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The Murder of Becky Watts
Victim of Nathan Matthews
Becky Watts was born on June 3, 1998. She was described by all as a quiet, bright and studious young lady. She was liked by all. So, when the pretty 16 year old sophomore came up missing on February 19, 2015, everyone instantly became concerned. Her body was finally located in a rented shed across town, dismembered and salted down in plastic bags. All part of a sadistic, sexually-motivated kidnapping plot by her own step-brother.
The Disappearance of Becky Watts
Becky Watts, who lived with her father and step-mother in Crown Hill, Bristol, went missing on the 19th of February in 2015. She had stayed at a friend's house the previous night but returned home the next morning. Her step-mother last saw Becky at around 11:15 that morning before leaving for a hospital appointment.
Early reports suggested Becky had taken her phone, laptop and tablet computer with her, but not the chargers needed to repower those devices. She'd taken no extra clothes or money. And it appeared she did not tell friends or family where she was going. An action that was quite "out of character" for the pretty 16 year old.
But, because Becky was an independent and trustworthy young lady, her comings and goings were not closely guarded. She was never far away and always with friends or her boyfriend. There was of course a bit of instant worry, but no real concern. Becky would show up sooner or later with explanation for her absence.
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Becky Watts and her boyfriend of four months, Luke Oberhansli, were inseparable. They saw each other daily and spoke all hours via text when they were apart.
So, when Becky suddenly stopped answering texts on February 19th, Luke was a bit concerned. However, he rationalized a dead cell phone, a nap or something equally as innocent, and hurried about with his day. He had a dentist appointment, a hair cut to get and a date with his girl when those chores were all done.
He could never have dreamed the girl who he called 'my princess' was being murdered and dismembered and would never light up his cell phone again.
Luke and Becky Watts
Becky and Luke had been dating for four months. They were typical teens that appeared attached at the hips. They were either together in person or on the phone around the clock.
On February 19th, Luke texted Becky to inform her that he had a dentist appointment and then planned to have his hair cut. She in turn texted back that she was in her room listening to music.
Luke finished up with the dentist and texted Becky as much. Oddly, she did not reply. Figuring that his girlfriend was preoccupied or momentarily distracted, he didn't grow overly concerned, trusting she would text back soon. But, when she hadn't texted back a half hour later, he started texting her again, trying to get her to respond. It was now 12:45. Again, Becky did not reply.
After an hour or so, Luke again texted Becky. Again, he got nothing back.
When Luke finished with a barber appointment at around 3 pm, and realized Becky had still not returned his text, he called her. The phone went straight to voice mail. He decided her phone must be dead.
At 5 pm that evening, and having still not heard from Becky, Luke decided to drive over to Becky's house. Upon arriving, he knew someone was at home because he saw Becky's 28 year old step-brother, Nathan Matthews' car parked in the drive. He rapped at the door.
Nathan's 21 year old girlfriend, Shauna Hoare, answered the door. Luke asked if Becky was there? Shauna said she didn't know and asked Angie, Becky's step mother, who likewise didn't appear to know. Neither had seen Becky all afternoon. A check of her bedroom confirmed Becky was not there.
Odd as it was that Becky had not told someone where she might be going, no one was overly concerned. Becky came and went as she pleased. But Angie did become slightly uncomfortable. Not answering her texts was again "out of character" for Becky.
Luke and Anjie convinced each other that there had to be a logical answer for Becky's absence and silence and Luke left trusting Becky would text later and all would be well.
But that was not to be the case.
Where Is Becky Watts
When Becky had not returned home the following day by 2 pm, concern began to grow. Anjie called her husband Darren at work to see if he had talked with his daughter. Friends began to congregate at the house wondering about Becky's silence. Luke was growing more anxious by the minute. No one had seen or heard from Becky for over 24 hours now.
Becky's father went onto her facebook page hoping to discover a post or photo that might hint at his daughter's whereabouts, but to no avail. Becky had not posted anything for over 24 hours. He called her phone, that went straight to voice mail, and left a message asking her to get in touch.
With the immediate family, Luke and three of Becky's closest friends at the house, everyone discussed the last known movements of the missing teen.
Luke noted that he and Becky had spent the evening of the 17th in Becky's room playing video games on the TV. He left her in happy spirits. On the 18th, she attended a party with her friend Adam and had spent the night there. Luke and she had texted back and forth the whole evening. Her last text, sent at 3:52 am, read "I love you so much". Luke missed that text because he had fallen asleep.
Becky spent the night at Adam's, returning home the next morning, February 19, at around 8:30 am. She woke Anjie by banging on the front door. Her key had jammed in the lock and she could not get in. Anjie opened the door for her.
