'If you look at the murders - I wanted it and Hazel facilitated it. So we were both waltzing in time.' - Colin Howell at the trial of Hazel Stewart
May 1991. The location - a quiet picturesque seaside town. The scene - two bodies in a car filled with carbon monoxide. Police officer Trevor Buchanan and nurse Lesley Howell have apparently taken their own lives, unable to live with the pain of their spouses' affair with each other.
The adulterous pair - Sunday school teacher Hazel Buchanan and dentist Colin Howell - had met in the local Baptist Church. Following the apparent double-suicide, they continue their affair secretly before both later remarrying.
A series of disasters in Howell's life - the death of his eldest son, massive losses in an investment scam, and the revelation that he has been sexually assaulting sedated female patients - lead to him declaring that he is a fraud and a godless man. He tells the elders of his church that he and Hazel Stewart conspired together to murder their spouses nearly two decades earlier.
What follows the dramatic confession are two of the most sensational murder trials ever seen in the United Kingdom, Howell's conviction for murder in December 2010 and Stewart's in March 2011, despite her protestations of innocence.
'If I was controlling in one area, Hazel was controlling in another area. It was a dance between control and manipulation.' - Colin Howell at the trial of Hazel Stewart
In Let This Be Our Secret distinguished journalist Deric Henderson has produced the definitive account of one of the most extraordinary murder cases to hit these islands for decades.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 02 / 2012