I am now convinced that British-Australian Interpol fugitive Lisa Marie Smith is shadowing me, trying to contact me – or someone who knows her is trying to get in touch. Either that or it is an astonishing coincidence that when I follow a particular route in my suburb, almost daily, I come across messages and posters containing her name.
The paths I tread are obscure – a back lane here, a walkway through a park there – but no matter where I go, the weird messages referring to her pop out of nowhere. The picture above has appeared in the past few days in the Sydney suburb of Newtown, near the railway station. It is sketched on an A-frame notice board, which is filled with crazed drawings and words that suggest the writer is hallucinating. Or is the apparent madness a cover for leaving a message for me…or for someone Lisa Marie knows…or someone Lisa Marie is trying to get in touch with?
It’s all very bizarre – but how do you explain that these cryptic signs are posted in the very same places that I frequently walk in Sydney’s inner western suburbs and are not found anywhere else? Her name is written on pieces of paper stuffed into wire fencing or tacked to a tree – all of them freshly written on routes that I habitually take.
One message, contained on the same A-frame board that carries the strange drawing I’ve posted above, is aimed at – well, who? It asks: ‘Do you want to meet me?’ Now, is that Lisa asking someone – me? – if I want to meet her? Or is it someone Lisa knows asking if she wants to meet that person? The other messages I’ve seen posted around the Newtown and Stanmore suburbs are cryptic but all mention her name and most point out that she’s a fugitive from Thailand after disappearing in 1996 while on bail after being charged with serious drug offences.
When she fled from Thailand in August 1996, the-then 20-year-old daughter of a wealthy Hong Kong-based insurance company executive is believed to have used a British replacement passport – she claimed to have lost the first in the weeks before her arrest – to flee to Greece.
There, she obtained yet another British passport and vanished – ending up among the top 10 on Interpol’s ‘Most Wanted’ list. An international police search, involving crack investigators in Britain and Australia, failed to find any clues as to Lisa Marie’s whereabouts and her father, who had posted bail for her in Thailand, insisted he had no idea where she was.
So, is she now in Australia, treading the paths that I tread? Are the messages aimed at me – because I’ve written about her extensively in the past? Or have they been put up by someone trying to get in touch with her? The mystery endures. But if Lisa Marie reads this, I’d be happy to hear from her. No tricks, no traps. I’m easily found.