Psycho killer Nick Boak who killed a stranger in a Cairns shopping centre was an accountant who claimed to be a decorated SAS veteran
- Holiday resort auditor posed as an SAS hero who won VC
- He slit the throat of a random stranger in a shopping mall
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- READ MORE: Tragic reason dad-of-five was wandering shopping centre
A psychotic killer accountant who slit the throat of a random stranger in a shopping mall led a deluded fantasy life where he claimed to be a decorated soldier.
Twisted Nick Boak, 40, claimed to be an SAS veteran who had won the Victoria Cross for bravery before he launched his savage attack on Michael Eaton, 51.
Mr Eaton was a lonely father-of-five who had recently split with his wife and was an early morning regular at Cairns Central Shopping Centre in far north Queensland.
The friendly former dog breeder and car fanatic was unable to work for health reasons but enjoyed the company of chatting with shop staff before they opened.
But at 8am on a Wednesday morning in September 2021, he was targeted by Boak on the ground floor of the mall while Boak was in the midst of a psychotic episode.
The accountant – who had most recently been working at holiday resorts on Fitzroy Island and in Airlie Beach – began ranting erratically at Mr Eaton, said locals.
Mr Eaton shrugged off the outbursts, but Boak suddenly pulled out a knife and crept up behind Mr Eaton before slashing his throat without any warning or provocation.
The deluded life of psychotic killer accountant Nick Boak can finally be revealed after he slit the throat of a random stranger in a city shopping mall
Michael Eaton, 51, (pictured) was a lonely father-of-five who had recently split with his wife and was an early morning regular at Cairns Central Shopping Centre in far north Queensland
At 8am on a Wednesday morning in September 2021, he was targeted by Boak on the ground floor of the mall while Boak was in the midst of a psychotic episode
He left Mr Eaton bleeding out where he died 20 minutes later, drenched in a pool of his own blood, despite the efforts of bystanders and emergency services.
Brisbane-born Boak was arrested nearby soon after and the details of his bizarre past began to be revealed.
He was already under investigation by ex-military veterans after bizarrely claiming to be an SAS hero who saw action in Korea, and that he had won the Victoria Cross.
In an application to join a Queensland Returned Serviceman’s Club, he said he was a serving Major who had tours of duty in Malaysia, Iraq, the Gulf War and Afghanistan.
He claimed to have enlisted in 2003 and even posed as a secret service spy, adopting the 007-style name Nick Bond Industries for one of the companies he set up.
But the reality was very different.
Boak was instead an otherwise mild-mannered accountant and fitness freak who studied at Ballarat-based Federation University in regional Victoria.
He joined the Australian Army Reserves while a student but graduated as an accountant who also worked as a personal trainer.
He also attended Duntroon Royal Military College in Canberra with the reserves but there’s no record of him seeing action, despite posing on social media with medals.
A month before he launched his savage attack on Mr Eaton, he had just started his latest new firm Advanced Accounting Australia while employed as an auditor on Fitzroy Island.
Boak’s lies were exposed by an online group of former soldiers who hunt down fake soldiers online to shame them for their lies on Facebook.
Six days before his bloody attack, he posed with a dumbbell while looking intensely at the camera and said he was working on his beach body
Boak’s application claimed to have served in various theatres of war as a major in the SAS and he also claimed to have won the Victoria Cross for bravery
He moved back to Queensland from Victoria in 2018 and relocated from Airlie Beach to work on Fitzroy Island during the Covid lockdowns but struggled to make friends.
In social media posts just nine days before he killed Mr Eaton, Boak reached out to make new mates in the Cairns area.
‘I’ve now been a resident of Fitzroy Island for three months and I’m putting down roots,’ he posted.
‘If you are a local and planning a visit and a hike here and are a good human please feel free to DM me.’
In another post, six days before his bloody attack, he posed with a dumbbell while looking intensely at the camera and said he was working on his beach body.
‘A pre-shift workout is just the best,’ he posted on Instagram. ‘I am so very thankful for this amazing gym on our tropical island paradise.
‘Beach-ready goal is on track for summer. VIP Visitor access and 1on1 training hopefully soon…’
He flew into Cairns from Fitzroy just a few days before he went on his murderous rampage, but no reason for the savage attack has ever been revealed.
In the wake of his arrest, Boak was considered too dangerous to appear in court to face murder charges.
‘He presents an extreme risk to watchhouse staff,’ police prosecutor Codi Dalley told Cairns Magistrates Court hours after his arrest.
‘We would require extra time and a specialised team to move him.’
Two years later on August 18, 2023, the court found Boak was of unsound mind and discontinued proceedings.
He was transferred to the high security psychiatric unit at The Park Centre for Mental Health in Wacol, Brisbane, for treatment.
Nick Boak moved back to Queensland from Victoria in 2018 and relocated from Airlie Beach to work on Fitzroy Island during the Covid lockdowns but struggled to make friends
Detective Inspector Kevin Goan said his sympathies were with Boak’s victim Mr Eaton and his family.
‘His untimely death is mourned by many,’ said DI Goan. ‘He was considered to be quite a pleasant, laidback man.
‘His engagements with others were quite happy, not something that would warrant this type of action towards him.’
The family appealed for privacy in the wake of the tragedy and DI Goan added: ‘He also has an aged mother who is doing it tough at this time because of this loss.’
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