The Dream Shattered

Like all of the decisions in their married life it was a joint one between John and Gay to move into his in-laws' home. It was here that Glover's hatred for his mother-in-law, Essie, erupted. A separate wing was built on the house so that Gay and John and their two daughters, Kellie (born in 1971) and Marney (born in 1973) could live an almost separate existence from the demanding Essie Rolls.

Glover would say at his trial that he hated Essie, that the atmosphere was always tense and that the situation became even worse when Gay's father died in 1981. Glover told the court that Essie was a tyrant. Police had no trouble confirming this when they interviewed staff of the nursing home in Mosman where she died in 1988.

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To add to Glover's domestic woes, in 1982 his mother, Freda, migrated to Australia and turned up on his door. Glover loathed her almost as much as he loathed his mother-in-law. Freda Underwood, as she was now known, had been married four times and had had numerous lovers both during and between her marriages.

When she tried to move in as a temporary companion to Essie Rolls, it was more than Glover could handle. The last thing he wanted was someone in the house who could bring him undone with tales of his unfortunate childhood. This was the type of ammunition that Essie Rolls wanted.

"It was a shock to the system," Glover would say at his trial. "Just the thought of having them both under the one roof was more than anyone could stand." At Glover's instigation, his mother moved to Gosford, 100 kilometres north of Sydney, where she died of breast cancer in 1988. Glover was diagnosed as having the same cancer, although it is extremely rare amongst men.

After a mastectomy Glover developed a prostate condition and became sexually impotent. In evidence, psychiatrist Dr Bob Strum said that he believed this to be the time when Glover's life changed. "It was almost as though his mother was reaching out from the grave and striking him again," he told the jury.

Despite the family dramas, Gay knew nothing of her husband's dark past and he never did anything to indicate that he was anything other than an adoring husband and father to their two daughters.

The 'start of it all' as Glover would refer to it later, came on 11 January 1989, when he saw 84-year-old Mrs Margaret Todhunter walking along quiet Hale Road, Mosman. He parked his car and, after he was satisfied that no one was looking, he punched the unsuspecting victim in the face with a swinging right hook and relieved her of her handbag containing $209. As he fled down the street with her bag, Mrs Todhunter called out, "You rotten bugger."

Glover went to the Mosman RSL, where he drank and played the poker machines with the stolen money. Investigating police put the incident down to a mugging and suspected that someone saw the elderly woman with the cash and waited for the right moment. In the drug-ravaged suburbs of Sydney, muggings are a daily occurrence and while the case was investigated thoroughly, little hope was given of recovering the money or finding the perpetrator of such a cowardly act.

Mrs Todhunter survived the ordeal but was badly bruised and shaken. As it eventuated, she was also extremely lucky.

1. The "Calling Card" Killer

2. Not Your Average Serial Killer

3. Not Crazy

4. A Violent Past

5. Marriage

6. The Dream Shattered

7. The Killings Begin

8. A Bizarre Twist

9. A Serial Killer on the Loose

10. Two Murders in One Day

11. A Solid Clue

12. A Break At Last

13. A Tragic Mistake

14. Face to Face with "The Granny Killer"

15. Trial & Sentencing

16. Interview with "The Granny Killer" I

17. Interview with "The Granny Killer" II

18. Interview with "The Granny Killer" III

19. The Author

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