Social Media Crimes

Man Stabs His Wife To Death After She Changes Her Marital Status On Facebook

 "Sarah was the loveliest daughter anyone could wish for. She was honest, loyal and sweet, and everyone loved her."

This feature is part of a series on Social Media Crimes that Oxygen.com will explore throughout the month of September.

Sarah Richardson’s body was discovered on the morning of May 12, 2008 after a newspaper delivery girl noticed that the paper she threw at a house hit a pile of glass. Out of curiosity, the girl got off her bicycle, and approached the Staffordshire, England home. She saw a trail of blood and ran off to alert police. When they arrived on scene, they found the body of the 26-year-old hairdresser in a bed covered in blood. She had been stabbed over 47 times, according to Oxygen's show "#KillerPost," which profiles cases in which social media has had deadly consequences. The brutal murder had taken place in her parents’ home, where she had been staying after separating from her husband.

Just an hour after her body was found, police got called about second stabbing just a few blocks away. A jogger found a man staggering around, his throat and hands cut. The wounded man turned out to be Edward Richardson, 41, Sarah’s estranged husband. Even though his throat was slit, it wasn’t slit deeply enough to prevent police from interviewing him soon after the attacks.

He told police that he had gone to to see Sarah at 7 a.m. to try to patch up their relationship. That was the last memory he had of the day, he initially claimed.

Dr. Renee Clauselle, a clinical psychologist, said on “#KillerPost”: "It appears that he had some memory loss. He wasn’t able to answer their questions about specifically what happened to get him to the hospital or what happened to Sarah.”

The injured estranged husband then told police that his slain wife had a cocaine problem and may have owed money to drug dealers.

Police spoke to one of Sarah’s friends who gave a conflicting story. It was actually Edward who had the drug problem, which triggered the breakup of the relationship, the friend said.

That wasn’t all the husband was hiding. Turned out, he became enraged when Sarah stopped responding to his text messages. The final straw: when she changed her marital status on Facebook to single. That’s when he headed to Sarah’s parents house and gained entry by breaking a window. Fiona Cortese, from the Crown Prosecution Service, Staffordshire, said in an Independent report: "Once inside he found Sarah in her bedroom and subjected her to a frenzied and brutal attack with a knife and then attempted to take his own life."

Edward was convicted of killing Sarah in 2009, and he was handed a minimum term of 18 years in jail.

In a statement, published in the  BBC, Sarah’s parents said: "There simply aren't the words to describe how Sarah's death, and the awful way in which she died, has affected us. We all miss her so much. Sarah was the loveliest daughter anyone could wish for. She was honest, loyal and sweet, and everyone loved her."

[Photo: Facebook]

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