Rowan Baxter’s son has shared the torment and domestic abuse he suffered throughout his life at the hands of his dad, who last week set his ex-wife and three children on fire before taking his own life.
Isiah, Baxter’s 22-year-old son from a previous relationship, has sent Hannah Clarke’s brother Nathaniel a heartfelt message explaining the shared trauma he endured with his late stepmum, A Current Affair reports.
“We shared a similar bond, as we both suffered years of domestic abuse and torment at the hands of Rowan,” his message to Mr Clarke said.
Disturbing details of domestic violence have continued to surface following the horrific death of Ms Clarke and her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, in Camp Hill, east of Brisbane, last Wednesday.
She was on the morning school run when Baxter ambushed her car, doused her and the kids in petrol and set them alight, before stabbing himself to death with a knife to the chest.
Ms Clarke was pulled from the burning vehicle and extinguished with a garden hose, but died hours later in hospital.
Mr Clarke told A Current Affair Isiah had been estranged from Baxter, who caused him permanent emotional damage, for several years.
“His appalling parenting caused irreversible damage to my mental health. If I could take the place of Laianah, Aaliyah, and Trey I would in a heartbeat,” Isiah’s message to Mr Clarke said.
Manja Whaley, a friend of Ms Clarke, detailed how the dad portrayed himself as a loving father and doting husband online - a vastly different character to his true identity.
Baxter’s cousin Sandra Taylor told Nine News the killer had a skewed view of women, and viewed them as one of two things - a house cleaner or a prostitute.
Family members of Baxter have also since claimed they feel guilty “just knowing” the killer.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
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