Sandra Willson was born in 1939 in Sydney to working-class parents. Her first attempt to express her feelings for a woman led her to the Children’s Court and detention in the Girl’s Training School at Parramatta. At eighteen, she was offered a place as a trainee psychiatric nurse but a failed affair with a fellow trainee led a despairing Sandra to plot a murder that saw her sentenced to detention at the ‘Governor’s Pleasure’ on the grounds of insanity. She spent the next seventeen years in prison and psychiatric hospitals. After her release, she worked on prison reform, establishing and running the first half-way house for women prisoners in NSW, serving on a range of government committees and acting as a consultant for the hit television show Prisoner. In 1991, Sandra retired to Queensland, where she died, in 1999, leaving her papers and memoir to her local church.