Real Life

‘My husband stabbed my son to death’

The man who Luca and I loved so dearly was the man who took my son's life.

Adelaide man David Janzow, 38, stabbed his son Luca to death in July last year, but was yesterday found not guilty of his murder in the state’s Supreme Court due to his mental illness.

In an emotional victim impact statement read to the court, Luca’s mother and Janzow’s wife Julia Trinne described the “living nightmare” of losing her “cheeky, clever and creative” son.

“I will grieve for Luca until my last breath,” she said in the statement. “The loss of Luca and the grief itself is devastating beyond comprehension, I felt at times I could’ve stopped breathing and sometimes I wish I could.

“[He was] A beautiful-natured, kind, gentle, caring, happy, shy, tall, clever, cheeky, creative boy with the most incredible blue eyes, infectious smile and laugh. At the young age of four Luca had inner wisdom of someone far beyond his years.

“[I am] Shattered, utterly and incomprehensible broken. I wanted to get out of this world, I wanted to find Luca. It’s a sadness I did not know was possible. I felt broken and I was broken. I wish Dave had taken me instead.

“Every part of the life I knew and lived no longer existed. The man who Luca and I loved so dearly was the man who took my son’s life. I have lost my beautiful son Luca and I have lost my husband.

“I know deep inside I will never be the same.”

Julia said she had good memories of her marriage and is struggling to deal with the tragic turn their lives have taken.

“Dave became acutely unwell in a short period of time with absolutely tragic consequences,” she said. “There was no warning. There was no suggestion any of us were in danger.

“I loved Dave right up until this terrible tragedy. In most other circumstances I would’ve been by his side no matter what, I would’ve worn my wedding ring with pride until my last days but now I cannot.

“A living nightmare does not come close to what I have been going through. In time my hope is that this tragedy will bring understanding and awareness to mental health.

“Greater awareness and understanding of what professionals, families, friends and the community can do to make a positive difference to people with mental illness. There will be positive things to come out of this tragedy and I will make sure this happens.”

Janzow had been diagnosed with bipolar and had a long history of depression. He believed his son was like him and wanted to “save Luca from what was to come”.

He drove the boy to a secluded location and stabbed him with a hunting knife before calling emergency services. Luca died in hospital a short time later.

Janzow will spend the rest of his life in a secure mental health facility.

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