He smears them even in the grave: Turkish murderer claims he fought off innocent women
The were two women who went to Turkey looking for sun, fun and relaxation. But instead Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore met their deaths in the most horrific way imaginable.
The good friends were stabbed repeatedly by a young man called Recep Cetin, who pretended to be their friend but who turned on them in a jealous rage in an isolated wood.
And even as the 22-year-old (below) began a life sentence in solitary confinement yesterday, he continued to besmirch his victims' memory by claiming he had acted in self-defence.
And despite the fact that he stabbed Cathy 35 times and Marion 17 times, he still insisted he had been provoked.
What went through the women's minds in their final moments, as they tried to protect each other, is unimaginable
They had trusted someone who they thought was a teenager and who they knew well from his relationship with Marion's daughter Shannon, then aged 15.
As Cetin lured his victims, both aged 53, to a woodland, Shannon was enjoying a boat cruise arranged by her boyfriend in order to clear the way for his premeditated murder of the defenceless pair.
The ruthless waiter then dumped their bodies in a shallow grave before concocting the first in a myriad of lies regarding their deaths.
Having lied throughout his trial, Cetin continued to add to the anguish of the women's families in court yesterday when convicted of the murders.
"I made a mistake. I was a teenager," he said.
"I feared for my life when they (the victims) attacked me and I did what I did."
Among those looking on just yards away from the dock was Shannon.
The horror story began in August 2011 when Marion, a divorcee from Newry, and Cathy, from Warrenpoint, went to Turkey for an extended summer break.
Joining them for weeks in the popular holiday resort of Kusadasi was 15-year-old Shannon.
It was a place they had visited before, an area they felt safe in and were familiar with.
Cetin, a waiter who Shannon had been dating for some time, had been sharing an apartment with the group having known Cathy and Marion, who was divorced from Shannon's father Raymond, for several years.
It is believed tensions between the four rose over Cetin's intentions to marry his young girlfriend, something her mother wasn't happy about, knowing she was too young. On the day of the murders, Cetin had arranged the boat excursion for Shannon before persuading the women to join him on a shopping trip to the city of Izmir.
They took a taxi to a shop owned by his father. Cetin then drove the women to a secluded park on the outskirts of the city. There he attacked them in a stabbing frenzy.
Their horrific injuries indicated they had battled in vain for their lives.
When he arrived back in Kusadasi, Cetin told his young girlfriend her mother and friend had been kidnapped by the Turkish mafia. He showed wounds to his hands, claiming he had been injured trying to rescue them.
The trusting child saw no reason to doubt her boyfriend, even taking him to hospital for treatment.
The following day his original story unfolded and he admitted the killings – blaming the victims for his actions.
He told police he was afraid they would prevent him marrying Shannon, a move the Northern Ireland girl said the couple had never discussed.
He argued he had acted in self-defence after coming under attack from the women.
It was a cruel lie he maintained, even after he was found guilty.
Still struggling with the grief of losing their loved ones, both women's relatives have had to endure lengthy and frustrating court proceedings.
Cetin initially claimed he was just 17 at the time of the killings. However, bone marrow tests showed he was actually five years older. As an juvenile he could have been freed in less than seven years if found guilty. Tried as an adult, he will spend the rest of his life in jail.
The women's families have told how the trial has heaped further misery on them and denied them the opportunity to grieve.
The conviction of Cetin finally provides a degree of closure.
For Shannon Graham, rather than reflecting on the memories of what should have been a dream break, she will forever bear the mental scars of her mother's murder at the hands of a man she was close to.