Following the news that Michael Murphy – one of the men responsible for the murder of Anita Cobby in 1986 – had died in prison, Anita’s sister has broken her silence.
Appearing on Friday night’s episode of A Current Affair, Kathryn Szyszka explained how difficult it was losing her older sister.
Murphy was one of five men arrested for the kidnapping, brutal sexual assault and murder of Anita in Sydney’s Blacktown 33 years ago. He had been suffering from suffering from advanced liver cancer and died on Friday. All five men were sentenced to life in prison for their gruesome crimes.
Cobby – who was nurse and former beauty pageant winner – was attacked while walking home from a train station after having dinner with friends. Her body was discovered on a rural farm in Prospect just two days after she was reported missing.
She suffered severe broken bones from the savage bashing and was raped repeatedly before being dragged along a barbed wire fence. She was eventually killed by a slit to the throat that almost left her decapitated. All five men were arrested weeks after the discovery of Cobby’s body.
“I think I was fairly lost, being so young and having her always lead the way for me, I did feel lost,” Szyszka explained.
The death that shocked and disgusted Australia occurred just a month before Szyszka turned 21. For her, it’s been hard to let go – despite more than three decades passing since her sister’s death.
“The times that I’ve missed with her, the very important times in life where you share as a family, I miss just having her there to be part of it, to share, to have someone to talk to, bounce things off, just the things you do with family,” she said.
During the interview, Szyszka also spoke about the death of Murphy and explained that she knew it was imminent and that she was notified on Friday morning of his death.
Tonight – no one's crying over the death of Michael Murphy. He was one of five men who raped and murdered Anita Cobby in 1986. Crime Editor Simon Bouda spoke Exclusively with Anita's younger sister…Kathryn. #9ACA | WATCH: https://t.co/skQ682nKlx pic.twitter.com/6smS241o0R
— A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) February 22, 2019
“If I’m to be honest, actually not a lot went through my mind,” she explained of receiving the news of Murphy’s death. “I haven’t given these criminals much time or thought over the years.”
And, while her parents Gary and Grace have both passed away in recent times, the death of their daughter was something they never got over, with Szyszka revealing her mum would have sleepless nights.
“Any parent would understand the impact that it did have,” she explained. The loss of a child, in such a horrific way, they did suffer.”
As for Szyszka, she said she coped by having good family support. She also focuses her attention on her husband and two children.