Martin John Bryant slipped into the world in the autumn of 1967, blond, blue-eyed, angelic. On a sunny Sunday 29 years later, Carleen and Maurice Bryant's beloved first-born loaded the boot of his yellow Volvo with guns and ammunition and returned to Tasmania's historic Port Arthur settlement, scene of many idyllic childhood summers. There, the young man with the striking surfie hair and mesmeric eyes, calmly shot 35 people dead and wounded 21 more. His crime, the world's worst killing spree by a lone gunman, horrified the nation and changed Australia forever. Why did the little boy with the funny grin turn into a mass murderer? Was he born to kill, his life's trajectory preordained by genes? Or was his mind indelibly warped by a lifetime of derision and alienation? The authors delve back over five generations and two hemispheres, finding the eccentric and disparate characters whose lives intersected - with catastrophic results. From Bryant's shocking behind-the-scenes confessions to his own 11th-hour attempt to turn back from his murderous destiny, this book asks if the Port Arthur massacre could have been prevented. And explains why it could happen again.
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