But for the Ann Gannan, now 64, it was nothing compared to what she had endured before becoming homeless, in the new south wales Central Coast.
It was the place where she hid from the world and turned to drugs to numb the pain that consumed her after the murders of his two daughters, his father and his grandson to be born.
Kerryann, 23, and Lisa, 18 years old, have been killed by Malcolm Baker, who went on a shooting rampage on the night of October 27, 1992. He murdered six people, including his own son â€” and at least one child to be born in Terrigal, Bateau Bay and Wyong in a bloody war that shook the sea region, about 80 kilometres north of Sydney.
â€œHe took my family, he has taken my babies that I brought into the world, ” Ann said. â€œHe took me and left me with just a shell of what I used to be.â€
Ann has spoken exclusively to the actualitÃ©.com.de the au on the horrors of the massacre for the first time to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the tragedy of last week. She also offered a rare insight into the impact of killing can have on the victims family members and revealed how the trauma sent spiraling out of control.
She said that in her pain of losing her daughters and Lisa’s unborn son â€” who was due to be born just four weeks later â€” was exacerbated by a large part of what happened after the fact.
Lisa Gannan, left, Kerryann Gannan, right, and their killer Malcolm Baker, in medallion. The sisters have been murdered by Baker, who went on a shooting rampage on the new south wales Central Coast in October 1992.
Ann said that she has never had to look for the killer in the eyes during his 1993 trial.
â€œHe asked as a screen to protect it from the view of us in the court, and it was granted,â€ she said.
â€œAt the time, I didn’t know much about the murder cases and I’m thinking: “You have done something horrible, but still you have requested (for a screen to be put up because you do not want to see what damage you have left behind you?â€™
â€œThis is when I started to be disgusted because we have been left in the dark.â€
But Ann don’t let that stop her to give her a piece of his mind. She took the time to hit back when the Baker was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and was escorted out of the court. It was perhaps the last chance she had ever had to draft him hurt the man she thought deserved to wear the most.
â€œI screamed on the side of the truck when it was out and I said: â€œYou piece of … what do I call it? Oxygen thief. And I called a number of other things not very feminine,â€ she said.
Many years have since passed. But the time has not been kind to Ann. It is allowed to more unanswered questions to arise, more guilt to build and most of the sadness to overwhelm him.
If she could speak to Baker now, it would not be to offer him forgiveness.
â€œ(I would say:) you broke me, you literally stripped me … down for anything … because he has, ” Ann said. â€œI want to say that he has spent more than 25 years, and yet I still have visions. Even sitting here now, I can tell you that just from this evening, who was there what was there.
â€œIt is an ongoing thing with me all the time.
â€œI blame myself (because) I wish I had done more. But what can you do? You can’t fight a gun. â€œI am convinced of this now because the girls had no chance, nor does my husband.â€
The home on Barnhill Road in Terrigal where the Gannan sisters and their father have been murdered.
AFTER THE KILLINGS
Ann has not hit the bottom immediately. Instead she threw herself into the work with victims of homicide support groups and has been asked to provide countless lectures to police officers at the training academy.
â€œI helped Anita Cobby, daddy,â€ she said of the young murder victim’s father, who had sought help from a homicide support group, she has been affiliated.
Ann has also continued to work on the conditional release and the protection of the community boards for several years.
â€œI felt good, then,â€ she said.
â€œBut there are so many parts of grief and the mine not to go in the order in which they used to say.â€
As the feelings of grief and loss, Ann soon began to take drugs and ended up in the street, where she remained for three years.
â€œI lost everything. I lost the lot. I wanted to die,â€ she said. â€œI wanted to be with my girls and I thought (drugs) have been the fastest way to get to them.
â€œThis is all that I wanted to be with my girls and I tried. God did not want me, I guess.â€
It was the love for her two sons and grandchildren, which has helped them to get out of the depth of a black hole.
â€œMy son has given me an ultimatum and said that if I didn’t have the right, I would lose my grandchildren and I didn’t want to lose my grandchildren, ” Ann said.
â€œI cleaned up my act a bit … I’m back on my feet again and have a place to live.â€
Ann Gannan, turned to drugs and lived on the streets for three years after her two daughters were murdered in the central Coast massacre.
Ann Gannan, holds a photo of his two daughters, Lisa and Kerryann, who, with their father, Tom, was killed in 1992, in the central Coast massacre.
Ann said she has â€œsettledâ€ in a modest house on the new south wales Central Coast and has been clean for 12 years.
â€œSometimes, I’ll go to therapy and, sometimes, they will tell you that there is nothing they can do for you and me,â€ she said.
But she is still haunted by the past.
â€œIt does not do me any good because he is sitting in prison, said Ann Baker, who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
â€œHe still can see his children or grandchildren, or everything he has achieved.
â€œI’m so ashamed of myself thinking about how much I let him get to me.â€
Ann Gannan, on the 25th anniversary of her daughters ‘ murders, in October 2017. Photo: Megan Palin.
Thomas Gannan, the father of Kerryann and Lisa, was among six people killed by Malcolm Baker on the new south wales Central Coast in October 1992.
Lisa Gannan, 18, was eight months pregnant when she was murdered.
“I AM CONSTANTLY REMINDED OF WHAT HAS BEEN LOST”
Ann had eight grandchildren, six boys and two girlsâ€” but often wonders how she might have had if her girls were still alive. Which would, or might, have been constantly gnawing away at her.
â€œThey were both workaholics, they have got beautiful houses, get married,â€ she said.
â€œThey (each) have a life.â€
His heart breaks for her two sons who lost their father and sisters at such a young age.
â€œI see fathers and babies, and I am constantly reminded of that (my two sons) has lost and that they are missing out on their dad, ” Ann said.
â€œ(Baker) had no right to take them.â€
It switches back and forth between referring to its girls in the past and present tense, as if the tragedy had recently taken place. According to Ann, an element of surrealism is always there when a loved one â€” or both â€” is murdered, no matter how much time passes.
â€œKerryann is a private person, so she would have chosen a man who suited her, ” Ann said.
â€œAnd Lisa was going to have friends all over the place. She is a pirate. You are not safe with her (joke). But it was so funny the things she was going to do. Everyone loved it.
â€œThey are both good girls.â€