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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Dennehy refused to shed any light on a motive for the murders
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: March 19-29, 2013
Date of arrest: April 2, 2013
Date of birth: 1982
Victims profile: Kevin Lee, 48, Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, and John Chapman, 56
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom
Status: Pleaded guilty to all three murders and two further attempted murders on November 18, 2013
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Peterborough ditch murders

The Peterborough ditch murders were a series of three murders which took place in the United Kingdom, in March 2013. All of the victims were male, and died from stab wounds. The bodies of all three men were discovered dumped in ditches outside of Peterborough.

In November 2013, Joanna Dennehy pleaded guilty to all three murders and two further attempted murders.


Kevin Lee was a property developer and landlord of Joanna Dennehy. He was killed on 29 March, and his body found the next day near Newborough.

Lukasz Slaboszewski and John Chapman were housemates of Dennehy. Slaboszewski was killed between 19 and 29 March and Chapman was on 29 March. Slaboszewski and Chapman were both found on 3 April near Thorney with stab wounds.


Serial killer’s distraught daughter is terrified she’ll end up evil too, says her father

THE daughter of triple killer Joanna Dennehy fears she will become a murderer like her mother who last week admitted stabbing three men to death and dumping their bodies in ditches.

By James Fielding and Eugene Henderson -

November 24, 2013

The troubled 13-year-old’s father and Dennehy’s former partner, John Treanor, said: “She’s seen her mother’s face all over the news, the papers and internet. Now she’s struggling to come to terms with it all.

“She asked the other night, ‘Dad, is that how I’ll turn out? Will I be a killer like my mum?’ I had to explain to her that it’s not something you inherit.

“She’s truly terrified of turning into her mother. She went through a lot while living with Joanna. Now she’s facing an even greater challenge.”

John revealed he split from Dennehy, 31, early in 2009 after her alcohol and drug-fuelled violence finally became too much to bear.

The pair had two daughters together, the youngest only seven years old and just a baby when she left her mother. “I really believe Jo is evil, pure and simple, that is why I took the girls as far away from her as possible,” he said.

John, 37, who lives with his daughters and new wife Vicky in a three-bedroom maisonette in Glossop, Derbyshire, added: “The youngest has no idea about her mother or that she’s a killer. She hasn’t been anywhere near her since she was very little.

“Now I’m going to have to sit her down and try to explain the whole thing to her. I’m dreading it. How do you tell a seven-year-old that their mother is an evil serial killer?”

John met Dennehy in 1997 when she was 15 and living in her £315,000 family home in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

They moved to Luton, Bedfordshire, and then to nearby Milton Keynes in 2001, where they stayed for about four years before relocating to Wisbech, a quiet market town in Cambridgeshire. There they rented a council bungalow and lived among mainly elderly residents. Neither worked but Dennehy used her benefits cash to buy drugs and alcohol.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said she watched the couple arguing in their back garden before Dennehy picked up a cricket bat and started battering John as he tried ­desperately to shield himself.

“She went berserk, she was shouting and swearing and kept on hitting him with the bat,” the pensioner said.

“I liked John, he was nice and polite, but Jo was a nightmare, she was trouble from the start. She hit him all the time, he would have black eyes and marks on his face.

“Jo was forever drunk and on drugs, even when she was out walking with her oldest daughter. On one occasion she shaved the little girl’s head until she was completely bald. She told us it was because she had nits but nobody was convinced.”

The former neighbour said Dennehy would disappear for weeks on end on drug and alcohol binges without telling anyone where she was.

“I’m sure they used to deal drugs in that bungalow because people would call at all hours,” she said. “Cars would pull up and people would come and go all the time.

“Jo had a reputation for being a drunk and a fighter and would cause trouble in the town centre.

“One night she collapsed in St Peter’s churchyard and slept there overnight. She would disappear for days, sometimes weeks, never telling John where she had been, but when she did come back she was always in a state. I never saw her pay any real attention to her daughters.

“One of them was about six years old and the other was just a baby when they lived here. It was John who took the older daughter to school in the morning and picked her up later.

“When Jo was with her daughter, she was usually stumbling around either drunk or on drugs.

“Other times I would come home from town through the park and I’d pass Jo in the wooded area with another man. It was obvious what she was doing, apparently she was doing it to get money to buy drugs.

“I think John finally had enough of her and chucked her out. He took the children up north with him about a year later and that’s the last time I saw him.” Another neighbour, who also wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Jo and John were constantly rowing. You could hear the shouting and swearing all the way up the street.

“They always had a lot of visitors. We all knew what was going on, people were doing drugs in there, hard drugs at that. One woman collapsed and had a fit by the gate.

