Long read: Larry Murphy and Ireland’s missing women

The man pacing up and down the automotive park was round 6ft tall with strawberry blond hair, a spherical face and sickly white pores and skin.

t was darkish – after eight within the night on Friday, February 11, 2000 – however ‘Jill’ (not her actual identify) may nearly make him out beneath a avenue gentle.

He appeared to be mid-thirties, along with his palms stuffed in a pair of scruffy denims, and a darkish fleece zipped as much as the neck. The hairs on the again of her neck bristled. He was standing about 20 ft away from her automotive, with a fidgety edge of somebody rising impatient ready.

Jill drew a deep breath. She was 28, had seems to be, brains, a gradual boyfriend, her personal place and her personal enterprise.

She wasn’t bodily frail or simply fazed.

She weighed it up – males did not usually grasp round right here like that – however she wished to go dwelling. It had been an extended day at work and she or he’d spent it on her ft. Hers wasn’t the one automotive left.

Tightening her grip on her black purse containing the day’s takings, she hurried throughout the tarmac, clicked the central locking and tugged the deal with. Suddenly he began in direction of her.

“Give me the money!” She pulled the door open rapidly. His fist rose. With a crack, heat blood trickled down her face. “Help!”

A second punch got here smashing into her face and made her legs go from beneath her. With a tough shove, he pushed her on to the motive force’s seat. Jill lurched again as much as seize the deal with, making an attempt to tug the door closed. He leaned between her and the door, gripping his fingers round her throat.

“Move over.”

His lashless eyes had been stuffed with hate.

Jill scrambled backwards over to the passenger’s seat with a wail, frantically scanning the automotive park for any signal of life. No-one.


Larry Murphy in Amsterdam

He was within the driver’s seat, had pulled the door closed behind him earlier than she had an opportunity to show for the passenger deal with. His left arm stretched throughout and grabbed her by the hair.

He slammed her head sideways, cracking her cheekbone off the metallic handbrake. After giving the automotive park the as soon as over, he gunned the engine, put the automotive in gear, revved a number of instances, and took off.

He was actually good at this.

Larry Murphy swerved to an area 25 yards away, pulling up at a secluded level within the automotive park alongside a block of flats.

“Take your bra off!”

He yanked the bra off her, clamped her wrists along with one hand, and jerked it round them, knotting it so tight her palms turned puffy.

“Take off your boots!”

She leaned ahead however her palms had been certain so tight she could not get on the zips.

He leaned throughout and scooped her boots off, dropping them to the foot-well. Her eyes bulged in terror.

Opening the motive force’s door he climbed out, checking over his shoulders to see if the coast was clear, earlier than pacing over to a Fiat.

Her face started to contort once more on the opposite aspect of the glass as he headed again and swung open the passenger door.

She was kicking a lot he needed to drag her out.


Larry Murphy leaving Arbour Hill Prison after his launch. Pic Steve Humphreys

Gripping her behind the neck with one hand, he stored the opposite flat on her again as he directed her in direction of the Fiat boot.

He guided her head in and the remainder adopted with a tough knock. Slamming the boot shut, he headed again to the motive force’s seat and had yet one more scope that nobody was round.

Satisfied, he drove off. He’d determined to take her to a spot that meant quite a bit to him, Beaconstown, 14.5 km away.

The disco within the grounds of Kilkea Castle was his outdated stomping floor. He used to go there on a regular basis.

Couples travelled from all around the world to get married there.

Personally, he remembered it as someplace the place he’d been ritually humiliated by girls who turned him down as a result of he wasn’t ok, no less than till he met his spouse.

Curled within the foetal place along with her wrists certain, Jill could not defend herself from the metallic instruments bouncing across the boot because the automotive sped.

She tried to focus on respiratory however he’d damaged her nostril so the air wasn’t travelling in that means both. If she may simply free her palms and pull the gag down… but it surely was ineffective, her palms had been tied too tight.

Larry pulled her out of the boot. She regarded in a state as her naked ft landed within the boreen and she or he stood upright. Blood had congealed in her nostrils and on the entrance of her enamel.

He pulled the gag off her mouth.

“Please. Will you bring me home after?” her voice was so hoarse it was a whisper.

“Kiss me,” he mentioned.

Jill lay beneath the person, frozen with dread. She considered all of the individuals she cherished who didn’t know the place she was.

She must be dwelling by now. They would quickly begin to fear. Tears streamed down her face. She may see a toddler’s automotive seat within the again – this was a household automotive.

There’d be every kind of proof within the automotive that she’d been her – hairs, fibres, bodily fluids.

He was by no means going to let her go. If he may do that to her, he may do something. She wailed. She knew he was going to kill her.

A grunt, after which he was nonetheless.

This is it. Her eyes had been glued to him as he climbed out of the automotive, zipped himself up.

“Please take me home now, please.”

“Are you married?” His rage had evaporated, he was appearing like he hadn’t a care on the planet. His voice sounded chirpy like he wished to make dialog, like this was an informal fling.

“Yes,” Jill lied. If he thought she had a husband, possibly he’d suppose somebody was out searching for her. It felt safer.

“Please, take me home?”

