Coast predators: The sick child sex monsters living among us

TRUE CRIME: The shockwaves of Daniel Morcombe's disappearance and murder were created by more than just the horrors of the crimes Brett Peter Cowan committed.

The Sunshine Coast experienced a major shift in its psyche after the crime which rocked what had been a sleepy coastal community.

Brett Peter Cowan who has been found guilty of the abduction and murder of Daniel Morcombe.
Brett Peter Cowan.

Much like Sian Kingi's murder about 15 years earlier, the crime represented a loss of innocence.

The region was no longer the safe oasis so many had assumed it to be.


An early report of known sex offenders in the area following Daniel's disappearance produced a list of 33 persons of interest, including convicted pedophile Douglas Jackway.

Supplied image of convicted pedophile Douglas Jackway. The image was presented as evidence in the trial of Brett Peter Cowan for the alleged murder of Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe at the Queensland Supreme Court in Brisbane, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (AAP Image/Queensland Courts) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

In April, 2011, it was revealed examinations of child sex crime databases during a review of the Morcombe case in January had unearthed a further 502 new persons of interest who hadn't been investigated.

Fifteen detectives were tasked to investigate them in a process that had been expected to take a year.

Unconfirmed reports at the time of Daniel's disappearance were that more than 70 registered pedophiles were living in the Palmwoods-Woombye area.

Earlier this month former child protection detective turned Ninderry MP Dan Purdie revealed there were was just one police officer managing 130 registered sex offenders currently living on the Sunshine Coast.

Those offenders ranged from high to low risk offenders.

Mr Purdie said there was currently only 22 Child Protection Offender Registry officers around the entire state, managing about 2800 registered sex offenders at large across Queensland.

He said experts had found a ratio of one officer to manage 50 offenders was the maximum recommended, while South Australia currently limited one officer to a maximum of 40 offenders.

Serial rapist Robert John Fardon.
Serial rapist Robert John Fardon.

Serial rapist Robert John Fardon's recent release struck fear into Coast communities.