Monday 7 August 2017

Who Is Serial Killer Joanna Dennehy?

Psychopathic serial killer Joanna Dennehy is serving a whole life sentence for murdering three men before randomly selecting and attempting to kill two others. But who is she and how did the Home Counties schoolgirl become a cold-blooded killer?

Who is Joanna Dennehy?
Dennehy murdered Lukasz Slaboszewski, Kevin Lee and John Chapman in and around Peterborough over a 10-day period in March 2013.

Police launched a nationwide hunt to find her after the bodies were discovered in remote ditches in Cambridgeshire, but she went on to drive 140 miles to Hereford where she repeatedly stabbed two dog walkers entirely at random. Miraculously they survived.

Born in 1982 in St Albans, Hertfordshire, she was raised in a four-bedroom house in the affluent commuter town of Harpenden, Hertfordshire. A regular fixture on the school hockey and netball teams, the mother-of-two doesn't fit the bill of an archetypal serial killer.

However she has been diagnosed with several psychopathic and anti-social disorders, including borderline personality disorder. After her arrest she was also diagnosed with paraphilia sadomasochism, where sexual excitement is derived from pain and humiliation.

With a history of low-level crime, she was continuously on the police's radar. However no one could have guessed she was to become one of Britain's most notorious killers.

Who were her victims?

Lukasz Slaboszewski
Her first victim was Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, a Polish national. Dennehy had met Slaboszewski just days before killing him, at a property in Orton Goldhay, Peterborough on or soon after March 19. He had told friends he had met an "English girlfriend" and it is thought he went to meet Dennehy expecting sex.

After being coaxed to meet Dennehy by a series of text messages, the killer stabbed Slaboszewski in the heart before storing his body in a wheelie bin - at one point smirking as she showed the corpse to a teenage girl.

John Chapman
Dennehy's second victim was John Chapman, who she killed on 29 March. The 56-year-old Falklands veteran lived at a bedsit in the same run-down property as her. High on drink and drugs, he was "at the mercy" of Dennehy as she stabbed him to death.

After Dennehy killed him, jurors at Cambridge Crown Court heard that she contacted her accomplice, the 7ft 3in Gary Richards - also known as Gary Stretch - and told him: "Oops, I've done it again."

With the help of Stretch and friend Leslie Layton, she then transported the bodies in a car registered in the false company name Undertakers and Sons, before burying them.

Kevin Lee
Later that day Dennehy murdered her third victim, her landlord and lover Kevin Lee, 48. Stabbed in the neck and chest, Lee's body - wearing a black sequin dress and arranged in a sexual pose - was discovered in a roadside ditch near Newborough on March 30. Four days later, a farmer found the corpses of Slaboszewski and Chapman in a remote dyke five miles away.

Lee, a married father-of-two, apparently once likened the serial killer to "Uma Thurman from Kill Bill and the woman from the Terminator".

During the trial, Mr Justice Spencer told Dennehy: "The way in which his body was dumped was part of the playing out of your sexual and sadistic motivation."

Robin Bereza and John Rogers

As police launched a triple murder investigation and appealed for information about their whereabouts, Dennehy, Stretch and friend Mark Lloyd went on the run, driving to Hereford.

Dennehy made it clear to the men she wanted "a man with a dog"; upon seeing Robin Bereza, 64, walking his dog she jumped out of the car and launched a frenzied attack on the retired firefighter.

Describing the attack, Mark Lloyd said in court: "I thought she was going to mug him but then it twigged on me. I thought 'You just want blood'."

After driving on, Dennehy then targeted John Rogers, 56, who was walking his pet lurcher. Both men suffered severe injuries but survived the attacks. Afterwards she climbed back into the car carrying Rogers' whippet and told the pair: "It's me only friend."

What led her to kill?

At the time of the murders neighbours claimed Dennehy had been involved in a row over the rented property she was living in. Slaboszewski and Chapman were said to have lived with Dennehy in a shared house, which was owned by property developer Mr Lee.

Mr Lee had been trying to evict Slaboszewski, Chapman and Dennehy in the weeks before the killings. Toni Roberts, who used to live in the house, told the court that the tenants had been served an eviction notice by him ordering them out by April 25 so the house could be renovated.

The court was told that the serial killer then had a "thirst for blood" and while on the journey to Hereford the court heard that Dennehy told Stretch and Lloyd: "I want to have my fun", bragged that she and Stretch were "like Bonnie and Clyde" and said she "wanted nine victims".

How was she caught?

Dennehy was caught after two days on the run, on the day she attacked Bereza and Rogers and the day before the bodies of Slaboszewski and Chapman were found.

Police used CCTV footage of the killer as she was driven across the country, as well as when she stopped to buy tobacco and at a service station. Upon her arrest, Dennehy was soon assessed as a psychiatric risk and taken to a mental health unit.

What happened in court?

Judge Mr Justice Spencer told the Old Bailey on the day she was sentenced: "Within the space of ten days you murdered three men in cold blood. Although you pleaded guilty, you've made it quite clear you have no remorse."

He added: "You are a cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer."

The judge described how Dennehy had sent him a letter saying she was not sorry for the murders.

He added that she told a psychiatrist: "I killed to see how I would feel, to see if I was as cold as I thought I was, then it got more-ish."

Dennehy was ordered to serve the rest of her life in prison, while the killer laughed and smirked. She is one of just three women - alongside Myra Hindley, who is now deceased, and Rosemary West - in English history to be told that she can never be released.

Stretch, Layton and Robert Moore, who provided accommodation to the killer for two nights, were also sentenced for helping in her killing spree.


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