Stephen Armitage played the victim when police knocked on his door and raided his home in July 2014.
The reality was anything but — nine months earlier he had carried out the brutal torture and murder of a young father, burning his body and dumping the remains in a Queensland forest.
A police investigation was triggered when a skull was discovered, and experts were able to identify it as belonging to missing Gold Coast man Shaun Barker.
PHOTO: Police alleged Shaun Barker was murdered over an unpaid drug debt. (Supplied: Facebook)
The arrival of homicide detectives probing Mr Barker’s murder was a clear sign that Armitage had become a prime suspect, but even then he was confident of getting away with it.
Later it would emerge just how cocky he was, with the victim’s sister accusing him of posting a bizarre photo on social media where he posed shirtless in bed with a skull, while his hands were tied to the bedhead.