For more than a decade Lynette and Brian Brown have held fast to the hope they would one day learn the final words their daughter cried out with her dying breath.
It's almost 15 years since the Tauranga couple were left heartbroken after young wife Natasha Hayden had her life cruelly cut short, strangled by Michael Curran in January 2005.
The tragic loss remains as raw as that dreadful summer's afternoon when an unsuspecting Lynette was met by detectives outside her Tauranga home and delivered the news her 24-year-old daughter was dead and that police had begun a homicide investigation.
While the Browns grappled with the loss of their daughter, fondly known as Tash, getting justice proved complicated when Curran killed a second time that year while out on bail, bashing to death two-year-old Aaliyah Morrissey.
To the Browns' horror, the charge relating to Natasha's death was reduced to manslaughter.
He was eventually found guilty of the double killings and locked away for more than 20 years with no chance of release until 2028.
From the outset, the couple have done whatever was needed to bring their daughter's killer to justice, advocating for law changes through the Sensible Sentencing Trust and setting aside their own heartache to take special care of the other family who also lost their daughter at Curran's hands.
But thanks to a renowned Australian psychic, the Browns have been given a special piece of information ahead of the 15th anniversary of their daughter's death and it's bringing solace to a painful chapter in the family's history.
Psychic Scott Russell Hill and the grieving couple met more than 10 years ago after he filmed an episode of popular TV crime show Sensing Murder. He made a mystical connection with their dead daughter, but Scott has only now felt ready to share with Lynette and Brian what Natasha called out in those last precious moments of her life.
In his latest book, Sensing Natasha, the Australian media personality – who famously predicted Princess Diana's death in Paris a year before it happened – reveals that the last word to escape the dying woman's lips was "mum".
The Browns say to hear this is still painful but they're glad to finally know.
"I've read the book and listened to the audio version a couple of times," says Lynette, 66, who had wanted to know for years what the psychic held back.
"I always knew she said something to him. When I read it and then listened to the words, I just sat there and cried.
"It hurts like hell to think she's dying from him strangling her and with her last words she's wanting mum. It hurts, it really hurts," she whispers, wiping tears from her eyes.
"It's like I'm getting told she was killed today. Maybe next year or the year after it might be easier to say this is what she said, but because it's so new, it's just so hard."
"But there's nothing you could have done," assures Brian, 65, tenderly.
For many years the couple made a pilgrimage to McLaren Falls, where their daughter died, on January 10 to leave a rose on a fence, but they stopped going there after the visits became filled with arguments.
"I just want the day to end. I still do," admits Brian, who has since struggled to celebrate his own birthday, which falls the day after his daughter died. "I just want to go and hide somewhere. It's too painful for me to think about it. Even now, sheesh, if that day could pass and I didn't have to speak to anyone, that's a great day."
Lynette adds, "They say time heals. Well, it doesn't. It's hard to imagine her any older than 24."
"But time is a healer," counters Brian. "It's easier to talk about it now than it was then because there is a certain amount of acceptance. You have to accept what's happened. Tash dying is no different than if she was in a car accident. It's just the way she died.
"You don't necessarily have to have forgiveness. I'm never going to have that – it's just not in my nature. What Scott's book has allowed is some acceptance."
Medium Scott told Lynette and Brian a while back that he wanted to write a book about Natasha and the famous Australian cold case involving the mysterious disappearance of the three Beaumont children – and the couple were shown the script several weeks ago.
"He let us read it and say if there was anything we didn't like," says Brian, who wrote a touching epilogue. Scott says an email from Brian inspired him to write the book.
"We'd grown to be so close and we have a very special connection," he tells.
The couple were left with a sense of honour knowing Natasha was integral to the book's creation. "I'm a very proud mother to think that Scott or anyone else would want to write a book about my daughter," shares Lynette.
"We'd rather it never got to that, but since it has, you're trying to make the best of a bad situation," explains Brian.
The dad-of-three says he will never forget the moment he tuned in to watch the Sensing Murder show featuring the celebrity psychic he now counts as a mate.
"You could have knocked me off my chair, Brian recalls. "I'm a bit of a skeptic, but when he said I see a girl in a red car and her name's Natasha, I thought how the hell could he have known that? And then he said, 'And I see she's got a birthday cake.' We all knew what that was about. I was just about climbing through the TV screaming, 'It wasn't her birthday, it was mine!'"
While the show's mediums struggled to interpret the cake's significance, Brian and Lynette were in their Tauranga lounge keen to tell Scott getting the cake was always Natasha's job at family celebrations.
"I couldn't wait to tell Scott that," says Brian, who managed to get hold of the psychic a few hours later to fill in all the gaps.
But that night he was given a stern warning from Scott's personal assistant to steer clear of asking him what Natasha had said to him, as the initial encounter at McLaren Falls had taken a toll and he was unwilling to share anything extra.
"We knew he knew something more – and while I was probably happy with what he'd said on that programme, I didn't want to overly press him," admits Brian.
"I know her well enough to know there was more," adds Lynette, who often had to bite her tongue at every future meeting with Scott and patiently wait until he was ready to share his secret.
The couple say the night before Natasha was killed, she had sat in bed with her husband Michael Hayden, from whom she'd briefly split a few months earlier, and excitedly made plans about buying a house and even starting a family.
After ending a brief and abusive relationship with Curran, the childcare worker had enrolled to train as a nanny and had so much to look forward to. Sadly, she never lived to fulfil her dreams, but mum Lynette takes comfort her darling daughter remains close by.
Pointing to her heart, she declares, "As far as I'm concerned, Curran has taken Natasha's life but he can't take my memories that are in here. To me, she's still around, she's still the baby in the family and she's still here.
"I know when my time comes, she will step forward and I will walk away with her. I don't have any fear of death whatsoever because she will be there by my side."
✦ In 1996, he foretold Princess Diana would be "in the wrong place at the wrong time", and die in a car accident. Just 11 months later, she met her untimely death in a Paris tunnel.
✦ Scott predicted an earthquake or bomb would cause carnage in Bali. A blast in 2002 killed 202 people.
✦ Perhaps the most chilling was his World Trade Center prophecy. "It's like a missile striking the building from the air," he warned five years before the terror attack.
✦ In 1996, he sensed John F. Kennedy Jr would meet his demise in a light plane crash. In 1999, John, his wife and sister-in-law all perished as Scott said.
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