Opinion

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.

Macca confused by Government's gas export regulations

Ian Macfarlane.

Macfarlane believes regulations to restrict exports will not work

Man avoids jail for trying to buy $5000 in ice

Former CSG worker Korey Cameron Hurle, who avoided prison after trying to buy about $5000 worth of methamphetamine.

Prosecutors said the amount he tried to buy was worth about $5000

Cop convicted over woman's highway death loses appeal

Roma police constable Fabio Armando Mazza (left) has lost an appeal after being found guilty of dangerous driving causing death and injury.

Improbable to suggest motorcyclist to blame for crash, judge says

Local Partners

Toowoomba South, council elections 'poorly-handled'

THE Toowoomba South by-election and 2016 local government elections were poorly handled and mismanaged by the state’s electoral body, according to a report.

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

Chance to own a piece of Burke and Wills history

Burke and Wills venue manager Jodie Spence. The hotel which has closed to begin major renovations, will be having a sale Sunday June 18 of all furniture which includes, lamps, beds, paintings, blankets.

Vintage lovers and antique collectors are in for a treat

Rapper accidentally drops Banksy's real name in interview

THE shine might just have been taken off bling-toothed British rapper Goldie after he appeared to have revealed the identity of mysterious artist Banksy.

Mariah Carey slammed for on-set antics

Mariah Carey’s cameo in the movie The House was reportedly scrapped.

Actor spills the beans on Mariah’s “borderline abusive” behaviour.

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson dead after long illness

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died.

Celebrity chef died after battle with an alcohol-related illness

Ellen shames audience member

Ellen shamed an audience member who stole from her gift shop.

TALK show host catches audience member stealing from her gift shop.

Millionaire’s riches to rags experiment

Businessman Tim Guest swapped his comfortable lifestyle for 10 days to experience what it is like to be homeless.

Businessman discovers harsh realities of homelessness in new series.

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Britain's Prince Harry.

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Rebel Wilson to give away her defamation payout

Actor Wilson says she won't keep a cent of her defamation payout

Open for inspection: Coast homes go on show

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Residents powerless to stop Airbnb ‘party houses’

A photo of a bucks party at a short-term rental in the Watergate Apartments in Melbourne’s Docklands, presented to a Victorian parliamentary committee into changes to laws governing short-stay accommodation.

Residents band together to fight the rise of AirBnB 'party houses'

Mining giants in fight that could spell disaster for NQ town

STAND OFF: There are perfectly good homes for workers, but mining company QCoal could be forced to build a camp and the deserted streets and empty houses of Glenden would remain.

How two mining companies could ruin this small town

Home owners settling to make way for Mackay Ring Road

The Clarkson family's home was moved just down the road from their former land at Stotts Road, Te Kowai, which was resumed by TMR.

But some are still clinging on, fighting for a better deal

Three historic M'boro hotels on the market

The Lamington Hotel Motel, Maryborough. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Three historic Maryborough hotels are on the market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!