Robert Donald William Farquharson

Hellbeast Robert Farquharson
Crime: Murder

Robert Donald William Farquharson and Cindy Gambino of Victoria, Australia were once good friends. Cindy Gambino was living in Birregurra and worked at a supermarket in Winchelsea. Robert Farquharson had grown up in Winchelsea. They met and became friends in 1990, when he was 22 and she was 20.

Cindy Gambino had a first love, but he tragically died in an accident. Cindy turned to Rob Farquharson and although she had trouble “giving her heart” to him, she became pregnant in January 1994. In February 1994 the couple was engaged.

Jai Farquharson, a lovely, healthy baby boy, was born in October, 1994. It wasn’t his fault his parents began to have issues. His mother developed post-natal depression and began counselling. His father, Robert Farquharson was beginning to get fed up with working for an employer and was chafing at the bit to be his own boss.

In 1996 Robert Farquharson made his move — he bought a Jim’s Mowing franchise and specialized in gardening and lawn care services.

In July 1998 Tyler Farquharson was born. Again the couple had been blessed with a lovely, healthy baby boy.

Jai and TylerMeantime, the lawn care business was not proving to be a good business decision. The family lost $40,000 and Robert abandoned his dream of independence. Cindy Gambino was none too happy with the financial hardship they now faced.

Robert Farquharson got a job as a cleaner at the Cumberland resort in Lorne. The couple sold their house and built another one.

Robert and Cindy got married in 2000 because, as Cindy put it, “it was the right thing to do.” I guess after two children they considered it was best they were married.

Cindy Gambino found herself yearning for yet another baby. They had a mortgage, 2 cars and 2 growing, active boys and Robert Farquharson was opposed to the idea. Cindy Gambino won the argument and Bailey was born on New Year’s Eve, 2002.

And then Cindy Gambino wanted another house. She didn’t care for the one they had built. Again, she won the argument and they started building new house, but by now the tensions in the relationship were greater. The couple argued a whole lot about money and their debts.

Robert Farquharson was also depressed by his mother’s illness and death and his own bad back. His depression did not help their stumbling marriage.

Neither did Robert Farquharson’s suspicions about his wife and a tradesman who was working on their new house. He accused the worker, Stephen Moules, of being the reason his marriage was not working. He thought Stephen and Cindy had a thing for each other.

By October 2004 the marriage was over as far as Cindy Gambino was concerned. She wasn’t “in love” with her husband, the father of her 3 beautiful boys. She wanted out. More precisely, she wanted Robert Farquharson out, so she asked him to leave.

“I guess I was over it before it was over … I just didn’t want the marriage any more,” she said.

Cindy Gambino, Stephen MoulesWell, crap happens. But Robert Farquharson was not surprised when after they separated, Cindy and Stephen Moules developed a romantic attachment. He wasn’t surprised, but he was certainly angry. Very angry, indeed.

Robert Farquharson didn’t appreciate the level of child support he had to pay. He was trying to get out of debt and back on track and that damned Cindy was getting his money! He couldn’t afford his own place and had to live with his dad. HE took care of the kids’ sports costs, not her!

What’s more, she got the good car he paid $30,000 for while he was stuck with the crappy car. And his crappy car was constantly needing work done that he couldn’t afford.

Not only that, but he had to finish the house they were building before they could sell it!

And that damned Stephen Moules was spending too much time with the boys. He, the father, was being pushed out!

And that damned Stephen Moules got to drive around in the GOOD CAR while he was stuck with a 1989 Holden Commodore for gawd’s sake!

And damnit if Cindy didn’t get engaged to that damned Stephen Moules!

Whine, whine, whine, bitch, bitch, bitch.

Oh yeah, Robert Farquharson was bitterness and resentment personified. He literally seethed through the rest of 2004 and straight through into September 2005.

“Nobody does that to me and gets away with it,” he told his old buddy Gregory King in May or June 2005. “She wanted the best of everything, we couldn’t afford it. Now it looks like she wants to marry that f*cking dickhead.”

Yeah, he was bitter all right, but he had cause to be, right? He got a crappy deal. But Robert Farquharson was beyond bitter, way beyond.

“There’s no way I’m going to let him and her and the kids live in my f*cking house again and I have to pay for it and also pay f*cking maintenance for the kids. No way…. I’m going to pay her back big time.”