Becky remained home that morning, texting back and forth with Luke, discussing their plans for that afternoon. Anjie left for her hospital visit around 11:15. Becky was still at the house when she left.
It was the last time Anjie would ever see or speak to Becky Watts.
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His daughter was murdered.
Her son was the killer.
And they were husband and wife.
Nathan and Shana
Nathan Mathews and his girlfriend Shana arrived at the Galsworthys' house shortly after Anjie left for her appointment. Neither saw Becky when they arrived but could hear music coming from her room upstairs. Nathan, carrying his two year old daughter, headed straight into the living room and turned on a cartoon program for the baby. Shauna went out the back door into the yard to smoke a cigarette.
At around 11:30 am, both Nathan and Shauna heard the music go off upstairs. They heard stomping on the stairs and the slam of the front door. They both assumed Becky Watts had left the house angry.
Anjie returned home around 12:45 pm.
After Luke had come and gone with his concern that evening, Anjie, Nathan and Shana waited on Darren to return home from work. They eventually decided that Becky must be spending the night with a friend and Nathan and Shauna left. Darren and Anjie went to bed.
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On February 20th, Becky Watts' father, Darren Galsworthy, asked his step-son, Nathan Williams, to help him put a post on social media in a plea to find his missing daughter. Nathen complied and typed as his step-father dictated his message. It read:
Please share. Missing 16 year old girl. Pease private message if you have seen her.
Her picture was posted. 800 people saw that post. But no private message ever came.
A second, follow up post, was seen world wide and drew the attention of millions to the case of the missing girl from Bristol.
February 20, 2015
When Becky Watts had not returned home by 2:00 pm the next day, Darren and Anjie really started to worry. Darren again tried Becky's phone and left yet another message, this time begging her to call home. They next went to her room in search of a clue about her sudden vanishing act. But nothing stuck out, save but for the lack of missing items. Even her purse was there.
Darren's concern was now mounting. He went door to door through the neighborhood to see if anyone had seen Becky. But no one could say that they had.
Darren, now not knowing where to look or what to do, finally called the authorities and declared Becky Watts a missing person.
The authorities arrived around 6:30 pm. They made inquiry about Becky and listened intently. But in the end, her father feared they would quickly brush it off as his daughter simply being a runaway. He was now terrified for his daughter's life.
The Man Hunt
By February 22st, the local authorities were quickly being drawn into the disappearance of Becky Watts. Eight detectives arrived at the Galsworthy residence and began an official search for the missing teen. The officers were now convinced that Becky had met with foul play.
A press conference was held on February 23rd. Darren Galsworthy and Becky's grandmother, Pat pleaded with Becky to please come home. Authorities assured Becky she was in no trouble. And yet, the phone did not ring nor did Becky return.
A public search was formed with more than 100 volunteers. 8000 flyers were passed out. Immediate family members and friends were questioned at length. But nothing brought them any closer to finding Becky. Five more counties got involved and the case became intense. The search for Becky Watts became the largest man hunt these counties had ever had.
A search of Becky's bedroom revealed a clue that went almost unseen. Blood splatter, nearly invisible to the naked eye, was discovered across the door way to her room, suggesting a struggle may have taken place in that area. A red fingerprint was found in the splatter. Police no longer believed Becky Watts had walked out of that room on her own. If the blood was hers, then all was not well with this teen.
However, both Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare had been in the house since mid morning on the19th of February, the day Becky Watts went missing, and neither had said a word about hearing a scuffling or altercation when questioned by the police. In fact their account of that day was so vivid in the retelling, their statements literally matching word for word, that it gave pause to the detective working the case. His suspicions were perked when it came to just how perfectly Nathan and Shauna's stories came together. Almost too perfectly.
After the initial interviews with friends and family, Nathan and Shauna were asked to participate in the case but up until now had avoided the situations all together. They did not help in the searches and suddenly had little need to drop by the Galsworthy home. For one lame reason or another, they were always unavailable to the law. So, on the fifth day of the investigation, the law decided to go to them.
The officers arrived at SOME ADDRESS, where Nathan and Shauna shared a house. From the outside all seemed normal. But upon entering, the scenery changed abruptly. The house was the home of extreme hoarders. Junk, over flowing trash bags, electrical wire, rubbish of every kind and waste with no purpose was piled haphazardly into every nook and cranny. The kitchen was unreachable and filthy beyond repair. The means to the lower level had long ago lost its access. The steps to the upper floor were cluttered with a mattress against the rails, dirty clothes, cat food tins, soda cans and dirty dishes with rotting food crumbs were everywhere they could fit. The whole place smelled of cat feces.
