"The person that I loved the most, as my husband, did the most horrific thing imaginable to one of our boys.”

Warning: This post deals with mental illness and the death of a child and may be distressing for some readers. 

There is no anger, no hatred, no bitterness.

Just compassion and forgiveness.

Two truly remarkable feelings to have towards the man who killed her son. But not just any man – her husband, and the father of her children.

On 8 July 2014  Adelaide mum and florist, Julia Trinne woke with an uneasy feeling, her husband’s car was gone – he had taken their four-year-old son for a drive.

“I could see that his car was missing… I thought that’s really strange that he would go without saying goodbye… and I felt uneasy” she told The Project last night.

David Janzow with Luca and his other son. Via TenPlay.

But her unease turned to something much, much worse when police broke the news to her hours later that they had located her husband Dave and son, Luca.

David Janzow, 37, a loving father of two boys and devoted husband to Julia had stabbed his son to death.

Ms Trinne told The Project that despite having bipolar disorder and a long history of depression nothing could have prepared her for what he did.

“Dave adored Luca… there was never a bit of me that ever feared Dave for myself or for my family, especially not for my boys.”

Luca was four years old. Via Facebook.

Last year David Janzow was found not guilty of his son’s murder after a judge found Janzow was “mentally incompetent” at the time of the killing.

The court heard during his trial that the then 36-year old landscaper had taken his son Luca out for a drive with the intent on killing him as he wanted to “save Luca from what was to come”.

Documents tendered to the court said Janzow was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had a long history of depression.

The court heard that Janzow pulled up at a secluded location with a nice view of the Adelaide hills and stabbed his son. He then tried to stab himself in the neck before driving to police patrolling a traffic incident nearby and telling them “I need help, I’ve murdered my son.”

As paramedics treated Janzow he told them: “I’m a psychopath with mental health problems. I stabbed my son with a Leatherman [hunting knife]”.

The court heard that Janzow told a psychiatrist after he was arrested: “I knew this was bad, but everyone would be better off. I knew murder was bad but I just had to get rid of us because there was no good bone in a psychopath.”

“I discovered that I was a psychopath and that [Luca] had the same qualities in him. At two, Luca had a night terror and screamed for five hours — I had night terrors and screaming fits as a child. No-one in society wants a psychopath and it is characteristic to take their own or others’ lives and I had those thoughts in the last week.”

Julia with Luca. Via TenPlay.

In her victim impact statement tendered to the court Julia Trinne, who now lives interstate with the couple’s other son, said that she had no indication her husband was capable of what he did.

“Dave became acutely unwell in a short period of time with absolutely tragic consequences,” she said.

“There was no warning. There was no suggestion any of us were in danger.

“I loved Dave right up until this terrible tragedy.”


“A living nightmare does not come close to what I have been going through.

“In time my hope is that this tragedy will bring understanding and awareness to mental health.

22 months later that is exactly what she is doing – speaking out in the hope that no other families suffer like hers has.

In her first interview since the murder of her son Julia Trinne told The Project that she wants to bring awareness to mental health issues.

“Anger in this situation isn’t going to bring Luca back… and it really is learning from this and turning it into positives for other people.”

She wrote on Facebook “The time is right for me to now start sharing my story publicly to honour Luca, and to work towards bringing awareness and promotion to Mental Health and Wellbeing.”

Luca's mother has darted My Rainbow Journey. Via Facebook.

Ms Trinne has started My Rainbow Journey devoted to the promotion of mental health.

She says she hasn’t seen Dave for several months but she feels sadness at how his illness changed his life.

“I feel such sadness for Dave,” says Julia. “I know that the person he is without his illness would never ever have done what he did.

“So it is a very challenging position to be in because the person that I loved the most, as my husband, did the most horrific thing imaginable to one of our boys.”

“I feel such sadness for Dave,” says Julia. “I know that the person he is without his illness would never ever have done what he did. Via TenPlay.

Last year Julia Trinne expressed her anger at society's attitudes toward mental illness in a Facebook post she wrote about Damien Little, the Port Lincoln father who shot his two sons — Koda, 4, and Hunter, nine months — before driving them off a wharf.

She wrote: “Some people are choosing to take the approach of wondering why these parents are being remembered as nice guys, who lived ordinary lives, when really all they are now is ‘child killers’,” she wrote.

“Wow. Just wow. Really? Maybe because these ‘ordinary’ guys became unimaginably unwell.

“How about spending time exploring how and why these parents got to this point and what can be done to reduce the alarming number of similar cases.”

She wrote that she would never be angry at what had happened.

“What you’ll get from me is love, compassion, peace and forgiveness – no matter how broken I am at times. You’ll get someone who wants to learn what it takes for a beautiful person to get to the point of snapping and carrying out the most horrific crime to someone they had loved and adored so dearly up until that point. You’ll get someone who wants to prevent this happening to other loving families. You’ll get someone who wants to share their story. You’ll get someone who wants to honour their child like nothing else. You’ll get someone who wants to embrace the beautiful things that life has to offer.”

You can reach My Rainbow Journey here

And you can support Julia Trinne and her younger son through a crowdfunding page here.

For help: Lifeline 13 11 14. Kid's Helpline: 1800 55 1800. Men's Helpline: 1300 78 99 78

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