Geelong teenager Ricky Balcombe was stabbed to death in a busy shopping centre in broad daylight but his killer got away with the crime for 23 years.
The man responsible, Karl Hague, was charged shortly after the 1995 murder but on the eve of his first trial the case was dropped due to lack of evidence.
After a renewed bid for leads, Hague was charged again in 2017 and in April this year was found guilty of murdering 16-year-old Ricky.
Hague, 21 at the time, ran up to the boy in Geelong's Market Square and stabbed him outside the centre's lifts on May 5, 1995.
The "callous" act was done in retribution after a street gang attacked a car Hague was sitting in weeks earlier.
Hague was finally brought to justice on Friday when Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry jailed him for 26 years with a minimum term of 20 years.
The killer, in a pinstripe suit, abused journalists as he was taken from the dock by guards.
"Get your story right, you f***ing slut," Hague told a female reporter.
Hague's supporters also swore at reporters outside court.
Ricky's mother Christine Loader said her life stopped the day her "beautiful son" was murdered.
She found it incredibly hard waiting decades for the killer to be caught.
After the sentence, Ms Loader said she was pleased with Hague's 26-year jail term.
"It'll never bring Rick back but it's a good (sentence)," she said.
Hague continually denied the killing or even being present at the shopping centre when Ricky was killed.
But he was spotted by a witness who saw Hague run up to Ricky and stab him in the back and neck.
"You brazenly stabbed him in public at a time when there were a large number of people," Justice Lasry said.
"This was a deliberate and callous act which you had thought about for some time."
Ricky was a member of the bandana-wearing teen street gang the Main Street Criminals.
Two weeks before the murder, Hague beat up Ricky and later that night the MSC attacked a Kingswood with a machete in a car park.
Hague was in the car and suffered a cut on the neck. Believing Ricky was involved, he wanted revenge.
The youth had been at a gaming arcade in the mall shortly before being stabbed. He was rushed to hospital but died from three wounds.
Hague fled to a friend's house to change clothes before riding his push bike to his girlfriend's house, the judge said.
He was interviewed by police in the days after and charged with murder, but charges were withdrawn by prosecutors shortly before Hague was due to stand trial in 1996.
The case went cold for two decades until Victoria Police offered a $1 million reward for fresh information.
Throughout it all, Hague denied murdering Ricky.
"There is no remorse," Justice Lasry said.