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Collar bomb hoaxer left mysterious note pinned to teenage victim Madeleine

The letter signed with a name from a bestselling novel warned: “Don’t go to the cops or I will detonate.”

Police block a road near the Pulver home on Wednesday
Police block a road near the Pulver home on Wednesday
Image: Rick Rycroft/AP/Press Association Images

THE ATTACKER WHO chained a fake collar bomb around the neck of an 18-year-old girl in Sydney left a note signed with the name of a fictional character from a thriller.

The letter fastened to teenager Madeleine Pulver read “Don’t go to the cops or I will detonate. Don’t cut the wires or I will detonate,” according to The Sun. It also contained a series of instructions to contact the perpetrator via the internet, while a USB stick inside the hoax bomb held an email address – but there were no demands for money, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The note, which is now the focus of the police investigation, was signed ‘Dick Struan’. Struan is the protagonist in bestselling 1966 novel Tai-Pan, by James Clavell. According to the Daily Telegraph, he is described as a “pirate, an opium smuggler, a master manipulator of men, a ruthless intriguer and a mighty lover.”

Pulver was attacked on Wednesday by a man who is reported to have crept up behind her as she studied for exams in the house where she lived with her parents. He fastened the ‘bomb’ around her neck, where it remained for 10 hours until police were able to remove it and it was revealed to be a fake.

The Pulvers’ neighbour Gai Waterhouse has reported seeing a man run from their house and get into a car driven by a woman, which then sped off, the Australian reports.

Meanwhile a Sydney police officer has been hailed as a hero after sitting with Madeleine for three hours, without protective clothing, as specialists tried to remove the device. But Constable Karen Lowden told reporters: “I can’t say that I’m any braver than any other police officer.

Having a child myself I knew that I just wanted to be there for her. I didn’t want to move – you don’t necessarily think of everything that could go wrong.

She also said Madeleine Pulver was “definitely the bravest girl in the whole world”, according to ABC Online.

Video: Madeleine Pulver’s father speaks to reporters

Read more: Bomb chained around Sydney teenager’s neck ‘was an elaborate hoax’ >

Read more: Sydney teenager successfully freed from ‘bomb collar’ >

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Michael Freeman

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