Former homicide investigator Belinda Neil believes she is taking a risk by speaking out about the "evil mind" of triple murderer Matthew De Gruchy.
It was her first day in the homicide squad.
A call came in from a reporter, asking whether investigators had been tasked to Albion Park for the triple murder.
The detective thought the call must have been a prank by one of her former colleagues at the drug unit on her first day as a homicide investigator.
But the call was real. And Belinda Neil was soon to be confronted with the crime scene that changed her life.
"I remember it as clear as day," she told the Mercury this week.
"The crime scene was just horrendous.
"So much savagery involved in the deaths, in what he did."
She was speaking about Matthew De Gruchy, the man who murdered his mother and two siblings in 1996 and could soon be let free from custody after 23 years.
"To show no remorse and turn up at his girlfriends and act like it never happened, to still have the capacity to try and clean up the crime scene and dispose of evidence, it shows me a very dangerous mind," the former NSW Police inspector said.
"He's now a man, hes not a kid anymore and he's spent more time in jail than outside.
"Add to that the circumstances of the actual murders and he's dangerous.
"The fact that I'm speaking out about it, that's potentially a risk."
De Gruchy was just 18 when he bludgenouned to death his mother and siblings in 1996.
It was a Wednesday in March when he ran outside his Shearwater Boulevarde home "in a bad way", frantically calling for help.
His neighbour got the shock of his life when he entered the De Gruchy home.
Inside, Jennifer, 41, was lying on bloodstained sheets in her bedroom.
She had suffered massive head and facial injuries.
The coroner required blood-match samples to identify her.
Sarah, 13, was in her bedroom with massive head and facial injuries.
Adrian, 15, was lying in a pool of blood in the garage, his teeth scattered.
He had 21 wounds to his face and neck and was doused in petrol.
De Gruchy has spent 23 years in jail for the deaths and looks set to be released on parole in the coming months.
His sentence expires in June 2024, however his non parole period lapsed on June 21, 2017.
In June this year De Gruchy appeared before a parole hearing, after the parole authority confirmed their intention to release him.
His lawyer Melissa Smith said he is now "motivated to do nothing else than live a normal community life".
"What he has achieved in custody over the past 23 years, taking into account his age when he went into custody, has been quite remarkable and there is nothing more for him to achieve in custody," Ms Smith said.
"My client has demonstrated to this authority that he can be released on parole and not be a risk to community safety and I would ask the authority to confirm their intention to release Mr De Gruchy on parole today."
Katrina Curry, on behalf of the NSW Crown Solicitors Office, did not oppose De Gruchy's application for parole.
However, she said the state "obviously has concerns given that the extreme and violent nature of the events in this matter".
"Whilst the defender indicates he will have some support upon release the state submits that support is limited," Ms Curry said.
The panel has reserved its decision.
Mrs Neil said she believed De Gruchy should serve his full sentence.
"I think he's been given a maximum sentence for a reason," she said.
"In that time he's obviously going to be allowed out at some point.
"I would like to know what course he has done to allow him to assimilate, what support he has and who is going to be keeping an eye on him.
"The fact that his father is not the one who will be looking after him is a concern, and the fact other members of the family don't want to is a concern.