Family of murder-suicide victim speak of their loss
The three children of a woman killed by her partner in a horrific murder-suicide say her death could have been prevented by police.
Marilyn Burdon's violent death at the hands of her partner Charles Bisucci in August 2017 after she said she wanted him out of the house has been investigated by the Coroners Court of Victoria over seven days.
The loved grandmother's daughter Rebecca Burdon told the court on Thursday, "excuses as to why it happened are unbearable to hear".
"The pain in our hearts is indescribable," she said.
"This coronial inquiry is the first time since our mother's murder that our questions have been answered, and that we have had the opportunity to have our voices heard.
"We have had little time to grieve because we have been consumed with questions."
Bisucci was permanently banned from holding a firearms licence due to his history of family violence.
The gun used to commit the unspeakable murder-suicide was registered in the name of his friend, Sebastian Carmuciano.
The 69-year-old killer had 16 guns before his license was cancelled, and 15 were transferred into the names of various friends from where he accessed them. There is no suggestion the friends had any involvement in the killings.
"There's no reason that a person needs 16 firearms," Ms Burdon's daughter Natalie Burdon told the court.
Natalie Burdon said it was clear through the evidence given at the inquest it was an "alarming but not uncommon practice" for someone banned from owning a gun to simply transfer ownership to a mate.
"This practice is enabled by the current legislation," she said.
"We believe that firearms and weapons seized by Victoria Police from a prohibited person - or any individual who has a firearms licence cancelled - should be destroyed.
"This should be a blanket penalty and not discretionary."
Rebecca Burdon also slammed the "lack of communication between agencies that we believe, as a community, are here to protect us" - including different branches of Victoria Police and Mr Bisucci's private psychiatrist.
"The extent of his duplicity, propensity for controlling behaviour, firearms, and violence went unchecked," she said.
"Had the true picture of Mr Bisucci been available for all to understand prior to the 21st of August, 2017, we believe our mother would still be here today."
Ms Burdon's son, Nicholas Burdon, said "our mother's death will not be in vain".
"As a family we did not initially consider our mother's murder to be a family violence murder," he said.
"Herein lies the problem.
"Family violence does not need to be sustained over time, it need not be physical, and will manifest itself in numerous forms.
"Family violence does not discriminate. Perpetrators and their victims are found in all walks of life.
"Every victim should be afforded comfort, support, and protection, with the knowledge that when they come forward, the community's full support will be given to them."
The family had suffered "feelings of despair" with no support from government agencies after the shock of the murder-suicide, the court heard.
Rebecca Burdon said the three of them had been brushed aside whenever they sought answers.
She said they had battled to find answers and for a coronial inquest to even happen.
"When we have sought to meaningfully engage with anyone who was able to answers our questions we have faced responses that: 'we should remember our mother how she was', 'this will not help your recovery', and even, 'you don't need to see that'," she said.
"The lack of transparency, information and insight continued the damage.
"Mr Bisucci made the cowardly choice of ending his own life after he took our mother's. As a result, we've had to push for law enforcement and the courts to look beyond the case of it simply being a murder-suicide, to the reasons how and why this occurred."
The inquest findings will be delivered at a later date.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. The Suicide Call Back service is on 1300 659 467.
Originally published as Family of murder-suicide victim speak