Gregory KingBuddy Gregory asked what he meant by that.

“I’ll take away the most important thing that means to her,” Robert Farquharson answered.

“What, the kids?” Gregory King guessed. That guess was right. “What would you do, would you take them away or something?” That guess was wrong.

“Kill them,” Robert the monster Farquharson answered. “I hate them.”

Gregory King was thinking his pal Robert was talking bullshit. He had to be, right?

But Robert Farquharson kept on talking bullshit. He said that there would be an accident by the dam where he would survive but the kids wouldn’t. And that accident should be on a special day that everyone would remember it — like Father’s Day.

“When it was Father’s Day and I was the last one to have them for the last time; not her. Then she looks up and for the rest of her life, every Father’s Day…”

Gregory King discounted the whole conversation as pure unadulterated bullshit. Father’s Day was coming up in a few months, but that didn’t mean anything, right? Robert Farquharson was just having his usual moan and groan pity party, that’s all — so Gregory King thought.

By Father’s Day 2005, Jai was 10-years-old and totally into sports. He loved cricket, karate and football. He earned money by mowing lawns, and he loved acting out jokes from movies. He was a great kid.

Tyler was a great kid too. He was 7-years-old and he loved hot dogs, veggie soup and practical jokes — especially plastic poop.

Little Bailey was only 2-years-old. He called the family dog “Woofy” and the family cat “Puss”. He would feed the family cockatiel cereal when it perched on his shoulder. Whenever he was naughty and got scolded, he’d protest, “But me just a baby, Mum!”

Jai, Tyler, Bailey and Robert Farquharson

How could anyone say they hated those kids? How could a father even contemplate the thought of killing his own precious flesh and blood?

And so came Father’s Day, September 4, 2005. Cindy Gambino took the boys to visit their father at about 3:00 p.m. She stayed while Robert Farquharson opened his presents which included a framed picture of the boys and a set of saucepans. By 3:10 it was time for her to go.

“I gave them a cuddle, and Bailey said, ‘I love you, Mum.'” And with that, Cindy Gambino left the little guys with their father.

The boys were hoping their dad would treat them to fried chicken from KFC. Robert Farquharson first took them all to K-Mart in Geelong. He bought Jai a cricket ball and Tyler and Bailey got videos. Lucky boys!

See, Robert Farquharson must have loved his boys because he bought them presents! And then he took them to KFC just like they wanted, so he must have been a great dad!

After the meal of fried chicken the little family sat in the crappy 1989 Holden Commodore while Bailey slept for a bit. Then they headed to Mount Moriac to visit their uncle. They stayed until around 7:00 pm. It was already dark.

To get the boys home to Cindy it was only a 20 kilometre trip. They were loaded into the car and seatbelted for the short drive.

Big surprise, the boys didn’t make it home, ever.

What is known is that after crossing a railway overpass some 5 kilometres from Winchelsea, the Commodore crossed over to the wrong side of the Princes Highway. It then drove along a grassy area, down a slope and right through a wire fence. It only just avoided a tree and wound up in a large dam.

Robert Farquharson swam to safety with no injuries, leaving the trapped boys in the sinking car.

Wow, what an incredible coincidence! Father’s Day, accident, dam, boys dead, Robert alive…

Hellbeast Robert Farquharson crime sceneAt 7:30 pm Shane Atkinson was driving down Princes Highway with a friend when they spotted a man waving his arms on the road. He swerved his car, braked and pulled over. Shane and his friend hopped out of the car and ran towards the man who was likewise running towards them.

“What the f*ck are you doing standing on the side of the road? Are you trying to kill yourself, mate?”

Robert Farquharson was spluttering and swearing, “Oh no! F*ck! What have I done? What’s happened?”

Shane Atkinson and his friend tried to understand what the apparently distraught man was babbling.

“He just kept on saying he’s killed his kids, he has to go home and tell Cindy he’s killed his kids, and he just kept saying, ‘F*ck, what have I done?'”

Robert Farquharson managed to explain while he was huffing and puffing and blubbering away that he’d had a coughing fit and blacked out, and maybe he had “done a wheel bearing” but somehow his car wound up in the dam. He couldn’t even tell the men which of the two nearby dams he was talking about.

