Last week, on the eve of his 80th birthday, the convicted triple murderer was given another life term for beating his cellmate to death with a sandwich press in the age of the care unit of Long Bail from prison in January of 2017.
“He is incapable of remorse,” said Justice Lucy McCallum at Walsh’s sentencing hearing in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.
And she knows it. Ten years before, Justice McCallum was jailed Walsh for the murders of his wife and their two small grandchildren in the NSW town of Cowra — a horrific and frenzied attack that also left a police officer’s daughter, Shelly fighting for her life.
Convicted triple-murderer John Walsh, 79, is escorted back to jail on Thursday after receiving another life sentence for killing his elderly cell-mate Frank Townsend. Photo: Brendan Esposito/AAP
The June 30, 2008, Ms Walsh had left to his son, seven years old, and his daughter, five, in the care of his father and his mother, Jean, 52 during the whole night while she was working at Parkes Police Station.
When Ms Walsh came down the next morning to pick up their children, she was met with a scene that seems straight out of a horror movie. First found the body of the mother; Jean had been stabbed in the neck and hit in the head with a hammer.
Then she went to the kids room and found the bodies of their dead children in their bunk beds. Her daughter had drowned in the bathtub along with the family dog, while her son had been beaten to death with the same hammer used to kill Jean.
As Ms Walsh made the sad discovery, his father in an ambush of her from behind, swinging an axe in his head, causing serious injury. She managed to fight against him, and, bleeding heavily, fled from the house of a neighbor who called the police.
The house of horror: Police guard outside the John and Jean Walsh, of Brougham Street, Cowra house on June 30, 2008. Picture: NewsCorp
After his arrest, the old man tried all he could to evade the responsibility of their actions. In the months leading up to the murders, Walsh, after 70 years of age, had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and said that he didn’t have much time to live.
His team of lawyers argued that the condition may have contributed to the fatal rampage but Justice McCallum didn’t buy it, the sentence Walsh to two conditions of life for the children of murders, 15 years for killing his wife and 12 years for the attempted murder of his daughter.
In a 2013 interview with A Current Affair Tracey Grimshaw, Shelly Walsh said that he had visited his father in prison to ask him why he did it.
“He just shrugged his shoulders and said: ‘I do not know why to me’,” he said to Grimshaw.
“Was it, that was his answer.”
Police officer Shelly Walsh mourns at the funeral of his two children and his mother, who were murdered by their father, John Walsh in 2008. Picture: NewsCorp
Photos delivered to the court during sentencing to show the interior of the cell where John Walsh, killed Frank Townsend with a sandwich press. Photo: Supplied
The sandwich press, John Walsh used to kill the cell mate Frank Townsend. Photo: Supplied
Walsh displays the same chilling indifference after killing Frank Townsend with a sandwich press in his Long Bay prison cell in January last year.
In police interviews, he told detectives that he had wrapped the device in a pillowcase before taking a step towards Townsend, and to destroy “choom, in your face”.
“I don’t work in the ira. I work in the tactical … cold rage,” he said.
When asked what he was thinking when he hit the other man, Walsh replied: “I think I wasn’t thinking about anything.”
“All I remember is bang, bang, bang … closed probably,” she said to the police. “The only thing that can not be turned off, it is my own family … I don’t know why this has happened, because there was no anger, no drugs, no alcohol, only a depressing silence and I went and killed my wife.
“Maybe some people shouldn’t be born”
The imposition of a third term of the life of Walsh ensures that you are going to die in prison.
In the years since then, Ms Walsh has managed to collect the piece of his life with his partner Denise and the couple now live in Goulburn in the state of life with his partner Denise and the couple now live in Goulburn in the new South WALES Tablelands.
But she remains haunted by the loss of his mother and children, tortured by the belief that she did not do enough to keep them safe.
“That was my mom, but more of my babies. It was my job to protect them and I was not there,” he said to Grimshaw.