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‘Did she call for me as she died?’ Samantha Knight's mother's anguish over her daughter's murder

Tess Knight tells of the nightmares that still haunt her three decades after the disappearance of her little girl.

With tears streaming down her face, Tess Knight revealed in court last week the sleepless nights she still endures thinking about the final terrible moments of Samantha's life before she was killed by a paedophile in 1986.
"Did she struggle? Where did he take her?" Tess says of her precious daughter's kidnapping and murder at the hands of monster Michael Guider.
"Was it a long drive? Did she call for me as she died? What did she say? Did she wonder why I wasn't there to help her? Did she say 'I want Mummy'? Did she tell him 'I want to go home'?" the grieving mum can't help but wonder every single day.
Samantha Knight (pictured) was killed by a paedophile in 1986. Image: Supplied

Begging for safety

"I imagine all these things in detail," Tess told a hearing to determine whether NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman can keep the convicted serial paedophile behind bars, even though his prison term ran out earlier this year, on June 6.
The decision on whether to free Guider, 68, who was jailed for more than 60 sex offences against 13 boys and girls committed between 1980 and 1996, before he was even sentenced for killing Samantha, will be handed down this week.
It's a decision that could shatter whatever peace Tess has managed to find since that terrible, terrible day 33 years ago when she waved goodbye to Samantha as she left for school.
That would be the last time she ever saw her nine-year-old daughter.
"This man has been a dangerous, serious sexual predator of children. Whatever remorse he may show, it was not enough to change his behaviour in the past and it is not enough for the future," warned Tess, begging the court, "Please don't release this man into the community."
WATCH: Could Samantha Knight's killer walk free? Story continues after video...
She said it had been more than 12,000 days since Guider kidnapped and killed nine-year-old Samantha after snatching her from a street in Bondi. The image of the beautiful green-eyed, blonde-haired girl haunted Australia.
With Samantha portraying a striking image of childhood innocence, she became the face of missing children in Australia – until Guilder was arrested, pleading guilty in 2002 to her manslaughter, after agreeing with police she died of a sedative overdose he administered, which was his favoured method of subduing the children he raped.
But Guider, who now claims he's innocent, has never revealed what he did with Samantha's body – and her body has never been found. "The hurt never goes," says Tess.

High risk offender

Forensic psychiatrist Jonathon Adams, who met with Guider in April, told the court the former gardener posed a high risk of committing sexual offences again and suggested that he still harboured sexual fantasies about children because he had drawings of children on the walls of his prison cell.
And Tess last week begged a court not to release Guilder, revealing she's still racked with "desolation, terror and anxiety", and haunted by thousands of scenarios about what may have happened to her daughter in the last minutes of her life.
Tess revealed in the months that followed Samantha's disappearance, she'd look through the windscreens of passing cars and scan the children's faces searching for her daughter, who would be 42 today if she had survived.
"What kind of man wouldn't call an ambulance to save the life of a child?" Tess asked the packed court, with her harrowing testimony leaving many in tears.
Tess Knight (pictured) is still haunted by thoughts of what happened to her daughter Samantha in her final moments. Image: Channel Nine

'He's not finished yet'

One of Guider's victims who survived, Lisa Giles, waived her anonymity to testify in court and urged Justice Richard Button to not release the paedophile, revealing he loved to see the innocence of a child taken from their faces.
"He has no empathy, he is driven by the desire to fulfil the physical urge. We were not always sedated, sometimes we were awake and aware. I live with complex PTSD. It's a form of imprisonment," says the 43-year-old. "He's remorseless and self-righteous."

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