DANIEL Morcombe's mother hopes his evil murderer dies "a long, slow death" in jail with little more than bread and water.

Denise Morcombe, speaking in a 60 Minutes interview, said she was pleased Brett Peter Cowan was given life imprisonment with a 20-year non-parole order.

"Hopefully he's dead by the time he's 60 so we won't have to think about the non parole period," she said.

"It feels a bit strange, it feels a bit not real at the moment.

Bruce Morcombe said: "He'll be there forever, he'll die in jail."

Mrs Morcombe said the next step was going through Daniel's belongings which were still at home.

"Never wanted to let him go I suppose," she said about keeping his things.

Mrs Morcombe said she knew Cowan was the man when he walked into the coronial inquest in 2011.

"I just got a really cold shiver," she said.

"I turned to Bruce and said 'Oh my god that's him'. He was just horrible."

Denise and husband Bruce had considered flying to Perth to track him down a few days later but they are now thankful they did not because the covert operation was already underway.

That was four months before Cowan confessed to murdering Daniel.

"We've read his police brief and we knew his past criminal history but we've never been allowed to say anything about him," Mrs Morcombe said.

"If he'd never been let out of jail we wouldn't be sitting here today Daniel would be still be alive, this would never have happened."

Cowan had molested two other little boys before he abducted and killed Daniel on the Sunshine Coast.

Father of three Tim Nicholls, now aged 33 and 195cm tall, told 60 Minutes that he was petrified all his life that Cowan would track him down and kill him for telling people what he had done in a public toilet block in 1987.

Mr Nicholls was aged seven when Cowan offered him a golf ball and then dragged him to the toilets.

"I thought was dying that day, I didn't know what he was going to do to me," he said.

Mr Nicholls said testifying in a courtroom, where Cowan was sentenced to just two years jail, was difficult.

"He was sitting there with a smile on my face just staring at me," he said.

"It was like it was a game to him, he was just smiling across the room."

Mr Nicholls said he wanted to kill Cowan, that he was prepared to do jail time himself if it meant other kids were safe.

Cowan's former girlfriend Tracey was 18 when he left a six-year-old boy for dead near a Darwin caravan park after molesting him.

She said her first boyfriend was charming and confident but she now knew that was just a cover for the "evil man he is".

"He's fooled a lot of people," she said.

"He came home and had sex with me.

"I didn't like the smell or what he was doing to me.

"I told him to leave me alone."

Tracey said when Cowan found out they were looking for a "rock spider" he got angry.

"We're got to get that bastard. We gotta find him," he told Tracey.

"He wanted to kill him himself.."

The Morcombes said they did not know how Cowan convince their shy boy to climb into his vehicle but how he felt when he realised something was wrong continued to haunt them.

"If you were sitting in the passenger seat with an unknown driver down that dirt road in feral bush, you would know, your body would be telling you 'I'm in a hell of a lot of trouble here'," Mr Morcombe said.

"You'd probably smell death, you'd really be thinking I've got to get out of here if he was able to.

"This isn't an isolated case, he hasn't made a blue and regretted it.

"He's been a demon for nearly 30 years, just a shocking record."

Mrs Morcombe said she would never forgive Cowan.

"He destroyed an innocent boy and took his life away," she said.

"Stuff him," they both said.

Do we need to tighten parole restrictions?

This poll ended on 16 March 2015.

Current Results

Yes, stronger punishment means less crime


Yes, stronger surveillance means less crime


No, stronger rehabilitation means less crime


No, it's all costing taxpayers too much as it is


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


The convicted child killer's uncle Keith Philbook has blamed the parole system for failing to check on Cowan after he moved to the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Philbrook and other family members told APN they not aware of the shocking crimes that Cowan had committed until reading about them in more recent days.

His comments come as the church that took Cowan in has been accused of covering up an attempted rape - a claim its senior pastor has vehemently rejected.



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