Deadly Dads

The case of Henry Shepherdson and his daughter Kobi
In April 2021, reports started emerging out of South Australia that a man and a small child had fallen over the edge of the Whispering Wall in the Barossa Valley.

“The Whispering Wall is in fact the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir. Built between 1899 and 1903, the dam was a revolutionary engineering feat for its day and attracted attention from all over the world, even making its way into the pages of the journal Scientific American.

But what draws visitors to the Whispering Wall is its unique acoustic effects: words whispered at one side can be clearly heard at the other, more than 100 metres away. Children in particular love visiting the wall and testing its abilities.”

The wall is about 36 metres or 120 feet high.

It soon became clear that this was no accidental fall.  The police call out to the area at the time was marked as a psychiatric call.

Henry Shepherdson placed his 9 month old daughter Kobi in a baby carrier on his chest and he purposely stepped off the edge of the wall.

Click here to see Henry’s Facebook.

The case of Olga and John Edwards and their children Jennifer and Jack

On July 5, 2018,  John Edwards entered the home of his ex-wife Olga in Sydney.  The couple had two children together – Jack (15) and Jennifer (13).

The children knew that their father did not mean well and they huddled together under a desk.

He murdered them with a semi-automatic weapon that he had recently purchased.  He left the property (some witnesses have said he half-skipped down the steps) and drove to his own home, where he took his own life.  

A coronial inquest was held following the deaths and found that John had been extremely abusive in his past.

Over a period spanning 40 years, he had six former partners and 10 estranged children.  

Olga and John married in 2001 – she moved from Russia to start a life in Australia with him.  

John applied for a gun license in 2010 and was denied as he lied about his criminal past on the application

During their marriage, John became increasingly abusive.  He first started with Olga, but as the kids became older, he turned his attention to Jack.  Olga took the kids and left the marriage in 2016.

That same year, Olga went to the police with her concerns about John and the safety of their kids. 

John played off his ex-wife’s fears as exaggerations, saying he was merely giving his children “a clip over the earhole and a kick up the bum”.

Olga told her colleagues “almost daily” how John was hitting or otherwise abusing Jack.

At one point, John threw his son to the ground and laid into him with feet and fists.

Another time, she said he punched Jack in the head after cornering him in the garage.

The coronial inquest document into this case is almost 300 pages – you can read it here.

John had been reported to police more than 15 times over the years, for domestic violence issues.

John’s previous partners have said that he was a controlling man who made them grow their hair long and wear “mini” dresses and lipstick.

Two said that he threatened to kill them and one reported that he gave her rat poison.

Things were so bad that one former partner escaped over the garden wall with her kids while John was in the shower

“He was not particularly good looking but he was charming and would bewitch you, then he turned,” Edwards’ first wife said.

Despite Olga bringing John’s behaviour to the attention of the police, he applied for a gun license in 2016 and it was granted in 2017. 

John continued to stalk Olga and the family following the breakdown of the marriage.  He would do things like turn up to her 6am yoga class to stalk her – reports say he did this over 15 times.  The police report into the stalkings was later found to be riddled with errors and was never properly filed.

Between 2016 and 2018, John purchased multiple guns.  He stored them in a locker at a pistol club in Sydney.

On July 4, he went to the pistol club to retrieve his weapons and reports say he closed the door to his locker so hard that it needed repairs. 

The next day he went to Olga’s home and killed his children before taking his own life.

He left a three page suicide note, in which he blamed Olga for the deaths of their childrne.

“Olga you may scream out what has John done when the reality is what has Olga done,” 

“None of this had to happen had you been a halfway normal person,” the note concluded.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden said this was a “heinous” and “horrific” crime.

Olga lived without her children for 5 months, until December 2018.   The pain became too much for her to bear and she took her own life in her home.

The Yazdanpanah family Christmas Day murder-suicide

It was Christmas Day 2011, in Grapevine, Texas.

The Yazdanpanah family had just opened their Christmas gifts around the tree.  

Around 11:16 a.m., Sergeant Roger Eberling said a female victim sent a text message to a friend indicating the family had just exchanged gifts and that one of the family had dressed up as Santa. 

Aziz Yazdanpanah (56) killed his estranged wife Nasrin Rahmaty (55), Nona Yazdanpanah, 19, his daughter; Ali Yazdanpanah, 15, his son; Zohreh Rahmaty, 58, his sister-in-law; Hossein Zarei, 59, his brother-in-law; and Sahra Zarei, 22, his niece.  Aziz was the one who had dressed up as Santa to give out gifts.  

Minutes after the initial text, police received a 911 call, which initially sounded like silence.

After listening to the call again, police could hear someone in a raspy voice saying “help me.” He said the caller sounded out of breath and the call went dead after 15 to 20 seconds.

Police arrived within minutes where they found the bodies of all six victims and the gunman. Two handguns were found among the wrapping paper and Christmas tree.

The family had allegedly been having financial troubles in the leadup to the murders and Aziz had recently filed for bankruptcy.  It has also been said that Aziz was pissed that his ex-wife was doing so well.

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