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Witness saw missing schoolgirl Samantha Knight in her killer’s work shed shortly after kidnapping

One of serial paedophile Michael Guider’s victims says she saw kidnapped schoolgirl Samantha Knight ‘asleep’ on his couch the night he killed and buried her. 

The woman recognised nine-year-old Samantha in Guider’s work shed shortly after he snatched her from Sydney’s eastern suburbs more than 30 years ago.

That shed, which was set up like a rough bedsit, was used by Guider in his gardening job at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli on the city’s lower north shore. 

‘Alice’, who does not want to be identified, was one of many girls Guider befriended to drug, molest and photograph in pornographic poses in the 1970s and 1980s.

She had considered Guider an uncle and was unaware of his abuse until police found photographs of her when he was first arrested for crimes against children in 1995. 

Guider is among Australia’s most loathed child sex offenders and recently became a free man again despite never having revealed exactly what he did to Samantha.

Alice has now told her story to Guider’s younger brother Tim, who has written a book about Samantha’s death and his own complicated relationship with Michael. 

One of the girls serial paedophile Michael Guider molested in the 1980s saw kidnapped schoolgirl Samantha Knight in his work shed the night he killed the nine-year-old. ‘Alice’ returned to the shed last year (pictured) and has told her story to Guider’s brother Tim

Samantha Knight was just nine years old when she was snatched from a street at Bondi in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Paedophile Michael Guider claimed he gave the schoolgirl sleeping pills and she died of an overdose or adverse reaction. Guider was released from jail last year

Samantha Knight was just nine years old when she was snatched from a street at Bondi in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Paedophile Michael Guider claimed he gave the schoolgirl sleeping pills and she died of an overdose or adverse reaction. Guider was released from jail last year

Serial paedophile Michael Guider is pictured clutching a Kodak film packet and developed pictures in 1984, the year he began drugging and photographing schoolgirl Samantha Knight

Serial paedophile Michael Guider is pictured clutching a Kodak film packet and developed pictures in 1984, the year he began drugging and photographing schoolgirl Samantha Knight

The Guider brothers were wards of the state as children and were sexually abused in boys’ homes. Tim became a bank robber and is now an acclaimed artist. 

While both were in custody Tim drew a confession out of Michael that he had killed Samantha, for which he received a pardon. 

Tim writes in Good Brother Bad Brother: The Samantha Knight Tragedy that his sibling is still a danger to children and should never have been released from jail.

He believes Michael, now 69 and living in a halfway house next to Long Bay prison, must confess to what really happened to Samantha if he can ever be rehabilitated. 

Alice was 17 when she saw a blonde girl she later realised was Samantha while visiting Guider’s garden shed on the night of August 19, 1986. 

Samantha was kidnapped after school that afternoon near her Bondi home, leading to one of Australian’s biggest missing person searches and most baffling crimes.

Her remains have never been found and Guider, who claims Samantha’s kidnapping was not premeditated, has never properly explained how she died.  

He pleaded guilty to Samantha’s manslaughter in 2002 while serving sentences for molesting other children including Alice and was sentenced to 17 years in jail.

Despite protestations from his brother, Samantha’s mother and other victims, Guider was released under strict supervision conditions in September. 

Alice’s story suggests Guider carefully planned Samantha’s abduction and according to Tim provides further compelling evidence he murdered her.

She says she was with Guider when he parked outside Samantha’s home to watch her house several times before she disappeared, and in the days after her death. 

'Alice', who does not want to be identified, was one of many girls Guider befriended to drug, molest and photograph in pornographic poses in the 1980s. She is pictured in the shed where she says she saw Samantha Knight shortly after Guider abducted her on August 19, 1986

‘Alice’, who does not want to be identified, was one of many girls Guider befriended to drug, molest and photograph in pornographic poses in the 1980s. She is pictured in the shed where she says she saw Samantha Knight shortly after Guider abducted her on August 19, 1986

Guider was working as a gardener at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli on Sydney's lower north shore when he abducted Samantha Knight. He had the use of one of the sheds pictured above in which Alice says she saw Samantha asleep on a couch

Guider was working as a gardener at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli on Sydney’s lower north shore when he abducted Samantha Knight. He had the use of one of the sheds pictured above in which Alice says she saw Samantha asleep on a couch

Guider was released from Long Bay prison in September after serving 17 years for Samantha Knight's manslaughter. He was suffering from a serious hernia which is visible in this picture

Guider was released from Long Bay prison in September after serving 17 years for Samantha Knight’s manslaughter. He was suffering from a serious hernia which is visible in this picture

Alice, who lived in the same Kirribilli boarding house as Guider when Samantha disappeared, recalls visiting his work shed the night she was taken from Bondi. 

