A West Yorkshire man bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer before fatally stabbing their two children and driving off a 135-foot cliff, killing himself near his mother and father-in-law’s beauty salon, reported the Mirror. On the morning of February 2, the body of 51-year-old Geraldine “Gerry” Newman of Castleford and her two children – Shane, 6, and Shannon Newman, 11, — were found dead in their home. Police officials believe the calamity was the result of a “domestic-related incident” as they later discovered the suspect, Geraldine’s estranged husband, Paul Newman, on a “ledge half way down the cliff near South Stack on Anglesey, North Wales.”
However, just weeks before the murder-suicide, Paul was kicked out of his home he shared with his wife and two children after he attacked his wife and daughter. Police officials believe that the couple’s relationship was unable to be repaired after that, causing Paul to contemplate suicide and take his family along. Written letters were discovered by officials, who said it was an indication that he planned the murder-suicide weeks in advance.
Geraldine Newman & kids dead. Bet the serious case review shows history. We’ve got to end violence against women. https://t.co/IgAE9IJo9D
— Sara Hyde (@sarakhyde) February 3, 2016
On January 31, he followed through with his plan. It was reported that he showed up at his estranged wife’s home and bludgeoned her to death with a hammer, then walked upstairs and stabbed his two children to death. According to the Daily Mail, Paul subsequently left the house and drove 175 miles, where he drove his vehicle off a 135-foot cliff, killing himself.
Just before Geraldine was reportedly murdered by her husband, she sent a chilling text to her friend, saying, “I’m scared and I don’t know what to do.” When her friend replied asking what she meant by that, she never received a response.
Geraldine’s co-worker, Andrea Holroyd, whom she had known for 20 years, stated that “Gerry was a very caring, loving friend to many, including myself. Her nature was one in a million, nothing was ever too much trouble. Bless her, she didn’t deserve to lose her life nor her children. She were lovely, really caring, she were devoted to her kids, a devoted mum. They were lovely kids, happy-go-lucky, bubbly, they were just both little Gerry’s.”
Holroyd added that Geraldine and her estranged husband had been “on and off, a bit stormy. I heard was he had been arrested about a year ago, they had some sort of do. I know she had been through a few relationships and this last one they had split up a while ago.”
Friends and neighbours lay flowers, toys, letters & candles in memory of Geraldine Newman & children Shannon & Shane pic.twitter.com/yS1Ab0Jifv
— Radio Aire News (@radioairenews) February 3, 2016
John Flush, who knew Paul, was shocked after learning that he bludgeoned his wife to death before fatally stabbing his two children and taking his own life by driving off a cliff. Flush stated that “Last week I was just talking to him at school and now this has happened — it’s heartbreaking. It’s disgusting. It’s awful to think what the family are going through.”
“I’ve known him for the past year what with going to school with my daughter — he takes them and picks them up. He seemed like a normal bloke… He seemed like a nice guy to talk to, a really lovely person. You wouldn’t have thought he would do anything like this.”
Memorial service taking place in Allerton Bywater for Geraldine Newman & her 2 children who were murdered this week pic.twitter.com/jwEB0qksrn
— Mark Ansell (@MarkAnsell) February 7, 2016
A statement released by St. Wilfrid’s Catholic High School and St Joseph’s Primary School in Castleford, West Yorks, where Shannon and Shane attended stated, “We are aware that a woman and two children were found dead at a house in Allerton Bywater yesterday and that police are investigating their deaths as murder. While the police are still working to officially confirm the identities of those involved they are believed to be a Year 7 student at St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School, her brother, a Year 1 pupil at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Castleford and their mother.”
“Exactly what happened and how this tragedy occurred is subject of an ongoing police investigation. The students and children have been notified via their form tutors and class teachers this morning. We have ongoing support in place for all our children, students and staff. Our prayers are with the family and friends at this very sad time.”
[Image via Shutterstock]