It’s been eight years since Madeleine Pulver had the bomb strapped to her neck.
It’s been eight years since Madeleine Pulver had the bomb strapped to her neck.

Teen in collar bomb scare thriving

Madeleine Pulver hadn't even graduated high school when a man wearing a balaclava broke into her family's home and attached what appeared to be a collar bomb to her neck.

The 17-year-old called her parents and asked them to phone the police, who found the young woman with the device locked around her neck.

It was just before 3pm on August 3, 2011 that Ms Pulver's life was flipped upside down.

Less than six months out from finishing her HSC, Ms Pulver was terrified when police arrived at her family's $15 million Mosman home.

"She told police that a short time before an older male wearing a balaclava and carrying a baseball bat approached her and told her that he was not going to hurt her. He then locked a device around her neck so it could not be removed."

"He also put a USB thumb drive attached to a lanyard around her neck. A plastic sleeve was also attached to the lanyard which held a two page document outlining extortion demands and instructions," the police dispatch note read.

 

Ms Pulver is doing well. Picture: Facebook
Ms Pulver is doing well. Picture: Facebook

 

After an agonising 10 hours, the police bomb squad eventually figured out the collar bomb was an elaborate hoax, releasing Ms Pulver from the device.

The man behind the hoax, investment banker Paul Douglas Peters, was later arrested in the US and extradited back to Australia, where he was jailed for 13-and-a-half years.

 

Paul Douglas Peters escorted by a police officer in Kentucky before being sent back to Australia. Picture: AP
Paul Douglas Peters escorted by a police officer in Kentucky before being sent back to Australia. Picture: AP

More than eight years since that harrowing day, Ms Pulver has spoken about what her life is like now.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Ms Pulver said she "tries not to think" about her terrible ordeal and was doing well.

"I'm doing really well, I'm working as an interior designer and I'm loving it," she told the publication.

"I had a career shift last year and I'm doing what I'm really passionate about now."

 

Ms Pulver said she tries not to think about the day.
Ms Pulver said she tries not to think about the day.

Ms Pulver, now 26, is working as an interior designer for Studio Aria in Double Bay.

"(What happened to me) hasn't hurt my career at all, or at least I hope not," she said.

At the time of her ordeal, Ms Pulver was in her final year at Wenona School in North Sydney, due to head to the Gold Coast to celebrate Schoolies.

 

Ms Pulver was less than six months out from graduating high school.
Ms Pulver was less than six months out from graduating high school.

 

After school, she went to study communications at UTS, doing a semester abroad in Denmark at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in 2015.

After working briefly as an account director for top marketing firm Havas Sydney, she moved on to interior design, studying a diploma in the subject at the prestigious Billy Blue College of Design.

On her LinkedIn page, Ms Pulver describes herself as "hardworking, positive and adaptable" and also makes note of her nomination as graduate of the year at the Design Institute of Australia's 2019 Awards.

 

She has moved into interior design.
She has moved into interior design.

The 26-year-old rarely speaks about her traumatic experience but did say a brief statement after Peters was sentenced to at least 10 years in jail, telling reporters she hoped for a future "where Paul Peters' name is not linked with mine".

 

Ms Pulver speaking to media after Peter’s sentence. Picture: Rob Griffith
Ms Pulver speaking to media after Peter’s sentence. Picture: Rob Griffith

 

Ms Pulver also shunned the spotlight when she was given a Group Bravery Citation award in 2017. Constable Karen Lowden, who sat with Ms Pulver for the first three hours, collected a Star of Courage award.

"I've never liked expanding (about what happened) but in the case of these awards, Karen and the NSW Police should be the point of focus," Ms Pulver told The Daily Telegraph at the time.

"To be honest I was so surprised to hear that I was being considered for the award but I am extremely grateful.

"I am so pleased that Karen and all the people involved from the NSW Police Force are being recognised because they were truly extraordinary with the support they gave me and my family on the night."

 

Constable Lowden with Ms Pulver.
Constable Lowden with Ms Pulver.