The 6m by 4m structure had lighting and power points, with cupboards where Guider stored his tools and two small 1950s cafe-style tables on either side. 

On one table he kept an electric kettle, coffee and sugar. A heater kept the place warm in winter and there was a couch which Guider napped on sometimes.

More than three decades later Alice returned to the shed with Tim last year and was chilled when she walked into the space, which had once been a garage.   

‘It reminded me of something I told a police lady early in the case, before Michael was officially charged with killing Sam,’ Alice told Tim.

‘On the evening that Sam disappeared from Bondi I arrived home to the boarding house, and went to my room. 

‘After a while I walked down the corridor to see if Michael was in his room. He wasn’t, so I decided to walk to here to see if he was still at work, still here in the shed.

‘It was dark. Maybe the time was around 6.30pm. It was unusual for him not to be home from work at dinner time.’

Across the harbour in Bondi, Samantha had left her home in Imperial Avenue about 4.30pm and walked to the shops in Bondi Road where she bought some lollies and a pencil at a newsagency.

Tim Guider (pictured) writes in Good Brother Bad Brother: The Samantha Knight Tragedy that his sibling Michael is still a danger to children and should never have been released from jail. He is pictured at Gore Hill Cemetery, where he believes Michael buried Samantha's body

Tim Guider (pictured) writes in Good Brother Bad Brother: The Samantha Knight Tragedy that his sibling Michael is still a danger to children and should never have been released from jail. He is pictured at Gore Hill Cemetery, where he believes Michael buried Samantha’s body

In 2003 Michael Guider told police he had buried Samantha near a tree (pictured) on the grounds of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. In 1988 the ground was disturbed for the construction of an enormous underground car park and Guider may have moved her body

In 2003 Michael Guider told police he had buried Samantha near a tree (pictured) on the grounds of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. In 1988 the ground was disturbed for the construction of an enormous underground car park and Guider may have moved her body

An hour later a woman saw her on the corner of Bondi Road and Wellington Street. Samantha, whose mother was at work, seemed upset and told the woman she had lost her house key.

About 6.30pm she bought a toothbrush from a Bondi Road pharmacy. She smiled and waved to a neighbour on Bondi Road near Imperial Avenue about 6.45pm. 

What happened next has remained a mystery for more than 30 years. 

Guider says he encountered Samantha by chance and she died of an overdose of Normison sleeping pills while in his company. 

Alice’s story suggests Guider drove Samantha straight from Bondi to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron shed, where he killed her.

‘When I arrived here this shed door was closed but not locked,’ Alice told Tim. ‘I pushed it open and saw a blonde-haired child lying on the lounge. 

‘Michael had an olive green lounge against the bi-fold doors. It was a girl. She could’ve been asleep. I knew I had seen her before but I couldn’t say from where.’

Alice said the girl was lying ‘almost face down’ with her head turned toward her. One forearm was under her head and a checked car blanket covered her body from her shoulders to her feet.

This is the block of flats in Imperial Avenue, Bondi, where Samantha Knight lived with her mother as it is today. Michael Guider had acted as a babysitter for Samantha and other pre-pubescent girls whose mothers he befriended. He assaulted the girls after drugging them

This is the block of flats in Imperial Avenue, Bondi, where Samantha Knight lived with her mother as it is today. Michael Guider had acted as a babysitter for Samantha and other pre-pubescent girls whose mothers he befriended. He assaulted the girls after drugging them

'Alice' says in the days before Samantha Knight disappeared she accompanied Guider as he parked in Bondi's Castlefield Lane (pictured) several times. Samantha's block of flats was and is visible at the end of the lane, suggesting that he was stalking her

‘Alice’ says in the days before Samantha Knight disappeared she accompanied Guider as he parked in Bondi’s Castlefield Lane (pictured) several times. Samantha’s block of flats was and is visible at the end of the lane, suggesting that he was stalking her 

‘Michael might have heard me approaching as he was already rushing toward the door and he quickly pushed me backwards out the door, closing the door again behind him,’ Alice told Tim. 

