SEVEN years ago today, the country's most-wanted man was captured.
After years on the run, Malcolm Naden was caught by police during a midnight raid on a remote property at Rawdon Vale, west of Gloucester.
Naden was jailed for at least 21 years for the murder of his cousin Lateesha Nolan, but given life for killing his neighbour Kristy Scholes.
Here's the Herald's story after his sentencing in 2013:
The man, the myth, the murderer
By DAN PROUDMAN
IT was six months after he murdered Kristy Scholes and defiled her body inside his own grandparents' home that the first yarn was being spun in what was to become the mountainous myth of Malcolm Naden.
And it wasn't that he was wanted over the gruesome killing of Ms Scholes, nor the disappearance and suspected murder of his cousin, Lateesha Nolan, earlier in the year.
The deaths of two Aboriginal women in the troubled suburb of West Dubbo failed to get any coverage outside the central west for all but the last week of 2005.
No. This was juicier than that.
This was a tale of the hunt for a fugitive with all the trimmings - the wanted man was Aboriginal, there were stories of him being a master bushman who learnt his trade from older relatives, a former abattoir worker, a gun shearer, who could live off the land and never be seen again.
And the fact that he had been taking refuge in the town's famous Taronga Western Plains Zoo, along with all those big cats and other African carnivores, capped it off.
There were tales of him living in the animal enclosures, living off the animals' food, and the discovery of expertly cut kangaroo carcasses on the banks of the Macquarie River.
Thing was, Naden spent most of his time in the roof of one of the zoo's guest cabins, pilfering any tucker he could get his hands on from the kitchen - the harshest thing he had to deal with was the summer heat inside the roof cavity.
During his several-week hideaway at the zoo, Naden may have made his way into an animal enclosure and may have taken a chunk out of something.
But these are prized species and extremely well looked after - the fruit they devour would be better quality than a lot of suburban supermarkets.
It wasn't as if Naden was lying down next to the lions, competing for meat off an antelope's carcass.
But this tale was to kick start the myth, which carried on for the seven years Naden managed to stay clear of authorities.
After he shot a cop near his campsite at Niangala in December 2011, a local mayor bellowed that it was his firm belief that Naden was living off wombats and berries.
That the master bushman had morphed into some kind of mix between a fox and John Rambo - only moving at night and catching game with his bare hands or hand-made traps.
Truth was, Naden was a chocolate-loving, gravy-slurping, porn-addicted opportunist who took what he wanted from lonely little huts in the middle of the Barrington Tops and beyond.
He much preferred four walls over a barren cave, a microwave over a campfire and a frozen T-bone to a side of fresh beef.
Sure, there were anecdotal tales of some carcasses being found - like the Angus heifer that was shot, beheaded and gutted at Belltrees, east of Scone, in 2006.
There were some goats found dismembered on the eastern side of the Barringtons two years later and blamed on Naden.
But the discoveries were scarce. It was more likely Naden was eating as regularly as - and better than - many others on the poverty line.
When three pig hunters came across Naden in the extremely remote south of Moonan Flat, they heard him run when they approached a ridge.
They didn't find a wombat carcass or a pile of spat-out berry pips.
Instead, they found a fresh and half-eaten corned beef and cheese sandwich. Hardly Rambo food.
Police intelligence officers later painstakingly mapped out all the possible burglaries and sightings of the wanted man and uncovered what would later be quietly termed as the Naden Highway.
He targeted a lot of properties more than once, and most followed a worn path from the outskirts of Gloucester towards Nowendoc and further north.
Remember, these places are the epitome of remote. Most were weekenders, or definitely places that were empty more than lived in. Their owners stocked up on food and rations most times they visited.
It was a virtual green Woolworths for the likes of someone like Naden. Kilograms of meat. Dozens of tins of baked beans and other non-perishables. Gravy - heaps of gravy. Chocolate by the sugar cube. And porn.
In early 2010, a burglary was reported on the eastern side of the Barrington Tops where, amongst other things, a 12-volt DVD player was taken.
The DVD contained very private images and videos belonging to a woman. Police would later discovered a distinct rise in the number of 12-volt batteries stolen from a number of properties over the coming months.
Many times, Naden could make himself at home inside these properties for days. Residents have reported him leaving the place tidy, returning empty beer bottles to the fridge, cleaning spilt flour, even wrapping up garbage bags.
And this also added to the Malcolm Myth. Some residents started feeling empathy towards the suspected double murderer.
Others openly said they would invite him in and make him a cuppa. Truth be told, he had probably already let himself in and done exactly that.
It appears from the judgment of Justice Derek Price that Naden would have been sentenced to life imprisonment even if he was arrested the day he brutally murdered Kristy Scholes - a decision never taken lightly nor often.
But it would be hard to argue that if Naden was arrested that day - and the bushranger myth had never been born - the majority of Australians would have never heard his name.