He would possibly as nicely not have heard. He wished to speak about himself. He was a married man, he defined, sounding apologetic. He’d two sons aged 4 and two. His spouse was pregnant with their third.

Jill felt the life drain out of her. He was telling her issues that may make him identifiable if he let her go. She held up her palms. They’d turned blue.

“Please, the pain, it hurts so much, please?”

“Back in the boot,” he mentioned.

“Please, no, not back there, you said you’d take me home, please!”

“You’ll make too much noise.”

“I’ll be quiet, please, take me home, please?”

He shook his head, then tied her bra round her mouth. Jill bought into the boot, bare this time.

Larry set off on the 14-mile journey dwelling to Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, turning on to the Dublin-Carlow street after 5.6km, then crossing within the route of the Glen of Imaal on the Blessington to Baltinglass Road.

Twenty minutes later the automotive slowed to a snail’s tempo and commenced to climb a hill. Jill may hear water. Was he going to drown her?

The automotive stopped. She stopped respiratory to attempt to hear what he was doing with the handbrake. Her coronary heart was thudding too loud. She could not inform. She stored pulling at her wrists. The boot clicked open. He hauled her out once more. Jill regarded round frantically.

A wooden this time, however there was a lightweight within the distance – a home. He led her again to the entrance of the automotive and indicated to the passenger seat. He pulled the gag down, took the bind off her palms and lay down.

“Make love to me.”

“Please, will you bring me home, please?”

“I will.”

Jill had been numb to the ache, however now there was no protecting it from breaking via. He raped her orally and anally.


The woods in Kilrenagh the place Larry Murphy attacked his sufferer.

“If you have a gun, use it now, because I can’t take it any more.”

The phrases had been out earlier than she may take them again. But they’d the alternative impact. It was like she’d flicked a swap. He began to really feel sorry for himself. One of them needed to be a sufferer.

“I’ll never see my wife and children again,” he mentioned.

Jill felt a glimmer of hope. But inside seconds he had talked himself again up. His identify was ‘Michael’ and he was from Baltinglass.

Her blood ran chilly – these had been particulars that if he let her go would lead again to him.

“Can I have a cigarette, Michael?” If she may solely get the bind off her palms… he switched the overhead gentle on.

“Back in the boot…put your clothes on first.”

Jill grew to become hysterical. He dragged her out, pulled her trousers on, and led her again round. She climbed into the boot backwards. As the boot closed she thought ‘that is it – he’ll kill me’.

Then one of many palms she’d been pulling slipped freed from the binding. Jill could not imagine it. She pulled the bra off her mouth. If she may grip one of many metallic instruments she may attempt to hit him when he got here again…

Suddenly, the boot clicked open. She froze. She hadn’t discovered something. Had he seen her transferring?

“Turn around,” he instructed her. He wished her to face in quite than out. He began pushing her to show round. Her hand discovered a bottle of Pledge polish. She raised her arm, pointed it at his face and pressed the nozzle.


Nothing occurred.

The spray did not work.

He was livid. He punched it out of her hand and slammed the boot shut. And then – nothing.

Jill crouched, making an attempt to listen to over the thud of her coronary heart, however nothing – no engine revving, no automotive beginning. The boot clicked open once more. He burst in with a plastic bag and put it over her head.

The stink of fumes was overpowering. She tore it off, legs flailing to get out. He stuffed the plastic in her mouth, pulled the bra that had slipped round her neck tighter. The scent of chemical compounds off the plastic made her head lighten. She could not breathe. With the final kick, her ft someway landed on the bottom. Air flooded again into her lungs. He’d let go of her neck.

Her imaginative and prescient was dazzled by blinding lights. She lined her eyes, coughing for air. She may hear him slamming the automotive door. Jill collapsed on each knees and crawled for her life.

A ditch of barbed wire stopped her in her tracks. The extra she moved, the extra the spikes tore into her flesh. There was a lot blood.

She knew he was gone. She’d seen him over her shoulder as she crawled away – he’d turned the Fiat, the tyres screeched as he sped away. But now there was one other automotive, a jeep.

Two extra males had been coming. She clamped her jaw to cease her enamel chattering and tried to push on previous the wire. If she may simply get to the home with the sunshine…

“Are you alright?” – a person’s voice at midnight.

Jill wailed. They had been getting nearer. She put her palms over her mouth so they would not hear and crouched down into the ditch. “Are you OK?” one other voice referred to as. “Are you alright?”

She tried to bolt, however the metallic was carving into her. She could not get out.

“We want to help.”

They’d been out ‘lamping’ foxes, he defined. The lights stun the animals, making them simpler to hunt. That’s how they’d noticed her – her legs had been protruding of the automotive boot. It was by likelihood they had been right here. They wished to assist, not damage her.

The different man was again. He shone the torch in Jill’s route. She noticed the horror of their faces as they glanced at one another.

“Did he hurt you?” the primary one requested.

“…he raped me,” she bawled.

Inside the jeep, there have been rifles with telescopic sights and highly effective lamps. Their names had been Trevor Moody and Ken Jones. She was going to be alright, they instructed her. They wanted to go to a garda station. Trevor checked out Ken, and Ken gave a fast nod of approval.

