Ex-pilot’s trial unfolds secret affair between missing senior campers

In a tale that seems more akin to the plot of a mystery novel than real life, the trial of an ex-pilot accused of double murder has unearthed the clandestine love story of two elderly campers. Their decade-long affair was kept secret under the guise of family ties.

As the courtroom drama unfolds, the layers of deception are peeled back, revealing a complex narrative of love, betrayal, and tragedy.

Russell Hill (74) and Carol Clay (73), whose disappearance in Victoria's Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020 sparked a widespread search, were not just friends reuniting for a camping trip—they were childhood sweethearts whose love had been rekindled later in life.

But throughout their 50-year marriage, Mr Hill's wife, Robyn, was under the impression that Carol was her husband's cousin.

Carol Clay and Russell Hill disappeared in March 2020 in Wonnangatta Valley. Image source: Facebook

The discovery of a torn-up Viagra prescription in Mrs Clay's bathroom bin was just one piece of evidence that brought the secret to light.

It was a detail that painted a vivid picture of the lengths the couple went to in order to keep their relationship hidden from their families and the public eye.

The trial of Greg Lynn, the former Jetstar Captain accused of their murder, has become a stage for the revelation of these intimate details.

The jury heard how Mr Hill's wife was duped for years, believing her husband's trips were solitary ventures into the wilderness when in fact, he was meeting with Mrs Clay.

The couple first met as teenagers and, despite going their separate ways, found each other again later in life. Their bond was strong enough to withstand the test of time, but it also led them to make choices that would ultimately have fatal consequences.

As the trial progresses, friends and family members have come forward to share their insights into the couple's dynamic.

Some were in on the secret, understanding the depth of their connection, while others were taken aback by the revelation, having seen Mr Hill as a private individual, not prone to extramarital escapades.

One of the friends is Rob Ashlin, who said: ‘Blind freddy could see how they looked at each other—there was a relationship or there was a bit more going on.’

Meanwhile, another friend named James Francis mentioned that he met Mrs Clay while camping with the pair in 2019.

Mr Francis told the jury that Mr Hill asked: ‘I’ll be bringing a woman with me and she’s not my wife, is that okay?’

The prosecution alleged that the couple's final camping trip ended in violence at the hands of Greg Lynn, who they claim killed them 'deliberately and without lawful justification’.

The defence painted a different picture, suggesting that the deaths were the result of a tragic accident during a confrontation gone wrong.

It was believed that Mr Hill had confronted Mr Lynn for deer hunting too close to the camp and grabbed his gun.

It is alleged that Mr Hill was killed first by unknown means. Mrs Clay was shot in the head shortly after as she witnessed the first killing.

Mr Lynn, through his Defence Barrister Dermott Dann KC, claimed that Clay was accidentally shot in the head as the two men wrestled over his gun.

According to his account, Mr Hill died after approaching Mr Lynn with a knife and accidentally falling on it during a second struggle.

The trial before Justice Michael Croucher continues.

The story was featured in 60 Minutes, which you can watch here:

Source: 60 Minutes Australia/YouTube​

Key Takeaways
  • A ripped-up Viagra prescription exposed a decade-long affair between Russell Hill and Carol Clay, who were childhood sweethearts and maintained their relationship while both being married.
  • Carol Clay and Russell Hill vanished during a camping trip in Victoria's Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020, leading to a murder trial for former Jetstar captain Greg Lynn.
  • The prosecution alleged that Greg Lynn killed Hill and Clay deliberately and without lawful justification, while the defence claimed the deaths were accidental and occurred during a struggle.
  • Throughout their fifty-year marriage, Russell Hill's wife believed that Carol Clay was his ‘first cousin’, and the truth of their affair only emerged following their disappearance and subsequent investigation.
Members, what are your thoughts on this story? Are you following the trial as well? Let us know in the comments below!
Yes there is no proof of any thing but hear say and police desperation to ensure they have solved the issue
Give me strength..... thank heavens I'm not married anymore..... who needs this kind of drama in their life....
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What has the affair got to do with the murder?
I thought this was a murder trail, not delving into their affair. Are they saying if not for the affair, they wouldn’t have been on camping trip to be murdered “accidentally”
Just get on with the murder case. Grubbing lawyers.
Why on earth were relatives of the murdered couple asked to testify about the affair, and why did they agree to do so? I understand that relatives/friends were called to the witness box to give evidence about the last time they had had contact with the victims in order to establish the sequence of events, but details about their relationship surely had nothing to do with them being killed?

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