Rowan and Hannah Baxter. Picture: Facebook
Rowan and Hannah Baxter. Picture: Facebook

‘Rot in hell you putrid scum’

The Facebook page of the killer Brisbane dad who burned his three kids and their mother alive in the family SUV has turned into a memorial of rage at the "putrid scum".

Less than 24 hours after Rowan Baxter ambushed his estranged wife on the school pick-up run with a jerry can full of petrol before fatally stabbing himself, his social media profile - devoted to fitness and family - was "memorialised".

It's a setting that can be requested by family members to preserve a page so that they can still check in on a loved one from time to time - but is not typically seen on the profiles of murderers.

"Remembering Rowan Baxter," reads the grim strap above the cover photo of the family of five showing off their handstands. "We hope that the people who love Rowan will find comfort in visiting his profile to remember and celebrate his life."

 

Rowan Baxter's Facebook page ‘memorialised’.
Rowan Baxter's Facebook page ‘memorialised’.

 

By Thursday morning, Baxter's page had been flooded with hundreds of comments from all over the world expressing outrage and disbelief.

"Hope you rot in hell you putrid f***in' scum. Too much of a coward to only take yourself. Dog," one woman wrote.

Another man said, "You piece of s***, killing your kids because you're not man enough to deal with life, you are scum."

One wrote, "Rot in hell for eternity you evil c***."

Another added, "No matter how depressed you are, there is no excuse for taking another persons life. These were your children, and the mother of your children. You truly are a monster for what you have done."

Most were unable to comprehend how a father could "put his babies through such pain and agony". "I don't understand," one woman said.

"I don't wish anyone taking their own life but why take your innocent children with you?! They did nothing wrong! Another Chris Watts."

Another wrote, "This coward piece of s*** who could not burn to death like his children did. The horror this mother went through and her family are going to suffer. I never wish bad on anyone, I hope he rots in hell in this case."

 

Hannah, Rowan Baxter and their children Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey. Picture: Facebook
Hannah, Rowan Baxter and their children Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey. Picture: Facebook

 

Incredibly, a few people attempted to make excuses or downplay Baxter's act.

"It's perhaps the result of traumatic brain injuries that weren't diagnosed and treated," one person suggested. "No one in their right mind would do these acts - mental illness is a natural consequence of head trauma. He was hurting and angry."

One man raised "family law". "I absolutely do not accept what Rowan Baxter did today, however the Australian government MUST take a look at the family laws," he wrote.

"Every week up to 21 fathers commit suicide in Australia and the crazy sad thing is 90-plus per cent is a result of our STUPID parenting laws that favour immediately the mother and without reasonable doubt the dad is guilty before police investigation and or even court."

Another woman wrote, "The problem for him was that he could not devote his life to the kids, they were taken away from him. I am not trying to justify what he did, but is a tough situation, divorce is tough on men who have kids, they don't get to see them as often as they would like."

One woman summed up the response to those arguments. "There are zero excuses for this - not mental health, not marriage breakdowns or custody battles," she wrote.

Some called for his page to be taken down out of respect for the family.

"Please stop writing on this page as it should be shut down out of respect for the family of Hannah and the children," one person said.

"All the nasty comments, he can't read it so no use writing it. At least have respect for his parents and his wife's parents that can still see what everyone is writing," another wrote.

One person asked, "Who the hell are you nutters talking to? The guy's dead!"

When contacted for comment, a Facebook spokeswoman pointed to a 2019 blog post about memorialisation of accounts.

"Everyone on Facebook has the choice to either appoint a legacy contact to look after their memorialised account or have their account permanently deleted from Facebook," she said.

frank.chung@news.com.au


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