Brian Smith Bridge

A body was found under Brian McGowan’s bridge, one Tuesday afternoon last year. That body would end a chapter of events that began in Canada no more than eight years ago and ended on the Central Coast, an hour north of Sydney, the place where I live.

Her suicide was possibly no surprise and seemed to go unnoticed.
Not by me, however.

I heard the news. I happened to be down by the bridge earlier, enjoying the foreshore. The drop from the bridge didn’t seem enough for somebody to die. It was though.

Allyson McConnell was dead!

I wondered how her mother must feel and if anyone would be mourning her loss?

I didn’t expect to feel the sadness I felt on hearing that the body found under the Brian McGowan Bridge was almost certain to be that of Allyson.

Why hadn’t Allyson chosen somewhere more remarkable to end her life? How could she be sure that she would actually die, jumping off the Smith Bridge and not end up in a wheelchair?

It was remarkable that I even heard the news about Allyson’s death. Not a lot was written about her. The local radio broadcast her arrival into Sydney after serving ten months of a six year sentence in a hospital in Canada.

I heard Allyson would be staying at her mother’s place on the Central Coast.
I looked for her on the news. The image of her walking in through the airport avoiding the media would be forever seared in my mind. She looked ghost like, death was looming. It would only be a matter of time.

What if our paths crossed, what would I say to her?

I guess she always be known as the child killer, or the ashen faced killer as one newspaper wrote.

Surely she contributed to society in some way, before her incomprehensible act.

She was the primary care giver and she chose to drown her two boys Connor, two and a half years
and Jayden, ten months, knowing her husband would find them.
Previous attempt of jumping were futile. She would have to spend another year alive on this earth.
How does society deal with someone like this?

Who will talk about Allyson? Who will explain she was once a devoted mother and wife? She had hope.

What will be of her memory other than the heartache and lives she has destroyed?

How could a woman kill her own children? How is it possible? No wonder she couldn’t live with herself.

Was her motivation about hurting her husband, who was going to leave her?

‘At the age of thirty four she is capable of having another family and could kill again’, her husband said.

Allyson had the final say.


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