Shane AtkinsonShane Atkinson could barely make out the nearest dam in the darkness, but the surface looked like glass. It didn’t look like a car was in the water.

Being a reasonable human being, Shane Atkinson told Robert Farquharson, “Well, I’m not going anywhere if you’ve just killed your kids. Do you want to ring the ambulance or the police?” And then he pushed his mobile phone towards him and asked him to use it. Robert Farquharson refused. Yup, he refused!

“He wouldn’t. He just kept on saying that he wanted to go back to Cindy’s… He just wanted to tell Cindy before he called the police or before anyone else had known.”

Shane Atkinson and his friend offered to dive into the water to look for the children, but Robert Atkinson refused.

“No, don’t go down there, it’s too late. I will just have to go back and tell Cindy,” he told the men.

“That’s all he kept on saying. He said it probably 100 times,” said Shane Atkinson.

Do you get it? I don’t get it. Do you know of any parent that wouldn’t have to be forcefully restrained to keep them from diving into the water to save their babies? From diving until they don’t have the strength or breath to swim any more?

But not Robert Farquharson. His kids were at the bottom of the bloody dam and Robert Farquharson didn’t want ANYONE to dive for them or to call for help until he PERSONALLY told Cindy FACE TO FACE that her babies are DEAD.

Finally Shane Atkinson was convinced to drive the man to Winchelsea which was only minutes away. “I done the stupidest thing of my whole life,” he later said, full of regret.

Shane Atkinson didn’t recognize Robert Farquharson until they got into his car and he turned on the interior light. Then he suddenly knew who he was, and who the children in the water were.

Cindy Gambino had spent her afternoon with Stephen Moules. She was waiting for her sons’ return with Moules’ 9-year-old son Zach. A car pulled up but it wasn’t the Commodore. Instead of her boys, Cindy was confronted with her hysterical ex-husband saying, “The kids are in the car and they’re in the water!”

What Robert Farquharson was NOT saying was where exactly the car was.

Cindy Gambino phoned Stephen Moules in utter panic and asked him to meet her on the highway.

Cindy hustled young Zach and her ex-husband into her car and put the pedal to the metal to get to the scene. In her panic she sped up to 145 km/hr and Zach was frightened. The poor kid wanted her to slow down but all she could think of was getting to the kids.

“And I kept saying to Rob, ‘Where? Where? Where?’ and he said, ‘Keep going. Keep going.'” And so Cindy kept going, not knowing where.

Hellbeast Robert Farquharson crime sceneShane Atkinson meantime had driven into Winchelsea to get help but there was nobody on duty at the police station. He raced to the local sergeant’s house but nobody was home. He encountered a woman on the street who let him use her phone. Finally Shane Atkinson was able to call for an ambulance and the fire brigade and other local residents.

I can’t even imagine the panic everyone was feeling as they rushed to the dam. Cindy Gambino pulled over at an overpass near the dam. Stephen Moules was there too.

Un-freaking-believably at this moment Robert the POS hellbeast Farquharson asked Stephen Moules for a cigarette! Never mind his babies were drowning or drowned! Never mind that Cindy was out of her mind with panic and anguish and terror! Robert Farquharson needed a smoke.

How’s THAT for a loving father!

Stephen Moules exploded with fury and threatened to kill the bastard. He then stripped off his jacket and boots and jumped in the water to try to find the car and the boys.

Hellbeast Robert Farquharson crime sceneCindy Gambino got on her phone to the emergency operator but was too hysterical to explain the situation clearly. No matter, help was on the way. Stephen Moules’ parents arrived, and then the fire brigade, the ambulances, police cars and the State Emergency Service truck. Shane Atkinson pulled up with a carload.

The heroic Stephen Moules kept diving and diving. It was freezing cold and he had no real idea where to look. People on the bank were pointing out what they thought were bubbles or movement. Finally, overwhelmed with cold and exhaustion he left the water.

A police helicopter arrived and directed a spotlight onto the water. More men lowered themselves into the water to try to rescue the boys.

Where the hell was Robert Farquharson? Cindy Gambino spotted him standing in front of Moules’ parents’ car.

“Rob was standing in front of the car with his arms crossed … There was no movement, no nothing … He wasn’t doing anything,” she recalled. The bastard!