Nathan explained to the officers that it was he who was the collector of such items as he intended to repair things and sell them for money. He had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was having a hard time keeping work as a delivery driver for a local Chinese restaurant. In fact he had missed work several days in a row due to his pain.
Nathan lead the officers up the stairs passed the stained mattress to the only bedroom that had space to walk in. Shauna was sitting on the bed. She acknowledged them but said little else. Nathan led the men from room to room, each looking just as cluttered and upheaved as the next. The stench clung to the air and the filth to every piece of worthless rubbish they had stored there.
Finally they came to the only door in the house that was closed. It was the bathroom. And it was nearly spit shined to perfection. The window was open with a cool breeze tugging at the tattered curtain. The bathtub was spotless and the floor in front of the tub shined. It was an odd contrast to the rest of the house.
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8 Days In
On February 27th, Nathan and Shauna agreed to voluntarily be interviewed formally by the police. The couple were separated into two different rooms and both were questioned at length.
Nathan explained his relationship with Becky was strained and had been for a long time. He felt she was manipulative and careless with his mother. Anjie had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had a hard time moving about. Shauna had taken the roll of care giver to Anjie and Nathan resented his step-sister for not doing more for his mother. He considered Becky to be selfish and spoiled and he harbored a jealousy toward her.
Shauna felt a bit different about Becky. She liked her well enough but like Nathan, considered Becky self-centered and unconcerned with Anjie and Darren's feelings or needs. She too had a jealous streak for the girl.
Throughout the interviews the officers got very little from the couple. They were no further ahead in tracking down Becky, but their suspicions about these two was increasing all the while. Unfortunately there was no evidence against either of them
That is until the forensics test results on the blood and the finger print came through.
The blood was Becky's. The fingerprint was Nathan's.
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The prosecution relied on CCTV evidence of the movements of Matthews and Hoare on the day of Becky Watts' death and in the days that followed.
On the 19th of February, before going to the Galsworthy home, they were seen in a Tesco supermarket buying batteries, which were allegedly needed for stun guns which they intended to use in the kidnapping.
CCTV footage from the day after Becky Watts was killed showed Matthews buying the circular saw that was used to dismember her body, and between the 20th and the 22nd of February, he and Hoare were captured shopping for cleaning products which was said they required to clean the bathroom where the dismemberment took place.
DNA linked both Matthews and Hoare to items that were found in the shed alongside Watts' body parts, and an expert was called to give evidence who said it would be "easier" to carry out the dismemberment if more than one person was involved.
The Killers of Becky Watts
On the 28th of February, 2015, it was announced that a 28-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman had been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping. Two days later, the pair were re-arrested on suspicion of murder. On the 3rd of March, Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that, after receiving "new information", body parts believed to be those of Becky Watts had been discovered, in a house at Barton Court in the Barton Hill area of Bristol.
On the 4th of March, Becky Watts' step-brother, Nathan Matthews, was charged with her murder. On the 6th of March, four other people were charged with assisting an offender, having been accused of helping to hide or dispose of Becky Watt's body. A fifth person, a 23-year-old man who was also arrested on March 2nd, was released without charge.
On the 22nd of June, Matthews' girlfriend, 21-year-old Shauna Hoare, who was originally charged with perverting the course of justice, was also charged with murder. Matthews and Hoare were also charged with conspiracy to kidnap, preventing lawful burial and possession of an illegal weapon. The pair were also charged with four counts of making indecent images of children, although these were unrelated to the murder. Nathan Matthews was also charged on unrelated counts of sexual assault and voyeurism.
Nathan Matthews eventually broke and admitted killing Becky Watts, but denied committing murder. He instead claimed manslaughter, telling the court that he had tried to kidnap Becky as a way of scaring her into changing what he perceived as her bad behavior, but the plan went wrong and he accidentally killed her.
[Becky Watts was suffocated in her bedroom and stabbed 15 times in the abdomen after her death. The pathologist report stated that Becky Watts face was consistent with being suffocated. She suffered more than 40 bruises to her body. 19 knife wounds on Becky's body were inflicted after her death - 15 stab wounds and a slash to the torso, a long cut down her chest and wounds to her shoulders.
The weapons used to dismember Becky Watts included a circular saw, a kitchen knife and a cross-headed screwdriver, the pathologist reported. The eight body parts were individually wrapped in cling wrap, thick blue plastic bags, Asda shopping bags and three types of tape. Her torso was wrapped in two bathroom mats, a shower curtain and a Wacky Warehouse 'It's My Birthday' bag. Wrapping the body up so tightly in multiple layers of plastic and cling film had the effect of preserving the body. Some of the remains had been packed with table salt, which is used in some cultures as part of the mummification process.]
