealed, as police probe whether he intentionally targeted women.

Five women and one man were killed when Joel Cauchi launched his horrifying attack in the Westfield shopping centre at Bondi Junction on Saturday.

A nine-month-old baby girl was left fighting for her life after her mother was killed in the rampage, which ended when Cauchi was gunned down by a hero police officer.

Police have confirmed they are exploring why he “focused on women and avoided the men” during the spree, which also injured 12, as details emerged of his secret life as a sex worker.

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The 40-year-old, who had a history of mental health problems and led an itinerant lifestyle, is said to have advertised sexual services to both women and men.

“I am an athletic, good looking 39-year-old guy,” his now-deleted profile read, according to 9 News. He is said to have advertised a number of ‘closed door services’ on the profile.

Cauchi was also previously listed on several male escort websites, including Australia Cracker, Empire Escorts and Escorts Australia, reported the Daily Mail.

Joel Cauchi is said to have advertised his services on male escort sites (Supplied)

The details emerged as New South Wales police commissioner Karen Webb said the focus on female victims during the rampage is a “line of inquiry”.

Asked during an interview with Australian broadcaster ABC News about CCTV footage which appeared to show Cauchi targeting women, Ms Webb said: “The videos speak for themselves, don’t they? And that’s certainly a line of inquiry for us.

“It’s obvious to me and it’s obvious to detectives that it seems to be an area of interest that the offender had focused on women and avoided the men.

“It has been reported that five of the deceased are women and the majority of victims in hospital are also women.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told ABC Radio the breakdown of the victims was “concerning”.

Asked about any links between the attacker and misogynist networks, he said: “All of that investigation will take place, it will be comprehensive, and nothing will not be looked at in this matter.”

Sydney attack victims Ashlee Good, Jade Young, Pikria Darchia and Faraz Tahir (PA Wire/Australian Pakistani National Association)

It was previously revealed the killer was already known to police in the neighbouring state of Queensland, but had moved to Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, last month.

He led an “itinerant” lifestyle, had recently been sleeping in his car and had only infrequently stayed in touch with his mother via text messages, Queensland Police assistant commissioner Roger Lowe told reporters in Brisbane.

Although he had struggled with mental health issues since his teens, Cauchi had not been “prosecuted or arrested or charged for any offence within Queensland”, police said, adding that they did not believe that the attack was an act of terrorism or linked to any ideology.

However chilling social media posts have been uncovered highlighting a pre-occupation with weapons.

In posts in December 2020 he appealed to find gun enthusiasts, writing: “Hi I am looking for groups of people who shoot guns, including handguns, to meet up with, chat with and get to know.

“Please send me a DM if you can help me out! I live in Brisbane by the way.”

The attacker’s father, Andrew Cauchi, told reporters on Monday he was devastated by the news of the attack and revealed he has previously confiscated knives from his son.

“He wanted a girlfriend and he has no social skills and he was frustrated out of his brain,” he said in comments reported by The Australian newspaper.

Mr Cauchi said he had taken five US army knives from Joel when Joel visited him last year as he feared he could get stabbed.

In the days before the incident, Cauchi also made Facebook posts seeking to meet people surfing at Bondi Beach.

Police said they were working on “profiling the offender”.

“He has moved from Brisbane, Kangaroo Point, Carina and back to his family’s residence,” assistant commissioner Mr Lowe said.

“There is still, to this point no information we have received, no evidence we have recovered, no intelligence that we have gathered that would suggest that this was driven by any particular motivation, ideology or otherwise.”

Emergency services at Bondi Junction following Cauchi’s deadly attack (EPA)

Police are also investigating a small storage facility in Waterloo where he had been sleeping.

“We know that shortly after coming to Sydney, he took possession of a storage facility that has been identified and we have worked through that very small storage facility,” NSW Police assistant commissioner Anthony Cooke said.

In a statement, Cauchi’s family condemned his actions as “truly horrific”, and confirmed he had suffered with mental health problems for many years.

“We are absolutely devastated by the traumatic events that occurred in Sydney yesterday,” the family said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims and those still undergoing treatment at this time.

“Joel’s actions were truly horrific, and we are still trying to comprehend what has happened. He has battled with mental health issues since he was a teenager”

They added they had “no issues” with police inspector Amy Scott, who shot Cauchi after she confronted him while he was on the rampage.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and other officials leave flowers outside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall in Sydney (AFP via Getty Images)

“We are in contact with both the New South Wales Police Force and Queensland Police Service and have no issues with the police officer who shot our son as she was only doing her job to protect others, and we hope she is coping alright,” the statement added.

The victims have been named as Yixuan Cheng, a Chinese student, Dawn Singleton, the 25-year-old daughter of Australian businessman John Singleton, 47-year-old Jade Young, who worked as an architect in Sydney, 55-year-old Pikria Darchia and security guard Faraz Tahir.

Ashlee Good, 38, died in hospital from her wounds and her nine-month-old daughter Harriet has undergone surgery.

NSW Health said she was in a serious but stable condition in Sydney Children’s Hospital with seven other injured people remaining in hospital on Monday. All are in stable condition, but one woman is described as serious but stable.