“She had taken an overdose of something, probably heroin, and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance.

“The police were always being called for one reason or another, mainly to do with the noise.”

While John took the children to live with him in Glossop, Dennehy moved 15 miles west to Peterborough.

Her last address was the house she rented from Kevin Lee, 48, whom she stabbed to death. His body was found dumped in a ditch last Easter.

The bodies of her two housemates, Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, and John Chapman, 56, were discovered four days later. They too had been stabbed and left in a dyke on the bleak outskirts of Peterborough. Dennehy was due to stand trial for the murders in January, but she admitted the killings, as well as the attempted murder of Robin Bereza and John Rogers, at the Old Bailey last week.

Mr Lee had served Dennehy with an eviction notice to vacate his property so that it could be renovated, the court heard.

She appeared in the dock alongside her 7ft 3in boyfriend Gary Richards, also known as Gary Stretch, who denied three charges of preventing burial and the two attempted murders.

Two other defendants appeared by videolink. Leslie Layton, 36, pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing, while Robert Moore, 55, denied assisting an offender.

Dennehy, who has a tattoo of a green star below her right eye, will be sentenced later.


Joanna Dennehy: Ex-boyfriend tells of 'hell' with the baby-faced angel who became a serial killer

By Paul Byrne -

Nov 23, 2013

I knew I had to escape when she pulled a six-inch dagger from her knee-length boot and knifed the carpet, her eyes cold and blank - says former lover John Treanor.

It was the chilling moment John Treanor realised he had to get as far away as possible from dangerwoman Joanna Dennehy.

He shuddered as he recalled how she suddenly pulled a six-inch dagger from inside her black knee-length boot.

Then, tightly gripping the decorated handle of the blade she thrust it into the carpet, her eyes cold and blank.

John, the father of her two children, looked on in fear and horror.

The young woman he had fallen in love with was now unrecognisable – but not even he could predict she would go on to become a serial killer.

Joanna, who had dreamed of becoming a lawyer, was now ravaged by drink and drugs, her body scarred from dozens of self-inflicted knife wounds.

Within months John had fled their home to start a new life with his daughters, miles away from their mum.

Four years later the police knocked on his door to say his ex was suspected of murdering three men.

And on Monday Dennehy, 31, appeared at the Old Bailey and pleaded guilty to stabbing them to death and dumping their bodies in ditches.

She also admitted the attempted murder of two other men.

Her appearance in the dock marked the astonishing downturn her life had taken since her days as a pretty teenager when her future seemed bright.

Dennehy’s parents Kevin, 56, and Kathleen, 51, who have another daughter, Maria, 29, had paid for extra lessons to help her achieve her legal ambitions.

But it wasn’t long before the cracks began to show. She was sent home from school for drinking and John, now 37, said she was already rebelling against her home life when they met.

Sitting in his home, newly married and surrounded by photos of his two children, he can still hardly believe how much Dennehy changed during the 12 years they spent together.

They met while he was walking his German Shepherd in a park in 1997.

He said: “She approached me. She had a thing for dogs – it just went from there. She’d fallen out with her parents and she was a bit of a free spirit but I liked her – in fact I loved her.”

Despite the six-year age gap, they became inseparable, to the horror of her parents who kicked her out of their £315,000 four-bedroom home in St Albans, Herts.

John explained: “She had been in trouble at school for drinking, she was also stealing. At 15 her mum kicked her out and told her not to come back.” John’s family also refused them a roof because of her age and the pair began sleeping rough for a year. John, 37, a non-drinker, admitted he was no angel and had used cannabis in the past.

He said: “I was a bit of an a******e when I was younger. I got into trouble a lot. It was just stealing from shops, that sort of thing.”

But as a life-long teetotaller he said it was booze and not their relationship that brought about ­Dennehy’s drastic personality change.

The pair found digs at a shared house in Luton, Beds, but had to flee to Milton Keynes, Bucks, after they tipped off police about a drug dealer in the house.

John insisted he never slept with Dennehy until she was 16.

They had their first child in 1999, when she was 17. He was delighted but she was ­devastated. He said: “She never wanted the kids, she always said she wanted it to be just me and her. We took a photo of her, holding the baby. You could see in her face, she was not interested.” John said it was the start of her decline into drink, drugs, violence and casual sex with both men and women.

He added: “She cheated on me with a neighbour and she was using cocaine. I was out working 17 hours as a security guard she was drinking at friends’ houses till god knows what time.”

Betrayed by her affair, John left with his daughter, moving to King’s Lynn, Norfolk, where he took her back.

She got a job, working on the nearby farms digging vegetables, but her drinking escalated.

