Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Brianna Ghey’s twisted teen murderers had ‘insidious bond’ and kill list

The evil killers of teenager Brianna Ghey had an "insidious bond" and a fascination with serial killers and torture.

The "dangerous" pair – referred to as Girl X and Boy Y – had drawn up a kill list and may have struck again if they hadn't been caught so quickly. The 16-year-old transgender student was lured to Culcheth Linear Park near Warrington, Cheshire before being stabbed 28 times with a hunting knife in a frenzied and pre-planned attack, believing she was going to "hang out with friends."

But for weeks, the twisted pair had been plotting her disturbuing murder with their plan put into action last February. Girl X even said in a message to Boy Y that she wanted to stab Brianna “jus coz its fun lol… I want to see the pure horror on her face and hear her scream."

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The killers, now aged 16 but 15 at the time, blamed each other for the horrific slaughter. Intelligent, “high functioning” and coming from normal backgrounds, the trial at Manchester Crown Court heard the pair had a fascination for violence, torture and murder and a “thirst for killing."

Neither had been in trouble with police before being convicted of murder on Wednesday, December 20.

Boy Y, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and who is non-verbal, and girl X, who has traits of autism and ADHD, were discussing Brianna’s murder for weeks, detailed in a hand-written murder plan and phone messages found by cops.

At age 14, girl X had downloaded a TOR internet browser app, to enjoy watching videos of the torture and murder of real people, in “red rooms” on the “dark web”.

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She grew an interest in serial killers, making notes on their methods and admitted enjoying “dark fantasies" about killing. The pair were living in a secret world of warped interests in murder and cruelty, the court heard.

Girl X even watched her "favourite" film Sweeney Todd the night before Brianna was knifed.

They drew up a “kill list” of four other youths they intended to harm, until Brianna had the “misfortune” to be befriended by Girl X, who became “obsessed” with her.

Brianna had thousands of followers on TikTok, but in reality was a withdrawn, shy and anxious teenager who struggled with depression and rarely left her home.

On February 11, the pair lured Brianna to the park. While sat on a bench, she was suddenly attacked, possibly initially from behind, with a hunting knife with a 13cm blade, brought to the park by Boy Y.

it is not known which one or if both wielded the knife.

After they were traced and arrested, detectives found the murder weapon with Brianna’s blood on the blade in Boy Y’s bedroom, along with heavily blood-stained clothing and trainers.

At Girl X’s home, they found a hand-written note detailing the murder plan and naming Brianna as the victim.

Messages on their phones detailed an earlier attempt to poison Brianna with an overdose.

Dr Honor Doro Townshend – lecturer in Criminology at the University of East London – told the Mirror the two killers' lack of remorse and "misguided belief" they had got away with murder meant they "absolutely have the potential to have been very dangerous long term". She added that their drive to kill appears to have come largely from "excitement and morbid fascination."

She said: "The 'pairship' between the two of them, the insidious bond between the defendants added to the emboldening…Perhaps being emboldened by the messages, and in her mind perhaps finding a kindred spirit, I think just [encouraged] her to go on to more extreme ideas.”

Brianna's death in a public park prompted candlelit vigils worldwide protesting against perceived transphobia.

Detectives believe Brianna was killed because she was vulnerable and accessible, with her death not a hate crime but done for “enjoyment” and a “thirst for killing”.

A jury of seven men and five women convicted Gilr X and Boy Y following a four-week trial after four hours and 40 minutes of deliberations.

Trial judge Mrs Justice Yip told the defendants they faced life sentences, with sentencing to take place in the New Year.

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