Bruce and Denise Morcombe
Bruce and Denise Morcombe

What Bruce Morcombe would ask Daniel’s killer

BRUCE Morcombe and his wife Denise have lived a real-life nightmare. In 2003, their 13-year-old son Daniel was abducted and killed when he was on his way to buy Christmas presents for the family. Sixteen years on, Bruce believes Daniel's murder has saved hundreds of other children from the same tragic fate. The Daniel Morcombe Foundation is a legacy to a young boy who every Australian holds close to their hearts.

In this chat, Bruce Morcombe shares why he would like to sit down with Daniel's killer and what he would ask him.

PODCAST: Listen to the full interview with Bruce Morcombe here:

Matt Collins: 3600 schools and daycare centres are involved in Day for Daniel this year right across the country, what does that mean for the foundation?

Bruce Morcombe: It is absolutely awesome. Each year we tend to grow between 10 to 12 per cent, which is great. If we could crack 4000 next year that would be a super milestone.

MC: Daniel Morcombe is a child the entire nation feels a strong connection with. When you do spend time thinking about your boy, what sort of thoughts do you have, Bruce?

BM: Oh look, we don't look too much in the past. Of course there are a lot of regrets and you wish it was not that way.

Daniel's legacy is what we are immensely proud of. Even though he didn't make it to his 14th birthday, he has impacted Australia. So many people support Denise and myself and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation because they just don't want another tragedy like Daniel's.

That's why we have shared our pain. As sad as it is, it is also a gift. While that may sound a little bit peculiar, it is a gift because people want to help us.

MC: Of all the people and organisations that have supported the foundation over the years, is there a story that you remember fondly?

BM: One time Denise and I were driving on our way to visiting schools in Cairns. A truckie passed me just before town and then he stopped at the lights just in front of me.

He was a big, burly bloke and he jumped out and I thought, 'Uh oh, what's going on here?' Well, he walked over to us and I wound down the window and he gave me $10. It was his money for lunch. He couldn't speak, he was too choked up with emotion.

MC: Many people might be surprised to hear this, but in the past you have been asked who is someone you would like to have dinner with, and you said Brett Cowan, Daniel's killer.

Why would you like to meet with him?

BM: I just want to say, 'Why?' I think. 'Why did you do it? Why has your life turned out the way it has?' We can all be angry, and bitter and whatever, but you can't undo what is already locked in and done.

So it is about moving forward.

MC: Bruce, you are a remarkable man. It must take a lot to get to that point where you feel that way about Daniel's killer.

BM: Yeah, it is not an easy path, but there is no point in struggling in a dark place.

You've got to look forward, not back.

MC: Let's talk about Day for Daniel, what is the main message you try to get across to the kids and the parents of Australia?

BM: We talk about the three Rs: Recognise, React, Report.

We want everyone to appreciate and recognise potential dangers and listen to the body cues. Then you have to react to those cues, it could be run, it could be scream.

And then you've got to do one more thing. You must report to an adult you trust. It might be a parent or a police officer, or it might be that you pick up the phone and contact Kids Helpline.

PODCAST: Listen to the full interview with Bruce Morcombe here:

South Burnett


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