REAL LIFE

Pure evil: Why this dad killed his girls for revenge

Faith, nine, and Liberty, six, were killed in cold blood.
Supplied

Most little girls see their fathers as superheroes. But John Battaglia wasn’t his daughters’ hero. He was their killer.

In May 2001, Faith, nine, and Liberty, six, were at their dad’s place for dinner when the police called to inform him he’d breached the protection order his ex-wife Mary Jean Pearle had against him. He was to surrender himself, or they’d come and arrest him.

Infuriated, John decided to get revenge on Mary for reporting his harassment. Giving the phone to Faith, he made her call Mary.

‘Mummy, why do you want Daddy to go to jail?’ Faith asked. Then, John put the phone on speaker and Mary heard her daughters beg for their lives.

‘No Daddy, please don’t. Don’t do it!’ cried Faith.

Screaming down the phone for her daughters to run, the next sound Mary heard was gunshots. John shot Faith three times and Liberty five.

Liberty and Faith
Liberty and Faith (Credit: Supplied)

He then went to a bar with his girlfriend, followed by a tattoo parlour where he had two red roses etched on his arm in memory of his daughters.

John was arrested outside the shop. At his murder trial, it took a jury just 20 minutes to convict him and he was sentenced to death.

Giving an interview to the Dallas Morning News from his prison cell, he said his girls were his ‘best little friends’.

John Battaglia
John Battaglia (Credit: Supplied)
Mary testified in court after her girls Liberty and Faith were killed
Mary testified in court after her girls Liberty and Faith were killed (Credit: Supplied)

Mary witnessed John’s execution on February 1 this year. After smiling and taunting Mary through the viewing window, John, 62, took his last breath.

Mary turned her back and walked away, stating, ‘I’ve seen enough of him.’

Read more in this week’s issue of that’s life, on sale now.

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