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Colin Howell house: Academic splashes out on the luxury property where evil double killer confessed his horrific crimes

By Ivan Little

The new owner of Colin Howell's luxury home on Ulster's north coast is a local academic.

The Belfast Telegraph knows the identity of the buyer and the university where he works, but is respecting his family's wish to remain anonymous.

The person in question refused to comment on speculation yesterday, declining to confirm or deny if he had purchased the sprawling property on picturesque Glebe Road, in the hills above Castlerock.

Earlier this week, the estate agents handling the sale - Bensons of Coleraine - told telephone callers the house was no longer on the market.

A 'sale agreed' notice also appeared on the firm's website advertisement for the "fantastic" property, which has four bedrooms and four reception rooms.

The house had been on the market for a number of months, and there was speculation in Castlerock that it sold for substantially less than the £300,000 asking price.

The new owner, who has a number of children, told associates he wanted to "normalise the site" as soon as possible, but it remains unclear if plans to make significant changes to the property.

Howell moved to the home, which has its own lake and paddock, long after he murdered his first wife, Lesley, and Trevor Buchanan, the policeman husband of Howell's mistress, Hazel Stewart, in Coleraine.

"Nothing untoward happened in the Glebe Road house," said one source.

However, it was at the property that the police arrested Howell in 2009 after he confessed to church elders that he had carried out the killings 18 years earlier, arranging the bodies so it looked as his wife and Trevor Buchanan had killed themselves in a suicide pact.

After gassing the pair, Howell dumped a car with their bodies in it behind a row of cottages in Castlerock called The Apostles, and after an investigation - which has since been heavily criticised - police accepted that they had taken their own lives.

Howell would have gotten away with murder if he had not owned up after his second wife, Kyle Jorgensen, an American, called elders from his church to Glebe Road, where in the well-appointed kitchen he admitted everything.

The shocked churchmen summoned the police, and as well as making statements of admission Howell then implicated Hazel Stewart (below)who, like him, is now serving life for murder.

Proceeds from the sale of the house will help to pay off debts and compensate Howell's victims.

As well as the murders, 57-year-old Howell was later sentenced for sexually assaulting a number of female patients at his dental practice in Ballymoney.

Kyle Jorgensen, who had five children by the murderer, has since returned to live in the United States. She claimed that her husband forced her to say nothing about his murders, which attracted fresh controversy earlier this year after the screening of the four-part ITV series, The Secret.

It starred Jimmy Nesbitt as Colin Howell and was based on a best-selling book about the killings by award-winning journalist Deric Henderson.

There was a row after a former Coleraine Mayor, Sam Cole, said the Castlerock house could become a tourist attraction. There were also reports that, even though it was not a murder scene, people had been seen taking selfies outside the house, which was described in brochures as a "magnificent and idyllic country residence".

The lake at the Glebe Road property has two islands, and Howell is said to have erected a memorial there to his son, Matthew, who died in an accident in Russia in 2007.

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