5 Most Evil Australian Family Annihilators

18 min read
5 Most Evil Australian Family Annihilators

Family Annihilators or committing ‘Familcide’ is the most wicked, evil, and selfish crime anyone could commit – and what makes it even more despicable, is that it is murder against your own kin.

The term ‘Family Annihilator’ has been around for a while, but it became commonplace after the infamous Chris Watt’s case in the United States. Chris Watts killed his wife and two baby daughters, just so that he could start a new life with his mistress.

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The coffins of Anthony Harvey’s three children, Beatrix, Alice and Charlotte
(Image via The Guardian)

As we have mentioned in our article on the 5 Horrific Stories of Family Annihilators, the ‘typical’ family annihilator falls into one of the following four categories:

  • The Self-Righteous Family Annihilator
  • The ‘Disappointed’ Family Annihilator
  • The Anomic Family Annihilator
  • The ‘Paranoid’ Family Annihilator

A ‘typical’ family annihilator will be aged in his early 30’s. He will have a well-paying job and at least two young kids not yet of school age. He will have no criminal history and no documented mental health issues.

A ‘typical’ family annihilator will kill his family in August, on a Sunday. And afterward, he will most likely try and commit suicide.

Australia has had its fair share of family annihilators. Some you will know, others are quite old but not less shocking. There are even a few women on our list. Because family annihilators are not just men.

More Reading:

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Gavin Willie, the father of four of the eight children killed by Raina Thaiday

1. Peter Miles (The Osmington Shooting)

  • Victims: 7
  • Location: Osmington, Western Australia
  • Date of Crime: 11th May 2018

Peter Miles was a 61-year-old retired high school teacher living with his wife, daughter, and four grandchildren at a thirty-acre property in Osmington near Margaret River in Western Australia. Miles shot his wife, daughter, and his four grandchildren before committing suicide.

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Katrina Miles and her four children

A Background on the Miles Family

Peter Miles had come from a home with a history of family violence. He was estranged from his parents after his father had tried to kill him. Miles was the father of three children, Katrina, Neil, and another son who had burned down a shed during a family dispute before taking his own life.

His daughter Katrina (35) had separated from her husband and was living with her parents in Osmington in a livable shed that included a school room just for the grandchildren. The marriage breakup between Katrina and her husband Aaron was messy, and Peter had contributed $100,000 of his own money towards lawyers fees. His son, Neil, was awaiting a kidney transplant and was gravely ill.

Katrina’s four children, Tay 13, Rylan 12, Arye 10, and Kayden 8 were all on the autism spectrum. Katrina had pulled the children out of the local school and had begun home-schooling. Katrina herself had her share of mental illness and had once threatened to kill herself and her four children by driving her car into a tree.

Peter Miles himself was out of work and was seeking jobs as a handyman in the area.

The Day of the Osmington Murders

On the 11th May 2018, Peter went out to the separate residence where his daughter, Katrina, and her four children lived, and shot them dead. All the children died in their beds. He then went back to his home at the main residence where he shot his wife, Cynda. He called Police and then shot himself.

What Happened to Peter Miles?

Peter Miles committed suicide on the day of the murders. He was found in a chair on the verandah of the property. Peter was known to have at least three firearms on the property. He had left a suicide note advising that Aaron Cockman (Katrina’s ex-husband) was to have the contents of the house.

The Osmington Shooting is the worse mass shooting since the 1996 Port Arther massacre.

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2. Anthony Harvey

  • Victims: 5
  • Location: Bedford, Western Australia
  • Date of Crime: 3rd September 2018

Anthony Harvey killed his three children, his wife, and the children’s grandmother on the 3rd of September 2018 in Bedford, a suburb of Perth. He has become the first person in Western Australia ordered by a judge to ‘Never to be released’. Justice Stephen Hall (the same judge that deliberated in the Claremont Serial Killer case) said that Anthony Harvey’s crimes were so exceptionally horrific, that he should never be free.

The victims of Harvey’s crimes were his wife Mara Harvey (41), her mother Beverley Quinn (73), twin daughters Alice and Beatrix (2), and daughter Charlotte (3).

The murders were premeditated and horrifically violent.

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Background on the Harvey Family

Anthony Harvey met his future wife in 2013 whilst working at the Sino Steel mine site in the northwest of Western Australia. Mara was 17 years his senior. It wasn’t long before the couple was married on the 4th of November 2015 and their first daughter Charlotte came along soon after. The couple purchased a Jim’s Mowing Franchise and worked in their own business.

Less than a year after Charlotte was born, Mara was pregnant again, this time with twin girls, Beatrix and Alice.

