Life on the streets can be tough.
But for Ann Gannan, now 64, it was nothing compared to what she had endured before she became homeless on the NSW Central Coast.
It was where she hid from the world and turned to drugs to numb the pain that consumed her after the murders of her two daughters, their father and her unborn grandchild, reports News.com.au.
Kerryann, 23, and Lisa, 18 were killed by Malcolm Baker who went on a shooting spree on the night of October 27, 1992. He murdered six people - including his own son - and at least one unborn child in Terrigal, Bateau Bay and Wyong in a bloody massacre that rocked the seaside region, about 80km north of Sydney.
"He took my family, he took my babies that I brought into the world," Gannan said. "He took them from me and left me with just a shell of what I used to be."
Gannan spoke exclusively to news.com.au about the horrors of the massacre for the first time to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the tragedy last week.
She also offered a rare insight into the impact murder can have on victims' family members and revealed how the trauma sent her spiralling out of control.
She said her pain of having lost her daughters and Lisa's unborn son - who was due to be born just four weeks later - was compounded by much of what happened after.
Gannan said she never got to look the killer in the eyes during his 1993 trial.
"He requested a screen to shield him from viewing us in court and he was granted it," she said.
"At that time I didn't know much about murder cases and I'm thinking: 'You have done something horrible yet you have asked [for] a screen to be put up because you don't want to see what damage you have left behind?'
"That's when I started to get disgusted because we have been left in the dark so much."
But Gannan didn't let that stop her from giving him a piece of her mind. She seized the moment to hit back when Baker was sentenced to life without parole and was escorted from the court.
It was possibly the last chance she'd ever have to project some of her hurt on to the man who she believed deserved to carry it most.
"I screamed at the side of the truck when he was going out and I said: 'You piece of ...' what did I call him? Oxygen thief. And I called him a few other things not lady like," she said.
Many years have passed since then. But time hasn't been kind to Gannan. It's allowed more unanswered questions to arise, more guilt to build and more sadness to overwhelm her.
If she could speak to Baker now it wouldn't be to offer him forgiveness.
"[I'd say:] You broke me, you literally stripped me down to nothing. Because it has," Gannan said. "I mean it has gone over 25 years, yet I still have visions. Even sitting here right now I can tell you everything from that night, who was there what was there.
"It's an ongoing thing with me all the time.
"I blame myself [because] I wish I had done more. But what can you do? You can't fight a gun. "I am convinced of that now because the girls had no chance, neither did my husband."
"It's all I wanted to be with my daughters and I tried. God just didn't want me I suppose."
It was the love for her two sons and grandchildren which helped pull her out of the depths of one very dark hole.
"My son gave me an ultimatum and said if I didn't straight up I would lose my grandkids and I didn't want to lose my grandkids," Gannan said.
"I cleaned up my act a bit ... got back on my feet again and have a place to live."
Gannan said she has "settled down" into a modest home on the NSW Central Coast and has been clean for 12 years.
"Sometimes I'll go to counselling and sometimes they'll say there's nothing more they can do for you and it's up to me," she said.
But she's still haunted by the past.
"It's not doing me any good because he is sitting in jail," Gannan said of Baker who was sentenced to life without parole.
"He still can see his kids or grandkids or whatever he's got.
"I am so ashamed of myself to think how much I've let him get to me."
'I'm constantly reminded of what was lost'
Gannan has eight grandchildren - six boys and two girls - but often wonders how many more she would might have had if her daughters were still alive. What would or could have been constantly eats away at her.
"They were workaholics, they would have had nice homes, would be married," she said.
"They'd have a life."
Her heart also breaks for her two sons who lost their father and sisters at such a young age.
"I see fathers and babies and am constantly reminded of what [my two sons] lost and that they're missing out on their dad," Ann said.
"[Baker] had no right to take them."
She switches back and forth between referring to her daughters in past and current tense, as if the tragedy had just recently occurred. According to Gannan , an element of surrealism always exists when a loved one - or two - is murdered, no matter how much time passes.
"Kerryann is a private person so she would have picked a man that suited her," Gannan said.
And Lisa would have friends all over the place. She's a cracker. You weren't safe with her [pranks]. But it was so funny the things she'd do. Everybody loved her.
"They are both such good girls."