‘I asked, “Who’s that?” He replied that, “It’s Danny and he’s asleep, we don’t want to wake him”.’ 

Alice told Guider the person on the couch was obviously a girl. She knew Danny, who was about six years old and shorter than Samantha. 

Danny – not his real name – was the son of another single mother Guider had befriended so her could babysit and molest him. 

‘She was a bit lonely, no boyfriends and Michael started babysitting Danny so she could go out and have some social fun,’ Alice told Tim. 

‘In hindsight, after Michael’s arrest, I realised that Danny was another victim of Michael’s. At the time I just figured Michael was being kind.’

Alice said Guider told her to go back to their boarding house in Upper Pitt Street a few hundred metres away until ‘Danny’ woke and he could drive him home. 

Guider said he would buy Alice dinner and about 30 minutes later he came home.

Samantha Knight was seen on the afternoon she went missing from near her home walking the streets after changing out of uniform. Hundreds of thousands of posters featuring her image were plastered around Australia and could still be seen for years after her disappearance

Samantha Knight was seen on the afternoon she went missing from near her home walking the streets after changing out of uniform. Hundreds of thousands of posters featuring her image were plastered around Australia and could still be seen for years after her disappearance

Michael Guider and 'Alice' were living in this block of flats in Upper Pitt Street, Kirribilli, when he abducted and killed Samantha Knight. Alice says that on the evening Samantha disappeared Guider did not come home and she found him in his shed with the schoolgirl

Michael Guider and ‘Alice’ were living in this block of flats in Upper Pitt Street, Kirribilli, when he abducted and killed Samantha Knight. Alice says that on the evening Samantha disappeared Guider did not come home and she found him in his shed with the schoolgirl 

‘I began to think I must’ve been mistaken and that Michael had no reason to lie to me,’ she told Tim.

‘So I accepted in my mind that it must have been Danny and that he was asleep and Michael just didn’t want to wake him too early before it was time to take him home. 

‘Then we walked to the nearest shops only three minutes away and he paid for our fish and chips. We walked home and ate in Michael’s room.’

Alice, who was then a shop assistant and is now a grandmother, said Guider asked about her day at work – ‘Just small stalk, you know.’ 

After the pair ate dinner Guider returned to his work shed and, it was revealed many years later, buried Samantha in the yacht squadron garden.

‘Michael told me he still has stuff to do at work and that he’s making a new garden bed,’ Alice told Tim. 

‘He was only home for the time it took to get dinner and eat it. Then he left and probably stayed at the garden shed all night.’ 

Samantha Knight's parents Tess Knight and Peter O'Meagher pleaded with Michael Guider to reveal where their daughter's remains lie. 'There is no reason why he can't tell us where Sam is,' Ms Knight has said. 'I think I would like to know a little bit more about what happened'

Samantha Knight’s parents Tess Knight and Peter O’Meagher pleaded with Michael Guider to reveal where their daughter’s remains lie. ‘There is no reason why he can’t tell us where Sam is,’ Ms Knight has said. ‘I think I would like to know a little bit more about what happened’ 

Detective Sergeant Steve Leach (left) interviews Michael Guider (centre) over the death of Samantha Knight. Guider has always refused to explain in detail how Samantha died

Detective Sergeant Steve Leach (left) interviews Michael Guider (centre) over the death of Samantha Knight. Guider has always refused to explain in detail how Samantha died

Alice saw the new garden bed two days later. It was under the tree where Guider later told police he had buried Samantha.

Returning to the shed last year, Alice told Tim it looked much as it did when Samantha disappeared, except the green lounge against the bi-fold doors was gone.

