Survivor's horrible burden

A NSW policewoman who survived an axe attack by her father after he murdered her mother and two children says she blames herself for not keeping her family safe.

The policewoman, Shelly Walsh, said she was also no closer to knowing why her father, John, went on the rampage at the Cowra family home on June 30, 2008.

He is currently serving a life sentence for the murders of his wife Jean, 52, his seven-year-old grandson Kevin and his five-year-old granddaughter Jaime.

Ms Walsh made the gruesome discovery after leaving her children with her parents for the night.

She said she still shouldered some blame for the horrific crime.

"I think I do ... that was my mum, but more so my babies, it was my job to protect them and I wasn't there," Ms Walsh said.

On arriving at the house in the morning, Ms Walsh first found Jean, who had been clubbed over the head with a hammer shaft, stabbed in the neck and attacked with a lump hammer.

She then found Jaime, who had been drowned in the bath and then placed in her bed.

She was unable to locate Kevin. He had been killed with the same hammers her father used to slay her mother.

The policewoman then fought off an attack by her father, who struck her twice in the head with an axe.

Ms Walsh said she met with her father in prison earlier this year, and was no closer to knowing why he committed the horrific acts.

"He just shrugged his shoulders and said I don't know why myself," Ms Walsh said.

"That was it, that was his answer."

Her father fled the scene, but was later caught and pleaded guilty to the three murders and to the attack on his daughter.

Ms Walsh said an apology from her father "wouldn't change anything."

"I'd still walk out and they're still gone, and he's still in jail, and I'm still here," Ms Walsh said.

"I wanted to ... sit in front of him, look him in the eye and let him know, I'm fine, you didn't win, I'm fine".

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