Someone Else’s Daughter – The Life and Death of Anita Cobby

THIS book was published 25 years ago and has been reprinted several times – and for good reason.

Someone Else’s Daughter: The Life and Death of Anita Cobby tells the horrific story of the crime that shocked and sickened Australia.

In January 1986, Sydney nurse Anita Cobby, 26, was abducted as she walked home from Blacktown train station. It was a hot Summer night and Anita, a nurse, was on her way to her parent’s house where she was living at the time.

What happened next forced Australians to confront the absolute worst of human behaviour. Anita’s body was found two days after her abduction. She’d been repeatedly raped and savaged, her throat slit in a final indignity.

Author Julia Sheppard details the crime, the police investigation and the criminal trial that saw 5 men sentenced to life imprisonment for Anita’s murder.

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This book is distressing to read in many parts but it also tells the story of Anita’s life and that of her stoic, loving parents Grace and Garry and how they coped with the shocking loss of Anita and the intense gaze of the press and the public. They were ordinary Australians who were thrust into the public arena in the worst of circumstances.

I had read this book when it first came out and then picked up my current copy at an op shop and re-read it, which I think had more impact on me the second time (and by this stage I am a mother to daughters).

This is one of the finest Australian true crime books. Julia Sheppard did an extraordinary job writing about this crime that has been dubbed Australia’s crime of the 20th Century.

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