A woman known as the ‘Face of Evil’ after she horrifically bound, gagged, murdered and dumped a husband and wife in barrels which she then burnt in a forest on the NSW South Coast is trying to get out of jail early.
In a handwritten appeal against her 32-year sentence for the double kidnap and murders of Kathryn McKay, 44, and Gregory Hosa, 56, Kim Leanne Snibson reveals she has become a kind of ‘nun’ in jail, has lost all her hair and and her new partner is a female ex-inmate.
Now aged 52, Snibson is arguing her sentence be cut ‘to reflect current non-parole periods’. In the extraordinary nine-page letter penned in her jail cell, Snibson claims she is now ‘sickened’ and ‘ashamed’ by her crimes.
But she also complains about Covid lockdowns in prison and boasts about her achievements behind bars looking after animals and doing courses.
After 17 years in prison, the killer wants to walk from jail sooner than her January 2030 earliest release date for inflicting what sentencing judge, Justice Terrence Budden, described as the ‘slow and painful deaths’ of the victims.
Brutal killer Kim Snibson, known as the ‘Face of Evil’ for her murder of a popular couple who were choked and hogtied and placed in a barrel and burnt, is tying to get out of jail early
The bodies of Kathryn McKay and husband Greg Hosa, parents of a 10-year-old boy, were found burnt in barrels stolen from their own horse stud (above) in the Tomerong State Forest a day after Snibson murdered them
Kathryn McKay , 44, was a popular local woman and with husband Greg Hosa, 56, were successful draught horse breeders and parents of a 10-year-old son
On January 28, 2006, Snibson lured Ms McKay and Mr Hosa to her Nowra Hill house.
The couple, who had a young son, ran the horse stud Champagne Shires where they bred shire horses of such quality that they won prizes at the Royal Easter Show.
Snibson, a dog sled racer and purported animal lover, agisted horses on the couple’s 28 ha property a kilometre from the house she had mysteriously inherited from an elderly lady.
Mr Hosa arrived at the house alone and was immediately set upon, struck with a piece of wood, tackled to the ground, hogtied and gagged with a sock.
Snibson then called Ms McKay who was also assaulted on arrival and tied up, taping up her mouth.
Snibson had claimed to the men helping her, Andrew Flentjar and Stacey Lea-Caton, that Mr Hosa was a sex offender and the couple had a video of her in a passionate embrace with him in the stables at Champagne Shires.
She also told them ‘we’re going to bash them and tie them up’ and that she ‘was going to get [the people] to sign over things from their property’
A court would later hear that Snibson regularly told stories to men claiming she or a young female relative had been sexually assaulted by a male and that she needed their help to bash or restrain them.
Snibson then drove to the couple’s Champagne Shires property and stole two green-painted 44 gallon drums and some bleach, and drove back to the house where the bound victims were still alive, and conscious.
Ms McKay was the first to die, after Snibson wound masking tape over her nose, ‘until she turned blue’, the offender then using electrical fence wire as a noose around Mr Hosa’s neck to strangle him, and forced the victims’ bodies inside the barrels.
The bodies were kept inside the house until after dark, ‘so the neighbours couldn’t see’, before Snibson and her two accomplices drove 20km south to the Tomerong State Forest in the hinterland west of Jervis Bay.
On the way, they bought petrol from the South Nowra Caltex Service Station.
In the forest, which Snibson was familiar with from training for dog sled races, she dumped the barrels and set them alight with a petrol-soaked rag.
Snibson lured the couple to her Nowra Hill house where they were strangled and suffocated, hogtied and placed in barrels and taken 20km south (above) to the Tomerong state forest and set alight
Double killer Kim Snibson has written an extraordinary letter from her jail cell pleading to be let out early and claiming she no longer ‘doesn’t care if anyone else … lived or died’
After midnight, Snibson returned to the forest with more petrol, opened the barrels and poured it in so ‘there would be no DNA left’.
Around 2.30am, Stacey Lea-Caton went to the police, who located Mr Hosa’s burnt out 4WD and the smouldering drums with the couple’s remains, which were too destroyed for a cause of death to be established.
News of the murders and the discovery of the barrels sent shock waves through the Nowra community where Ms McKay and Mr Hosa had many friends, and colleagues in the Australian Shire Horse Society, where she acted as secretary.
Less than two years before their murders, the couple had won two first and two second prizes at the Easter Show, including a blue ribbon for their three-year-old horse, Champagne Charley.
While later trying to minimise her role in the murders before a judge, Snibson would claim she wasn’t inside the house when the couple was killed and she had been shocked to hear the ‘gurgling sounds’ made by Mr Hosa as he died.
Andrew Flentjar and Stacey Lea-Caton were jailed for their roles in murders.
A 2008 trial heard that Snibson claimed she’d had an affair with Mr Hosa, and had boasted about planning to harm the couple.
It was a common theme in submissions at her sentencing in the NSW Supreme Court, after she unexpectedly pleaded guilty to two aggravated kidnappings and the killings.
One of Snibson’s friends gave evidence that in 1997, when Snibson lived in Sydney, she planned to murder her elderly neighbour.
Snibson inherited the house (above) where she murdered the Hosas from an old women who left it to her despite having living relatives after Kim promised to look after her 20 dogs, but had most put down or sold
Snibson, now 52, has found love with a female ex-inmate and on her release and deportation plans to live with the 42-year-old near her mother back in New Zealand
After she moved to Nowra Hill in 2001, crown prosecutors said Snibson offered another friend $30,000 to help her ensure an elderly woman who lived in the same street died.
