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Murderer who thinks she's hard done by

Published 19/11/2000

KITCHEN knife killer Karen McDonnell starred in a video which was screened in jails across Britain.

KITCHEN knife killer Karen McDonnell starred in a video which was screened in jails across Britain.

The Ballymena stabber was featured moaning about her sentence and life behind bars in 'The Prisons Video Magazine' made in March this year.

The video, screened to inmates and staff on the mainland, focused on Northern Ireland's only female prison, where just 13 inmates were housed at the time.

McDonnell moaned: "Everybody in jail was shocked when I got life, when other people were getting it reduced to three-and-half years or four years, whatever."

And she laughed as she whinged: "The system stinks, to tell the truth."

At her 1998 trial, the court heard claims that she offered a close male friend £1,000 to kill he husband Joe McDonnell, an RIR corporal.

And another man, who admitted an adulterous relationship with Karen McDonnell, claimed she asked him what would be the best way to get rid of Joe. She also told hIM she had only married him for his money.

McDonnell has two teenage sons, but she lost custody of them following the collapse her first marriage when she descended in alcoholism.

She appears to have found her match in lying, womaniser John Murdock, a former Northern Bank assistant manager.

He strangled long-time lover and bank colleague Norma Murdock in 1993, doused her body in petrol, drove to a remote car park in Aghalee and then attempted to set the car alight.

The married father-of-two coolly went to work the next day, telling colleagues he didn't know where his victim Norma was.

Police believe that he might have got away with murder if he had succeeded in totally burning out the car.

A former friend of Karen McDonnell, said:

"They sound well matched but the marriage won't last. As soon as one of them gets out they'll run off with someone else."

Belfast Telegraph

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