Informer links killer to missing Renee Aitken

A jail mate who gave crucial evidence of a prison cell confession that helped convict Michael Guider of the killing of Samantha Knight, has made a new statement to police linking Guider to the disappearance of five-year-old Renee Aitken.

Renee went missing from her bed in her Narooma home on the Far South Coast sometime between 11pm and 4am on February 16-17 in 1984.

Guider was convicted of the killing of Samantha in 2002.

The bodies of the children have never been found.

In 1998, Witness O, who still cannot be named, was serving five years for importing ecstasy. He played chess and watched television with Guider, who was in the protection unit at Lithgow jail serving a 16-year sentence for sex offences against children.

Witness O, who has served his sentence and is living in Holland, gave lengthy evidence at Guider's 2002 trial.

Two weeks ago, he walked into a police station near his home north of Amsterdam to make the new statement. He told Fairfax Media he informed detectives how Guider would repeatedly draw pictures of an innocent young blonde child he named as Renee but Witness O said he did not realise the significance of it at the time.

He said: ''I always thought that Renee was a boy and that was what he was serving the 16 years [sentence] for.

''I always asked Michael 'Why are you drawing those pictures?'

''He replied 'Ah well, it's the innocence of a child in the eyes and it is always coming in my mind.' He walked off, he was walking like a bear in a cage. Then he started drawing again.''

Three months later Guider, having attended prison bible classes, opened up with details about how he gave Samantha cola laced with a stupefying drug.

Witness O said that while searching on the internet he discovered Guider was probably due for release. He is eligible for parole next June.

Service and Intake officer Christina Gavesteijn with Zaandam police, north-west of Amsterdam, said: ''The witness has made a report in our system.''

NSW police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas also confirmed that the Amsterdam report had been received. ''We have been provided new information on the disappearance of Renee Aitken in 1984. The information has come from a source in Holland. We are treating the information seriously. It's now being reviewed and assessed by our unsolved homicide team,'' he said.

In June, Denise Hoffman and John Kidman published Forever Nine, the story of Sam Knight, who was nine when she disappeared in 1986, two years after Renee Aitken.

Renee will have been missing 30 years next February.

Her mother tucked her into bed on a wet Thursday night in their flat at Narooma in the bedroom she shared with her brother Bradley, 8. He discovered her disappearance when he awoke at 4am feeling cold.

Ms Hoffman said: ''We have never heard before that Guider drew pictures of this child and called the child Renee and that he seemed to be drawing them to get it out of his mind.

''It is amazing after all this time that somebody has been able to come forward.''

Sun-Herald

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