With the rise of a boom gate triple killer Matthew De Gruchy entered the world as a free man after 23 years behind bars.
He sat in the passenger seat of the silver sedan driven by "a person of his choosing", covered his head with a hoodie to avoid waiting media desperate to catch a glimpse of the man who slaughtered his mother and siblings.
He was a young man in his 20s the last time he was photographed - it was inside the jail yard in his prison greens - and the chopper circling overhead showed the level of interest in snapping the man now free to blend back into society.
For the next four months De Gruchy will walk among us, likely look for a job, buy his own groceries, pay his bills, do everything a regular citizen can do.
Then, on December 4, he will front the NSW Parole Authority once again - for the panel members to decide whether he has kept up his end of the bargain and behaved like a law-abiding citizen.
De Gruchy's corrective services officer will "tell the authority about his progress on parole".
"If it brings attention to the authority of matters of concern, the authority has the power to intervene and consider making changes to your parole or even revoking it," a parole board member told De Gruchy when his release was approved in July.
"We do not think that will happen and we hope that it does not.
"We want you to understand that corrective services have backed you in your application for parole.
"They think you can successfully carry through your parole," the board member said.
"You have had particular difficulties we know, and you are well aware of how you might have difficulties conducting yourself in the community.
"We urge you, if you are having any difficulty in maintaining the conditions of your parole that you speak to your parole officer about it. If the parole officer can help you, you will be helped."
So started the process of De Gruchy's release with strict conditions.
He is not to visit the Illawarra or Shoalhaven Local Goverment areas.
And he must "permit community corrections officers to visit" where he lives at any given time.
He also needs to be open to be interviewed by the officers if and when they see fit.
"You must notify the community corrections officer if you change your address, contact details or employment," the parole authority told him.
"You must do this before the change occurs if practicable and if not, within seven days after change occurs."
De Gruchy can't leave NSW, or Australia, without permission.
The condition that is a stark reminder of his violent past is the one that warns he must "not contact, communicate with, watch, stalk, harass or intimidate any member of the family" of his victims.
He is however allowed to communicate with his father, who lives in Tasmania, and his father's new family who have vowed to support him in his quest for a normal life.
Whether a man capable of inflicting horrific fatal wounds on his own mother and siblings can be rehabilitated is something that is yet to be seen.
The parole board is satisfied De Gruchy has done his time for the murders of Jennifer, 41, Sarah, 13, and Adrian, 15.
Jennifer and Sarah were found slaughtered in the beds of their Shearwater Boulevarde home on March 12, 1996. Adrian was dead in the garage.
Jennifer's head and facial injuries were so severe the coroner required blood-match samples to identify her.
Sarah also sustained significant head and facial injuries.
Adrian had 21 wounds to his face and neck, and had been doused in petrol.
De Gruchy arrived at the home the next morning to tearfully "discover" the bodies.
He maintained his innocence and has never spoken publicly.
Police involved in the homicide case though have spoken out, voicing their concerns about De Gruchy being freed.
They fear the severity of his crimes, and lack of obvious motive, mean he still a danger to society.
But former forensics detective Barry Doherty is concerned that if a teenage boy could kill his mum so viciously over something possibly as simple as an "argument over not being able to drive the family car", then what's to stop him killing again?
Former homicide investigator Belinda Neil agrees. She felt she was taking a risk by speaking to the Mercury recently about the "evil mind" of the triple murderer.
"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.
But De Gruchy believes he deserves a chance at life. He has obtained a bank account, Medicare card, tax file number, birth certificate, a photo ID card and a fork lift licence and Learner drivers license.
His lawyer Melissa Smith said his "main goal on parole" was to seek employment and eventually obtain independent housing.
"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.
"A refusal at this point would be counter productive.
"My client has demonstrated to this authority that he can be released on parole and not be a risk to community safety."