Good Brother Bad Brother by Tim Guider is available through Amazon now for $9.99

Good Brother Bad Brother by Tim Guider is available through Amazon now for $9.99

‘It gives me the shivers because even before Michael first became a suspect regarding Sam… I had a memory flashback about Michael babysitting Danny,’ Alice told Tim. 

‘I then remembered how I had thought the child was a girl and for the first time I realised the blonde girl on Michael’s lounge was Sam, and that I had seen her before, with her two friends at Manly.’

Guider had drugged, molested and photographed Samantha and two other girls at a house in Raglan Street, Manly, while he babysat them in 1984 and 1985.

Tim notes if the person on the couch had really been ‘Danny’ his brother could have used that as an alibi when he was first accused of killing Samantha. 

Alice told Tim that before Samantha disappeared Guider had driven her to Bondi several times and parked in Castlefield Lane with a clear view of what she later learned was her home.

Guider had told Alice he needed to park there because he was waiting for someone. 

‘We just sat here and waited, sometimes for twenty minutes or more,’ she said. ‘People were walking past on either side of Imperial Avenue. He was watching them.’

One one occasions Guider got out of the vehicle, walked around the corner into Imperial Avenue and returned after a few minutes.

Michael Guider is pictured here at Long Bay jail visiting his brother Tim on Christmas Day, 1986, four months after after he killed Samantha. Tim was jailed for bank robbery and is now an acclaimed artist. He has written Good Brother Bad Brother: The Samantha Knight Tragedy

Michael Guider is pictured here at Long Bay jail visiting his brother Tim on Christmas Day, 1986, four months after after he killed Samantha. Tim was jailed for bank robbery and is now an acclaimed artist. He has written Good Brother Bad Brother: The Samantha Knight Tragedy

'Alice' says she and Michael Guider used to regularly have lunch on these benches in Gore Hill Cemetery during 1988, two years after Samantha Knight disappeared. Guider's brother Tim believes Michael buried Samantha in an unmarked plot to the far right of this picture

‘Alice’ says she and Michael Guider used to regularly have lunch on these benches in Gore Hill Cemetery during 1988, two years after Samantha Knight disappeared. Guider’s brother Tim believes Michael buried Samantha in an unmarked plot to the far right of this picture 

Alice said Guider told her a few days after Samantha’s disappearance the girl was surely dead and the widescale search for her was a waste of time. 

She told Tim that his brother took her to look at a mannequin dressed as Samantha while it was outside Bondi Beach police station and then near the chemist in Bondi Road.

He had also stopped to look at the ‘Find our Sam’ posters put up all over the suburb. 

Tim sees all this is clear evidence his brother planned to kidnap Samantha and that Michael was guilty of murder, not manslaughter. 

Guider allegedly told prison informers he first buried the schoolgirl in Cooper Park at Bellevue Hill, 2km from Bondi. He then dug up her body 18 months later and put it in a skip bin at the yacht squadron.

In March 2003 he finally admitted to detectives he had originally buried Samantha under a large tree in the yacht squadron garden. This time they believed him. 

Guider told them me met Samantha by chance the day he kidnapped her but would not tell them exactly how she died. 

He did suggest she was already dead by the time he drove to Kirribilli. He dug a grave that night and had her buried before dawn. 

About 18 months after Samantha’s kidnapping the yacht squadron had begun building an underground carpark which involved extensive construction works.       

Guider, who was no longer employed there, complained to North Sydney Council the carpark would destroy two large trees and all his good horticultural work.

The brother of Samantha Knight's killer believes he knows where the schoolgirl is buried.  Tim Guider is convinced Samantha's body lies near a headstone bearing another Knight's name in old Gore Hill Cemetery on Sydney's lower north shore. He is pictured near Sarah Knight's grave

The brother of Samantha Knight’s killer believes he knows where the schoolgirl is buried.  Tim Guider is convinced Samantha’s body lies near a headstone bearing another Knight’s name in old Gore Hill Cemetery on Sydney’s lower north shore. He is pictured near Sarah Knight’s grave

By then he was the head gardener at Royal North Shore Hospital about 5km away but still living in the Upper Pitt Street boarding house.