Judith Palinkas, a dog breeder who died less than two years later of bowel cancer, left her house and animals to Snibson despite her having surviving family members.
Snibson denied the allegations, saying she did not know why Ms Palinkas left the house to her and that ‘I didn’t ask her to do it’.
Snibson had promised to look after Ms Palinkas’ beloved dogs, but later denied that, and of the 20 dogs left in Snibson’s care, she kept four, put down two and sold the rest for $4000.
The house Snibson was left by Mrs Palinkas is the house in which she murdered Mr Hosa and Ms McKay.
In sentencing submissions, the court heard Snibson had wanted a person to sign over the deeds to their house during an assault, and on another occasion had offered a friend $50,000 to ‘punish’ a person she was accusing of sexual assault.
He ex-husband testified that when he drove to Nowra after hearing of her arrest, she had told him she would ‘go away for 30 years’.
Snibson denied any of those conversations took place.
She also claimed she did not actually kill Ms McKay and Mr Hosa, and that it was Stacey Lea-Caton, then 27, who killed the couple and threatened her to ensure she did not go to police.
Double killer Kim Snibson (cap and red shirt) in Silverwater prison during a 2009 pastoral visit by Cardinal George Pell, who is pictured standing in front of the cannibal killer, Katherine Knight
Snibson writes in her pleading letter that she tried to meet and apologise to the families of the couple she murdered but that they rejected her request via the Restorative Justice program
The dog kennels on the Nowra Hill property killer Kim Snibson managed to convince an old lady to leave to her in her will, promising to look after the dying woman’s 20 canines, but instead having two put down and selling 14 for $4000
Lea-Caton pleaded guilty in 2007 to aiding and abetting in the murders and is serving a 22-year sentence.
Andrew Wayne Flentjar, 33, of East Nowra, pleaded guilty to kidnapping the couple and has served a 10-year sentence.
Snibson claimed it was Lea-Caton who bashed Mr Hosa with a piece of wood and forced her to help him put the bodies into the drums, transport them to Tomerong State Forest and set them alight.
Now, in her lengthy letter to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, Snibson claims she has changed from the person ‘who didn’t care if she or anyone else lived or died’ and had now ‘devoted my life to God.
‘I’m in jail for an extremely horrific crime on two innocent, good and kind people who didn’t deserve for one second what happened to them,’ Snibson wrote in the letter dated August 5 this year.
She said she had tried to Corrective Services NSW’s Restorative Justice program to meet with the families of Mr Hosa and Ms McKay – whose son was orphaned by the murder at the age of ten.
‘I wanted the chance to show… how sorry I really was (to) maybe help them heal a little,’ she wrote.
Kathryn McKay was much loved in the Nowra community and the Shire Horse Society where she was secretary, with locals expressing their profound shock that their friends had been murdered
In her prison cell letter, Snibson concedes she not only hurt the victims and their families but ‘the whole Nowra community’ but then complains jail Covid lockdowns have left her ‘mentally struggling’
Less than two years before their murders Ms Mackay and Greg Hosa won two first and two second prizes at the Royal Easter Show, including a blue ribbon for their three-year-old horse, Champagne Charley
‘I was sad the family didn’t want to be a part of the program. I did ask if down the track they may be open to a letter from me.’
In prison, first at Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre and now at Dillwynia women’s prison near Windsor in western Sydney, Snibson befriended a nun and sent her name to the Pope.
She became an ‘associate of the order of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart’, she said, ‘the only prisoner in the World’ to be accepted.
Snibson has listed all the programs she’s done in prison, and that she’s looked after a goat, two peacocks, 16 chickens, greyhounds and a puppy.
While acknowledging what she did ‘to my victims’ family, and most of all their young son, but also to the whole Nowra community’, she then wrote that Covid restrictions have left her ‘mentally struggling’.
Snibson has devoted a whole page to her new romantic partner, a 42-year-old woman she met in jail who is now out, phones her every day and who will move with her to New Zealand when she’s deported on release.
In an impassioned plea, Snibson ends her letter with ‘Your honour, I’m not the same person that came into jail.
‘That Kim 17 years ago isn’t the Kim I’m going to be when I walk out of jail, she is already gone.
‘I have so many beautiful possibilities ahead.’
An affidavit from Snibson’s mother says Kim was ‘screwed-up’ and had lost her hair in jail, but been bought wigs by her and a Catholic nun who visited her in prison
The appeal letter is accompanied by affidavits from Snibson’s partner, brother and mother, who says her daughter was ‘a screwed-up woman’ when she went to jail but now makes ‘birthday cakes with so little ingredients’ for other inmates.
‘The Catholic church has been great help,’ Snibson’s mother stated, ‘as Kim lost most of her hair through all this, Sister Margaret and the church … paid to get her first wig.
‘Greg and I paid for the second one. Kim saved up herself for the third one.’
Justices Robert Beech-Jones, David Davies and Peter Hamill will release their judgment on whether Snibson deserves a sentence cut at a date to be fixed.
Her current release date would mean Snibson would be almost 60 years old before becoming eligible for parole.
In 2007, the Shire Horse Society donated a perpetual trophy in the names of Kathyryn McKay and Greg Hosa to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for each year’s Supreme Champion Shire horse.