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Joanne Dennehy - Peterborough Ditch Murders

When it comes to violent killers it's rare to hear about women committing these crimes. More often than not violent killers are men, but there are those rare occasions when a woman will be convicted of a violent crime. Joanne Dennehy is one of those women, in fact she is believed to be one of just three women who were sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, or a whole life order. The other two women were Myra Hindley and Rosemary West. In February 2014 Joanne Dennehy pleaded guilty to 3 murders and 2 attempted murders that became known as the Peterborough Ditch Murders.




About Joanne Dennehy


Joanne Dennehy grew up in a stable family home in Hertfordshire. She was a regular on netball teams when she was growing up and she eventually became the mother of two girls.

But later she was diagnosed with psychopathic and anti-social disorders, and after her arrest she was diagnosed with Paraphilia sadomasochism, where sexual excitement is derived from pain and excitement.

Joanne Dennehy targeted men, she told a friend she didn't want to kill women, and especially not women with children. She had said she wanted to kill 9 men in total, wanting to be like Bonnie and Clyde. When she was being assessed by a psychiatrist she said killing was "moreish" and after she killed her first victim she "got a taste for it".

Before the bodies of Lukasz Slaboszewski and John Chapman were found, and while Joanne was on the run Police used CCTV footage to locate her after she was spotted buying tobacco at a service station. 



Joanne Dennehy's Victims




Lukasz Slaboszewski


On 19th March Joanne Dennehy invited Lukasz to meet her in a flat she had access to. He had gone to the flat expecting sex after receiving a series of texts from her. There she stabbed him in the heart with a 3 inch pocket knife and put his body in a wheelie bin which she later pointed out to a teenage girl. Despite the girl being shown the body it was not discovered until the day after she was captured.


Joanne Dennehy - Peterborough Ditch Murders | She put a body in a wheelie bin!


She had only met Lukasz days before killing him, and he had told friends he had met an "English girlfriend" and was meeting her expecting sex.



John Chapman


The 56 year old Falklands veteran had lived in the same property as Joanne Dennehy at the time of his murder. He was said to be high on drink and drugs, meaning he'd be at the mercy of Joanne Dennehy as she stabbed him to death using the same pocket knife. He was killed on 29th March 2013.

After Chapman's murder she contacted her accomplices Gary Richards, also known as Gary Stretch, and Leslie Layton to help her dispose of the bodies. They used a vehicle registered under a false company name to move both bodies and buried them near Thorney. 



Kevin Lee


Kevin Lee was a married man with children, and was both Joanne's landlord and lover. He was murdered later the same day as John Chapman's murder. When his body was found he was dressed in a black sequin dress and arranged in a sexual pose. He had been dumped in a ditch near Newborough and was discovered on 30th March.


Joanne Dennehy - Peterborough Ditch Murders | She dumped a body in a ditch.



Stabbed but survived


After the triple murder Dennehy and her accomplice Gary Stretch and friend Mark Lloyd went on the run. She made it clear to Gary that she wanted to find men to harm. When she saw 64 year old Robin Bereza walking his dog she jumped out of the car and launched an attack on the retired firefighter. 

They then drove on and spotted 56 year old John Rogers who was walking his dog. Joanne Dennehy attacked this man too and, after stabbing him 30 times, left him for dead and stole his pet dog telling her friends "it's me only friend."

Both men attacked while walking their dogs survived.


Joanne Dennehy - Peterborough Ditch Murders | Targeting men walking dogs.



Thoughts


Like I said, it's rare to hear of women committing these kind of murders. Although apparently violence from women is on the increase with them opting for knives and guns more often than poison.

Again it's really interesting to read about these cases and when it's a woman that commits violent murders it seems even more interesting, I guess because it goes against the convention that women are nurturers, carers.

Joanne Dennehy is serving a whole life order, and was told by Mr Justice Spencer, the trial judge, that she should never be released due to the premeditation of the murders. He described her as sadomasochistic and lacking in the normal range of human emotions, which is evident in her need to boast about the murders. There are even clips of her arrest where she can be seen happily chatting with the police officers who arrested her.

Whatever made Joanne Dennehy turn from a mother of two into a vicious killer we'll never know, and while she is described as a psychopath does that make her any less culpable? I don't think so.



Do you think being a psychopath means you're less to blame for murder?

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