Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fathers who kill the kids to punish the mother (Australia)

What all these cases have in common is that they were fathers who murdered their kids to punish the mother for leaving them. In every case, the father was able to kill the victims because he had access to them.

Australian fathers who murder their sons and daughters

This story was published: 3 days ago February 14, 2014 4:48PM

IT IS impossible to understand how Luke Batty’s father Greg could brutally murder his own son at cricket training.

He was just 11 years old and “the only bright light” in his dad’s life, according to Luke’s mum Rosie Batty.

“No one loved Luke more than his father. No one loved Luke more than me — we both loved him,” Rosie said yesterday.

Luke, a grade 6 student at Flinders Christian Community College in Tyabb, was killed during cricket practice about 6.30pm on Wednesday at the Bunguyan Reserve on Frankston-Flinders Rd.

The attack happened in front of shocked witnesses, including many children and friends of the young boy. His mother was also present.

Luke’s dad died after he was shot in the chest by police following his heinous crime.

He now joins a small number of troubled Australian men who have committed the unthinkable act of killing their own children.


Today, little Darcey Freeman should be sitting in a small seat in a Victorian classroom. She would be in the later years of primary school, mastering her times tables.

That’s how it should have been. But she never made it to her first day of school on January 29, 2009.

At about 9am, her father Arthur Freeman pulled his Toyota Land Cruiser over into the extreme left hand lane of the Westgate Bridge, Melbourne’s tallest.

Near the highest point, he alighted from the car and pulled Darcey, 4, from the front passenger seat.

In front of his sons Ben, 6, and Jack, 2, he dangled Darcey, who was just days off turning 5, over the railing.

Then, to the horror of motorists, he dropped her. She fell 58m over the edge and, according to young Ben, did not scream.

Apparently emotionless, he drove off.

One of his surviving children, Ben, would then clamber into the front seat. He knew what he saw, even if he did not understand the gravity of it.

“I said ‘go back and get her. Darcey can’t swim’,” the child told police, later, in an interview. But Freeman kept driving. “He didn’t go back and get her,” the child said.

As the enormity of his actions set in, a trembling and crying Freeman then handed himself over to police at the Commonwealth Law Courts building.

Later, the Supreme Court concluded Freeman’s only motive could have been to hurt his former wife, Peta Barnes. Read the judge’s sentencing remarks.

Before his murder, Freeman rang his ex-wife, who was waiting at the school to witness her daughter’s milestone. “Say goodbye to your children,” he said. “You will never see them again.”

The earliest date he will be eligible to be released will be January 29, 2041. He will be 67 years old.


The children had presents for Robert Farquharson on the fateful 2005 day. Saucepans, as well as a framed photo of the three boys.

It was Father’s Day and it had been a big afternoon for Farquharson, a window cleaner, and his three boys, Jai, 10, Tyler, 7, and Bailey, 2.

According to a detailed account in The Australian Book of Family Murders, they had visited Geelong, 35 minutes away from their home in Winchelsea, where he had purchased presents for the boys. They dropped in on their aunt and ate KFC for dinner before they headed home.

Farquharson has always claimed he does not remember what happened next, except that he had a coughing fit and blacked out.

But courts have convicted him twice, in 2007 and 2010, for murdering his children that evening. He steered his car off the Princes Highway into a dark, deep dam.

All of his children drowned. He survived.

The smoking gun in the Farquharson case was a witness who said he told him he resented his ex-wife and had said he wanted to take the most important thing away from her — the children.

“You wiped out your entire family in one act,” ruled Justice Philip Cummins in the first trial.

“Only the two parents remained: you, because you had always intended to save yourself, and their mother, because you intended her to live a life of suffering.”

Farquharson has also lost a High Court appeal bid. He is serving a minimum sentence of 33 years behind bars.


Patrick Langfield, 13, was a beautiful boy. The nicest kid, “the best you could ask for”, his family and friends said. A school captain and athlete. Gifted and popular. Everyone held him in high esteem, reports said. He was very close to his parents.

The Catholic college student was shot dead by his dad, Raymond Langfield, in April 2012. The Wagga Wagga man and former rugby league player then killed himself.

Before the deaths, Langfield shot a video of his children sleeping and spoke of his love for them in past tense.

The family did not witness the deaths and the reasons why the tragedy occurred remain unknown, with a coronial inquest inconclusive.

The murder-suicide was “incomprehensible”, the coroner Megan Greenwood said.

“In particular, it is difficult to understand why Patrick died,” she said. “There is no evidence that enables me to shed any light on this question.”

Ms Greenwood said the father had been left devastated by the breakdown of his marriage with wife Debbie.

Langfield was medicated for anxiety and depression at the time.


Dubbed the “Tasmanian Devil”, Peter Shoobridge, 52, lived a quiet life on a property near Southernfield, Tasmania. He became a mass murderer when he slit the throats of his four daughters.

In the early hours of the morning on June 26, 1997, the antique restorer and poet snuck into the rooms of his daughters - aged 9, 12, 14 and 18 - and cut their throats.

After the murders, he drove to the nearby town of Cambridge and mailed letters explaining his actions to relatives, claiming he didn’t want his offspring living in this “troubled world”. After that, he returned home, called authorities alerting them to a murder suicide, then drove to his restoration workshop where he chopped his right hand off with an axe, then shot himself in the head with a .22 calibre rifle.

He had no history of mental illness.

“He was a hard working bloke, who didn’t smoke or drink, and he lived by himself. This is just unreal,” said neighbour Kevin Nykiel at the time.

Police believe Shoobridge’s recent separation from his Wendy - who retained custody of their daughters - was the reason for the mass murder.