Article first published on New Idea.
Brenda Lin has revealed the shocking way in which she found out she had been left orphaned after her uncle brutally murdered her entire immediate family.
The then 15-year-old was on a school holiday to New Caledonia when a friend sent her a link to a news article on Facebook that included a photo of her Sydney home.
'That’s my house,' she recalled her Sunday Night interview, of when she read the coverage of the July 18, 2009, killing that left her an orphan.
'It was such a surreal sort of feeling, I think I was in so much shock. I didn’t believe it.'
Upon her return to Sydney, Brenda was met by her aunt and uncle Kathy and Robert Xie who tried to comfort her.
'As soon as I saw my aunt she gave me this massive hug. She was crying as well and I think that’s when I knew it was all real,' she said.
Unbeknownst to her at the time, it was her uncle Robert who had beaten her parents Min and Yun, her brothers Henry and Terry, and aunt Irene to death with a hammer.
Brenda lived with Robert and his wife for almost two years before he was arrested in May 2011 and charged with five counts of murder.
He was jailed for life two weeks ago.