ON THIS DAY – FEBRUARY 21, 2002

Former jeweller Slawomir Tomczyk had been desperate to find another job since joining a security firm in the outer eastern suburbs four months earlier. Tomczyk was murdered as he completed his nightly rounds of business premises on this day in 2002. His body was found in the grounds of the Casablanca Reception Centre in Cranbourne at 2am by his boss, Sandy Sempel, who became concerned when Mr Tomczyk failed to check in at midnight. “It is shocking. You never want to find your workmates like this. He was a reliable worker. Who expects to go to work and get killed?” Mr Sempel said. Tomczyk was ambushed at the front of the premises, dragged down a side driveway and left to die. Police were shocked at the brutality of the murder and believe the killers attacked the 44-year-old Polish immigrant some time after 10pm and were not trying to break into the reception centre. “He’s like anyone else, he’s out there earning a living, he’s trying to protect the community,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles of the homicide squad. “He’s unarmed and it’s been a very, very vicious attack, cold, calculating and very cruel.” Tomczyk’s car was found a short time later in nearby Clyde North, on Thompson’s Road near the intersection of Berwick-Cranbourne Road. Tomczyk took the security job to support himself and his elderly mother after being retrenched from his job as a jeweller in Endeavour Hills. His neighbours in Berwick said he did not like security work, and had been looking for another job. “He was a very gentle sort of a guy. He didn’t like the hours, and wasn’t really all that cut out for it,” said Victoria Poulos, who lives next to the Tomczyk home. “He was friendly to everyone and seemed to enjoy life. He used to like playing ABBA records and having friends over.” Tomczyk’s mother arrived in Australia from Poland at Christmas to visit her son.