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Extraordinary sign In Kirkstall , near Warrnambool, thanking double killer for riding town of thug

A sign nailed to the front door of a double murderer’s house thanked him for liberating his small town from its most despised identity.

Travis Cashmore killed Warrnambool thug Kevin Knowles after mowing down his buddy Benjamin Ray in his car and shooting them both dead.

The sign read: ‘Free. Trav! You and the Kirkstall community are now free of Kevin Knowles. REST IN PEACE.’

The sign nailed to Travis Cashmore's front door shortly after the double homicide suicide

The sign nailed to Travis Cashmore’s front door shortly after the double homicide suicide

Travis Cashmore's buddy was threatened by Kevin Knowles when he armed himself with a shotgun and shot him and his associate Ben Ray

Travis Cashmore's buddy was threatened by Kevin Knowles when he armed himself with a shotgun and shot him and his associate Ben Ray

Travis Cashmore’s buddy was threatened by Kevin Knowles when he armed himself with a shotgun and shot him and his associate Ben Ray

Kevin Knowles was one of two shot dead in Kirkstall on July 22.  He himself was a career criminal and suspected murderer

Kevin Knowles was one of two shot dead in Kirkstall on July 22.  He himself was a career criminal and suspected murderer

Kevin Knowles was one of two shot dead in Kirkstall on July 22. He himself was a career criminal and suspected murderer

At the time of Knowles’ death his criminal record filled more than 50 pages.

Kirkstall, a small town 275km southwest of Melbourne with a population of less than 400 people, is known as a peaceful farming community northwest of Warrnambool’s main road.

Warrnambool journalist Andrew Thomson, who writes for the local newspaper The Standard, had taken the photo of the sign outside Cashmore’s home before it was removed.

Daily Mail Australia bought Thomson’s extraordinary effigy, which showed how much contempt the townsfolk held for Knowles.

Cashmore’s body was found in the house after he turned his gun on himself shortly after shooting the couple with a shotgun.

Knowles and his acquaintance were murdered in broad daylight on July 22, a few miles from Knowles’ own home in Kirkstall.

Ray – a father of three – was hit by Cashmore’s car on Scotts North Road before being shot at close range with a shotgun.

Thomson reported that Knowles was shot execution style.

Knowles was hated by the local community, which he had terrorized for the past 10 years before his death.

A man from Warrnambool who knew enough about Knowles had described him as “the devil.”

That man, Stephen Johnston, was said to be brutally beaten to death in his own home by Knowles after he took offense at being questioned about stealing a man’s girlfriend while he was in prison.

Knowles was never charged with the murder of Johnston in December 2016, but Victorian coroner Simon McGregor had no doubts that he did when he handed over his findings in 2019.

Amanda Bourke drowned while swimming with criminal Kevin Knowles.  She had been the only witness to a suspected murder committed by him

Amanda Bourke drowned while swimming with criminal Kevin Knowles.  She had been the only witness to a suspected murder committed by him

Amanda Bourke drowned while swimming with criminal Kevin Knowles. She had been the only witness to a suspected murder committed by him

Amanda Bourke was the only other person who knew what Knowles had done to Stephen Johnston.  She died without ever being able to testify against him

Amanda Bourke was the only other person who knew what Knowles had done to Stephen Johnston.  She died without ever being able to testify against him

Amanda Bourke was the only other person who knew what Knowles had done to Stephen Johnston. She died without ever being able to testify against him

The court heard that Johnston Knowles was never allowed and believed that he “used and abused” people.

“He sometimes refers to Mr. Knowles in his journal as ‘the devil,'” the coroner noted.

The night he was knocked down within an inch of his life, Mr. Johnston had been drinking heavily with Knowles and his girlfriend Amanda Bourke.

The court heard that Mr Johnston made the deadly mistake of calling Knowles’ “lunch cutting” to him while he was drunk in his own backyard.

The 57-year-old’s death was being investigated by the coroner because he appeared to have been bludgeoned to death.

When police found him, he was still clinging to life, but with 101 separate injuries, he died in hospital before he could tell them what had happened.

A witness told police he saw Johnston chasing Knowles and Bourke out of his yard that night while wielding a hammer.

The couple claimed they returned that morning to find Mr Johnston naked and battered in his front yard.

They took him inside to rest, then used his credit cards to make a Maccas run, they told police.

With no CCTV, no witnesses, and no real evidence to pin down his murder, Knowles walked free.

