Lilie James’ killer Paul Thijssen only ended his own life because he lost control of his vile plan after her violent death.
Thijssen, 24, was likely to have ‘panicked’ in the hours following him murdering Lilie and dumping her body in the bathroom of their school gym.
Criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro believes he ‘was still trying to direct play’.
‘Narcissists don’t generally do that,’ Dr Watson-Munro said of his decision to take his own life.
‘He might have panicked [because] he knew the consequences of his actions. That “I’ll be going to jail for a very long time” feeling. He’s not crazy.’
Thijssen had already completed the most shocking stages of his plan.
The St Andrew’s Cathedral School student-turned-hockey coach was living in a Kensington share flat in Sydney’s east with another St Andrew’s graduate and hockey player.
Thyssen drove about 3km in a white Lexus he borrowed to carry out the murder.
Lilie James’ killer Paul Thijssen only ended his own life because he lost control of the vile plan he had inflicted on his young victim
The hockey coach had orchestrated his ghastly plan of killing Lilie James, possibly because she had rejected him, and probably ended it because he feared prison
Criminal psychologist Dr Tim Watson-Munro said narcissist did not usually take their lives, but Paul Thijssen (his remains are wheeled to a mortuary van last week) could not face his future as a convicted killer
He was captured on CCTV footage purchasing the hammer at a hardware store, not far from his Kensington home.
During the day he possibly contacted Lilie James, with whom he had a brief and secret relationship, which she is believed to have sought to end.
Lilie reportedly was lured to the school gymnasium at St Andrew’s to return sports equipment to Paul Thijssen, by then her ex-boyfriend after a brief failed romance of about five weeks.
Dr Watson-Munro said it would not have mattered to Thijssen and his controlling nature that Lilie may have been, like her parents, polite and unwilling to offend him by ending the relationship.
‘I didn’t know her, although she was by all accounts a sweet, gentle and kind person,’ he said, ‘but I don’t think your disposition matters than much if you happen to get enmeshed with a toxic and controlling person with a glass jaw.
‘Even if you are assertive, they try harder and become more aggressive, more violent and more threatening.
‘The most dangerous time is when you have left or are about to leave and they have lost control of you because they can’t stand not being in control.
Paul Thijssen was ‘a toxic and controlling person with a glass jaw’ who became ‘more aggressive, more violent and more threatening’
Lilie James (pictured above coaching water polo) would have had ‘no idea of the danger she was in’ meeting up with Thijssen in the school gym
‘[Men] like this have a pattern of failed relationships which have an underlying misogyny and they cannot cope with rejection.
‘He would have lorded over others, showed a high level of narcissism over others and tried to sever [her] relationships and isolate the woman who ultimately will be gaslighted and become the controlled victim.’
Dr Watson-Munro said 21-year-old Lilie James could not have known what she was walking into when innocently meeting up with Thijssen to return sports items.
‘He’s gone with a weapon, whether to intimidate her to give her “one more chance” or because he had murder in mind.
‘I am sure she didn’t realise how very dangerous the situation was.’
Lilie James was kind, gentle and polite like her parents (above, left, pictured with their daughter and son, Max) but criminal psychologist Dr Tim Watson-Munro (right) said a narcissist like Thijssen would control any person, no matter how strident
Paul Thijssen continued to control his diabolical scenario even after killing Ms James, reportedly using her mobile phone to text the young woman’s father, Jamie James.
Daily Mail Australia understands Thijssen pretended to be her to text Mr James and tell him she was at St Andrews school, perhaps to pick her up, although it is believed Ms James had parked her vehicle at the campus that evening.
Thijssen then drove the borrowed white Lexus to Diamond Bay Reserve at Vaucluse, on Sydney’s east coast, where the surf was pounding the rocks below and the temperature was dropping into the high teens.
Dr Watson-Munro said Thijssen was at that location for ‘a period of several hours and used that time to wreak more havoc – he still believes he’s in control’.
After leaving items used in Ms James’ homicide in the care or at the reserve, Thijssen contemplated his future, the probable prison sentence for his terrible actions and his future in Australia.
The Netherlands national was not an Australian citizen and his third successive working holiday visa ws about to expire.
Police on the rocks below Diamond Bay Reserve on the day Thijssen’s battered and bloated body was recovered and later identified in a Sydney mortuary
Paul Thijssen’s chaotic bedroom in his Kensington shared house where he left behind pain killers, a hockey shirt, sunglasses and a golf club
He called police four hours after Ms James was killed inside the gym bathroom to let them know she was there, at around midnight from the Vaucluse reserve.
‘Informant says there is a body in a bathroom on the right-hand side in reception area. Through reception and to the left. Informant says he was there a couple of hours ago. Female body,’ the operator stated.
Thijssen is believed to have confessed to killing Lilie and then before police could trace and locate him, he plunged to his death from the cliffs above Diamond Bay.
On the Thursday morning, as news of Ms James’ death emerged, NSW Police Air Wing craft searched the sea from above while emergency services scoured the rocks below.
Police towed away a white Lexus from the scene and said Paul Thijssen was still ‘wanted for questioning’ over Ms James’ death, police said.
On the morning of Friday, October 27, a team of tradesmen working on the Diamond Bay Walkway overlooking the shore below the reserve spotted a white object slumped across rocks.
For several hours, police in a boat and on a jet ski tried to recover Thijssen’s bloated and battered body from the base of the cliffs, before it was retrieved and brought up to the road in the afternoon.
Killer Paul Thijssen’s parents, Esther and Stef (above with their son) have made the decision to have his remains cremated and scattered in Australia
‘In essence, either he hoped the father would find Lilie or be there when the police found Lilie because he called them.
Criminologist Dr Xanthe Mallett told Channel 7’s Sunrise program that Thijssen’s manipulation of the final stages of his murderous plan was a further attempt at control before he decided to end his life.
‘He showed signs that he wanted Lilie to be found. That may indicate he was hoping someone would find her and call an ambulance, for example,’ Dr Mallett said.
‘Alternatively, he may have been wanting to potentially change the time at which the police thought she had died by sending those proof-of-life messages to her father and then later calling the police.’
It is understood the hammer bought by Paul Thijssen was not the one used to kill Ms James, and that police believe Thijssen had two hammers, the second possibly coming from a school storeroom.
Paul Thijssen’s parents, Esther and Stef Thijssen, have made the decision not to return his remains to The Netherlands, but to have him cremated and his ashes scattered in Australia.
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