Why sex-depraved child killers should die in jail

VICTIMS: Stacey-Ann Tracy (left) was killed by convicted murderer Barry Gordon Hadlow in 1990. Hadlow killed Stacey-Ann while he was on parole for the murder of five-year-old Sandra Bacon. Samantha Knight was murdered by convicted sex offender Michael Guider in Sydney in 1996. Guidar now wants parole.
VICTIMS: Stacey-Ann Tracy (left) was killed by convicted murderer Barry Gordon Hadlow in 1990. Hadlow killed Stacey-Ann while he was on parole for the murder of five-year-old Sandra Bacon. Samantha Knight was murdered by convicted sex offender Michael Guider in Sydney in 1996. Guidar now wants parole. Supplied

OPINION: The murder of Stacey-Ann Tracy should be a lesson for NSW's parole board as it considers freeing the man who killed Samantha Knight, writes SHERELE MOODY.

ALMOST 27 years ago, my stepfather killed a little girl. His name was Barry Gordon Hadlow. His victim was nine-year-old Stacey-Ann Tracy.

I don't often speak about Hadlow because the story of Stacey-Ann's death absolutely breaks my heart.

But as the killer of nine-year-old Samantha Knight pushes for parole, there is a lesson to be learned from Hadlow and the two little girls lost at his hands.

Hadlow married my mother when I was about 15 years old. Maybe she knew the truth about his past. Or maybe she didn't.

My siblings and I had no idea this man who suddenly entered our lives was carrying a horrifying secret.

He never lied about being in jail - just the reason for it. He would often recount proudly how he was a boxer in his youth and that he was locked up for manslaughter after accidentally killing a bloke in a fight.

Why would he tell us that he was a convicted pedophile and a child killer when he could romanticise about being a mean, lean fighting machine?

My mother and Hadlow were together for about five years when they moved from Toowoomba to Roma.

They settled into a unit neighbouring the home of Stacey-Ann, her little sister and her mum, Janet.

My twin sisters were not much older than Stacey-Ann, they all went to the same school and there's no doubt they played together a lot.

On May 23, 1990, Hadlow enticed Stacey-Ann into his car as she headed to school.

He returned to the home he shared with my mother and sisters, where he raped and suffocated the blonde-haired girl.

He then put her little lifeless body in his car and drove around for hours looking for a suitable dumping site.

He eventually left her naked body, partially wrapped in a garbage bag, by a creek bed.

Later that day he announced to my family that a little girl had disappeared and he was going to help find her.

And that is exactly what he did.

He joined hundreds of community members, police and emergency services volunteers as they searched for Stacey-Ann - a bearded, jovial giant with a massive heart of gold helping his community during its darkest hour.


Barry Gordon Hadlow was on parole when he was on parole when he killed Stacey-Ann Tracy.
Barry Gordon Hadlow was on parole when he was on parole when he killed Stacey-Ann Tracy. Supplied

Three days later Stacey-Ann's body was found and then the police arrived on our doorstep.

That's when my sisters and I began to get an inkling that Hadlow's prison story was a lie.

We soon found out he murdered Stacey-Ann while he was on parole for killing five-year-old Townsville girl Sandra Bacon in 1962.

Sandra was walking past Hadlow's home when he came out to talk to her. He tricked her into coming inside by offering her some books.

It wasn't long before he raped Sandra, then killed her.

He placed her body, partially wrapped in a corn sack, into the boot of his car and walked away.

Then he joined the community's search for the little girl.

Police eventually arrested him for Sandra's murder and he served 23 years in jail. The parole board released Hadlow despite being warned he would kill again.

If the justice system had kept Hadlow locked up for killing Sandra, Stacey-Ann would now be a grown woman probably raising kids of her own.  

Like Stacey-Ann, Samantha Knight was nine years old when convicted sex offender Michael Guider drugged, raped and murdered her in Sydney in 1996.

And like Hadlow, Guider - who was serving time for 75 child sex offences when he confessed to Samantha's murder - wants to be set free.

