This is a story you wish never had to be told.
It’s about an ordinary Australian family who experienced an unimaginable tragedy six years ago. One you probably read about back in 2009. The kind that changed every aspect of this family’s life, forever.
And now, just when they were finding their feet and adjusting to their new normal, tragedy has struck again.
On November 9, 2009, Ben was finishing up a work assignment in London when he received a phone call from Sydney. His wife Chloe and her father, Nick Waterlow, had been stabbed to death in their Randwick home by Chloe’s brother Anthony.
Ben and Chloe’s three young children Will, 4, Ruby, 3 and James 4 months were there during the attack.
Anthony Waterlow had been suffering from schizophrenia for many years. He had a long history of violent behaviour and psychotic symptoms but according to court documents, he didn’t believe he had a mental illness.
In a matter of moments on an ordinary weekday afternoon in the lead up to Christmas, the Heuston-Waterlow family was blown apart.
Baby James was still being breastfed when his mum was killed. Three year old Ruby suffered injuries to her face in the attack and was hospitalised.
The little girl recovered quickly from her physical wounds and returned home in time to join her father and brothers for Chloe’s funeral and the funeral of their grandfather Nick.
At the service, Chloe’s childhood friend Alix Johnson read a letter Ben wrote to his beloved wife:
“The Chloe I hold in my heart always had a smile, a laugh. Her generosity was legendary. That wasn’t to say that the Chloe we loved couldn’t frustrate. Common Sense was not her forte and her concept of time was notoriously elastic, but her natural charm won us all over. Ruby is clearly her mother’s daughter. Chloe was my best friend. We enjoyed our holidays with or without the kids. Will was already looking forward to our next beach holiday and I will cherish the memories of Mexico always. We all love you now and always. Ben.”
Above: Ben Heuston with his sister Penny
During this whole time, in fact for 18 days after murdering his sister and father, Anthony Waterlow remained in hiding. He was eventually captured near bushland after an armed stand off. He was later found not guilty of the murders of Chloe and Nick due to his mental illness.