“Sorry I never told you all I wanted to say…
“Now it’s too late to hold you ’cause you’ve flown away, so far away
“Never had I imagined living without your smile…”
His parents – Teddy, 46, and Mary Loiva, 43 – and his younger sister, Clodine, 18, had been brutally murdered at their home in the quiet suburb of North Ryde in Sydney just a week ago on July 10, 2001.
It was Sef who had found their mutilated bodies that night. He’d returned home from dinner with a friend just before midnight to an eerily quiet and dark house. He opened the door to horrific scenes.
There was blood everywhere. His parents’ bodies lay in the living room – his mother’s throat slashed, his father’s spinal cord severed and body covered with frenzied stab marks. His sister was still in her bedroom upstairs, clearly caught unaware as the killer approached from behind, strangling, stabbing and bludgeoning her with a baseball bat.
Spray painted across the white walls of the Gonzales’ dream home, where the devout Catholics family’s altar to Our Lady Queen of Peace watched over them, was the racist slur: “F**K OFF ASIANS. KKK.”
Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, later said of the triple-murders: "This was not a professional killing, it was a slaughter by an angry amateur who wanted to make absolutely sure of their deaths."
"Vastly more force was used than was necessary," he added.
Days after his gruesome massacre, the then-20-year-old made a tearful appeal on television asking for the killer to come forward. He even offered a $100,000 reward for any information.
"It is difficult to explain the love and ties in my family... but if you were to picture the four corners of the world, in my world we were the four. The three corners of my world are now gone," he said, overcome with grief, at a police conference at the time, reported Sydney Morning Herald.
But despite his grief and pleas, there was something off about Sef’s behaviour. Within three days of his family's murder, Sef had contacted his father's accountant to find out how much money his parents were worth.