Friends and family of the couple stated there was no hint of trouble or unhappiness in their relationship. However other franchisee’s stated that Harvey had severe mood swings. He had also told neighbors that he had to work additional hours including weekends to make ends meet which hinted at financial difficulties.

Mara Harvey had owned an investment property that she was trying to sell to help with the family finances but the property had remained unsold.

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Australian Family Annihilator Anthony Harvey

The Lead-Up to the Murder

Anthony Harvey had been planning the elimination of his family. He has written about ’embracing his animal instincts’ in his journal. And that ‘I am no psycho, I feel, I feel too much, I always have. I will regret what I do.’

On the day of the murder, Harvey’s wife Mara had arrived home from her night job at Coles, Harvey attacked his wife with a pole, and then repeatedly stabbed her using a machete-sized knife he had purchased days before. Mara was stabbed 12 times in the back.

He then killed his three daughters with a smaller-sized knife as they slept. Beatrix was stabbed nine times, Alice 13 times, and Charlotte 38 times.

He then went to bed. The next day, Beverley Ann Quinn, the kid’s Grandmother visited the home with a basket of washing. Harvey helped her inside before he struck her with a pipe and stabbed her. He placed all the bodies into one bed and covered them with a doona and laid flowers and notes on top. The notes read:

‘To my beautiful wife, I’m so sorry. I would give anything to undo what I’ve done.”

‘I think I’ve lost my mind.

‘Take care of those little girls like you always do. I love you so much.’

The bodies lay in the house for days before Harvey sold various household items for cash. He rang his wife’s boss to tell them she had broken a bone in her foot and wouldn’t be in to work. He emptied the family’s bank accounts and then drove 1500km north to the Pilbara town of Pannawonica where his parents resided.

He told them ‘I’ve done something really wrong’.

With his parent’s assistance, Harvey turned himself in to Police.

The journal was found in his vehicle together with polaroid pictures of the bodies.

A psychiatric evaluation of Anthony Harvey suggested that he had symptoms of high-functioning autism.

Where is Anthony Harvey Now?

Anthony Harvey resides in Hakea Prison, a maximum security prison in Perth, and will never be released.

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3. John Sharpe (Sharpe Family Murders)

  • Victims: 2
  • Location: Melbourne, Victoria
  • Date of Crime: 23 – 27th March 2004

John Sharpe brutally killed his pregnant wife Anna with a spear gun, before dismembering her body with a chainsaw. A few days later, he purchased additional spears before also killing his 20-month-old daughter Gracie. He then disposed of his baby daughter and wife in a waste collection bin at Transfer Station.

Sharpe had pretended that his wife had left him for another man, and she had taken their daughter with her.

He eventually confessed to their murders and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

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Anna, Gracie and John Sharpe

Background on the Sharpe Family

John Sharpe grew up in the Mornington area of Victoria. He met his New Zealand-born wife Anna when they worked together at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Anna was four years his senior. The couple was married in October 1994. Eight years later, their daughter Gracie Louise Sharp was born in August 2002.

Gracie Sharpe was born with hip dysplasia and required a corrective harness for the first three months of her life. Gracie was unsettled, cried often, and had difficulty sleeping. Anna was seeking professional assistance with Gracie’s feeding and sleeping. Little Gracie was fifteen months old when Anna again became pregnant.

John Sharpe resented Gracie for the pressure she put on the couple and the new pregnancy was unexpected. He knew the unborn baby which would put even more pressure on the pair.

In 2003, Sharpe purchased a speargun and began to practice shooting it in the backyard of the couple’s home in Prince Street, Mornington, even though he had no interest in the sport previously.

The Killings

On the 23rd March 2004, John and Anna had an argument, before Anna went to bed and fell asleep between 9 and 10pm. Sharpe retrieved the speargun from the garage, returned to the couple’s bedroom and fired the spear into his wife’s left temple. But after being shot, Anna was still breathing, so Sharpe re-loaded, and shot Anna a second time, killing her.

Sharpe covered his wife’s body in towels and then slept on a pull-out bed. The next morning, Sharpe attempted to remove the spears from his wife’s dead body. He buried his wife in a shallow grave in their backyard.

Sharpe continued to take Gracie to and from her daily childcare. He told the childcare center that Anna had left him for another man. Sharpe even took Gracie back to the sports store where he purchased his speargun to buy more spears.

On the 27th March 2004, Sharpe downed several glasses of whiskey before shooting his daughter in the head with a spear. Gracie screamed, so Sharpe grabbed the two spears he had used to kill Anna and fired these at Gracie’s head. Gracie was still alive. So he removed a spear from her head and then re-fired it – finally killing her.