“We know who he is,” Trevor mentioned.


The jeep sped to Baltinglass garda station in round ten minutes.

It had been 4 years beforehand, Trevor Moody recalled. A feminine acquaintance of his was within the Donard Arms, a pub within the Glen of Imaal village on the fringe of the Wicklow mountains. This man stored looking at her in a freaky, pervy means. Next factor, he simply leapt at her and groped her. The man truly sexually assaulted her in a public place, the place individuals knew who he was. He needed to be pulled off her. His identify was Larry Murphy.

That was the person who’d simply attacked Jill. It was the identical man.

Ken Jones knew Larry Murphy too. Murphy was a carpenter. He had a fame for having a horrible mood. You could not haggle a value with him or he’d lose it. It was Larry Murphy who’d raped and tried to kill her alright. They had been each positive.

Larry’s spouse was ready within the kitchen when he bought dwelling. She was nearing the top of her being pregnant and had spent the day taking care of her two younger boys.

Their home was a dormer bungalow with a separate storage, 4.8km exterior Baltinglass, on the Boley Road.

He was nicely oiled and had stored ingesting the whiskey by the neck on the drive dwelling.

Larry walked her down the hall to their bed room on the finish of the corridor. He took off all his garments, climbed into mattress and had intercourse along with his spouse.


At 8.20am the subsequent morning, Larry Murphy answered his entrance door to seven gardai. Murphy had a licence for a shotgun. The gardai weren’t taking any possibilities.

“Are you Larry Murphy?” Detective Sergeant James Ryan from Carlow requested.

“I am.” Larry turned his again and leaving the door ajar, walked into the lounge. The seven gardai adopted.

“Larry Murphy,” DS Ryan mentioned, “I am arresting you under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act for rape. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to a solicitor. If you cannot afford a solicitor, one will be provided for you.”


Early indicators in Baltinglass station had been that Larry is perhaps on the verge of holding his palms as much as his crimes. The ambiance was on a knife-edge as he emptied a pocket earlier than his interview and positioned £700 on the counter.

“The girl’s money,” he mentioned. He put his hand in one other pocket and pulled out £444. “That’s mine.”

He eliminated his garments in order that they could possibly be forwarded to the forensic lab in Dublin for evaluation, turning into a set of clothes his spouse had organised for him.

They’d discover the lady’s purse at the back of his automotive, he mentioned. But all hope he was going to spare his sufferer any additional trauma pale the second he bought into the interview room. He was saying nothing with out his solicitor current. He’d clammed up.


By 2.30pm, having conferred along with his solicitor, Larry started to present his model of occasions. He’d gone into Carlow for chips, he instructed his interviewers, Inspector Patrick Mangan and Detective Garda Mark Carroll, who had been hanging on his each phrase.

“I was walking down the path and I saw this girl walking towards me,” he mentioned, talking in a flat tone, with out making eye contact. “I had by no means met the lady in my life. I do not know what came to visit me. I simply flipped. I mentioned to her ‘Give me the cash’. She mentioned ‘F**okay off’.

“I hit her then. She had stopped to open the door of her automotive. I hit her with my hand on the aspect of the face.

She stumbled again to the seat within the automotive. I pushed her over on to the opposite seat, the passenger seat. I requested her the place her keys had been. I discovered her keys on the seat.

“I moved her automotive over to the place my automotive was. She was sitting within the automotive beside me along with her head on my knee.

At that stage, I tied her arms. I requested her to take away her bra. I used the bra to tie her arms. At that stage, I took her out of the automotive. She walked out. I instructed her to get within the boot of my automotive and she or he sat in. At this stage, I took off up the street. I do not know why I did. I do not know. I suppose I drove for about 20 minutes.

“I travelled out the Athy Road. I ended in a lane. I raped her. First I took her out of the boot of the automotive. I put her within the seat of the automotive. I eliminated her trousers. I simply raped her.

“When I ended the automotive the second time I took her out and sat her within the automotive.

She began speaking to me. I instructed her I had two children and she or he mentioned she wish to have children herself some day. She requested me to take her dwelling and mentioned she would do something I wished if I took her dwelling. I instructed her I would depart her dwelling. So she instructed me she would make like to me.

“I had sex with her but that was her own choice. We made love in the car. I didn’t try to kill her at all,” Larry went on. “I had sex in two places with her but the second time was her own choice.”

Inspector Mangan and Detective Garda Carroll glanced at one another in disbelief.

At 8.05pm that night Larry Murphy was formally charged within the station with rape and abduction. But an tried homicide cost was going to require a special file for the Director of Public Prosecutions.


Assistant Commissioner Tony Hickey was skinny with a shock of white hair, a dapper costume sense and a terrier-like fame for getting his enamel sunk right into a case.

Briefed in regards to the occasions in Baltinglass, his alarm bells began to ring.

The savagery and the brazenness of the kidnapping, rape and tried homicide instructed an achieved killer.

Hickey was head of Operation Trace, set as much as Trace Review And Collate Evidence on Ireland’s lacking girls. Six girls aged between 17 and 28 had disappeared in lower than six years between 1993 and 1998.

Hickey (inset proper) picked up the cellphone and dialled the variety of one in all his right-hand males through the Veronica Guerin homicide investigation – Superintendent Jerry O’Connell, now based mostly within the Trace workplace in Naas, Co Kildare. “You’ll need to keep a watching brief on this one,” Hickey defined. “But keep an open mind.”

If Larry Murphy was their man, it was the reply to the Operation Trace crew’s prayers in Superintendent O’Connell’s view.

In September 1998, two months after a sixth girl vanished into skinny air in lower than six years, Commissioner Pat Byrne had given directions to place collectively a squad designed to search out out if all or any of the ladies had been the victims of the identical serial killer.

On the show board on the high of the room, the faces of the ladies in query stared again, vigorous, not like the standard posthumous pics seen in incident rooms. None of their our bodies had ever been recovered.


Victim #1 was an American waitress with lengthy, wavy brown hair bundled up on the highest of her head, final seen on a bus to Enniskerry, Co Wicklow at round 4pm after telling associates she was going for a stroll. Annie Bridget McCarrick disappeared on Friday, March 26, 1993.

Victim #2 was a freckle-faced lounge lady with a shy smile who’d vanished making an attempt to hitch-hike dwelling after lacking the bus. Jo Jo Dullard (21) from Callan, Co Kilkenny, disappeared in Moone, Co Kildare, a while after 11.30pm on Thursday, November 9, 1995, and was believed to have been later seen hitch-hiking 7.2kms away in Castledermot, Co Kildare.


Missing JoJo Dullard. Photo: Crimestoppers Trust/PA Wire.

Victim #3 was a long-haired blonde hairdresser and closely pregnant mum-to-be final seen in her bedsit. Fiona Pender was 25 years outdated and had disappeared from Tullamore, Co Offaly, on Friday, August 23, 1996.

Victim #4 was a baby-faced brunette who had been the topic of a earlier missing-persons inquiry after working away. FAS pupil Ciara Breen was solely 17 when she disappeared for good on Thursday, February 13, 1997, after sneaking out of her bed room window.


Ciara Breen (17) went lacking in February 1997

Victim #5 had the look of a rock chick with lengthy brown hair and a tattoo on her proper arm. Fiona Sinnott from Wexford was the one mom among the many lacking women and vanished from the home she was renting close to Rosslare, Co Wexford, on Sunday, February 8, 1998. Fiona had been the topic of earlier violent assaults earlier than she vanished.


Missing Wexford girl Fiona Sinnott.

Victim #6 had rosy cheeks and a black bob and had disappeared strolling again to her dad and mom’ home in Newbridge, Co Kildare. Eighteen-year-old Deirdre Jacob was learning in St Mary’s Teacher Training College in Twickenham, London. She was dwelling for the vacations and attributable to begin a receptionist’s job when she disappeared on Tuesday, July 28, 1998.

The definition of a serial killer didn’t require a selected physique depend. It did want a ‘cooling off’ interval in between slayings and a selected technique to the killings. But with no physique or a criminal offense scene, the TRACE crew may show neither.

They’d consulted the FBI on ‘victimology’ – to show what they knew in regards to the victims into details about who will need to have killed them.

In principle, a murdered skilled would have a special profile to a murdered intercourse employee, as a result of a low-risk sufferer is extra more likely to have been the goal of somebody who got down to kill them versus a killer with a bloodlust taking advantage of a possibility to kill a stranger.

Technically, three of the ladies, Fiona Pender, Fiona Sinnott and Ciara Breen, theoretically fell into the ‘low-risk’ class as a result of they had been final seen at dwelling, the place they need to have been protected.

The science mentioned that made it extra doubtless they had been killed by individuals they knew, and that tallied with the findings of the investigations carried out on the bottom. In every of those girls’s instances, there was additionally a first-rate suspect and in every case, it was somebody recognized to them.

But Annie, Jo Jo, and Deirdre had been all strolling alone after they disappeared, and inside a 30-mile radius of one another across the Wicklow-Carlow-Kildare borders.

Research instructed serial killers all the time operated in or round work or dwelling, a territory recognized to them.

The data was forwarded to Naas the place the TRACE crew had been frantically reviewing what they knew about Annie, Jo Jo and Deirdre, searching for any parallels.

There was nice satisfaction because the Trace crew found within the recordsdata their first very sturdy lead. Larry Murphy had been named as a suspect in one of many girls’s instances. A sergeant nominated him after Jo Jo’s disappearance as a result of he was a neighborhood and he had a fame for violence in direction of girls.

After some extra enquiries, TRACE found Larry was dwelling in Castledermot along with his spouse on the time, in the identical location the place Jo Jo was believed to have continued hitchhiking.

The incident room to research her disappearance was the identical one in Baltinglass, now set as much as cope with the rape inquiry.


Superintendent O’Connell introduced a stack of recordsdata containing summaries of the lacking girls’s instances on a go to to the UK’s National Crime Faculty in Bramshill College in Hampshire. With him was Detective Garda Alan Bailey.

They deliberate to make use of the services there, on the forefront of groundbreaking analysis into geographic profiling. The principle is that criminals reveal who they’re and the place they reside not simply from how they commit their crimes but additionally from the places they select.

In the recordsdata, one piece of knowledge was about to turn out to be extra related than all of the others. It was a breakdown of the distances by street between the places the place the lacking girls disappeared, and Larry Murphy’s dwelling in Baltinglass.

(Annie McCarrick) Enniskerry to Baltinglass – 75.6 km;

(Jo Jo Dullard) Castledermot to Baltinglass – 13 km;

(Fiona Pender) Tullamore to Baltinglass

– 95 km;

(Ciara Breen) Dundalk to Baltinglass – 145 km;

(Fiona Sinnott) Ballyhitt to Baltinglass – 96.5 km;

(Deirdre Jacob) Newbridge to Baltinglass – 32 km.

The query now was whether or not science may yield an analogous breakthrough for the Irish girls.

In the UK, the opinion of the geographic profiling specialists was that Larry Murphy was extra more likely to have killed the victims nearest to him. In order of probability that meant Jo Jo, Deirdre, and Annie.


Missing Fiona Pender poster

There had been whoops of pleasure within the incident room in Baltinglass when information broke that they’d discovered a witness who’d seen Larry within the automotive park, 5 minutes earlier than he’d snatched Jill. A lady remembered checking her watch as she climbed into her automotive and was sure the time was 8.10pm.

The girl’s data meant Larry had been mendacity in wait, displaying pre-meditation, and that instantly contradicted his personal spur-of-the-moment model of occasions.


In Naas, the Trace detectives had been working around the clock evaluating information of each automotive that had ever been registered to Larry Murphy with any witness sightings of autos seen within the neighborhood of Moone on the evening Jo Jo disappeared.

The Trace crew had been searching for one automotive particularly. Two motorists who’d given Jo Jo lifts in Naas and Kilcullen had come ahead. But whoever drove her from Moone to Castledermot was unknown. It appeared affordable to imagine it will need to have been Jo Jo hitching in Castledermot, since no different girl ever got here ahead to say she’d been hitching on the similar time, in the identical route that evening.

But why had the motorist who dropped her there not damaged his silence? There’d been a lead that she’d made it that far. A farmer had discovered a girl’s watch in a ditch in Castledermot. Jo Jo’s sisters remembered her getting a watch as a gift from her ex-boyfriend, Mike.

The unique inquiry had tracked the American all the way down to Spain, however when confirmed the watch he could not keep in mind if it was the identical one. She additionally had a black Sanyo walkman along with her, which has by no means been discovered.


Missing JoJo Dullard. Photo: Crimestoppers Trust/PA Wire.

Of most significance, was the assertion of a taxi driver who’d come ahead in February 1997, a yr and three months after Jo Jo disappeared.

He mentioned he was driving alongside the principle Waterford Road at Kilmacow 4.8km north of Waterford and 80km from the cellphone field in Moone.

It was about 1.20am on November 10, 1995, lower than two hours after Jo Jo disappeared.

He mentioned he noticed a purple automotive parked on the aspect of the street and a person urinating beside it. Suddenly, a girl had burst out of the left-hand rear door and began to run. She was in her naked ft. A person jumped out of the again of the automotive and ran after her, grabbing her by the hair.

He’d put each arms round her to restrain her as he lifted and dragged her again to the automotive. The automotive took off within the route of Waterford.

Detectives had been additionally making an attempt to ascertain if Larry Murphy had been driving a purple automotive in 1995 after they found he had scrapped a wonderfully good automotive in an unlawful dump round Christmas of that yr. What had he been driving when Jo Jo disappeared?

In October 2020, after a prolonged evaluation of her case, gardai upgraded it from a lacking particular person case to a homicide case, concluding that she “met her death through violent means”.


On Friday, May 11, 2001, Larry Murphy was led by a jail officer into the stomach of Dublin’s wood-panelled Central Criminal Court, sitting in court docket quantity two.

He was about to find what punishment the courts thought of acceptable for raping and making an attempt to homicide a girl 15 months earlier.

Murphy had been delivered to the court docket in a jail van, having been beforehand remanded in custody by Judge Thomas Ballagh on April 26 at Naas District Court, the place he’d replied “guilty” when every of the costs – false imprisonment, assault, 4 counts of rape, and tried homicide – had been learn.

Judge Paul Carney then, in a matter-of-fact vogue, handed down a sentence of 15 years with an extra 4 years for the assault and three for the theft to run concurrently with the 15-year sentence, to begin from February 11, 2000.

The choose mentioned he would droop the ultimate yr of every sentence attributable to Murphy’s responsible plea.

Larry Murphy collapsed in a heap on the courtroom ground. He had fainted.


Operation Trace closed its door in Naas in 2003 and was subsumed again into the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) in Harcourt Square. The submitting cupboards with all of the lacking girls’s instances had been relocated there.

The declare that Larry Murphy might need labored or socialised in Johnnie Fox’s pub, the place Annie McCarrick could have been final seen, couldn’t be made to face up.

The investigation into her disappearance adopted a number of leads. Following a tip-off, the pet cemetery in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, was dug up after somebody had reported seeing suspicious exercise on the day. Another tip led to a search of Crone Wood 4.8km south of Enniskerry. In 2008, two males who had no convictions had been re-interviewed about what they knew in regards to the case.

In 2020, US investigators mentioned they’d recognized the principle suspect in her homicide.

Michael Griffith, a New York-based lawyer employed by the McCarrick household within the Nineties to help with the investigation, travelled to Dublin that September to satisfy with members of An Garda Síochána in regards to the investigation.


Annie McCarrick’s father John

Griffith mentioned that he was hopeful he may lastly get justice for the McCarrick household after a number of individuals contacted him and Kenneth Strange, an ex-FBI agent, with new proof which may doubtlessly result in a breakthrough within the 27-year-old case.

“In the case of this person, the details provided could lead to the breakthrough we need. They gave specifics relating to one individual that warrants careful investigation,” he mentioned.

A lady who has since died is believed to have seen McCarrick with a person in Poppies Cafe in Enniskerry on the day of her disappearance.

The girl instructed gardai on the time that she noticed a person strategy McCarrick within the cafe and provide to purchase her a slice of cake.

She by no means gave a proper assertion in regards to the incident however instructed her daughter about what she noticed. This led the crew of personal investigators to suppose that this piece of knowledge could possibly be essential to fixing the thriller of her case, which stays a lacking particular person case.

The investigation into Jo Jo Dullard’s disappearance adopted many strains of inquiry, together with one on two Englishmen who handed alongside the route, breaking into cellphone bins in small villages.


A memorial on the final recognized spot the place Jo Jo Dullard was seen in Moone (Niall Carson/PA)

Jo Jo’s sister, Mary Phelan, and brother-in-law are satisfied that the son of a widely known public determine was answerable for her disappearance. The household campaigned repeatedly for land belonging to the suspect’s household to be searched.

Although Larry Murphy could possibly be linked to a job in Newbridge on the time of Deirdre Jacob’s disappearance, with no physique or a confession there was no proof that he had something to do along with her case till years later when gardai would get the lead they had been desperately looking for.


While serving out his sentence in Arbour Hill, Larry Murphy spent his days within the jail joiner’s store, the place he made podiums for the 2003 Special Olympics and made rocking horses that he offered to jail officers for his or her kids.

Murphy was thought of a ‘mannequin prisoner’. This safeguarded his automated entitlement to have 1 / 4 of his sentence shaved off for good behaviour, which means he was solely required to serve 10-and-a-half years.

With his launch date set for August 12, 2010, there have been many questions on whether or not or not Larry Murphy must register as a intercourse offender – as per the Sex Offenders Act – following his launch from jail.

Despite the reassurances, as Murphy’s launch date approached, fears grew amongst the neighborhood of Baltinglass in addition to the broader space of the so-called vanishing triangle.

As his launch date loomed officers determined that they needed to entrance up Murphy and see if he would converse to them about any of the lacking women or his plans for his launch.

In the jail, they had been instructed, he had been a little bit of a loner, though he had frolicked along with his outdated pal David Lawler and killer Frank McCann, who killed his spouse and baby in a hearth within the household dwelling in an effort to cowl up an affair.

Behind bars, Murphy was in no temper to speak and refused to co-operate in any means with the officers – even by means of telling them his plans on his launch.

While he had been unfortunate that evening when the hunters discovered him within the woods trying to kill his sufferer, he had dodged a number of bullets ever since – none extra surprising than the Sex Offenders’ register.

Despite numerous debate over whether or not or not he was to be positioned on the register and a spokesperson for the Department of Justice stating that he would, it appeared that Murphy’s timing had been impeccable.

As he had been sentenced for his brutal crimes one month earlier than the Act was launched, it was determined that it could not apply to him because the legislation is just not retrospective.

Gardai reassured the general public that he could be topic to post-release supervision, nonetheless, with many sources saying that given the brazenness of Murphy’s assault it was unlikely to be his solely offence.

But most individuals knew that would not be possible given the manpower it could take and the truth that Murphy would have served his time and be free to do as he wished.

When the main target turned to Murphy’s household and their probability to present him refuge, his brother Tom made it clear that his disgraced brother wouldn’t be welcome in his dwelling.

“I want to make it clear to the locals in my villages in Co Wicklow that Larry will not be living with me, my partner and my kids,” he mentioned.

Tom additionally mentioned he had obtained quite a few threats, together with one to burn down his dwelling, ought to Larry be staying at his home.

Thursday, August 13, 2010 and at 4am exterior Arbour Hill jail gardai arrived to erect limitations on the street. Behind the excessive gates, Ireland’s most notorious rapist was spending his last evening of sleep on the within.


Larry Murphy leaving Arbour Hill Prison after his launch. Pic Steve Humphreys

Ten years and 6 months after his brutal intercourse assault on Jill, the time had lastly come for him to be free once more and at 10.17am Murphy emerged from the darkness.

Eyes hidden behind darkish sun shades, a navy and white baseball cap pulled firmly down round his ears, he remained unshakable as a crowd of onlookers shouted ‘rapist’ and ‘soiled scumbag’ as he walked out of the jail gates.

Even although he held his head excessive, Murphy did not a lot as look on the press photographers with their cameras held imposingly in his face making an attempt to get an image. Nor did he converse a single phrase.

His apparel, a black hooded sweatshirt with a gold New York Yankees emblem emblazoned on the entrance, dishevelled denims and Nike runners regarded dated within the chilly gentle of 2010.

His mouth a skinny line as he focused on his stroll, Larry was alone on the planet and had misplaced every thing – his kids, his spouse, his family and friends.

Nobody confirmed as much as accumulate him from jail and so he hopped in a gray taxi as a garda helicopter hovered overhead. As the automotive took off, three motorcyclists, gardai, and varied journalists adopted in scorching pursuit.

Everyone wished to know the place he was going and what he meant to do subsequent. Previously a hunter, he was now the prey.

What got here as surprising was his first cease – Coolock garda station.


Coolock Garda Station. Photo: Google Maps

He made a criticism that he was being harassed by members of the media, however didn’t open up to officers the place he was planning to reside.

By 1pm, Larry was on the run once more as media and unmarked garda automobiles adopted, him to Grafton Street the place he jumped out of a taxi and in direction of St Stephen’s Green, vanishing from view.

He rapidly shed his hat and hoody as he blended in with different individuals within the busy procuring district. Despite his try to flee, his whereabouts had been rapidly re-established by gardai.

Later that night, a public assembly was held at Grangecon Boxing Club in west Wicklow to debate considerations about Murphy.

“We knew where he was for the last 10 years. We don’t know where he is now and we want to know at all times,” one man instructed the group of as much as 100 terrified locals.

“I have had nightmares thinking about him and I couldn’t sleep last night,” one girl mentioned. “I’m living in fear. I am 31 years old and I feel I need a chaperone to go out at night. It’s really, really frightening.”

Meanwhile, over 70km away in north county Dublin, a crowd had gathered exterior a Government-run midway home for ex-convicts amid hypothesis that Murphy was staying there.

Outside Priorswood House they started chanting ‘get him out’. However, the director of the home denied he was staying there.

Murphy’s household would land the ultimate blow of the evening by distancing themselves from the predator, calling him out for his indecency and reminding him he was not welcome again dwelling.

“He hadn’t even the manners this morning, or the decency, when he came outside that prison gate to say sorry to the poor girl,” Thomas Murphy instructed the media.

“I want nothing to do with him ever again. I don’t want to see him and I don’t want to hear from him.”

When Larry Murphy went lacking off Grafton Street on the day he was launched from jail, he disappeared from the general public eye, managing to go incognito for a lot of months.

As journalists pieced collectively bits of knowledge from sources, an image emerged of a predator nicely capable of reside independently and to maneuver about with confidence.

He’d frolicked in a bedsit in Dublin for 3 weeks earlier than he fled Ireland for France, the place he was carefully monitored by French police.

Next he moved on to The Netherlands the place he settled into the buzzing metropolis of Amsterdam, sampling lots of its seedier delights.

At the beginning of November 2010, a person was sitting in an Irish pub within the metropolis when a pale confronted man with a beard caught his eye.

They started to talk and the person mentioned he was a carpenter and spoke of how he had been within the metropolis for 5 weeks and was staying in a neighborhood hostel.

He additionally talked about that he had been in France and had plans to quickly transfer to Germany.

The man was Larry Murphy and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than the media had been in scorching pursuit.

After being photographed within the Netherlands, he moved once more and by the next yr he was dwelling in Barcelona, taking informal labour as a carpenter on boats.

Little is understood about his time there or who he was involved with, however Irish authorities had been made conscious of him when his passport was robbed by a prostitute close to the notorious Las Ramblas and he needed to return to Ireland to get a brand new one.

It was May 2011 when he flew again to Dublin amid one other media frenzy, however he managed to put low in lodges and B&Bs whereas he waited for brand spanking new paperwork.

In June 2011, Murphy boarded a ferry in Rosslare in Co Wexford and headed again to Cherbourg in France, taking a practice from the port to Paris the place he disappeared once more.

A yr later he was tracked all the way down to Holland, this time noticed with a good friend, a infamous Irish double rapist who he had met behind bars. Together they had been dwelling in Amsterdam and dealing at a logistics firm with loads of cash to spend on booze and girls.


With Operation TRACE disbanded, Detective Garda Alan Bailey had been charged with managing all of the recordsdata as a part of his new temporary at a metropolis centre station. He’d later be handpicked for the newly established Garda Cold Case Unit and on the day he began his new position he introduced the bins with him.

He’d lengthy hoped for a breakthrough in any of the instances which had taken over the latter a part of his profession. As he sat in an interview room throughout the desk from an inmate who had befriended Murphy behind bars he puzzled was this lastly it.

The lag had agreed to talk to cops a few haunting evening he’d spent within the firm of Murphy some years earlier earlier than his launch from jail.

They’d been cellmates, he instructed Bailey, and had bought boozed-up behind bars on prison-made vodka. As the drink flowed, dialog adopted and a chilling image started to emerge as Murphy loosened up, let down his guard and began to brag.

“I killed Deirdre Jacob with a hammer. That’s what he said,” the prisoner instructed Bailey and his colleague.


