I watched the 60 Minute story about Belinda Van Kevel recently. She was raised in violence and eventually had her father murdered. It’s well documented about the tortuous life she and her brother had growing up, and now her brother is in gaol, never to be released for two extremely violent murders, and Belinda was released recently for stabbing the man she lived with (who lived to tell the tale).
I know that I had the experience of being in the company of a damaged woman when I was 12 years old.
In a former account I mentioned living with my grandparents and even after we moved to Hobart in 1948 I continued to do so. My life with them was filled with contentment.
As my grandfather had relations living in Victoria they went away, periodically, for a few weeks and I went to stay with my parents.
My parents loved parties and the weekends were always riotous
One of the partygoers had a daughter my age who went to the school I attended and we got to know each other.
She lived out of town and asked me if I’d go and spend the weekend at her place. Getting permission from Mum and Dad didn’t pose a problem and we caught the school bus there on Friday afternoon. I had never met her mother and as soon as I did I felt frightened.
(To make the account easier to understand I’ll call my friend Alice and her sister Amy and the parents Mr and Mrs B )
Alice and I went into her bedroom and she closed the door on Amy, next thing her mother came in with a broom and hit her savagely for doing so.
Eventually we were called to have tea and Mrs B was affable as if nothing had happened. About 8 o’clock Mr B came home drunk and was sitting in a chair by the Lux stove.
I think most of your readers will remember there were rings of metal on top of it. She lifted one off and held a coir mat over the flame and then held it on her husband’s forehead.
I was so terrified as her eyes seemed to go pale and her face had a grimace that I’ll never forget. I couldn’t leave until Monday morning but I know I was in the presence of evil that weekend.
I never told my family or anyone else. Alice acted as if everything was normal and even invited me again but of course I didn’t and never saw her until my sister’s funeral years later.
She said she would like to visit me but I’m afraid my experience made me make an excuse. Perhaps as her smile was so reminiscent of her mother’s; perhaps I was unkind but there was a barrier between our reacquaintance and even now thinking of that weekend is unnerving.
Do you have a similar story? When have you been in the presence of evil?
To write for Starts at 60 and potentially win a $20 voucher, send your articles to our Community Editor here.