Death Penalty Not Enough For Suitcase Murderer, Family Says
The Supreme Court has heard harrowing victim impact statements from the loved ones of Karlie and Khandalyce Pearce-Stevenson.
Pearce-Stevenson’s skeleton was found in the Belanglo State Forest in August 2010 while her daughter’s remains were discovered in a suitcase on the side of a South Australian highway in 2015.
Both were murdered by Daniel Holdom ten years ago.
Karlie’s father Bruce Pearce told his daughter’s killer “the hate is consuming, I have never hated anyone the way I hate you.”
“I would like to see the death penalty for you – but even that would not be enough.”
He spoke of how his life has fallen apart since he found out that his beloved daughter and grand-daughter were murdered.
Karlie’s stepfather Scott Pavey spoke on behalf of her mother, who died of cancer not knowing where her daughter or grand-daughter were.
“Now I do not trust anyone and began [sic] to fear love itself,” Pavey said.
“I feel that I have failed at the very fundamental essence of family… to divert Karlie from her demise and keep her daughter safe.”
He spoke of holding his wife’s hand as she took her dying breaths in palliative care, begging to see Karlie and Khandalyce, and despairing at “the fear and sorrow in Colleen’s eyes and her mental pain”.
Karlie was 20 when she was killed in December 2008 in the Belangalo State Forest. Holdom stomped on her so until she stopped breathing, before taking photographs of his crime.
He left her body slumped against a tree.
Holdom then returned to the couple’s Canberra home and took Khandalyce.
He drove to Narrandera in the state's south-west and checked into a motel. It is there that the Crown says he killed the two-year-old.
Once she was dead, he shoved her into a suitcase that was later found by the side of a South Australian highway, 1200km away from where her mother was killed.