He said: “It got to the point where she was not being paid in cash, she was being paid in bottles of whisky and vodka. She was coming home ­paralytic, smashing the place up.”

On one occasion, she almost pushed her three-year-old daughter down the stairs, barging past her in a drunken rage.

John said: “She was absolutely wasted. I got a couple of punches. That day I left with my daughter and went back to my mum’s.”

For 18 months he had no contact with Dennehy and was told she had spent time in a psychiatric unit and prison. He also heard rumours of prostitution.

But she made contact once again and, against his better judgment he took her back.

They set up home in 2003 in Wisbech, Cambs. Dennehy reined back her boozing and three years later the couple had a second daughter.

The new arrival sent her back to the bottle – John said she started drinking strong lager for breakfast.

He added: “I tried everything to get her off booze and drugs and show her what she had sitting right in front of her. But she wouldn’t even give the baby a cuddle or a kiss.”

Dennehy’s friendship with a woman called Charmaine drove another rift between them. John heard the pair were lovers. He said: “She was coming home with love-bites on her neck. She’d ­disappear for weeks, come back and ask for forgiveness, then go away again. I was a complete walkover.”

Dennehy had self-harmed previously but now the wounds became more noticeable. He explained: “She was slicing herself with razor blades, all up her arms and around her neck. She was cutting everywhere.”

Dennehy was drinking up to two litres of vodka when the incident with the dagger happened in early 2009.

John said: “It scared the life out me.”

Soon afterwards he took his two daughters and moved to his mother’s home in Glossop, Derbys.

He revealed that his eldest daughter, now 14, has started asking questions about her mum and wants to visit her in jail.

But John has no sympathy for his former lover.

He said: “It was inevitable this was going to happen. She was either going to do something to herself or to someone else.

“She deserves what is coming to her and if the death penalty was still here she would deserve that.”


Female serial killer Joanna Dennehy admits three murders: 'I've pleaded guilty and that's that'

By Louie Smith -

Nov 19, 2013

The Old Bailey was stunned into silence yesterday as Joanna Dennehy issued her shock guilty plea.

The 31-year-old had been expected to deny the brutal knife murders of three men and dumping their bodies in ditches before being formally sent for trial.

Instead she shocked the court, including her own defence team, by confessing to the serial killings – and the attempted murder of two other men.

Dennehy, who has a green star tattoo below her right eye, took officials by surprise when she insisted: “I’ve pleaded guilty and that’s that.”

She also strongly objected when her lawyers asked for a delay to check that she really wanted to plead guilty.

Her startled barrister, Mr Nigel Lickley QC, told the court: “The course of the arraignment is not one we had anticipated.

“We ask for more time given what has just occurred.”

But Dennehy was adamant that she wanted no further discussion.

She interrupted her counsel, saying: “I’m not coming back down here again just to say the same stuff.

"It’s a long way to come to say the same thing I have just said.”

But Mr Lickley continued his request to the judge.

He said: “It is incumbent on us to inform the court whether the pleas will be maintained or changed and to that end arrangements have been made to see Miss Dennehy hopefully on Friday this week.”

He added: “If that is possible we will be able to inform the court on Monday.”

Judge Mr Justice Sweeney said: “She has pleaded guilty to a large number of counts, clearly intentionally.

“In the circumstances if there is to be any application for a change then I will consider it – but otherwise she has pleaded guilty.”.

He ordered that Dennehy’s defence team notify the court by Monday if there is to be any retraction of her guilty pleas.

Dennehy, who wore a white shirt as she sat in the dock, admitted the murders of property developer Kevin Lee, 48, Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, and John Chapman, 56.

She also confessed to three counts of preventing the lawful burial of all three victims, and to the attempted murders of Robin Bereza and John Rogers.

The court heard Mr Lee died of stab wounds to the chest. He was found in a ditch in Newborough, Cambs, on March 30.

Mr Slaboszewski was stabbed in the heart, while Mr Chapman was stabbed in the neck and chest.

Their bodies were found by a passer-by around 10 miles away in a ditch at Thorney Dyke, on April 3.

Following the killings police launched a nationwide appeal to find Dennehy, who lived in nearby Peterborough.

Det Chief Insp Martin Brunning, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, described her as having a “very distinctive” appearance.

At the time, police also confirmed that she had previous convictions, but would not disclose what they were for.

She was finally arrested in April.

Dennehy appeared yesterday alongside her boyfriend Gary Stretch, 47, who stands 7ft 3in tall and is also known as Gary Richards.

He denied the two attempted murders – said to have happened on April 2.

He also pleaded not guilty to helping Dennehy dispose of the three bodies.

Two other defendants appeared at the hearing by videolink.

