Stab Magazine | The Byron Bay Hippies At The Centre of Bali’s Murdered Cop Mystery
747 Views

The Byron Bay Hippies At The Centre of Bali’s Murdered Cop Mystery

Two Byron hippies, a missing handbag, a broken Bintang bottle, and a dead cop with 42 wounds to his head and body.

news // Aug 24, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sara Connor stepped off the plane, walked out the gate and immediately saw the grinning face of her boyfriend David Taylor. After dinner and drinks at a restaurant, they headed to Kuta beach where it is alleged the Byron Bay-based couple beat a police officer to death with a broken Bintang bottle, leaving his body in the sand with 42 grizzly wounds. 


Connor is well-known in Byron Bay’s famously alternative community. She is the mother of two children enrolled at Byron Bay primary school (who remain in the care of their biological father in Australia) and runs a pasta-making business in the town. Her dreadlocked boyfriend, David Taylor was also well known as the former-DJ and announcer on Byron’s iconic community radio station, Bay FM, where he hosted First Bass, a program of “phat funky fresh beats and some booty bouncing breaks,” every Thursday night. On face value they epitomise the fringe-living, peace & love character types that have traditionally called the Byron Shire home – a region that also shares strong historical ties to Bali through surfing and shared counterculture and spiritual values. 


Balinese police allege Taylor flew into a rage and repeatedly smashed a beer bottle over the head of a police officer working outside the Pullman Hotel in Bali. In the police version of events, Taylor believed 53 year old Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa was a “fake cop” and responsible for stealing his girlfriend’s handbag. A mobile phone and the policeman’s own binoculars were also allegedly used in the attack. Balinese police are notoriously corrupt while mob and vigilante justice has been a commonly used deterrent against thieves on the island. Stories of bag snatchers and other petty criminals being beaten to death in broad daylight by locals after being caught executing a crime routinely did the rounds in the three or so years I lived there.


Bali article4

53 year-old Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa.

On this occasion, police allege David Taylor attempted to pat down the officer in search of the bag. When the officer took offence a fight erupted in which Taylor was pushed to the ground. Sara Connor then allegedly got involved pushing the officer who fell over and bit her. Police allege she pulled the policeman’s hair in the fight and that he had a hold of hers. Taylor had initially set about beating the cop with a mobile phone before, yelling “You have stolen the bag, you are a fake police. Where is my bag? Where is my bag? F**k you. Where is my bag? F**k you.” He then picked up a nearby beer bottle.

“By then David had lost it and hit him repeatedly with the broken bottle, causing the 17 wounds on the head. After the [officer’s] head was injured, [Mr Taylor] searched his body, his belongings, that’s how the victim’s clothes got unbuttoned and loose. The man had already lost consciousness,” Denpasar Police chief Hadi Purnomo claimed, also alleging that the officer’s binoculars were used in the attack. 

The police version of events allege Connor and Taylor then tried to get a motorbike taxi to the police station but were refused because they were covered in blood and dirt. Instead they walked to their hotel, cleaned themselves up, and came up with a plan to dispose of the evidence. 

“They had a plan to burn the evidence, including the clothes and the victim’s mobile phone and wallet … so the cards in the wallet were cut up with scissors, the mobile phone was disposed of and everything in the wallet was cut up by scissors. There was a police member card and others. Then it was burned by Sara and David,” Denpasar Police chief Hadi Purnomo said.

Screen Shot 2016 08 24 at 2.35.41 pm

Sara Connor claims she was “too drunk” to remember what happened that night.

Connor and Taylor were detained and interrogated for nine and 12 hours respectively. Connor has said she was too drunk to remember exactly what happened. Witnesses say they saw the pair together on the beach prior to the murder and Connor’s bag containing her license and bank card were found next to the dead officer. Taylor had originally said he was bitten on the finger while trying to help a man lying in the sand but according to police his story changed under heavy questioning, admitting on Monday that he had bashed police officer Wayan Sudarsa with binoculars, a mobile phone and a beer bottle. 

“In the beginning Sara and David denied or lied,” Denpasar police chief Hadi Purnomo said on Tuesday.

Another version of events fed to the media by Taylor’s lawyer told of a “bad cop” pushing his girlfriend to the sand and laying on top of her. She was only able to escape after several people intervened. Those witnesses have yet to come forward. Sara Connor’s lawyer also made a point of revealing the bite mark on her inner-thigh as proof of the struggle. Why the couple chose to head to Jimbaran the next day instead of reporting the incident to police is unknown. Authorities are preparing to take the couple back to the site with where the evidence was disposed of in the coming days. Sara Connor and David Taylor are likely to face second degree murder and assault charges which carry a 15 year jail sentence.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022

3:31

Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022

24:32

Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022

4:18

Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022

5:07

Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022

4:25

“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022

25:17

Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022

27:45

How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022

3:36

‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022

3:34

“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022
Advertisement