March 23, 2003
Melbourne, Victoria
John Myles Sharpe kills his pregnant wife Anna Marie Kemp (pictured) with a speargun

John and Anna had been having marital difficulties for some time and, on March 23, the couple argued over a matter too trivial for John to remember. Eventually, Anna went to bed. During the evening, John used a speargun to shoot Anna twice in the head then buried her body temporarily.

Over the next four days, John continued about his life as normal, dropping off and picking up his 20-month-old daughter, Gracie Louise Sharpe (pictured), from childcare. On March 27, John shot Gracie four times with the speargun while she was in bed. John put Gracie’s body in a rubbish bin and brought it to a waste transfer station. Anna’s body was exhumed, she was dismembered with a chainsaw, and the pieces were similarly discarded in a rubbish bin which was also taken to the transfer station.

John claimed Anna had left him for another man and had taken Gracie with her. To give credibility to his claim, John used Anna’s credit and ATM cards to make purchases in her name or withdraw money to imply Anna was still alive. He also went onto television to plead for Anna to return.

On June 22, John confessed to the murders and told police where he had disposed of the bodies. The remains were found after a week of searching the rubbish dump, three months after Anna’s and Gracie’s disappearances.

John testified Anna was “controlling and moody,” causing stress in their marriage to the point he convinced himself the only way to solve their marital issues was to kill Anna. Gracie was killed after the fact to help hide her mother’s murder. John pleaded guilty to both counts of murder and was sentenced to two life terms, and will be eligible for parole after serving 33 years in prison.

Sources:
“R v Sharpe [2005] VSC 276 (5 August 2005). Last Updated: 5 August 2005. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF VICTORIA AT MELBOURNE CRIMINAL DIVISION. No. 1469 of 2004.” Supreme Court of Victoria. http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSC/2005/276.html
“Man admits killing wife, daughter.” The Age. February 2, 2005. Accessed: March 23, 2020. https://www.theage.com.au/national/man-admits-killing-wife-daughter-20050202-gdzhco.html
“Speargun killer jailed for life.” The Age. August 5, 2004. Accessed: March 23, 2020. https://www.theage.com.au/national/speargun-killer-jailed-for-life-20050805-ge0n2q.html
“Mother’s remains uncovered.” The Age. July 7, 2004. Accessed: March 23, 2020. https://www.theage.com.au/national/mothers-remains-uncovered-20040707-gdy6wf.html

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