Eventually Cindy’s brother took her away. She wound up at the hospital that night, in shock and sedated.

Robert Farquharson meantime was stripped and wrapped in thermal blankets by a paramedic. He coughed a few times but the paramedic heard no wheezes or crackles in his chest. As a precaution he was given an oxygen mask and a cervical collar and was taken to Geelong Hospital.

At 10:00 he talked to police Sergeant Rohan Courtis who tape-recorded the conversation.

Farquharson crime scene marker“I think I just went over the overpass and – um – I just started coughing and then – um – don’t remember anything and then all of a sudden I was in this water and my son screamed out and he opened up the door and we nosedived and I – I – shut the door on him and I tried to get them out and I tried to get out to help, thinking I’ve only just (gone in) off the road, not realizing I was – Tried to get up to the road to get people to . . . help and people just drove past and I don’t know exactly whereabouts it was, and it’s just a big blur, like, you know, everything just happened so – so quick.”

Robert Farquharson said that when young Jai opened the door, “I just sort of leant across and shut it and I tried to unbuckle them ‘cos they were screaming and I’m trying to get the other two in the back and – ‘cos he done that we must have done a nosedive . . . It’s just a nightmare.”

Another policeman asked him, “Do you realise that the children are – are – not made it out of the car?”

“Ah, I gathered that,” Robert the heartless hellbeast Farquharson answered. Maybe that’s why he never asked anyone about how and where his precious boys were.

He said he got out thinking the water was only “foot deep” and that he could get out, run around to the other side of the car, drag Jai out and then drag the other two out. Riiiight.

He also claimed he dove 3 or 4 times trying to save the boys but then decided it would be better to try to get help. Riiight.

Robert Farquharson made sure to emphasize his honesty.

“That’s exactly as it happened; I mean, I got no reason to lie or anything of that nature.”

So he had no reason to lie. Riiight. This conversation was taped and the police could not help but notice later 2 things: 1) that Robert Farquharson did not sound upset or distraught, and 2) Robert Farquharson did not cough. Not once did he cough.

The police at the scene of the “accident” worked diligently to figure out where the car had gone into the water. They noticed by torchlight pieces of a car mirror and broken twigs on a tree near the edge of the dam. That’s where they sent the diver Rebecca Caskey in.

When Constable Caskey discovered the car it was almost 11:00 pm. It was under 7.4 metres of water. The driver’s door was open. Constable Caskey felt a child’s head and gently pushed it back into the car and shut the door.

The car was winched out of the dam shortly after 12:35 am. The three little boys were still in the car and the driver’s window was open. The boys were not seatbelted into their seats.

Farquharson funeralThe police found it quite interesting that the car’s heater, ignition and headlights were turned off. It was looking less and less like an accident.

At 11pm on Father’s Day, Gregory King got a phone call saying his pal Farquharson had been in an accident and the boys had drowned in the dam.

“I was just – I was speechless . . . It just all come back to me, the conversation . . . I was shattered.”

He was so shattered that he broke down at work. Wisely his employer contacted the police who were by now proceeding with a homicide investigation.

Gregory King was asked to wear a secret recording device and talk to Farquharson about the conversation. He agreed.

On September 15, 2005, 11 days after the car went into the dam. Gregory King was fitted with a wire. He visited the grieving father and said, “Rob, it’s been eating me up! … Remember when you said, when Cindy pulled up and you said to her, ‘I’ll pay you back big-time’ – I hope it’s got nothing to do with it.”

Robert Farquharson said, “It was just a figure of speech me being angry, but I would never ever do anything like that… I’m not a mongrel. And I’m not a bastard, and I’m not an arsehole … What I meant by paying her back was, when ‘One day I’ll stand here with a woman in front of you and see how you like it’. That’s what I meant.”

Robert Farquharson then urged his pal to tell police he had been a good father: “All you say, you say you know me, I’ve always been a good bloke.”

The police were busy trying to reconstruction the “accident”. To see the video reenactment, click here. It absolutely horrifies me that those little boys went through that!

On December 14, 2005, 3 months after the Commodore went into the dam, Robert Donald William Farquharson was charged with 3 counts of murder. He went to trial on August 21, 2007 appearing before Justice Philip Cummins.

