Hero neighbour's show-down with 'insane' Hervey Bay attacker
THE stench of her neighbour's blood, coating her apartment as she tried desperately to save his life, will never leave Kat Geltch.
The feeling between her fingers as she frantically worked to stem the bleeding from a stab wound, is like a stain on her memory.
And she will never forget her overwhelming terror when confronted by the man's would-be killer standing outside her door, holding a knife after a frenzied attempt to end his flatmates' lives.
The Hervey Bay woman was the first to respond when Eric Roger Frederick Heuer violently attacked Rodney Pettitt and Robin Drury, stabbing them without motive as they slept.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Ms Geltch recalled the grisly moments that followed the November 18, 2008 attack.
"Rodney appeared knocking at the door, I thought he was covered in food dye or something," she said.
"Then I looked down and realised, he was so scared, he was begging me to let him in."
Letting both men inside, Ms Geltch grabbed sheets, towels, blankets - anything she could find to help stop the bleeding from the men's multiple stab wounds.
Her heroic actions saved her neighbours in more ways than one.
Running out her door to find help for the men, she met with something out of a nightmare.
Heuer, covered in blood, holding a knife and with a rope around his neck, demanded Ms Geltch let him into her apartment to finish what he started.
"He threatened to stab me if I didn't let him in to finish them off I said no and something inside me clicked," she said.
"In that moment my whole life flashed before me, I had a million thoughts from my memories as a child, my children, my family, everything."
Just as Heuer lunged, Ms Geltch went into a rage, screaming abuse at would-be murderer and stopping him in his tracks.
"He then strolled down the lane way towards the beach, I made sure he was well away before I ran a few hundred metres into the resort next door," she said.
"I walked in like I owned the place behind the counter and called the police."
Ms Geltch felt compelled to speak out about her experience upon hearing the news that Heuer had been released from prison into the Bundaberg community on Tuesday.
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Ms Geltch said the justice system had failed by allowing Heuer into the community, and fears he will re-offend.
Asked this week whether they could provide an assurance that the community would be protected from Heuer, a spokesperson for Queensland Corrective Services said they could not discuss the individual management of prisoners or comment on individuals under its supervision.
Heuer, described as "quite insane" during sentencing, was behind bars for more than a decade after pleading guilty to one count of attempted murder and one count of grievous bodily harm.
The memory of him ravaged Ms Geltch's life for years.
"I couldn't go out of my house for years on end or trust anyone in my home. I was scared and terrified, just walking out to my letter box was a huge thing. It affected every aspect of our lives," she said.
"I didn't have sharp knives for many years or eat red meat as the smell of the blood was traumatic."
Now, she says she has reclaimed her life, refusing to let Heuer make her a victim any longer.
"Nobody will ever break me," she said. "Hervey Bay is my home and Heuer will never take that away from me."