The Evil: Inside the Mind of a Child Killer

 

Put simply, this book is terrifying.

In 1991 Six-year-old girl Sheree Beasley was abducted while riding her pink bicycle in the Victorian seaside town Rosebud. A few months later her tiny body was found stuffed into a concrete pipe. It was a crime that appalled Victorians. Sheree was targeted by her killer who had followed her before and seen that she was often out and about riding her bike alone. Sheree was made more vulnerable it seems, from a lax home environment and the youngster had been shunted around from her mother to her maternal and paternal grandparents then back to her mum and new partner. This case is the cautionary tale for not letting very young children out alone, no matter how safe a community seems.

The Book The Evil: Inside the Mind of a Child Killer by Margaret Hobbs and Andrew Rule delves deep into the story of the crime, in particular the man responsible. Margaret Hobbs was a psychotherapist and this book draws on the confidential records she kept over the years she treated little Sheree’s killer Robert Lowe – on the face of it a seemingly respectable, devout husband and father of two who lived in the mild suburbs of Melbourne.  Hobbs was seeing Lowe after he was charged with exposing himself to schoolgirls. Her notes detail their sessions, her growing fear that Lowe had abducted and killed Sheree and her work to have him reveals the truth of what happened to the little girl.

Veteran Melbourne crime journalist and author Andrew Rule was tasked with writing this book after the sudden death of Margaret Hobbs in a car accident in 1996. After Lowe had been convicted and jailed for life, Hobbs made notes about her experiences with Lowe – she had spent three disturbing years treating him and suspecting he was a child killer. As Hobbs had intended, Rule tells the story of her journey into the mind of (in her own words about Lowe)`an evil man”.

In the preface to the book, written before her death, Hobbs said she wrote the book as a personal catharsis:

“…My three-year journey with Robert Lowe, the cruel and remorseless killer of a child, encapsulates a microcosm of society’s ills. It was a long and arduous journey and one along which I believe I encountered the face of evil…”

I picked up a copy of The Evil at an op shop and from online investigation it is possible to get a copy of this book from second-hand sites like eBay and Amazon.

 

 

 

9 comments

  1. Ken

    A truly evil man being a church elder and having a loving wife a holiday house In rosebud, his two boys in a private school and the his hole life was was a front for his sick and twisted mind. I feel for his loving wife and children . And as for the poor child’s parents and grandparents and all the police and there family’s that animal put those people through ! I say this to you Lowe you should hang ……..

    • Ken

      Ps you should be able to let your five year old ride down the street on her pink bike. A sad state of affairs in our world today …..

    • Ken

      I also think of the sick and twisted scum the police had to deal with while investigating that dirty magot and after reading the book so so many who should be stood up against th wall. I’d pay for the bullets.

  2. dorothy grachan

    I cannot understand how a parent can allow a 6 year old child to ride her bike down to the shops on her own my children were not allowed out the front on there own at 6 years old
    I also blame the mother for what happened to sheree she should have been at all times with her daughter
    What that low life did to her l believe they should bring back capital punshment

  3. Scott

    No abduction/murder has affected me the way this one did. As a father of a 7yr old girl, my mind simply refuses to go to the places poor little sheree had to endure, before meeting the most degrading, incomprehensible, terrifying fate imaginable for an innocent 6 yr old girl. The anger I feel toward this measured evil dog is unquantifiable & if I had the opportunity with any consequence spared, would have no hesitation returning the pain & horror he bought upon that poor little girls world. Rot in hell you scum!!

    • Emily

      I agree Scott. I was in school when this happened. Horrific. the book The Evil is one of the best true crime books i’ve ever read.

  4. Cyndee

    I has just turned 17 when this happened and lived in Rye. I remember about a few weeks after it happened, I had gone for my learners permit one morning at 7am. Back then the testing was done at the local police station. So, I passed my learners and was driving home my dads Holden Kingswood sedan with him teaching me. As we turned into my street, outside of my house were three police cars. I panicked thinking that I must have hit ten people accidentally on the way home and they were there for me. Going up the driveway, I nearly hit a police officer. Anyway, they had been talking to my mum about the man next door to us. It was around 8am at this time. They even asked me if I ad seen him that morning. I had seen his kitchen light on when I left an hour earlier and some movement in the kitchen. The police officer proceeded to tell my parents that the elderly male neighbour had killed himself just before they arrived. The police were there with a summons for him to appear in court to answer to over thirty charges of molestation of kids. He knew the police were coming and did himself in, in the kitchen with an electric knife. How does one do that? We thought at first it was over Sharee as there was a call out for blue hatchbacks and he had a friend who often visited that drove one. We never suspected him as a kiddy fiddler. He even drove my brothers girlfriend and her toddler around to do errands. You just never know who your neighbours really are.

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