‘We miss her acutely’: The heartbreak of Ciara Glennon’s dad
The father of slain solicitor Ciara Glennon says the family refuses to be "prisoners of the past" but believe justice has finally been served after confessed rapist Bradley Robert Edwards was found guilty of her murder.
Edwards was convicted on Thursday of murdering Ms Glennon, 27, in 1997 and childcare worker Jane Rimmer, 23, in 1996, but was acquitted of killing secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, in 1996.
All three women vanished after nights out in the affluent suburb of Claremont, which haunted Perth for decades.
Denis Glennon attended many court preliminary hearings and the seven-month trial, remaining stoic throughout the at-times incredibly confronting process.
He finally broke his silence on Friday, telling reporters the family did not intend to provide victim impact statements for Edwards' sentencing.
"Crimes such as these inflict unforeseeable collateral damage," Mr Glennon said.
"They take their toll physically, emotionally and spiritually on those left behind.
"As a family, we will not allow ourselves to be prisoners of the past."
Ms Glennon had a defensive wound on her arm from trying to fight off her attacker, and managed to claw at Edwards with her nails before he slashed her neck with a sharp weapon.
His DNA was discovered under her nails and it was the crucial piece of evidence to seal his fate.
When Ms Glennon was a missing person, her father spoke publicly as they appealed for information.
"Through tears, I said she would fight for her life because of the way she was brought up," he said.
"Little did we know then how prophetic these words would be.
"As she fought to save her life, she left us the vital DNA clues.
"Ciara was strong in spirit, had courage, great courage.
"Yet, as she fought to save her life, she could not save herself because of the brutal assault by her murderer."
Ms Glennon said the family had not been allowed to see his daughter's body.
"Her wounds and injuries were too gruesome," he said.
But Mr Glennon did read the autopsy report, including viewing the pictures of her fatal injuries, which were not publicly shown during the trial because they were too confronting.
"For 23 years, I have lived with those images," he said.
Mr Glennon said he visited his daughter's grave shortly after her funeral and promised to do all in his power to find her killer or die trying.
"Since then, that promise, that commitment to Ciara, has driven me unwaveringly and unapologetically," he said.
Mr Glennon also read an excerpt from his wife's 2012 book, where she described the grief of losing their daughter, and he said those words remained meaningful.
"Days that are meant to be days of celebration are now days tinged with sadness," she wrote.
"There's always somebody missing, a conspicuous absence, an empty chair.
"Her silence speaks louder than our words. We miss her acutely."
Mr Glennon said the past was unquestionably engulfed by sadness.
"That is a powerful force, but as a family, the past is transcended," he said.
"It's transcended by the fond memories of Ciara. Yes, memories watered by tears, but also caressed by her spirit, her friendship and above all her courage.
"These memories will continue to apply healing balm to past suffering."
Mr Glennon thanked everyone involved in the epic case and said he believed justice had finally been delivered.
"We will together move forward with equanimity, renewed purpose and meaning, shepherded by those fond memories I've mentioned from the past," he said.
"But melded with the future, with our daughter Denise and her family, with our friends and with the thoughts of enduring gratitude to so many, so many people."
Ms Spiers' body has never been found and Mr Glennon acknowledged her parents, Don and Carol.
"They too deserve justice. Especially, they deserve to know where Sarah is," he said.
The trial heard Ms Glennon had "ummed and aahed" about going out with her colleagues that night, before finally deciding to join them.
She was last seen walking down Stirling Highway, with a few men dubbed "the burger boys" among the final few to see her alive.
A man searching for cannabis plants found her body dumped in Eglinton bushland a few weeks later.
Edwards has also pleaded guilty to twice raping a 17-year-old girl he abducted and dragged through Karrakatta Cemetery in 1995, and indecently assaulting an 18-year-old woman sleeping in her Huntingdale home in 1988.
He will face a sentencing hearing on December 23.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Heartbreak of Claremont victim's dad