Jack and Jennifer Edwards huddled together in their West Pennant Hills home before their father shot them. Picture: AAP
Jack and Jennifer Edwards huddled together in their West Pennant Hills home before their father shot them. Picture: AAP

Killer dad discharged from Army under cloud

THE cowardly father who shot dead his two teenage children as they clutched each other for comfort in their Sydney home was discharged from the Australian Army under a cloud.

It can also be revealed John Edwards had been married four times before meeting the children's mother Olga and ­relentlessly wrote angry letters to the women after their relationships ended.

The details give another disturbing insight into the mind of the 67-year-old who gunned down son Jack, 15, and daughter Jennifer, 13, in the West Pennant Hills home they shared with their Russian-born mother last Thursday night.

She arrived home shortly after the attack to find her children dead. Edwards shot himself dead at his Normanhurst house hours later.

Police sources yesterday confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that Edwards had been discharged from the Army in the 1970s, amid concerns over his performance.

John Edwards was married four times before he met Olga Edwards — mother to his two children he shot and killed in their home. Picture: AAP
John Edwards was married four times before he met Olga Edwards — mother to his two children he shot and killed in their home. Picture: AAP

Investigators are now delving deeper into exactly what brought about the end of his military career.

He also pursued his numerous grievances with his ex-partners by peppering them with letters about their failed relationships.

And his diatribes continued even on the eve of his rampage, sending correspondence to his former wives and family shortly before the horrific murder suicide.

It has previously been revealed Edwards was knocked back by several local gun clubs because he had been the subject of an AVO in the previous 10 years and they held serious concerns about his character.

Anyone who has had an apprehended violence order (AVO) taken out against them is not allowed to apply for a gun licence for a decade.

Olga Edwards arrived home to find her children dead, shortly after her ex-husband shot them. Picture: Linkedin
Olga Edwards arrived home to find her children dead, shortly after her ex-husband shot them. Picture: Linkedin

But once this 10-year deadline had expired he was given a commissioner's permit - granted by a delegate of the NSW Police Commissioner.

He then used this to bolster his successful application for St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre.

It is understood Edwards again needed clearance from the NSW Firearms Registry to be granted a gun licence, then a further sign-off before he was allowed to buy the two powerful handguns he used to murder his defenceless children.

The commissioner's permit is "very rare", according to a veteran shooting club president who has questioned why it was approved.

"Somehow it's overridden everything else," NSW Amateur Pistol Association president Brian Cheers said.

"The clubs have done the right thing here. I've never come across this before, it's very strange."

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