But there is no guarantee this depraved sex monster won't kill again.

We don't know our children will be safe but what we do know is these vile creatures cannot contain themselves.


Michael Guider killed nine-year-old Sydney girl Samantha Knight.
Michael Guider killed nine-year-old Sydney girl Samantha Knight. Daily Telegraph

They see little girls like Sandra, Stacey-Ann and Samantha as vessels for their own morbid gratification.

These children were nothing more than a means to a sick end for these men and we as a community, our justice system, parole boards and governments must never lose sight of that.

That's why today, I am joining Samantha's family and Guider's living victims in begging the New South Wales parole board to keep this monster locked up.

Forget about his civil liberties. Forget about his rights.

The day he murdered Samantha Knight is the day Guider lost any right to be free.

If there's one thing we can take away from Stacey-Ann's story, it's that the only way to keep monsters like Hadlow and Guider from harming more children is to throw away the key.

Hadlow died in prison in 2007 and that is where Guider must also die, because our children's lives are more valuable than the lives of these monsters.

Sherele Moody is a News Corp journalist and the founder of The RED HEART Campaign, which shines a light on violence against women and children in Australia.

Topics:  barry gordon hadlow child molester editors picks michael guider murder parole board samantha knight sandra bacon stacey-ann tracy the red heart campaign

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Australia's biggest wind farm coming to Darling Downs

WIND POWER: Australia's largest wind farm is set to be built in the Darling Downs north of Dalby by AGL and GE.

Wind farm will produce enough energy to power 260,000 average homes

Sex tape sequel: Man caught on camera slapped with penalty

SEX SLAVES: Human trafficking will be discussed at the upcoming Splendour Immerse Women Conference at Gayndah's ACC Church. Photo Brandon Livesay / Central & North Burnett Times

Offender exposed himself on pool table in beer garden

Your snaps could help us understand artesian springs

Travel snaps of Great Artesian Basin springs could help the government document their unique ecosystems.

Holiday snaps could help government protect springs

Local Partners

Severe fire danger warning for Darling Downs regions

AUTHORITIES are warning of severe fire conditions across the Darling Downs, Granite Belt and Maranoa regions due to recent weather patterns.

Jemma's bewitching voice

STAGE PRESENCE: Suzie Mathers and Jemma Rix in a scene from Wicked The Musical.

Wicked musical theatre star Jemma Rix has released her debut album.

This laughter yoga video will have you in fits of giggles

BEST MEDICINE: Karen Flannery is spreading happiness through laughter throughout Hervey Bay.

New members needed for a laughing good time

Dancers show off skills at Toowoomba Eisteddfod

Milla Rowbotham and Rebecca Gill from All Star Dance Academy .Toowoomba Eisteddfod, Empire Theatre. August 2017

Poems and dances dominated the 72nd City of Toowoomba Eisteddfod

Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Farang turns crime drama genre on its head and explores complex relationship of dad and daughter

Aboriginal artists' call to action

Anwar Young, winner of this year's overall prize and last year's young artist prize.

Important messages of survival and healing

Radio host Matt Okine leaps to small screen

Valene Kane, Matt Okine and Harriet Dyer star in the TV series The Other Guy.

First foray into acting a long time in the making

Hollywood’s new highest paid actress

Jennifer Lawrence had to settle for third this year behind Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston.

CAN you guess who has dethroned Jennifer Lawrence?

Movie trailer dubbed too racy for TV

Alicia Vikander stars in Tulip Fever.

THE trailer for Tulip Fever is so saucy some networks have banned it

Liz Hurley, 52, has never looked better

She’s definitely not shy to pose in a bikini.

Life in your 50s has never looked as good as it does on Liz Hurley.

Big Bang Theory star spills details about Season 11

Mayim Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory.

MAYIM Bialik has shared some details about what fans can expect.

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

How we got a rental straight away on the Coast

Rita and David Allara, moved down from Townsville, paid three months up front rent to secure the place at flash new unit block in Kings Beach.

Genius move helps secure rental property

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!