Shandee Blackburn: Five years on, mum yet to see justice
THE mother of murdered Mackay woman Shandee Blackburn says she has learned how "cruel it is to be silent" in a heartfelt poem to mark the fifth anniversary of her daughter's death.
Shandee was 23 when she was stabbed dozens of times as she walked home from work, five years ago tomorrow.
Nobody has been found responsible for her death.
An 18-month investigation resulted in police charging John Peros, a 34-year-old amateur boxer, with Shandee's murder.
Peros' defence team said Shandee was the victim of an ice-fuelled robbery gone wrong carried out by another man, and a jury found Peros not guilty of her murder.
Vicki Blackburn endured a lengthy investigation and years of court hearings but is yet to see justice served for her daughter.
Mrs Blackburn hopes the state coroner will hold an inquiry into Shandee's death.
In a poem titled Five Years, provided to The Courier-Mail, a heartbroken Mrs Blackburn said she had not been able to speak out about what happened to Shandee because of the complexities of the legal system.
"I've learnt just how cruel it is to be silent," she wrote.
"To be silent about what happened, how it happened, why it happened, for five years," she wrote.
"I've learnt it has taken me five long tortuous years to come out of the fog of your death.
"I've learnt that some things now will always be beyond me.
"I've learnt the physical and emotional trauma will never fully subside. I can never be whole, my heart was not the only part of me forever broken.
"I've learnt that for me to be able to continue I must not allow myself to visit thoughts of you, alone, stalked, defenceless, viciously, savagely, brutally, attacked, struggling to breathe, stumbling towards the light, dying.
"I've learnt that I am so very grateful for each moment of those 23 years.
"I've learnt that 23 years was not enough ... we were not meant to be finished."
But Mrs Blackburn said she was grateful to those who had tried to find her daughter's killer.
"I've learnt that I have to try hard not to be disillusioned and bitter," she wrote. "I've learnt that, along with the evil and injustices of the world, there are a lot of compassionate driven people selflessly trying to make things right, make a difference.
"I've learnt that there are no words to express my gratitude and admiration for everyone who has and is helping to bring justice for you."
A decision on whether an inquest into Shandee's death will be held has not yest been made.