Dad’s ‘all out’ final target practice before family attack
COLD-hearted killer John Edwards went for an "all-out" final target practice and loaded up on ammunition two weeks before he murdered his teenage children, News Corp Australia can reveal.
There is evidence that he planned to kill Jack, 15, and Jennifer, 13, with military precision before the final horrifying pieces began to fall into place on June 21 at St Marys Indoor Shooting range.
On that day, the disgraced soldier's receipt from the range showed he paid $1 for his usual paper target with 10 shooting rings - but topped it up with a chilling addition.
For the first time in his 24 visits, he bought a roll of 1000 patches for $10.95, which he used to cover the bullet holes in the target so he could "shoot it up".
"That's what the patches are used for, to go all out.
"He obviously wanted to keep shooting," a firearms source said.
He also paid $44.96 for 50 rounds of Winchester 9mm ammunition, which can be used in a Glock pistol.
On July 5, in the throes of a bitter custody battle, he stalked his daughter to the West Pennant Hills home she shared with her mother and brother.
Edwards used a Glock pistol and a 357 Magnum. He did not buy them from the gun club. Edwards, 67, a retired financial adviser, then went home to Normanhurst and shot himself dead.
Detectives investigating the murder-suicide believe he acted out of sick revenge against their mother Olga Edwards, timing the killings in the late afternoon just before she got home from her job as a lawyer.
A major part of the investigation centres on how Edwards got his guns and firearms licence.
The Daily Telegraph has uncovered that he joined St Marys Pistol Club in April last year.
He had been rejected from another three gun clubs in the previous five months after having to tell them that an apprehended violence order had been taken out against him about 11 years earlier.
When he joined St Marys, one of several gun clubs that use the local range, he paid the pistol club $380 for training.
He paid $35 a month to hire a locker to keep his guns and also did target-shooting with a rifle.
On June 21, he made one of his regular trips from his Normanhurst home to the shooting range in his distinctive Nissan Patrol, where at 1.19pm he paid $18 for an hour's target practice, getting a pensioner's concession on the usual $24 cost.
While shooters sign in, there is no register to sign out.
Police have CCTV footage showing Edwards collecting the pistols from storage about 24 hours before the murders. When they broke into his locker, it was empty.
It is not known what happened to the rifle he used at the club. A spokesman for St Marys Pistol Club yesterday said that he could not comment due to the ongoing police investigation.