He wrapped Gracie’s body in garbage bags and disposed of her body at the Mornington Refuse Transfer station together with the speargun, the spears, and some of Gracie’s toys. He dug up Anna’s body, dismembered her with a chainsaw and took her body to the same refuse station where he dumped Gracie.

Sharpe forged emails ‘from Anna’ to her family in New Zealand and even arranged for flowers to be delivered for his mother-in-laws’ birthday. But Anna’s mother was suspicious. The emails didn’t sound like Anna and it was unusual of her not to call. So she reported her daughter missing to the police in Dunedin, who then worked with the Victorian Police.

John Sharpe gave many media interviews about his missing wife and daughter. He maintained the narrative that she had run off with another man. He stated:

“Anna, our marriage may be over but I still love you and you are the mother of our beautiful daughter Gracie, whom we both adore more than anyone else.”

Victorian police interviewed Sharpe twice. The first interview he continued to deny any knowledge of their whereabouts. But in the second interview, he broke and admitted to the murders.

His reasoning was that his wife was ‘controlling and moody’. He didn’t want a child and the couple were in a ‘loveless and unhappy’ marriage.

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John and Anna Sharpe on their wedding day

Where is John Sharpe today?

John Sharpe was sentenced to life imprisonment and was sentenced to a minimum non-parole period of 33 years. He will be eligible for parole in 2037.

Anna’s family believes that Anna was killed because she discovered that John Sharpe had been sexually abusing Gracie. Sharpe had previous child molestation charges against him which Anna wasn’t aware of.

4. Rowan Baxter

  • Victims: 3
  • Location: Brisbane, Queensland
  • Date of Crime: 19th February 2020

In one of the most horrific cases of Domestic Violence on record, Hannah Clarke and her three children were burnt alive when her ex-husband, Rowan Baxter leaped into her vehicle before pouring petrol over the family and lighting them on fire. Hannah had been leaving an ongoing domestic violence situation with Rowan Baxter and was living with her parents at the time. Baxter had a history of domestic violence and coercive control.

Baxter committed suicide at the scene of the crime and died from his injuries. Hannah survived long enough with her devastating injuries to 97% of her body to tell emergency services who did this to her and her children before she passed away.

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Background on the Baxter Family

Rowan Baxter was a narcissistic, short-tempered obsessive gym junkie who was a hothead and was never ‘in the wrong’. From Tauranga in New-Zealand originally, Baxter was into porn at a very young age and treated his mother with disrespect. Baxter’s father was imprisoned for sexually abusing his sisters. When Baxter was in his 20’s, his mother died of a brain aneurysm which affected his mental health. For a period, Baxter trained with New Zealand NRL team the Warriors.

Rowan and his family moved from New Zealand to Australia in 2007.

Hannah was school captain at her high school and represented Queensland for the trampoline. Hannah started coaching the trampoline at the local Carindale PCYC, and then the Kindy Gym at the PCYC. During one of these classes, Hannah met Rowan, the father of one of the children. Rowan Baxter was married at the time and one son. Hannah was 20 years old, and Rowan was 31. Baxter told Hannah he was separated from his wife. Four months after meeting, Baxter moved out of his marital home, and six months into their relationship, Hannah became pregnant.

Although Hannah wanted to keep the baby, Baxter told her she was too young and the pregnancy was aborted.

Hannah again became pregnant, and the pair were married 2012. Their first child, Aaliyah was born in April 2013. Shortly after their marriage, Baxter started dictating what Hannah could and could not wear. She wasn’t allowed to wear shorts, short skirts, or the colour pink. She wasn’t allowed her own Facebook Page and Baxter openly criticized Hannah in front of her family which affected their relationship. Baxter started demanding daily sex.

Hannah gave birth to a daughter, Laianah in 2015, and then a son, Trey in 2016.

The relationship started to decline even further when Baxter worked at the gym three days per week, and Hannah was doing numerous classes at the gym, looking after the children, still working at Athlete’s Foot, and also studying a marketing course. Baxter constantly criticized the state of the house and asked her what she did all day.

Hannah was chosen to compete in a Crossfit competition with a male member of the gym. Baxter refused to let Hannah attend. After Baxter caught Hannah speaking to the male member on the phone one night, he went ballistic and accused Hannah of having an affair. Hannah then took the steps to initialize a separation. Hannah moved out on the 5th of December 2019 and moved in with her parents.

Hannah attended the Carina Police Station on the 6th of December 2019 to obtain a DVO. She changed her phone number as Baxter had been harassing her.

