A double murderer who brutally killed his partner and her teenage daughter during a yacht trip off the Kimberley coast has been freed from prison after more than 20 years behind bars. Garry Douglas Whitsed was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2003 after he killed Avril Croft and her 15-year-old daughter Alahna off Montague Sound in July 2001. Whitsed, aged 34 at the time, covered up the murders by sinking their bodies into crocodile and shark-infested waters, cleaning the yacht deck and waiting a month before reporting their deaths to police. He denied murdering them, claiming instead that Ms Croft hanged herself after an argument. He then fired a shot from a rifle in anger after discovering her body, accidentally killing Alahna. The jury in his 2003 trial rejected the claim. They convicted him of killing Ms Croft and Alahna. He then wrapped the teenager’s body in a doona, tied it up and weighed it down with clam shells. Mrs Croft’s body was placed in a 44-gallon drum. Both were thrown overboard while the yacht was anchored in Montague Sound. Whitsed then stayed aboard the yacht, Celt, anchored in the bay for three weeks before telling police about their deaths. Five weeks after the murders, police divers retrieved the drum, a clump of human hair and clam shells. Their bodies were never found. More than two decades after the crime, the Prisoners’ Review Board deemed in October that Whitsed, who had served his entire sentence for the two counts of wilful murder, to be suitable for release on a three-year parole order. He was set free on November 16. The parole board noted that Whitsed had successfully completed a re-socialisation program in which he was “actively engaged” and had demonstrated “motivation”. It said he had also sought employment while on approved home leave with his sister from a minimum security prison. A psychologist found Whitsed had “no outstanding treatment needs in relation to criminogenic risk”. He was also deemed to have a low risk of reoffending. The board found his plans outside of prison were “well-considered” and “realistic”. He will be monitored when developing any intimate relationships. At the time of Whitsed’s sentencing, Justice Kevin Parker said that extensive psychiatric and psychological reports provided some explanation for the tragic murders. Justice Parker said Whitsed’s personality problems may have left him unable to cope with the emotional tensions and constrained living conditions aboard his yacht throughout the three-month trip.