Michael Guider

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Manly Cemetery, where Guider liked to photograph Samantha Knight and other children

Michael Anthony Guider (20 October, 1950) is an Australian child molestor who was imprisoned on sixty charges of child sexual abuse in 1996. He received an additional sentence in 2002 for the manslaughter of Sydney girl 9 year-old Samantha Knight.

Early life[edit]

Michael Guider was born in the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He and his mother moved to Sydney in 1952. His mother had an unstable relationship with an army cook who was an alcoholic. A brother, Tim, was born in 1953.[1] The two boys spent time in institutions because their mother was unstable and unable to look after them.[1] Guider later told prison psychologists that he sexually abused his mother, his brother Tim and few of the younger boys at the boys' home.[2]

In the 1970s Guider was charged with various offence's after setting fire to a shop owned by a woman he had had a relationship with.[1] Guider had worked as a gardener[3] at the Royal North Shore Hospital, and over the years had developed a keen interest in Aboriginal culture and sites around Sydney. He had earned some respect as an amateur expert on the subject[3][4] and his material had been used and acknowledged in at least one published book.[5]


While in prison, Guider continued to pursue his interest in Aboriginal culture and history, writing a number of short books on the subject. These books were sent to various councils in Sydney and then held in various local libraries, as well as the State Library of New South Wales. He produced something like sixteen books varying in length from six pages to twenty-eight.[6] He also commenced studies of archeology at the university level.


Guider was arrested in May 1995 for child sex offences.[1] In September 1996 he was sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment with a non-parole period of 10 years on 60 charges against 11 children.[7] His usual modus operandi had been to babysit the children of women he knew and sedate them with the sleeping drug Temazepam. He would then molest and photograph them while they were asleep.[1] He received a fixed term of six years and six months' imprisonment in 1999 for 11 further charges against two other children, with the judge ordering that six months of the sentence be served cumulatively.

Guider was placed in conditions of strict protection in Goulburn prison.[8] In spite of this, he was bashed savagely on at least one occasion. He was admitted to the prison hospital with fractures to his right leg and hand, plus numerous abrasions. One of his ears was almost torn off.[9] Taking time served in pre-sentence custody into account, Guider was eligible for parole in June 2014. On that occasion, his request for parole was denied, with the result that he still had approximately five years to serve.

Samantha Knight[edit]

Samantha Terese Knight was born Samantha Terese O'Meagher on the 25 March 1977. She lived at Manly with her parents, Tess Knight and Peter O'Meagher,[10] but they divorced at an early stage. Samantha then lived with her mother in Bronte. By 1986, they were living in a block of flats in Imperial Avenue, Bondi. Samantha Knight went missing on 19 August 1986.[11] Despite an intensive campaign, in which posters of her were displayed all over New South Wales, she was never found.

Guider eventually attracted the attention of police who were investigating the disappearance of Knight,[12] partly because of pressure from Denise Hofman (author of Forever Nine), who had worked with Guider on Aboriginal sites around Sydney. Hofman believed there was a connection between Guider and Knight, and repeatedly drew the attention of police to Guider. He initially told police that he had only met Knight a couple of times over the years, but it eventually turned out that he had molested her and two other girls at a house in Raglan Street, Manly, a number of times during 1984 and 1985.[13] After a lengthy investigation, Guider was arrested and charged with Knight's murder on 22 February 2001.[14] On 7 June 2001, he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Knight. He claimed that he had drugged her the way he had always drugged his victims, but had accidentally given her a fatal overdose.

On 28 August 2002, Guider was sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years for manslaughter, to be served cumulatively with his sentence for the child sex offences. Knight's body has never been found; Guider showed no remorse, and said he could not remember what he did with her body.[15]

Guider's statements about Knight over the years were contradictory. Initially he said he could remember nothing about what he did with her body. Later he said he had buried her in Cooper Park, in the Sydney suburb of Bellevue Hill, but had dug her up later and put her in a dumpster at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Kirribilli, where he had worked as a gardener at the time. In March 2003, he told police he had buried Knight in the grounds of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. On 15 May, a dig took place there but nothing was found, in spite of a police sniffer dog reacting positively to soil from the site.[16] The dog's reaction implied that human remains had been present at the site at some stage, but were no longer there. Police believe Knight's remains may have been removed accidentally during the construction of a car park eighteen months after Guider buried her at the site, or that Guider himself may have removed them when he knew the site was going to be dug up.