WHY SAMANTHA KNIGHT COULD BE BURIED AT GORE HILL  

Michael Guider first buried Samantha Knight at Kirribilli’s Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, where he was working in 1986 when he killed her.

When her original grave was about to be disturbed in 1988 he was working 5km away at Royal North Shore Hospital, next to Gore Hill Cemetery.

The cemetery is easily accessed but secluded and no authorised burials have taken place there since 1974.

Guider lied saying he had never been to the cemetery then admitted he had taken another of his victims there.

The headstone of a woman called Sarah Knight has been broken and rearranged on an unmarked grave in a corner of the cemetery.

When Guider’s brother told him he believed Samantha was buried at Gore Hill Cemetery the killer trembled.

Police dug up the garden bed looking for Samantha’s remains in May 2003. The trees Guider wanted saved had survived.

Soil samples were taken from near the largest tree where Guider had indicated he buried Samantha and a cadaver dog reacted positively to one. 

Police dug for hours until they hit the roof of the carpark but found nothing.

Detectives believe Guider panicked when the carpark was being built and that he may have dug up Samantha’s remains and put them in a dumpster, or they were removed during excavation work.

They learnt bins used during the construction had been emptied at 150 landfill sites. 

Tim Guider believes his brother dug up Samantha’s remains and reburied them in a grave at Gore Hill Cemetery, which is right next to Royal North Shore Hospital. 

The gravestone for a Sarah Knight in the cemetery’s north-west corner has been broken and rearranged on a nearby unmarked plot.

Tim believes his brother did that to mark or point to the spot where he re-buried Samantha’s body. 

He says his brother has had a fascination with cemeteries and funeral rites since childhood, once burying a dead galah he found on a road trip and fashioning a cross with twigs to mark its grave. 

Alice told Tim his brother used to photograph her in graveyards when she was a child.

Guider had taken her to the north-west corner of Gore Hill Cemetery when she visited him at the hospital two years after Samantha’s disappearance. 

Several times they ate sandwiches on the edge of the cemetery, sitting on a bench with views straight across to those tombstones. 

Good Brother Bad Brother: The Samantha Knight Tragedy by Tim Guider is available here from Amazon for $9.99 (Kindle edition).  

KIDNAPPING THAT SHOCKED AND FOREVER CHANGED AUSTRALIA 

Samantha Knight’s 1986 disappearance from near her mother’s home at Bondi in Sydney’s eastern suburbs remained a mystery for 15 years.

Michael Anthony Guider has never publicly expressed any remorse for killing the schoolgirl – which he claims was accidental – and her body has never been found.

She was one of perhaps scores of children aged two to 16 Guider molested over many years. His usual method of offending was to drug then molest pre-pubescent boys and girls.

Guider first molested Samantha when she was living with her mother Tess at Manly in 1984 and 1985.

He snatched Samantha from near her home in Imperial Avenue, Bondi, after she came home from school on August 19, 1986.

The honey-blonde, green-eyed girl had been seen that afternoon walking the streets after changing out of her school uniform. Within days Sydney was plastered with ‘Find our Sam’ posters which described her as intelligent, outgoing and well-spoken.

Guider later claimed he had drugged Samantha with the sleeping pill Normison and she died of an overdose or adverse reaction to the drug.

Many of the gardener’s victims were the daughters of mothers he had befriended and he sexually assaulted them during babysitting sessions.

Guider played a ‘game’ called statues with some victims in which he ordered them to stand still while he exposed himself and touched their genitals.

He took thousands of images of the children he violated while they were drugged. Some of his victims have not been identified.

Guider was serving a 16-year sentence imposed in 1996 for 60 offences against 11 children when police realised he was responsible for one of Australia’s most high-profile unsolved crimes.

He was arrested and charged with Samantha’s murder in February 2001 but pleaded guilty to manslaughter under the weight of damning evidence including a confession to his brother Tim, then a jailed armed robber.

After Guider pleaded guilty to manslaughter Samantha’s mother said: ‘Guider is the only person who knows where Sam is.’

‘There is no reason why he can’t tell us where Sam is. I think I would like to know a little bit more about what happened.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk