‘I’m glad she’s dead, but now I’m in a sticky situation’: How Kim Edwards masterminded meticulous murders of mum and little sister
Edwards, then 14, who claimed her mum Elizabeth favoured her younger sister Katie, was the “driver” behind the horrific double killing in Spalding, Lincolnshire
Teen killer Kim Edwards was the “driver” behind the meticulous murders of her own mum and little sister who were butchered in their beds, it can now be revealed.
Edwards and her boyfriend, Lucas Markham, then both 14, became Britain’s youngest double murderers after slaughtering Elizabeth, 49, and Katie Edwards, 13.
The schoolgirl, who claimed her dinner lady mum “favoured” her sister, mapped out a detailed plan to stab the pair through their voice boxes to stifle their screams.
She roped in Markham to carry out the “brutal executions” and later shared a bath with him so they could wash the blood off themselves, a court heard.
The evil couple, likened to Bonnie and Clyde during a trial, also watched four Twilight vampire films and had sex as they “revelled” after the double killing last April.
Edwards, who said she felt like “a train wreck” compared to her “angel” sister, was later found by police lying under a duvet in front of the TV with Markham.
Meanwhile, the bodies of her mum and younger sister lay upstairs.
Five months after the murder, Edwards had a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with consultant forensic psychiatrist Philip Joseph to assess her mental state.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that she told Dr Joseph: “I don’t miss my mum and I am glad she’s dead even though I am now in a sticky situation.”
She also said: “She deserved it. I am glad she’s dead. We felt laid back about what we had done and neither of us felt that bad about it.”
However, she admitted she felt “a bit sad” about her sibling’s fate.
Edwards, now 15, was found guilty of murder last October after a five-day trial, while Markham, also now 15, pleaded guilty to Elizabeth and Katie’s murders.
Police interview with teenager killer Kim Edwards
Last November, the couple, who had a “toxic” relationship, were both handed minimum terms of 20 years by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave.
Sentencing the pair, the judge said they had acted in a grotesque way after the stabbings and that the case had “few parallels in modern criminal history”.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told the teenagers: “The killings were brutal in the form of executions and both victims, particularly Elizabeth Edwards, must have suffered terribly in the last minutes of their lives.”
The full details of the killings in Spalding, Lincolnshire, could be reported for the first time today after judges at London’s Court of Appeal ruled Edwards and Markham could be named.
The identities of the couple, dubbed the ‘Twilight killers’, could not be reported throughout the trial at the Nottingham court last year because of their age.
But restrictions on naming them were lifted by three judges today, who also reduced their minimum custodial terms to 17 and a half years each.
Edwards, who had been deeply unhappy at home, had started going out with Markham in September 2015 after they met in a queue for an IT lesson.
In October that year, they ran away together after he received a detention at school, taking clothing, food, bicycles and a tent with them.
Police appealed for sightings of the pair in Spalding, or nearby villages Cowbit and Crowland, and announced five days later that they have been found safe and well.
Five months later, last March, Edwards, who had been assessed by mental health professionals after expressing suicidal thoughts, made an attempt on her own life.
She ended up spending two days in hospital.
The following month, on April 3, 10 days before her mum and sister’s murder, Edwards shared a late-night exchange with Elizabeth on Facebook.
The conversation began after the teenager changed her profile picture to an image of herself looking directly at the camera, unsmiling and wearing black-framed glasses.
Other people, including family members, had commented on the post, saying how “beautiful” and “gorgeous” Edwards looked.
A few hours after the image first appeared, her mother said to her: “Where’s your beautiful smile? x” A minute later, her daughter replied: “It disappeared x.”
Her mother asked: “Why hun? x”. Edwards replied: “I don’t know x”, with a series of emojis including a smiley face trailing after her comment.
Elizabeth then commented “I think it’s under ur bed lol x,” posted along with cartoon images of cute and cuddly cartoon animals pictured sleeping.
On April 9, Edwards barricaded herself into Markham’s room with him after her mum told her she would turn out like her absent dad – described in court as a drug addict.
They only left the room at 2pm the next day, when they climbed out of a window.
On April 11, the pair then had a conversation in the back garden of the Edwards’ family home, during which they agreed to kill Elizabeth and Katie.
They meticulously plotted the stabbings and agreed Markham should knock three times on a rear window, before climbing into the property through a bathroom window, opened by Edwards.
Markham later went to the house but Edwards had fallen asleep so he was unable to get into the property, the court was told.
The next night, Edwards fell asleep again. But on April 13, Edwards heard three knocks on the window of the bedroom she shared with Katie at around midnight.
She let Markham into the bathroom and he passed her a bag containing spare clothing and four knives, the court heard.
The original murderous plan was said to have been for Markham to kill Elizabeth and for Edwards to stab Katie, it was said.
However, Markham offered to kill both victims after his girlfriend told him she did not want to kill her sister.
The Crown Court heard how the teenage boy used a kitchen knife to stab the mum and daughter after attacking them as they slept.
Elizabeth was stabbed eight times – including five times in the hands as she desperately tried to defend herself. One of the two blows to her neck almost completely cut through her windpipe.
Within seconds, blood spatters covered the walls and the bed. Edwards described hearing a “gurgling noise” before a pillow was placed over her mum’s head.
Put off by the smell of blood, the teenager planned to wait in the bathroom as their heinous plot unfolded, the court was told.
She later told police she did not have the “mental or physical” strength to commit murder herself but was “okay” with what happened.
But she came into the bedroom after she heard noises and became concerned her boyfriend was being overpowered.
She told police: “He was on top of her with a pillow over her head. I think I heard her say ‘get off me’. There was blood on her and on the bed, there were four blood spatters on the wall and he told me to shut the door.
“All I could see was her shoulder and arms. She was struggling.
“She reached out her hand so I grabbed it and kind of held it. As I realised it was her hand I instantly drew my hand back and got into a cradle position.
“I sat on the floor next to the door and said to myself: ‘breathe’, as I was about to have a panic attack. My legs were shaking.
“Then I walked back and forth and said: ‘It’s going to be OK, keep calm. It’s going to be over soon’. After about ten minutes of putting his weight on her she was dead.
“She had kind of gone limp and wasn’t struggling anymore but she was still making gurgling sounds. I think I said: ‘Is she dead?'”
Markham then calmly checked the victim’s pulse before moving on into the next bedroom. He took his shoes off so he wouldn’t make a noise, the court heard.
Katie was still soundly asleep, with her toys laid out just inches away.
Post-mortem results suggested the innocent teenager managed to put up a struggle but was unable to fight off her attacker.
The court heard Edwards told detectives her sister mumbled the words: “I can’t…” in a “scary voice” which was “all croaky” as she lay dying.
“I saw him go into her (Katie’s) room with the knife and think I heard her say ‘get off me’ and ‘I can’t’ but she couldn’t say the word ‘breathe’,” she said in a police interview.
“He used his full body weight and covered her face with a pillow. When he came out he had blood on his face and hands and on his jumper.”
After the “cold, calculated and callous” killings on April 13, Edwards left a suicide note titled “f*** you world”, the court was told.
She and Markham also both took a bath together, watched Twilight and had sex.
The following day, the pair were reported missing to the police by their school and Markham’s aunt.
Despite the teenagers being inside the house in Dawson Avenue, knocks at the door by relatives and police went unanswered at 5.10pm, 9pm and 9.46pm.
On April 15, policed forced entry to the property. They discovered Elizabeth and Katie’s bodies lying in their blood-spattered bedrooms.
The teenage sweethearts, meanwhile, were found by officers lying under a duvet in front of the TV. They were both arrested on suspicion of murder.
The next day, Edwards made full admissions to police, giving them a step-by-step account of the murders and their planning.
She told two detectives the plan was fully agreed between her and her boyfriend.
The court heard she said: “We made sure we were both definitely like OK with with it and he continuously asked me if I still wanted to go through with it and I said yes.
“We went over the plan over and over again.”
In the weeks after her arrest, Edwards showed no trace of remorse for her crimes, the court was told. The couple were charged with two counts of murder on April 17.
On September 6, Edwards and Markham both admitted manslaughter but pleaded not guilty to murder. However, on October 10, Markham admitted murder.
Edwards denied the charges against her, claiming to be suffering from an abnormality of mental function which impaired her ability to form rational judgments.
However, police said she and her boyfriend had planned the killings for a “while” and were in “full agreement”.
The pair hatched the plot in a McDonald’s restaurant before plotting the night of April 13 to chilling precision.
Det Con Dawn Watts said Edwards told of how her plan to kill her mum and younger sister started as “a joke” that “escalated”.
A jury heard that in a police interview, the teenager claimed she “felt like murdering for quite a while”. She also said knives were “the best solution” because they could not get hold of a gun, the court was told.
During her trial, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC told the court Edwards accepted that although Markham stabbed the victims, she was equally responsible for the deaths, having planned them and helped to put the plan into action.
Mr Joyce told jurors the only issue in the case was whether Edwards had a defence of diminished responsibility.
On the fifth day of her trial – which would have been her sister’s 14th birthday – Edwards appeared unmoved in the dock as her “grief” was likened by the Crown’s lawyer to that usually felt by a child at the death of a pet hamster.
Mr Joyce told the jury that she had been “the driver” behind the killings and could have simply accepted Markham’s repeated offers to back out of the pre-agreed plan.
Edwards, a “bright kid” who spent part of her childhood in care after her mum reported herself to social services, did not give evidence in her defence but told detectives she felt depressed and suicidal prior to the murders.
Before being sent out to consider their verdicts, jurors were urged by Mr Joyce to be as “cold and dispassionate” about their deliberations as Edwards had been to ending her mother and sibling’s lives.
Mr Joyce told the jury: “You know in fact who the driver was between these two. She only had to say no and it would never, ever have happened.
“It is really quite clear her hatred for her mother drove this ever onwards.”
Pointing out that Edwards had touched her mother’s hand by accident as she reached out for her boyfriend during Elizabeth’s murder, Mr Joyce questioned why she had insisted on going through with Katie’s murder.
Mr Joyce told the court: “After she had heard the gurgling, even after she had heard her mother struggling, even after she had been in there and seen her mother dying, and mistakenly touched her mother’s hand … did she really have to have Katie killed?
She couldn’t bring herself to do it, so who got Lucas to do it? She did.
“The sheer brutality and utter contempt for her mother and her sister oozes from every pore of that girl in (police) interviews and now she says to the psychiatrist ‘I am glad my mother’s dead’.”
Edwards said in a police interview that her mum “doesn’t have to deal with me anymore erm being like suicidal and she doesn’t have to wake up worrying every morning to see if I’m still alive”.
She added: “And my sister doesn’t have to go through the heartbreak and and like and just all the emotions and stuff.”
The court was told that Edwards went into foster care in 2008 after an incident in which she was struck by her mother while living at a caravan site.
Local authority records made public at Edwards’ trial showed she had “long-standing” differences with her mum and sister from around the age of six.
In a handwritten note prepared after she was given targeted youth support in 2012, she said: “I feel like I don’t belong to the family any more.”
By early last year, Edwards’s emotional turmoil led her to write a letter to a teacher in which she spoke of suicide, adding: “I have tried to remain strong but I can’t fight any more. Now I feel that death is the only way.”
After her arrest for murder, detectives found evidence of her apparent intention to take her own life after the killings.
A note written by Edwards in a pink diary found at her home read: “F*** you world.
“I want to be cremated and I want mine and Lucas’s ashes scattered at our special place. We don’t give a f*** any more.”
On October 11, Edwards was found guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict.
She and Markham were later both given life sentences with minimum terms of 20 years by High Court judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave.
The couple – believed to the be UK’s youngest double killers – later launched a challenge at the Court of Appeal against their “manifestly excessive” minimum terms.
Lawyers representing them at a hearing in May urged three judges to find that the sentencing judge was in error when he decided on the terms to impose.
Markham watched the proceedings via video-link as arguments were made on his behalf to Sir Brian Leveson, Mr Justice Blake and Mr Justice Lewis.
And this morning, the Court of Appeal judges reduced the pair’s original minimum terms to 17 and a half years each, as well as lifting the reporting restrictions that had prevented them from being named.
“They showed no remorse at all”
Speaking after today’s hearing, Lincolnshire Police Detective Superintendent Martin Holvey head of EMSOU –Major Crime, said: “The judges have ruled that there is a strong public interest in the full facts of this exceptional case being known, meaning that Lucas Markham and Kim Edwards can now be named.
“The murders of Elizabeth and Katie Edwards were horrific and brutal and the whole country shared a sense of shock that two juveniles, who were only 14 years old at the time, could have carried out such a horrendous act.
“I’m sure that sense of disbelief and horror will be deepened now it is known that it was Elizabeth’s own daughter who was responsible for plotting with her boyfriend to carry out the murders.
“Evidence heard in court that was previously restricted can now be reported. These include details about the behaviour and actions of Kim Edwards and Lucas Markham afterwards, which was chilling. They remained downstairs in the house, watching TV and eating food, whilst the bodies were upstairs. They showed no remorse at all when they were eventually found by officers and during their police interviews.
“These new revelations about the case will undoubtedly focus attention on Spalding once again and I would like to repeat sentiments I have made earlier, thanking the community for their cooperation throughout the case and paying tribute to the courage of Elizabeth and Katie’s family.
“They have endured a terrible ordeal and faced the additional anguish of knowing that this horrific crime was committed by a family member”.