Renee Aitken[edit]

Renee Aitken was abducted from her home at Narooma, on the south coast of New South Wales, in February 1994. She was five years old. The chief suspect was Brian James Fitzpatrick, who had done time in prison for indecent assault. Fitzpatrick died in a car crash just weeks before he was due to appear at an inquest into Renee's death.[17]

By 2006, Denise Hofman suspected that Michael Guider may have been involved in Renee's disappearance. At the time, Guider was working just two hour's drive from Narooma, in a Canberra suburb. His mug shot was identified by a member of the Aitken family and an important witness in the case. He had clippings about Renee in his scrapbook on missing children, and these clippings came from local papers in Narooma, which implied that he had been in the area.[18] However, police considered that there was insufficient evidence to make it worth following up on Hofman's theory.

Application for parole[edit]

Guider was eligible for parole in June 2014, when his minimum term of eighteen years and three months was up, but it was rejected by the State Parole Authority. There were several reasons for this, including "a need for structured post-release plans."[19]

Parole has been reviewed as of April 2017, and denied, he is now up for review in April 2018[20][21]


See also[edit]


  • Hofman, Denise; Kidman, John (2013). Forever Nine: The Untold Story of Bondi's Missing Schoolgirl Samantha Knight. Five Mile Press. ISBN 9781743468920. 

Guilder's travel guides and documents[edit]

  • Aboriginal Sites of the Parramatta River Catchment Area. 1996. 
  • Aboriginal History of Concord Municipality. 1997. 
  • Aboriginal History of Burwood Municipality. 1997. 
  • Aboriginal History of Auburn Municipality. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Drummoyne. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Leichhardt Municipality. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Ashfield Municipality. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Marrickville Municipality. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Randwick Municipality. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Rockdale. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Strathfield Municipality. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Waverley Municipality. 1998. 
  • Aboriginal History of Parramatta. 2003. 
  • Aboriginal History of Ryde. 2003. 
  • Aboriginal History of Baulkham Hills Shire. 2004. 
  • Aboriginal History of the City of Canada Bay. 2004. 

News articles[edit]

  • The Glebe, 13 July 1994
  • Daily Telegraph, 29 Sep 1996
  • Daily Telegraph, 1 Oct 1996
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 4 Aug 1999
  • Daily Telegraph, 22 Feb 2001
  • Daily Telegraph, 23rd Feb 2001
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 23 Feb 2001
  • Daily Telegraph, 25 Feb 2001
  • Daily Telegraph, 9 Apr 2002
  • Daily Telegraph, 10 Apr 2002
  • Daily Telegraph, 19 Apr 2002
  • Daily Telegraph, 27 Apr 2002
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 8 Jun 2002
  • Daily Telegraph, 29 Aug 2002
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Aug 2002
  • The Sun-Herald, 26 Nov 2006


  1. ^ a b c d e Sydney Morning Herald, 4 August 1999, page 12
  2. ^ "The deadly silence that doomed Samantha". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 June 2002. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Sydney Morning Herald, 4 August 1999, page 1
  4. ^ The Glebe, 13 July 1994, page 3
  5. ^ Neil Paton (1987). Walks in Sydney Harbour National Park. Kangaroo Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-86417-130-6. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  6. ^ State Library of New South Wales
  7. ^ Daily Telegraph, 1 October 1996, page 3
  8. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November 2009, p.3
  9. ^ Forever Nine, p.141
  10. ^ Cornford, Philip (12 July 2003). "Gone forever: Sam's grave yields only more mystery". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Cornford, Philip (11 April 2002). "Samantha Knight stalked before disappearing, court told". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Daily Telegraph, 29 September 1996, page 1
  13. ^ Hofman, Denise; Kidman, John (2013). Forever Nine: The Untold Story of Bondi's Missing Schoolgirl. Scoresby, Victoria: The Five Mile Press. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-74346-706-0. 
  14. ^ Daily Telegraph, 23 February 2001, page 4
  15. ^ Cornford, Philip (29 August 2002). "Killer's silence leaves chilling doubts". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Forever Nine, p.86
  17. ^ That's Life magazine, pp. 12–13, 14 April 2014
  18. ^ Forever Nine, pp. 360–361
  19. ^ Barlass, Tim (18 May 2014). "Sex predator who killed Samantha Knight denied parole". Sun-Herald. Sydney. 
  20. ^ "Michael Guider, killer of Bondi schoolgirl Samantha Knight, ‘should never be released’". News.com.au. Retrieved 12 Apr 2017. 
  21. ^ "Paedophile Michael Guider to stay behind bars — for now". News.com.au. 13 Apr 2017. 

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