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Joanna Dennehy: The Peterborough Ditch Murderer and the man who loved her

This story originally featured in our SINISTER WOMEN zine
This story originally featured in our SINISTER WOMEN zine

A lot of guys might be deterred if they knew you had killed three men (and roped them in to help hide the bodies) but Joanna Dennehy's accomplice Gary Stretch found it a MASSIVE turn on.

In 2013 she became only the third British woman in history to be given a 'whole life tariff" for murdering three men and attempting to kill two more in a 10-day killing spree that would later be known as the Peterborough ditch murders.

Dennehy stabbed her three victims through the heart, and at her trial at the Old Bailey, the court heard she had told a psychiatrist of her "sexual and sadistic motivation.”

She said: "I killed to see how I would feel, to see if I was as cold as I thought I was. Then it got more-ish."

Dennehy poses with a zombie knife
Dennehy poses with a zombie knife

Gary Stretch wasn't worried about being her next victim, despite his lawyer claiming he had acted out of duress as he was terrified of her. His letters reveal that in their minds they were a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, and love letters sent from Stretch to his serial killer crush show a man obsessed - although nothing romantic or sexual ever happened between them.

Trigger warning for the perpetually single: This man has the words you've been longing to hear!

The cute pet names he has for Dennehy include “angel in sheep's clothing", "you nutter", "sweetbitch", "my devil in the flesh" and "devil eyes". He also refers to himself as "Undertaker" and "hubby 4 lifey". Nawww, cute.

Gary Stretch was infatuated with the triple killer
Gary Stretch was infatuated with the triple killer

Unsurprisingly, Dennehy is a bit of a loose cannon, and actually sent five of the gushing love letters from her 7ft 3 accomplice to his ex-partner to prove that he enabled her killing spree out of choice, not fear.

In an accompanying note, she writes: "Not long after meeting Gary I made it clear

I was not the sort of person one should pursue. He chose otherwise."

This story originally appeared in our zine SINISTER WOMEN - buy now from etsy. It is packed full of more true crime tabloid tidbits about some of the UK’s most revered serial killers, conwomen and wrong’uns (including Karen Matthews, Rose West and Myra Hindley).


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