The only witness to what happened that night, his partner, was said to have died under mysterious circumstances in January 2018 while Knowles was still under investigation.

Travis Cashmore, 45, armed herself with a shotgun and shot Knowles and his associate

Travis Cashmore, 45, armed herself with a shotgun and shot Knowles and his associate

Travis Cashmore, 45, armed herself with a shotgun and shot Knowles and his associate

1660351905 320 Extraordinary sign In Kirkstall near Warrnambool thanking double killer

1660351905 320 Extraordinary sign In Kirkstall near Warrnambool thanking double killer

Benjamin Ray was run over and then shot by Travis Cashmore

Cashman was found dead in a nearby home on Chamberlain Street shortly after the shooting (photo, emergency services on Kirkstall-Koroit Road)

Cashman was found dead in a nearby home on Chamberlain Street shortly after the shooting (photo, emergency services on Kirkstall-Koroit Road)

Cashman was found dead in a nearby home on Chamberlain Street shortly after the shooting (photo, emergency services on Kirkstall-Koroit Road)

Coroner McGregor had heard that Knowles feared that his partner would eventually give birth to him.

He had received letters from Knowles urging Mrs Bourke not to be a ‘dog’ and yelling at him at the ‘jacks’.

Despite Mrs Bourke being the only person known to link Knowles to Mr Johnston’s murder, there was never an inquest into her death.

Instead, the coroner simply found that Mrs. Bourke had agreed to go swimming with Knowles in an infamous stretch of water halfway between Warrnambool and Port Fairy.

Knowles told police she was swept away from him and drowned.

A witness supported Knowles’ claims that he had tried to help her.

While deputy coroner Caitlin English learned that Knowles had a history of bashing Ms Bourke, the coroner found she was simply a tragic victim of the sea.

Those unlucky enough to come into contact with Knowles knew he was capable of murder.

The news of his bloody execution was greeted with relief within the wider Warrnambool community.

“He was a stand-over man, woman beating up oxygen thief and that’s putting it nicely,” a local posted on social media when he learned of Knowles’ demise.

“Hopefully he saw it coming. Too bad Travis didn’t plan it better. The pub was literally sold out to celebrate.’

Travis Cashmore would have taken the law into his own hands when he executed two men

Travis Cashmore would have taken the law into his own hands when he executed two men

Travis Cashmore would have taken the law into his own hands when he executed two men

A witness told police she heard at least two gunshots and the sound of a vehicle driving away shortly before the grim discovery (photo, police vehicle on Kirkstall-Koroit Road)

A witness told police she heard at least two gunshots and the sound of a vehicle driving away shortly before the grim discovery (photo, police vehicle on Kirkstall-Koroit Road)

A witness told police she heard at least two gunshots and the sound of a vehicle driving away shortly before the grim discovery (photo, police vehicle on Kirkstall-Koroit Road)

Emergency services on Kirkstall-Koroit Road, Kirkstall after Travis Cashmore Knowles and Ben Ray.  shot dead

Emergency services on Kirkstall-Koroit Road, Kirkstall after Travis Cashmore Knowles and Ben Ray.  shot dead

Emergency services on Kirkstall-Koroit Road, Kirkstall after Travis Cashmore Knowles and Ben Ray. shot dead

Just days after the murders, Cashmore’s father Ron Cashmore told a local ABC His son’s concerns about Knowles had been dismissed by the police.

Mr Cashmore claimed that his son Knowles had filmed violating an intervention order against his partner just two days before his violent outburst.

Knowles was jailed in January after he lobbied for cashmore’s partner armed with a knife Warrnambool Standard reported.

The infamous brute had visited Cashmore’s friend’s house with Mr. Ray, who was hiding behind bushes.

Mr Ray allegedly claimed to have been previously threatened by Cashmore’s partner.

Cashmore was at his friend’s house at the time and filmed the incident, with Knowles brandishing a silver kitchen knife.

‘I’m going to kill you and your children. Your days are numbers,” Knowles is said to have said.

Knowles had faced charges of violating the warrant that allegedly related to the harassment of Cashmore’s friend when he was murdered.

Knowles had also threatened to kill Cashmore, his father told ABC.

Cashmore was so paranoid that he installed security lights and cameras in front of his house just a mile from Knowles.

“What he did to Travis was out of this world, you wouldn’t believe it. He terrorized and harassed him,” said Mr Cashmore Snr.

“Knowles would be in Travis’ yard, he would ask for money, he knew where he hid his keys… Travis was beginning to think he had cameras with him. He got paranoid.’

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