The front-page photo, depicting a bloodied, unconscious boy carried out of a suburban Canberra house with a breathing mask, generated horror and more than a few outraged letters to the editor in early 1986.
The 16-year-old pictured was the sole survivor of a domestic violence attack at the hands of his sister's former partner that left her, their mother and father dead.
The murder of three members of the Oliver family and suicide of their suspected killer, Carl Williams, 30 years ago this week, set in motion the rapid adoption of tougher domestic violence laws in the ACT after years of perceived indifference.
Although an Australian Law Reform Commission report into ACT domestic violence had been launched in 1984, reform campaigner and later Domestic Violence Crisis Service manager Dennise Simpson said the murders were a "shocking eye-opener" to the wider Canberra community.
"Prior to the Oliver murders, the only form of a protection available to a woman from the courts was the keep-the-peace order," she said.
"It was simply a piece of paper. It was like someone getting a rap on the knuckles."
On February 12, 1986, Williams had been due to appear in court after Beverly Oliver, his former de facto wife, applied for a keep-the-peace order against him.
Instead, he was found dead that morning in his Richardson home, with a gunshot wound to the head and a rifle nearby.
The bodies of Beverly, Ken and Shirley Oliver were found later in the day in their Rivett house. All had been shot in the head, but a coroner found they had died from head injuries sustained from being bludgeoned with the rifle.
Darren Oliver was also shot but survived, suffering severe head injuries and brain damage as a result of the attack.
The ALRC's findings were published the next month, recommending an overhaul of police power to enter private properties, encouraging police to treat domestic violence orders and criminal prosecution as complementary rather than mutually exclusive, and the creation of unified crisis services for victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence legislation was subsequently passed later that year adopting a slew of recommendations from the report.
Ms Simpson said the aftermath of the Oliver murders saw the public conversation shift towards the demand for the added protection of domestic violence orders, rather than previous keep-the-peace orders.
Letters to TheCanberra Times switched between calls for tougher action and concerns for privacy if new laws were passed.
Some even condemned the Times for publishing such a graphic photo on the front page, prompting then editor Crispin Hull to offer this reason: "this happened in Canberra, and Canberra's newspaper reflected what happens in its community".
"If the publication of the photo moves a few people in power to help protect the victims of domestic violence, then it would have achieved its purpose," he wrote.
Ms Simpson said the law changes left much to be desired and a required shift in attitudes took many more years, but the new legislation was comprehensive enough to avoid issues other jurisdictions faced in later years.
"Because of the Oliver murders, we came out with better legislation; from the start ours were very clear about kick-out orders and exclusion orders, whereas other states needed to grapple with it and still do."
The national domestic violence helpline is 1800 737 732 or 1800 RESPECT and the ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service is 6280 0900. In an emergency, call triple-zero.