Rachel Barber’s parents shocked over killer Caroline Reed Robertson’s chilling transformation
A KILLER who strangled a teenager to death in a bizarre attempt to assume her identity has shocked the victim’s family by altering her appearance while behind bars.
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Caroline Reed Robertson has dramatically changed her appearance as an exclusive photograph of the killer taken inside prison has revealed.
The photo shows a leaner Robertson, with long, straight hair and a clear complexion.
Robertson was just 19 when she strangled 15-year-old dancer Rachel Barber in 1999.
The film, I Am You, starring Guy Pearce and Rebecca Gibney and depicting the chilling crime, was shot in 2009.
After years of delays, it screened on Foxtel’s movie crime channel last Sunday.
Robertson was eligible for parole on August 10, but her release has been delayed until at least next year following a public outcry by Rachel’s parents to keep her behind bars.
The image has stunned Rachel’s parents Michael and Elizabeth Barber, who have not seen their daughter’s killer since she was sentenced to 20 years’ jail in November 2000.
“There is a Rachel likeness there, the eyes,” Mr Barber said.
“I kept thinking she looks like someone I know. I thought, ‘bloody hell’. It has that feel about Rachel . . . at first glance it’s kind of weird. Everything is different, but she still has that look.”
Rachel’s mother Elizabeth Barber says she could also be trying to copy one-time prison chum, German cocaine importer Andrea Mohr.
“She doesn’t look anything like Caroline. I wouldn’t have recognised her in the least. She’s totally different,” Mrs Barber said.
“She looks like Andrea Mohr, and if I was Andrea I’d be really worried . . . that’s really creepy.”
The Herald Sun can also reveal Robertson, now 34, has had a long-term lesbian relationship with an armed robber.
Several sources have confirmed recently released inmate Annette “Chubs” Taylor has been in a four-year relationship with the killer and maintains regular contact with her lover inside Deer Park’s Dame Phyllis Frost prison.
A former inmate, who spent time inside with Robertson, said the killer never spoke about her crime and had never displayed any remorse.
“She’s seems completely normal,” the woman said. “I actually do believe she’s been rehabilitated.”
But Mr Barber said it was Robertson’s ability to keep her thoughts hidden that worried him.
“She just keeps flying under the radar, keeps quiet and tries not to get into any trouble.”
Mrs Barber said she did not begrudge Robertson happiness on the outside, but remained fearful she would re-offend.
“I hope that when she’s released she can live a quiet life and not cause any trouble,” she said.
Rachel’s boyfriend at the time has also joined the growing chorus for tougher sentencing and stricter parole conditions.
Manni Carella, 31, said he thought about Barber every day and has had anxiety attacks at the thought of Robertson being released.
The pair were madly in love and in dance school at the Dance Factory in Richmond when Rachel went missing in 1999.
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