Thinking back to the aftermath of her sister's murder, Kathryn Szyszka remembers the boxes. Stacks of them, delivered to her parents' Sydney home.
They came from the Post Office via special delivery, filled with hundreds of letters from all over the country. Letters of sympathy, solidarity and grief over the 26-year-old woman's death.
The name of that woman, of Kathryn's sister, was Anita Cobby.
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Anita's life was taken by strangers; five men who abducted her as she walked home from Blacktown train station the evening of February 2, 1986. The crime made nationwide headlines and stirred a collective anguish within the community.
Kathryn remembers the days, weeks and months that followed as a "dreadful time", "strange". But the support shown to her and her parents, Grace and Garry Lynch, via all those letters was something to cling to amid their trauma.
"It was an overwhelming expression of compassion," Kathryn told Mamamia. "And to my knowledge, Mum and Dad personally responded to each one."
From those handwritten replies, to the grace they showed strangers in the street who'd approach with tears and sympathy, and their role in establishing the Homicide Victims' Support Group [HVSG], Kathryn felt her parents' strength.
She admired it, absorbed it, and now, 35 years on, their legacy is in her hands.