Shane Williams has always maintained he was nowhere near Coolah on the night his then girlfriend Penny Hill was bashed and left for dead.
But in a startling new interview for New Idea’s true crime podcast, The Rock Star & The Nanny, Shane admits it would be “possible” to make the 600km round-trip from Armidale to Coolah in one night.
“At the time, I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve made that trip quite a few times now and I do have to agree with (police) it could have been possible,” Shane tells investigative journalist Mary-Ann Harris on the podcast.
But while he says it was “practically possible” to have made the trip, Shane says you would have to “refuel” along the way, and there were no “24-hour petrol stations back then”.
On the night in 1991 when Penny was bashed, Shane maintains he was at home in Armidale.
“I watched a bit of TV, had a shower and went to bed,” he says.
It’s the first time Shane has spoken to media about the case since a 2015 interview with Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program.
In that interview, Shane was adamant he had nothing to do with Penny’s murder.
“I had no involvement in her death in any way or form. Never harmed her,” Shane told journalist Alex Cullen.
Police initially ruled Shane out as a potential suspect in the murder. But when a witness recalled seeing a car similar in shape to Shane’s in the carpark of the Black Stump Motel, where Penny was staying, on the night she was bashed, he became a person of interest.
The murder of 20-year-old Penny in Coolah, remains one of Australia’s most baffling unsolved crimes. At the time, Penny had moved to Coolah to start a job as a nanny for former drummer with rock band, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Col Baigent.
And three days later she was found bashed on the side of the road in Coolah. She later died from her injuries.
Col has always vehemently denied his involvement in the crime.