"I'm every nightmare you've ever had. I am your worst dream come true. I am everything you ever were afraid of!"
It was the 19th of February 2015. Sixteen year old Becky Watts lived in Bristol, United Kingdom with her father Darren Galsworthy and stepmother Anjie. Becky had a difficult life. When Becky was born, her parents separated and she lived with her mother Tanya Watts. But when she was just three years old, she was taken into care due to neglect fears. After that, she lived with her father and stepmother.
When Becky was twelve years old, Anjie sought the help of the child services. Becky was extremely anxious and was afraid to leave the house, so much so that she couldn't even go to school. Even though Becky was met by several professionals in the years that followed, she didn't get the help she needed. She was viewed as being the problem even though it was clear that something or someone was making her feel that way.
Becky told the child services that she was being bullied by her older stepbrother , twenty eight year old Nathan Matthews. He gave her a dreadful time about her weight. It was so severe that she developed anorexia nervosa. She was also suffering with other concerns too. Becky shared concerns with staff that “a young male peer” was threatening to publish explicit photographs of her on the internet. She was afraid of repercussions about telling others about it so did not want to report it to the police.
Becky's fear of leaving the home was due to her fear of being abducted. She told others this was due to things she had read and watching horror movies. At that stage, she did not know her worst nightmare was about to come true.
Despite all the troubles and hardship Becky had been through, she tried really hard to turn her life around. She even had a boyfriend. Luke Oberhansli. That morning, the 19th of February, Luke told Becky at 11.02 am that he was home and she replied with 'GOODIE XXXX'. After that, he sent her another text but he got no reply. He text her a few times during the day but there was no reply to any of them. Luke went around to Becky's house to see where she was but there was no sign of her there.
When Luke knocked at Becky's door, twenty one year old Shauna Hoare answered the door. Shauna was Nathan's girlfriend and she was expecting his baby. The two of them lived together close by. Shauna was there with Nathan's mother, Anjie. She told Luke that Becky wasn't home and she didn't know where she was.
The next day, there was still no sign of Becky and she was reported missing. Police did not believe that Becky had run away, they suspected that Nathan may have been involved in her disappearance. They spoke with everyone in the family but it was Nathan and Shauna that they really focused on. They were the last people who saw Becky that day. Nathan told police that he didn't like Becky.
Nathan talking to police
Nathan and Shauna appeared to live normal lives. They lived together and were expecting a baby. Nathan worked as a takeaway driver and Shauna was a carer for Nathan's mother. However their text messages and internet searches revealed they were far from ordinary and both shared the same dark and twisted fantasies. They both had an unnatural interest in attractive, petite female teenagers, teenagers like Becky Watts. Their interest was sexual in nature and involved fantasies about threesomes with petite teenage girls. In the weeks before Becky went missing, they had exchanged intimate messages about kidnapping girls. Police were also suspicious that the bathroom and bathtub was extremely clean even though the rest of their house was not clean or tidy.
Shauna talking to police
Following a forensics search of Becky's bedroom, Nathan's fingerprints were found within traces of her blood on the door frame. Police suspected Nathan and Shauna had abducted Becky but after their initial police interviews and statements they gave, twelve days after Becky went missing, police made a terrible discovery.
Becky's remains were found in a shed of a home just 80 yards from Becky's house. Her body had been dismembered and her remains were stored in a black bag.
A circular saw had been used to dismember Becky's body and a search of Nathan's house showed receipts for a circular saw .
Nathan and Shauna were charged with Becky's murder. Shauna claimed that she knew nothing about it and described text messages she had exchanged with Nathan about kidnapping schoolgirls in the weeks before as "unfortunate" and "sarcastic".Nathan, after initially denying any involvement, admitted that he killed Becky. He claimed that it was a prank gone wrong and that Shauna had nothing to do with it. He claimed that he wanted to scare Becky to teach her a lesson. He told police that:
"On Thursday 19th February part of the reason for going around was to return a tin to my Grandmother.My Grandmother was due to take my mother to a medical appointment and bring her back.In my car I had a large bag, a stun device, handcuffs, tape and mask.I had developed an idea to scare Rebecca by kidnapping her. I wanted to kidnap her to teach her a lesson.I believe that she was selfish and her behaviour towards my mother was a risk to her health.When we got to 18 Crown Hill we let ourselves in with a key my mother had left in the recycling box.Upon entering the property we all went to the front room. A few minutes after arriving Shauna said she wanted a cigarette and went into the garden.I went to the boot of my car and took out a bag which contained the other items.I took everything upstairs to the landing; I think I then took the items out of the bag before knocking on Rebecca's door. She replied 'What?' or 'Hello?' and I said 'Can I see you a minute?' or similar words. Rebecca then opened the door, I am wearing a mask. I cannot be sure in which order things happened immediately after she came to the door but I used the items I had to subdue Rebecca.During a short struggle my mask slipped and Rebecca was able to see my face. This caused me to panic and I strangled her when she was partially in the bag.I collected the items I had used, put them and Rebecca into the bag and zipped up the bag.I also took her phone, tablet and laptop together with shoes, some clothes and a duvet cover from the spare room in a separate bag.I took everything downstairs and put it into the boot of my car. Back in the house I waited to hear Shauna then slammed the front door shut."
When the Trial began, Nathan maintained that he killed Becky accidentally so he pleaded not guilty to murder. Shauna also maintained that she wasn't involved. It was the Prosecution's case that Becky's murder was a sexually motivated attack and was not an accident. Their text messages had revealed that they had sexual fantasies about girls just like Becky. They arrived at Becky's house with a large bag, handcuffs, stun guns and tape.
Becky sustained forty injuries to her body. There were multiple cuts and bruises and fifteen knife wounds that were made after her death. After Becky was suffocated and died, she was stabbed several times. With the help of Shauna, Nathan took Becky's body back to their house and he dismembered her in the bathtub. Nathan told the Jury that he kept his eyes closed as he dismembered her. He then put Becky's remains in a black bag and stored the bag in a shed.
Nathan was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum of thirty three years. Shauna was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to seventeen years in prison.
This was a barbaric attack on an innocent and vulnerable teenage girl. She was terrified of being abducted and was afraid of Nathan. Nathan and Shauna went to the house that day as they knew Becky was home alone. Maybe they had intended to abduct Becky to take her to a second location before killing her but she was murdered in her bedroom. It had been a violent struggle and even though she was just 5 foot 1 inch, she fought for her life. After her murder, they both engaged in a plan to carefully get rid of her body. Nathan and Shauna spent the evening at their house after Becky's murder and watched TV and ordered a Chinese takeaway. They have absolutely no remorse for Becky's murder. They are only sorry they got caught. Becky was so afraid to leave her house but as it turned out, the biggest danger was inside.
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"The criminal justice system will take a hard look at what happened to Matthew Eappen. It is up to the rest of us to take an even harder look at who is minding our children."
- Eileen McNamara, the Boston Globe
"The effects of abuse are devastating and far reaching. Domestic violence speaks many languages, has many colors and lives in many different communities."
- Sandra Pupatello