On Boxing Day in 2019, he kidnapped their daughter Laianah for three days after refusing mediation. Baxter demanded that the couple have the same level of access to the children. Hannah feared taking out a domestic violence order against Baxter because she was scared of retaliation. Another DVO was obtained against Baxter.

Baxter could not go within 100 metres of his children. A court date was set about the parenting plan. Hannah told a friend at Crossfit ‘I am scared that Rowan will hurt the kids to hurt me.’

The Killings

Rowan Baxter planned to kill his family. He had purchased zip ties, a jerry can, three Kinder Suprises. He waited outside Hannah’s parent’s house for Hannah to leave. He knew exactly when Hannah would be leaving, as he had placed a tracking device on her vehicle and had been monitoring her whereabouts.

Baxter jumped into the passenger seat of Hannah’s car and told her to drive. He was holding a petrol container. Hannah screamed for him to get out of the car.

When the car reached Raven Street in Camp Hill, Michael Zemek was in the driveway of his home washing his car. Hannah pulled her vehicle over and screamed out the window ‘Call the Police, he’s going to kill me. He’s poured petrol on me.”

Baxter was physically restraining Hannah so she couldn’t get out of the car. Then the car erupted in flames. Hannah got out of the car and was on fire, she was screaming that there were children still in car. Mr Zemek told Hannah to get on the ground and he grabbed his hose to put the flames out, he also screamed for his daughter to call 000.

The vehicle started to roll backward when it exploded.

Hannah remained lucid enough to tell emergency services when they arrived ‘My babies are in the car. My ex-partner told me to pull the car over. Then he squirted petrol on us and threw a lighter at the car.”

The fire brigade put the fire out and Hannah was taken to the hospital.

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CCTV Footage of Rowan Baxter shopping for his ‘Kill Kit’

The Legacy of Hannah Clarke

An inquest into the murder of Hannah Clarke and her three children revealed that Rowan Baxter was ‘pure evil’ and would have killer her, no matter what. Sue Clarke, Hannah’s mother stated at the inquest:

“Every now and then I think a true monster is born, and you can’t stop them”

“He was just one of those people, so callous and used everyone as a pawn in his monstrous ways”

New coercive control laws are being considered by the Queensland Government in light of Hannah’s death.

What Happened to Rowan Baxter

Baxter fatally stabbed himself at the scene in front of horrified residents. He died from his injuries.

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5. Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday

  • Victims: 8
  • Location: Cairns, Queensland
  • Date:

Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday is a rare (but not unheard of) female family annihilator. 37 year old Thaiday killed her seven children and her niece after a psychiatric breakdown.

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Background to the Crime

Raina Thaiday was a single mother of nine. She had recently broken up with her partner and was facing severe financial difficulty and the pressure of raising all those children on her own.

Raina had smoked pot her entire life, but after the breakup, she banned the substance from her home. She started obsessively cleaning her home and started talking about ‘demons’.

Raina Thaiday had suffered from mental health issues for most of her life without any treatment.

The Killings

20-year-old Lewis Warrior (son of Raina Thaiday) had moved out of his mother’s home and was popping back for a visit. When he arrived, his mother was standing on the verandah of the Cairn’s home, staggering around and drenched in blood. Lewis realised that his mother was covered in stab wounds.

Lewis called Police and Raina was taken to hospital with over 25 stab wounds.

Once Raina had been dispatched, Police searched the house and found eight children, all brutally murdered in their beds.

They had to wait for Raina to be stabilised before they could interview her to find out just who could commit such a heinous crime.

Doctors at the hospital noticed something strange about Raina’s injuries, the angles were all ‘un-natural’. It was then they realised that the stab wounds were self-inflicted. Raina went from being a victim to a suspect.

Police interviewed the neighbours and found that Raina had been pacing up and down her street, yelling about being ‘the chosen one’ for hours. One neighbor heard her say:

“You hurt my kids, I hurt them first. You tab my kids, I stab them first. If you kill them, I’ll kill them first.”

Raina had suffered a severe schizophrenic episode. She thought the world was ending and decided to kill her children so that they would go directly to heaven.

Raina was charged with the 8 murders.

Where is Raina Thaiday Today?

The house were the eight murders occurred has not been demolished. There is now a park where the house was located including a memorial in memory dedicated to the children.

Raina is now residing in a psychiatric unit under full time care.

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Jody Allen
About Author

Jody Allen

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay at Home Mum. Jody is a five-time published author with Penguin Random House and is the current Suzuki Queensland Amb...Read Moreassador. Read Less

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