Former Detective Sergeant Alan Bailey. Picture by Caroline Quinn

Confessions from a convicted felony aren’t too dependable however Bailey could not think about what this one needed to achieve.

He wasn’t going to get early launch or any advantages from the story he was telling the detectives and was anxious sick his fellow inmates would know he was a ‘rat’. But nonetheless he revealed the main points of his evening with Murphy.

After allegedly following Deirdre Jacob to her dad and mom’ dwelling on the afternoon of July 28, the prisoner instructed the officers, Murphy pulled over and requested her for instructions.

The particulars had been particular, which made Bailey suppose he was telling the reality. He had scattered kids’s toys on the again seat of his automotive, he drunkenly instructed the person, in order that his sufferer could be extra snug speaking to him via the passenger window.

Once Deirdre leaned in he knocked her unconscious and dragged her into the entrance seat of the automotive, his cellmate claimed.

The story went on. Murphy, he claimed, went on to element how he meant to carry Deirdre to the mountains to rape her – as he did with Jill – however that he could not management her when he took her out of the automotive and she or he had regained consciousness.

After placing up a very good combat, Murphy ended up grabbing a hammer and hitting her with it, killing her earlier than dumping her physique in a lake.

The data was nonetheless sketchy however was value appearing on. In December 2012, a specialist crew with the help of the Garda Sub-Aqua crew trawled components of a Wicklow lake searching for the lacking pupil’s physique. However, nothing was discovered. Without a particular location it was like searching for a needle in a haystack.

By summer time 2014, Larry Murphy, who had begun going by the identify Lawrence, discovered love with a well-to-do, extremely revered jewelry designer in his new base in London.

‘Liz’ (not her actual identify) had loved a romance with ‘Lawrence’ over a number of weeks and he had commonly stayed over on the posh London dwelling the place she lived with roommates.

Two of her roommates, an Irish businessman from the Midlands and his companion, had commonly instructed Liz to carry her boyfriend over for a glass of wine. But their invitations had been all the time turned down.

Then, throughout a spell of fine climate in May 2014, Lawrence arrived at a barbecue on the property. He was launched to the Irishman and his companion, who owned the home.

The Irishman was unable to take his eyes off the ‘odd-job’ man who had launched himself as Lawrence from Mayo. After a number of glasses of wine the penny dropped and speeding inside he pulled footage of Larry Murphy from the web, solely to search out information tales in regards to the rape in Carlow and the way he was the suspect within the disappearances of Deirdre, Jo Jo and Annie.

Shane referred to as his companion and Liz into the home on the pretence of serving to with meals, however as an alternative held a disaster assembly about Lawrence’s actual identification.

“I recognise you. You’re Larry Murphy,” the person mentioned as he stormed exterior.

“No, you’re wrong. I’m not Larry Murphy and I can prove it,” he argued.

But as he realised the gig was up, Larry grabbed his issues and was escorted out of the home.

Later, the group determined to contact the police to tell them of the incident and provides them what data they may in regards to the predator’s life in London – however cops could not arrest him as he hadn’t carried out something fallacious. But they did warning the person to lock his doorways and home windows and maintain watch and mentioned that now that officers knew the place Murphy was, they may monitor him.

In 2018, the case of Deirdre Jacob’s disappearance was upgraded to homicide with gardai saying that they’d obtained important new “credible and corroborated” data that led to Larry Murphy turning into the chief suspect within the homicide of the 18-year-old.


Preparing to get a carry on a bike

By February 2020, gardai ready all their proof within the case and despatched a file linking Murphy to the homicide of Deirdre Jacob to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Last yr, the DPP despatched their file to a specialist barrister for a “second opinion” on the case. Sources mentioned the case is at a essential level as they await specialist authorized evaluation, and if the DPP finds Murphy has a case to reply, gardai will search his extradition to Ireland.

While officers maintain their playing cards near their chest, they’re working with police within the UK to discreetly monitor Murphy as he has been engaged on constructing websites.

Last yr a dig befell at a wooded space in Brewel East after a witness instructed gardai he noticed a automotive with an open boot reversing into the world, nearly 18km from Newbridge, on the day Deirdre vanished. Nothing regarding the case was discovered through the excavation.

According to sources, Larry is presently within the UK the place he has been dwelling and dealing between London and Birmingham. He has not come to the eye of police within the UK for any felony offences.

Should the DPP order him to reply for the case of murdered Deirdre Jacob he can be introduced earlier than a court docket however it’s doubtless he would plead not responsible. Without Deirdre’s physique, will probably be more durable for prosecutors to safe a homicide conviction.

As of March 2022, Larry Murphy has been dominated out as an individual of curiosity within the instances of Fiona Pender, Fiona Sinnott and Ciara Breen. With circumstantial proof linking Murphy to the disappearances of Jo Jo Dullard and Annie McCarrick, he stays a suspect in these instances.

– Predator was developed from the unique Sunday World booklet by Niamh O’Connor and up-dated by Clodagh Meaney.

Predator is a podcast from Crime World.

It is produced by Ian Meleney and browse and edited by Nicola Tallant.

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