Saturday, January 13, 2018

Grace S Hafey: Suicide, Murder, No Way Out?

Grace S Hafey was born on the 28 Apr 1907 in Merewether, New South Wales. She was a vibrant young lady. She attended church and school and was the only child of Effie Hafey & Sievert Saeter.

The beach at Merewther
Her father Sievert Saeter was from Norway he was a Campany Director in Newcastle. Not much is known about him except he had good standing with the community and his employment.

Effie Harriet Hafey was born abt 1883 she was the 3rd child of Martin Hafey & Harriet Kemp, who only had 4 children.

Life looked good for this family and they seemed to be happy. Then Mr. Sievert Saeter and Effie started arguing and he moved out and into a hotel. He came regularly to visit and see his daughter.

This is where things get strange. Effie sent newspaper clippings and letters to the police and newspaper before 28th of April 1924. She was claiming Sievert was a difficult man and that they were not married and she was afraid of what that would do to her daughter Grace.

On 28th of April 1924 Effie killed her daughter with cyanide poisoning and they killed herself.  

Below the corners inquest record.

I have read all the newspaper accounts and from what I can tell she was scared of people finding out they weren't married and her daughter. I also think she was very hurt and upset that he moved out and this was part of a punishment to him. You never know the mind and heart of a scorned women.

Not only did she murder her daughter she did it on the child's 17th birthday. I couldn't imagine the horror this father must of felt when the police informed him of what happened. In a newspaper article he says he loved Effie and would of married her except he had a wife in Norway. 

Sievert Saeter died 7 June 1993 in New South Wales Australia.

Effie's family was somewhat colorful here's a few records I found about her brother.

This Effie's mother

This young lady Grace S Hafey did not deserve the fate that was handed to her by her mother. She had her whole life a head of her. Marriage, children a career. She could of been and done so many wonderful things. This story struck me strongly and I had to share it because I don't want Grace to be forgotten.

I did not find a memorial for her on Find A Grave hopefully we can find out where she is buried and honor her memory.

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