On July 5, 2018, 13-year-old Jennifer Edwards got off the bus and walked eight minutes to get to her home in West Pennant Hills, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. Jenny had no idea that her father, 67-year-old John Edwards, was following her in a car he rented so she wouldn’t recognize him. When Jenny arrived at home, John pulled into the driveway and chased her inside the house with a handgun. Jenny fled to her brother’s bedroom, where she and 15-year-old Jack huddled under his computer desk, terrified, as their own father stormed in and fired multiple shots directly into his helpless children’s bodies.
This is the story of two kids whose mother did everything she could to protect them from the man she left after years of psychological and physical abuse. It’s also the story of a family who was catastrophically failed by multiple systems that were in place to prevent horrific events like Jack and Jenny’s murders from occurring, and of a man who, despite leaving decades of red flags in his wake, still managed to secure the permits and licenses he needed to buy multiple guns.
This is part one of the infuriating story of Jack and Jennifer Edwards.
Links discussed in this episode:
Laura Richards on coercive control: https://www.thelaurarichards.com/resources/coercivecontrol
Domestic violence resources in Australia:
1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732
Women’s Crisis Line: 1800 811 811
Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491
Lifeline (24 hour crisis line): 131 114
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
NSW Domestic Violence Line: 1800 656 463
Qld DV Connect Womensline: 1800 811 811
Vic Safe Steps crisis response line: 1800 015 188
ACT 24/7 Crisis Line: (02) 6280 0900
Tas Family Violence Counseling and Support Service: 1800 608 122
SA Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1800 800 098
WA Women’s Domestic Violence 24h Helpline: 1800 007 339
NT Domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732
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This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.
For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.
Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.