Benita Forster and son Tana's death didn't add up to murder suicide

RIP Bernie


Benita Foster Tana

SPRINGBROOK TRAGEDY: Benita Forster, who died with her daughter Tana (holding as a baby). Picture: Geoff Mclachlan Source: The Courier-Mail

BENITA Forster died with her baby in her arms in June 2002.

When bushwalkers found her and little Tana Taui in shallow water at the base of a 33m waterfall in Springbrook National Park, police thought they were looking at a murder suicide.

But almost immediately there were things that didn't quite add up.

"It is certainly not very straight forward," police said at the time.

A scrap of newspaper with the word "goodbye" scrawled across it was found in Benita's car, but police were not calling it a suicide note.

Three-year-old Tana's possessions and the contents of Benita's handbag were strewn along the track that led to the waterfall.

"The way the property was found suggests it was systematically dropped," police said.

It was only two months after police found Michael Davies dead at his kitchen bench and detectives on the Gold Coast were once again delving into their local underworld.

Those closest to Benita insisted she would never take her own life and she would certainly never harm her child.

"She was anti-suicide. She said people who did it were weak," close friend Shelley Steel said at the time.

Originally from New Zealand, Benita worked as a cabaret dancer in Sydney before moving to a strip club called Catharine's on the Gold Coast.

She dated Black Uhlans bikie president John Nevin until his death in a motorcycle crash in 1995, later taking up with his clubmate Fred Taui, who officially ran a tow truck business and unofficially ran a drug business.

The connection between Benita and Anthony Perish remains unclear - although it is clear they both moved within the drug scene.

Friends at the time suggested she may have known something that made her a target.