The murder of a child is always disturbing, but the murder of three children by their own father challenges our beliefs about what it means to be a parent and to be human. We long to know why, despite there being no explanation that would make such an act acceptable. Helen Garner attempts to provide an answer in her elegant and painstaking account of the trial for murder of Robert Farquharson in the Victoria Supreme Court in 2007, a marathon event that gripped the imagination of the Australian public and sent the media into a tumult of speculation.
On Father’s Day 2005 the accused was returning his three sons, ten-year-old Jai, seven-year-old Tyler and two-year-old Bailey, to their mother’s home on the outskirts of Melbourne after an outing. Barely five minutes from home, Farquharson’s car veered sharply off the highway, crossing a lane of oncoming traffic, flattened a