There was a lot of complex and contradictory testimony and evidence presented at his trial, mostly surrounding the car, the cough and the defendant.

Hellbeast Robert Farquharson crime scene

A prosecution expert used computer modelling to simulate a reconstruction of the car’s path. For the Farquharson car to have gotten from the road to the dam, it would first have made a sharp turn to the right to get off the road, straightened out as it headed to the dam and another turn to the right to avoid the tree.

Does a car with an unconscious driver make 3 changes in direction all by itself? Hmmmm. Prosecution experts said no, defense experts said yes.

Next, could a coughing fit make Robert Farquharson black out? The condition is called cough syncope. This condition is rare and occurs in unhealthy people, not someone who has a normal heart, lungs and neurological function. Prosecution experts said he didn’t black out, defense experts said he did.

Next, just what was going on inside Robert Farquharson’s head that awful Father’s Day? Were his actions/inaction after the car went in the water normal? The prosecution experts said no, the defense experts said yes.

Inspector Mick Talbot testified that investigators believed the car began to sink when Robert Farquharson opened the door to escape.

“They (the children) were out of their seat belts. We don’t know for sure, but our belief is that one of the children has released them all from their seat belts,” Inspector Talbot said.

Farquharson crime scene“The younger one, Bailey, the two-year-old, was in a proper child restraint … that had been undone, so we believe that the children have undone their seat belts but have been unable to get out of the car … We think the car sat for a short time and the driver’s door’s been opened and then the car has immediately filled and has sunk straight down.”

Those poor kids, trying so desperately to save themselves!

And then court heard from Gregory King. He recounted that fateful conversation about murder and the secretly recorded talks where Robert Farquharson backpedalled, claiming he’d been talking bullshit. He told the court he had to go to counseling and take anti-depressants because of the distress and nightmares he’d been experiencing since the boys’ deaths.

Cindy GambinoAfter 3 days of deliberation, on October 5, 2007 the jury found Robert Donald William Farquharson guilty of 3 counts of murder. Cindy Gambino, who firmly believed in her ex-husband’s innocence, fell to pieces and her mother collapsed. Both women were taken from the courthouse in an ambulance.

On November 16, 2007, Robert POS Farquharson was sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment without parole. He immediately appealed his convictions.

On December 17, 2009, Farquharson’s conviction was overturned. The appeal judges were critical of the trial judge, the prosecution and the evidence of Gregory King. They ordered a retrial.

The second trial began on May 4, 2010 before Justice Lex Lasry. The big difference this time was that Robert Farquharson took the stand in his own defense.

Good thing he did too! The jury saw first-hand how he stumbled over his own story, how he couldn’t remember properly. They saw the inconsistencies and uncertainties throughout his testimony.

Robert Farquharson didn’t know why he mentioned a wheel bearing. He didn’t know why he refused the offer of a phone to call for help. He didn’t know why the ignition and headlights were turned off. He didn’t know why he didn’t unfasten the boys’ seatbelts. He didn’t know why he didn’t turn on the interior light.

Robert POS hellbeast murderer Farquharson didn’t know or remember much at all of the night his boys died.

The jurors were less than impressed. Some rolled their eyes when he couldn’t remember or when he made farfetched suggestions like claiming one of the boys must have turned off the ignition.

Farquharson crime scene mournersThe prosecution also had a new witness at this trial who proved pivotal. Dawn Waite, who did not come forward for the first trial because of a bout with cancer, testified that she’d seen him driving on the Princes Highway just before the crash, and had even passed him.

Dawn Waite said the Commodore was travelling at half the speed limit, its brake lights flashing intermittently in the dark. As she overtook it, she noticed three children in the back seat. She did not see the driver coughing as she overtook him.

Just minutes later, Dawn Waite said, she watched in her rear-view mirror as the car veered to the right, as if the driver had found a turn-off he was looking for.

It was Dawn Waite’s testimony that finally convinced Cindy Gambino that her ex-husband was guilty — that his hate and resentment of her had festered so far that he had deliberately driven into the dam to drown her beloved boys and then had the pleasure of being the one to tell her that they were all dead.

The jury deliberated for 3 days and on July 22, 2010 they found Robert Farquharson guilty of murder. This time Cindy Gambino heard the verdict calmly, with no tears. Justice was being done, in her eyes.

