They never met Jack and Jennifer Edwards but the slain teenagers' half-siblings understood.
"They were other versions of us," one told the NSW Coroners Court on Thursday.
"They had lived with John."
One by one, four people linked by blood or marriage to child murderer John Edwards told the teenagers' inquest on Thursday about the fear, control and abuse suffered over decades.
The inquest has heard repeatedly over the past three weeks how the financial planner - who murdered 15-year-old Jack and 13-year-old Jennifer in July 2018 before taking his own life - so often and so easily explained away his regular traumatising of women and children.
"He was not the good bloke who lived next door," a former partner said.
"He was not - as he claimed - a victim of the Family Court system."
Saying she "got to survive John but Jack and Jennifer did not", one of Edwards' 10 children to his seven partners recalled her own episodes of terror.
In one, a "manic" Edwards ran a lit cigarette lighter along the loungeroom coffee table as he yelled at her nursing mother: "Should I set fire to the whole house? Is that what you want me to do?"
She recalled how after her mother left Edwards, the kids endured court-ordered visits and that time spent alone with John "was not fun".
Abduction was such a fear, the girl had an "abduction plan" drilled into her in case Edwards ran off with she and her young brother.
Some time after, when Edwards was to drop the kids off after a visit, he used his feet to kick his daughter out of his car and drove off with the boy still inside.
Police were called, officers visited Edwards' home and returned without the boy, she said.
"He managed to say all the right things and convince them he had rightful custody," the now-adult woman said.
Another former partner saw parts of herself in Olga, the 37-year-old devastated mother of Jack and Jennifer who took her own life in December 2018. Olga met Edwards online when she was just 18.
"I was a young, naive 17-year-old when I met John Edwards," she said.
"The emotional, physical and monetary impact has been the same.
"He made our lives hell. You had to live it to really understand that someone could behave the way he did."
Like Olga, she tried to get away - escaping over a backyard fence with her children while Edwards was showering.
Minutes earlier she had felt Edwards' wrath over an unironed shirt and had dodged a rolling pin thrown full pelt at her head.
And just like Olga, she wasn't allowed to leave in peace - tracked down at a relative's home and dragged through the courts for 11 years.
"In the end, he won," she said.
"He got to keep everything and got to see the kids.
"He was not going to be told by anyone what he could do and couldn't do."
Noting the cruel nature of Jack and Jennifer's deaths and her continuing post-traumatic stress disorder, the woman said Edwards' death by his own hand had brought her some immediate relief.
"After 40 years of constant fear ... I drove off in my car and I didn't have to check in my rear-vision mirror to see if I was being followed," she said.
In a joint statement, the family thanked NSW and Queensland police for helping unite them after the murders and investigating the deaths.
State Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan is due to hand down her findings on December 18.
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