Tanya has never had children or even risked getting involved in a serious relationship.
The spectre of her father, notorious serial killer David Birnie, still infects her life. “I don’t wanna spawn another David Birnie,” she said. “If I have kids, I don’t wanna pass on those genes.”
Murder Uncovered premieres tonight at 9pm on Seven and PLUS7 Live
She admitted her life could be very lonely, but she has never married because she feared ending up with someone like her father.
She questions her judgment because she still finds it difficult to reconcile her memories of her loving, caring dad with the man who was convicted of kidnapping, torturing and killing four women in the late 1980s with the help of his partner Catherine.
“He was a very caring father to me, but clearly, that was a mask he was putting on ... (it’s) the only way I can describe it,” she said.
“I’ve never been able to reconcile how the person I knew was the psychopath that he was. When you’re a child, you really can’t know somebody that well, but I look back at it and I think, did I ever know him?”
Tanya, who did not want her surname revealed, told of her torment at being the daughter of one of WA’s worst killers. For Seven’s Murder Uncovered, she has broken her silence after 30 years to add her weight to calls for her father’s
lover, Catherine Birnie, to spent the rest of her life in jail.
“She helped sentence four women to death,” Tanya said. “She gave Kate Moir a life sentence.
“She gave the four women who died ... (she gave their) parents and friends life sentences, she gave her five children a life sentence, she gave me and my mother a life sentence. None of us get parole, why should she?”
Tanya was only 10 when the couple’s reign of terror ended in 1986.
Despite blocking many memories, she remembers her mother’s “brutally honest” revelation that her father had been arrested for murder. “He’d basically dropped a nuke straight into the middle of my childhood,” she said.
“There’s a distinct line where I was this carefree child up until about 10 years old and then there was this child who every quickly started protecting herself.”
Tanya became very secretive and lied about who her father was, partly out of fear that someone might kill her to seek revenge for his crimes.