The True Story Of Two Backpacker’s Escape From A Murderer In Salt Creek, Australia

Wolf Creek is an Australian horror movie based on a true story about three backpackers who are attacked in the middle of The Outback by a man who they originally sought help from. Lena Rabente watched this movie with one of her friends before her own trip to Australia. She joked with her friend, “This would never actually happen.”

Once Lena got to Australia, however, she found out just how real that movie could be.

Beatriz and Lena

At the beginning of her trip, Lena met another backpacker, Beatriz. Beatriz is from Brazil and Lena is from German, and they were both 25 at the time. While chatting and getting to know each other, they realized that their plans were very similar and decided they should go together. Lena went on a popular Craig’s List style rideshare website in Australia called Gumtree to hitch a ride from Adelaide to Melbourne, about a 12.5-hour drive. They found a man to take them, but he canceled at the last minute due to car troubles. They decided to ride with their second choice driver, Roman Heinze. Lena noted that she didn’t pick him at first because he was very aggressive and double texting her if they wanted to go with him or not.

Little did Beatriz and Lena know, earlier that week, Roman had tied up his girlfriend while she was sleeping and sexually assaulted her. She reports that once he was finished, he rolled over and laid down like nothing had happened. He announced that the two of them were going on a trip to the beach together, but his girlfriend refused to go. So instead, he chose Beatriz and Lena as his next targets.

Roman Heinze

Roman picked Beatriz and Lena up the next day and everything seemed fine. He even let them record and take pictures inside the car. He decided to take a detour in Salt Creek, a beach along the road, to a small campsite. There is no person to be seen for hundreds of miles. They were surrounded by deserted dunes. The girls didn’t want to stop, but they went along with it anyway. Lena was a little tired, so she decided to stay in the car to nap while Beatriz and Roman start setting up camp.

While setting up, Roman tells Beatriz that he spotted some kangaroos over by the dunes, and she should check them out to take pictures. They walk over far away from the camp, and as Beatriz realizes there are no kangaroos, she starts to head back to the campsite. Roman grabs her and throws her to the ground.

A photo the girls took before the attack.

He tied her hands and feet together and cut her bikini off with a knife before sexually assaulting her. With Roman standing at 6’6”, Beatriz realized she was not going to win in a physical fight and that she needed to get Lena’s help. Beatriz managed to convince Roman that she will do whatever he wanted her to as long as they go back to the campsite. As soon as Beatriz got close enough to the campsite, she used her one chance to get Lena’s attention, who was still sleeping in the car. She shrieked, “LENA!”

Lena woke up and she ran out to look for Beatriz. She saw Roman standing over her and started yelling at him to stop. Roman continued to attack Beatriz until he noticed Lena running back to the car to get a phone to call for help. As Lena desperately searched for her phone, Roman came up from behind and hit her on the head with a hammer 3 times.

Despite profusely bleeding, Lena ran away from Roman to untie Beatriz. Roman got in the car to chase them down, and the girls decided to split; Beatriz went right and hid in some bushes, and Lena went left where there was nowhere to hide.

Lena ran zig-zags around the dunes to try to lose Roman, but he stayed on her tail and eventually started hitting her legs with his grill. She realized there was no way out, so Lena turned around, faced Roman, and ran up the car onto the roof. Through the pain and exhaustion, Lena laid down on top of the roof and literally held on for her life. Roman started driving even faster and crazier to throw her off of the roof.

Meanwhile, Beatriz spotted a truck driving along the beach and ran out, still naked, in front of the car to get them to stop. She begged the men in the car to help her find her friend Lena. They agreed, called for backup, and began to look for Roman and Lena.

Crime scene photos from Salt Creek.

Roman eventually realized that he couldn’t shake Lena off of the roof, so he stopped the car and started yelling at her to get down while swinging his hammer at her. Lena, blood still pouring from her head, told him she would only get down if he threw all his weapons away. Shockingly, he agreed, threw his weapons into the dunes, and Lena gets back in the car.

With several cars after Roman, he is finally spotted by Beatriz and her saviors. Lena spotted the car, and with her last ounces of consciousness, she leaped out of the moving car and Roman sped away. Police caught up to Roman who calmly got out of his car and allowed the police to handcuff him.

Roman was sentenced to 22 years in jail for this abduction as well as an assault on another backpacker in 2014.

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