On October 15, 2010 the murderer Robert Farquharson, 40, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 33 year minimum. BUT on September 23, 2011, the Victorian Court of Appeal allowed Farquharson the right to appeal his murder convictions on the ground he could have been found guilty of a lesser charge. WTF!

Cindy Gambino and son“He’s just clutching at straws so he can get out of jail,” Cindy Gambino-Moules said.

“He doesn’t want to be in prison for the rest of his life,” she added, “He deserves what he gets … he deserves to cop the wrath … Even if he ever leaves prison, he’s going to be judged in the next world. He showed no remorse. He showed no emotion.”

As to the grief she still felt, she said, “It never goes away. It’s always there. You can’t explain this to anybody. It’s the cruellest thing, particularly to a mother.

“I’m not the same mother to my other boys as I was to Jai, Tyler and Bailey. They absolutely got the best of me. I am just a walking shell.”

Every day hopefully for the rest of his life Robert Farquharson will get to enjoy 3 hots and a cot in prison. Every day for the rest of her life Cindy Gambino is without her 3 sons. She’s gone on to have a life with a new family, but nothing can replace what Robert Farquharson took from her.

Rot in hell, Robert Farquharson, rot in hell. And stay in jail, finally, for the rest of your life!

The Australian article
Geelong Advertiser article

9 Responses to Robert Donald William Farquharson

  1. moodymagic says:

    What a horrible discusting individual RF. Burn in hell. Those poor little boys having a monster for a father. What’s up with the appeals! Just sick.

  2. dogwalker says:

    Those sweet little boys deserved a long and full life and were cheated out of it because of their useless, worthless, pathetic piece of shit father. He shouldn’t get any more chances to appeal unless he could face real justice which would be strapping him into a car and dropping it into a dam. The horror he visited on his sons should be visited on him now.

  3. Trace says:

    I am glad that his ex-wife finally realized what a murderous POS he was and isn’t protesting his innocence any more. Divorce sucks, yes, and seeing your ex partnering up with somebody else sucks, yes, but for him to take his anger out on the kids makes him a subhuman creature who deserves nothing less than hell on this earth and in the hereafter.

  4. Eve says:

    He’s not a real man he’s more a “manimal” and should be put down just like a rabid dog.

  5. Steve-O says:

    The rest of his life behind bars at taxpayers’ expense is too generous a conviction in my opinion.
    Three young boys never got the chance to enjoy their lives. My heart goes out to their mother.
    May they rest in peace. May their father forever burn in HELL!

  6. scrappy says:

    I will never understand people who kill their children to get back at their spouse. (Of course, there’s all kinds of behavior some of these hellbeasts seem capable of committing with nary a pause…)

    My love for any child, particularly my own, goes beyond my hate for other people. The punishment for killing your own child should be a stoning from loving parents who have lost children through illness or tragic accidents.

  7. bengalpuss29 says:

    Just after the boys went into the dam, their father kept saying “I need to tell Cindy i need to go there and tell her” Instead of searching for the boys, because he wanted to be the one that told her to her face so he could see her devastation, he got his kicks by telling his ex wife whom he now hated, the three most precious people in her life were now dead and thats what he wanted to do all along. What i don’t understand is why she didn.t click that he was to blame for those boys being dead. She genuinely thought it was a terrible accident at first. My heart goes out to her. Losing one child is horrendous, but to lose all three must be hell on earth for her, and all because of some twisted, vindictive bastard. I also can.t believe he’s got leave to appeal again. This piece of shite kills his three son’s, and he is given more chances to appeal wtf. Its all about the prisoners rights, what about those little boys rights, sickening it is and unfair. I hope he rot’s in hell.

  8. Sekhmet says:

    Farquharson spoke the truth only once: When he first flagged down the car and blabbed, “I’ve killed me kids!”. Yes, you were right, Robbie. You DID kill them. And now, you’re in protective custody, because the other prisoners hate your guts and will pulverise you at the first chance they get. I hope they do.

  9. Di Freidman says:

    What an ignorant, selfish, controlling, manipulative and hateful individual RF is. The sad part is that like many women Ms Gambino has to pay the price for this man’s actions. He was such a coward and she stuck by him for so long. I hope he dies in prison. What a shame he is in protective custody.

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