‘Anyone can be a victim of violence’: The alleged murders of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies

‘Anyone can be a victim of violence’: The horrific alleged murders of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies

Luke Davies and Jesse Baird

Last Friday, NSW police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon handed himself in to authorities in relation to the alleged murders of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies.

The couple were last seen on Sunday and their bodies are yet to be found, as authorities continue to investigate their deaths.

The alleged murders of Baird, a TV presenter, and Davies, a Qantas flight attendant, has attracted significant attention in the media. Several issues have been raised on the back of the tragedy, including the media’s reportage of intimate partner violence, as well as police’s relationship with the LGBTQIA+ community – especially with Sydney’s Mardi Gras coming up this weekend.

What’s the story?

Last Sunday, Jesse Baird posted a picture of him and his partner, Luke Davies, on Instagram. Together, they attended Pink’s concert in Sydney.

It was the last picture the television presenter posted on his social media, and the last time he and Davies were seen.

According to reports, neighbours of Baird’s residence in Paddington, Sydney, heard a verbal argument and some yelling on Monday. But the couple were not seen.

On Wednesday, police were called to a location in Cronulla, where suspicious items were discovered, including bloodied clothes. The items were found to be the clothes of Baird and Davies, as well as possessions belonging to Baird.

When police went to the Paddington property, they reportedly found a significant amount of blood, suggesting a serious and potentially fatal injury.

Baird and Davies were not at the Paddington property, nor at Davies’ residence in Waterloo.

Police allege a projectile and casing found at the crime scene in Paddington is linked to a police handgun, resulting in an allegation that a police firearm was used at the property.

On Thursday night, police began investigating former connections with the couple, turning their investigations to Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, who has previously dated Baird.

According to reports, a property in Balmain connected to Lamarre-Condon was searched and several items were seized by police.

The following morning, Constable Lamarre-Condon handed himself in to authorities in Bondi’s police station. By 2:45pm, police charged the officer with two counts of murder.

Investigations are continuing, as the bodies of Baird and Davies are yet to be found. Police said they are still determining a timeline and investigating a white van that was allegedly hired by Lamarre-Condon on Monday night, after the alleged murders took place. 

Lamarre-Condon’s charges will return to court on April 23.

‘Anyone can be a victim of violence’

According to statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), one in four women and one in 14 men experienced violence from a current or former intimate partner since the age of 15.

Katherine Berney, director of the National Women’s Safety Alliance, said the alleged domestic violence-motivated murders of Baird and Davies are “so horrific it knocks the breath out of people”.

Katherine Berney, National Women’s Safety Alliance director. Credit: Supplied

But Berney is concerned about the media’s reportage of the alleged crimes, as images of the perpetrator smiling with Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Miley Cyrus have appeared in mainstream media reports to “soften” the story.

“There is an inherent safety in othering and sensationalising the crime,” Berney told Women’s Agenda.

“When the media does this it denies the lived experience of intimate partner violence within the LGBTIQ community.”

While there is a general public focus on intimate partner violence against women – who are disproportionately affected by family and domestic violence – Berney reminds Australians that is it something that can impact the lives of anyone.

“The dynamics of violence and coercion are the same for every person,” she said.

“The lack of recognition of the experience makes it harder to reach out for help. Anyone can be a victim of violence- and we need to provide safe environments for disclosure and safety planning for all Australians.”

The alleged murders of Baird and Davies have an “added complexity”, Berney said, as the alleged perpetrator is a NSW police officer, someone who is supposed to serve and protect the most vulnerable members of the community, including the LGBTQIA+ community.

“At best, sensationalising this story is lazy journalism, and worst it is attempting to deny the lived experience of intimate partner violence that happens in every community across the country,” Berney said.

‘Cops out of Mardi Gras.’

Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras parade, celebrating pride for the LGBTQIA+ community, is happening this weekend. The parade marches through Oxford St in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, including Paddington.

NSW police have marched in the parade every year since 1998, twenty years since the first Mardi Gras, when officers attacked and arrested 53 people calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Now, one week before the 2024 Mardi Gras parade, advocates are calling for police to withdraw from the march.

A change.org petition has received more than 460 signatures from people who no longer wish for the force to join them in the parade.

“It would be incredibly offensive for NSW police to engage with a police float at the Sydney Madi Gras festival next week. Our community urges them to reconsider,” organisers of the petition wrote.

Organisers attached an image of Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon marching in a Mardi Gras parade in 2020 to the petition.

Calls for NSW police to withdraw are widespread on social media too, including advocate Shane Bazzi who was devastated over the “horrific” alleged murders.

“Next week NSW Police Force will be shamelessly pinkwashing, marching in Mardi Gras. Cops out of pride/Mardi Gras,” he wrote on X.

However, NSW Labor premier Chris Minns has stood by the force, saying on 2GB FM this morning they “should march” in the parade on Saturday.

Jacqui Munro, Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, also said the police should still march.

“If police don’t march, what further moral policing will occur to prevent some LGBTQI+ people and allies from taking part in the Mardi Gras parade?” she wrote on X.

“Progress is seeing the queer community represented in ALL areas of society.”

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb told reporters this morning that the crimes Lamarre-Condon allegedly committed should not stop the rest of police participating in Mardi Gras.

“We have been participating in Mardi Gras for the last 20 years and haven’t missed a year,” Commissioner Webb said, “and I would hate to see that this year is the year that we are excluded because of the actions of one.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, chat online via 1800RESPECT.org.au or text 0458 737 732. 

If you are concerned about your behaviour or use of violence, you can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit www.ntv.org.au.

QLife is here to help: If you’re looking to connect with someone to explore what’s going on in your life, call 1800 184 527, 3pm-midnight each day.

Feeling worried or no good? No shame, no judgement, safe place to yarn. Speak to a 13YARN Crisis Supporter, call 13 92 76. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In an emergency, call 000.


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