Leslie Layton, 36, denies two counts of preventing a lawful burial and one charge of perverting the course of justice. Robert Moore, 55, denies two counts of assisting an offender.

The three defendants, all from Peterborough, are expected to go on trial in January. Dennehy is due to be sentenced at a later date.



Man and girlfriend wanted for murder arrested after two people are stabbed in broad daylight

April 3, 2013

One of Britain’s tallest men and his girlfriend who were wanted for murder have been arrested after two men were stabbed in broad daylight – leaving one fighting for his life.

Gary Stretch, 47, – who stands 7ft 3in tall – was put on police force’s ‘Most Wanted’ list after Kevin Lee, 48, was found knifed to death on Saturday morning.

Stretch fled with tattooed lover Joanna Dennehy, 30, after the body of Mr Lee was found by a member of the public near the A16 in Newborough, Cambs.

The majority of the attacks are believed to have been focused around the Hunderton suburb of the city.

A spokesman for the force said: ” Several people have been arrested and are in custody – we believe we have now accounted for all suspects connected with the incident.

“One of the injured men was assaulted in the Westfaling Street area and is in a serious condition at QE hospital, Birmingham.

“A large police presence will remain on the ground as we investigate and reassure local people.

“Anyone who wishes to contact West Mercia Police about the incidents should call 101.”

Neighbours living on Westfaling Street said last night one of the those arrested was a woman who had been “randomly stabbing and attacking people”.

Ken Hooper, 18, said: “From what I’ve been told there was a woman going round stabbing people and threatening them with a knife.

“It wasn’t a street fight or anything like that. She has just been going around picking people off to attack. It’s crazy.”

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, added: “This kind of stuff doesn’t happen around here, everybody is shocked. There’s a lot of old people who are very worried now.

“We’re being told one arrested for definitely a woman who has stabbed a couple of people for no apparent reason.

“But its a mystery who these other people are that have been arrested and how they are involved.”

Fiona Vickery, 55, added: “It’s terrifying to think this could happen around here.”

Cambridgeshire Police launched a huge manhunt for the couple following the brutal murder.

Hulking Stretch was last seen with Dennehy, who has a distinctive green tattoo on her right cheek.

On Tuesday the couple were arrested following a number of “serious incidents” across Hereford and surrounding Herefordshire which resulted in two men being stabbed in apparently random attacks.

They were being questioned with three other men – who were all arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Shocked residents across Hereford yesterday reported seeing a woman “randomly stabbing and attacking people in the street” between 3.30pm and 4pm on Tuesday.

West Mercia Police confirmed a string of attacks had occurred in the city and elsewhere in Herefordshire which ended with the men being taken to hospital with stab wounds.

Yesterday both men’s conditions were described as “very poorly.”

Superintendent Ivan Powell, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are continuing to investigate what took place in several different locations on Tuesday afternoon.

“Forensic searches and house to house inquiries are ongoing. We have also seized two vehicles as part of our investigation.

“We would like to reassure the public that these incidents were contained swiftly and we will continue to have a police presence in the area to provide support.

“Those people arrested are not believed to be known to the injured men and this is believed to be random, unprovoked attacks on local people.”

Neighbours living in the area reacted with shock to the attacks which have rocked their quiet community.

Secondary school teacher Barbara Baker, 40, said she saw one of the men being led away by police.

She said: “It looked like they were arresting the Incredible Hulk or Bigfoot. I couldn’t believe the size of him. It was terrifying.”

Ken Hooper, 18, said: “From what I’ve been told there was a woman going round stabbing people and threatening them with a knife.

“It wasn’t a street fight or anything like that. She has just been going around picking people off to attack. It’s crazy.”

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, added: “This kind of stuff doesn’t happen around here, everybody is shocked.

“There’s a lot of old people who are very worried now.

“We’re being told one arrested for definitely a woman who has stabbed a couple of people for no apparent reason.

“But its a mystery who these other people are that have been arrested and how they are involved.”

Fiona Vickery, 55, added: “It’s terrifying to think this could happen around here.”

One of Tuesday’s attacks took place outside Dawe Brothers’ funeral directors in Hereford.

Forensics teams and uniformed officers were conducting searches of the street in front of the building yesterday.

Neighbour Katie Morris, 17, said: “I came downstairs at about 4.30 and heard this car pull up, then the door slammed shut.

“It pulled off really fast like someone was in a hurry.

“I looked out of the window and saw somebody hunched over and clutching their side as if they’d been punched or stabbed.

“It was a man with dark hair, I think they found someone up the top of the street.

“After that there were police helicopters in the sky for a while, my dad works across town and saw them too.

“It’s not something you expect to happen, all you normally see here is cars and kids going up to use the park.”



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