Matthews insisted the killing took place while Hoare was in the garden, and that she was not involved. Hoare, who also denied murder, said she had no knowledge of, or involvement in, Becky Watts' death.
On the 11th of November, 2015, after three hours and 27 minutes of deliberations, the jury found Nathan Matthews guilty of murder and Hoare guilty of manslaughter. Both were also convicted of conspiracy to kidnap Becky Watts, perverting the course of justice, preventing a lawful burial by dismembering and hiding her body and possession of two stun guns.
Two men, James Ireland and Donovan Demetrius, were cleared of assisting an offender, which related to the moving and storing of packages containing Watts' body parts. Donovan's brother Karl Demetrius and his girlfriend Jaydene Parsons, who owned the shed where Becky Watts' remains were stored, had admitted the same charge at an earlier pre-trial hearing, though both insisted they did not know the true contents of the packages.
At Bristol Crown Court on November13, 2015, Mr. Justice Dingemans sentenced Nathan Matthews to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 33 years. He sentenced Shauna Hoare to 17 years. In his sentencing remarks, the judge agreed with the prosecution's belief that the planned kidnapping was for a "sexual purpose", telling Matthews he had "a fixation with having sex with petite teenage girls" and that he believed Hoare had been "persuaded to participate in this fixation."
The judge began to sob as he neared the conclusion of his sentencing remarks. He said: "Finally I should like to pay public tribute to the family of Becky Watts for the dignified way in which they have conducted themselves throughout these proceedings" and then continued: "Hearing the evidence during the trial has been difficult for anyone but it is plain that it has been an immense burden for the family." There were tears in his eyes and he left the court quickly.
Both Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare tried to appeal against their convictions and sentences. However on June 23, 2016, the Court of Appeal rejected their applications, saying that there was "no reasonable argument that the convictions are unsafe or that the sentences were wrong in principle or manifestly excessive."
credit wikipedia | thescottishsun | bbc.com/news | the Guardian |
The Confession of Nathan Matthews
On 19th February 2015 I attended 18 Crown Hill, St George, Bristol with my girlfriend, Shauna Hoare. 18 Crown Hill is where my mother lives with Darren Galsworthy, Rebecca Watts also lived there.
Shauna is my mother's registered care giver so we regularly go to the house to help with housework and other help my mother needs. Although we usually went there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we did also go there on other days. 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 a mask. I had developed an idea to scare Rebecca by kidnapping her.
I wanted to kidnap her to scare her and teach her a lesson. I believe that she was selfish and her behavior towards my mother was a risk to her health.
When we go 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.
When they were in 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. That caused me to panic and I strangled her while 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. Before going into the front room I checked that Shauna was not in that room and then go in and sit, I then go and sit on the sofa.
The rest of the day at the house goes as it would normally if we were there. We leave at about 7pm. We returned to go to 14 Cotton Mill Lane. I go and lie on our bed, which is what I would normally do.
The rest of the evening passed as usual but I cannot remember exactly what we did. After Shauna went to bed and sleep, I waited a while and went out to the car and brought the bags into the house.
The following day we went back around to 18 Crown Hill and I tried to behave. I tried to behave as normal as I could. When we returned to 14 Cotton Mill Lane I again waited for Shauna to go to sleep; this time I collect the bag with Rebecca's body and take it to the bathroom.
I took the body out of the bag and placed it in the bath. In order to stop Shauna using the bathroom the following morning I poured drain cleaner down the toilet so I could tell Shauna it was blocked again. The toilet would often go blocked and when that happened I knew Shauna would not go into the bathroom.
My memory of the days that followed is not perfect so I'm not sure which day I returned to 14 Cotton Mill Lane having left Shauna at my mother's but I think it was the Saturday.
When I got back to 14 Cotton Mill Lane I tried to dispose of the body by cutting it up with a circular saw. Initially I wrapped up the body parts and took them back downstairs and hid them I'm not sure how many days later, but on another day I took the body, the saw, and the other items to 9 Barton Court, Barton Hill, and placed them in a garden shed.
I took them to the address with two other people. I did not tell them what was in the bags and box, and said I would collect them in a few days.
I have chosen to give my account by means of a written statement because I believe I have mental health and learning difficulties that make it difficult for me to say out loud. Also I find it difficult to express the detail in this account in spoken words.
I would like to add that my denials to date have been motivated in part by a wish to avoid the pain and disappointment these admissions would cause to my partner and family.
This statement was written by my solicitor but it has been read by me and I confirm that this it is an accurate account.
Shauna did not know anything about me causing the death of Rebecca or my attempt to dispose of and hide the body. Had she known she would have reported me to the police.