A Queensland cold-case inquest has heard chilling evidence of a murder confession and tales of a "gang bang" in a paddock not far from where the bodies of two Sydney nurses were found.
A mill worker confessed to his boss that he had helped kill nurses Lorraine Wilson and Wendy Evans in 1974, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.
Local sawmill hand Wayne Hilton had made the confession before he died in a car crash in 1986, saying he had to quit his job because he'd done "something bad", witness Neil Shum said.
"He said, 'You would've heard of the nurses being murdered below the range'," Mr Shum, who was Mr Hilton's boss at the mill, told Toowoomba Magistrates Court.
"He said, 'It was me and my brother done that'."
Mr Shum said Hilton told him the police were "right onto them" and asked him what he would do in the situation.
"I said I'd give myself up as quick as possible," Mr Shum said.
"He said, 'I can't do that'."
Mr Shum said he did not ask which brother Hilton had been referring to, saying he only knew of one brother, who was in jail at the time.
At least five men have been named as "persons of interest" in the case.
Only three are still alive and all are to give evidence at the inquest on Wednesday.
Earlier, the court heard two women were seen having group sex with men who were later named as suspects in the murders.
The brother of dead suspect Allan John "Shorty" Laurie said he saw a "gang bang" involving "two girls from Goondiwindi" and a group of men in a paddock at Murphys Creek.
Ms Wilson and Ms Evans were hitchhiking from Goondiwindi, on the Queensland-NSW border, to Brisbane, when they disappeared in 1974.
Their skeletal remains were found, bound and with multiple skull fractures, two years later at Murphys Creek, near Toowoomba.
Walter Laurie told the inquest he was 10 when he saw the incident in 1974 and neither woman had fought back, though one had said "no more".
With a tattoo of his dead brother's nickname "Shorty" visible on his forearm, Mr Laurie said the women were not necessarily the slain nurses and could have been "any girls".
He admitted to suffering poor memory after a car accident and conceded that he'd only recalled the group sex incident after sessions with a counsellor much later.
This is the second coronial inquest into the women's deaths, after a 1985 probe failed to result in any arrests.
The hearing continues on Wednesday.