An Irish architect obsessed with stabbing women during sex acts has been handed a mandatory life sentence at Dublin high court over a murder that has both repelled and fascinated Ireland.
The trial of Graham Dwyer for the killing his “sex slave”, Elaine O’Hara, has shone a light on the dark underworld of the Republic’s violent sadomasochistic scene.
Dwyer was convicted last month of luring O’Hara to the Dublin mountains on 22 August 2012, stabbing her to death and then concealing her body. The evidence was among the most graphic and disturbing heard by a jury in Ireland.
During a two-month trial, jurors were shown a series of disturbing videos of the 42-year-old architect stabbing O’Hara while she was tied up. In some videos, she was heard begging him to “please stop.”
O’Hara was not the only woman filmed by Dwyer, who sometimes simulated stabbing those he tied up. The Garda Siochana is now attempting to track down the other women, depicted by Dwyer as his “slaves”. Some did not know they were being filmed because they were blindfolded.
O’Hara emerged during the trial as a deeply troubled, lonely woman who yearned for a baby but also had severe mental health issues – vulnerable quarry for a dangerous predator on S&M websites such as Dwyer.
The court heard a series of text messages from the start of their relationship in 2007 between O’Hara, 36, and Dwyer in which he was referred to as “Master” or “Sir” and her as “Slave”. Overall there were 2,600 text messages filled with rape and murder fantasies.
When O’Hara was hospitalised after a suicide attempt in August 2012, one of Dwyer’s text messages read: “You must be punished for trying to kill yourself without me.”
And when she pleaded with Dwyer to make her pregnant, he replied in another text trying to persuade her to help him kill another woman. “Ok, a life for a life. Help me take one and I will give you one,” he texted her.
Dwyer visited an alternative sexual underground website to fulfil his deep-seated fantasies to spill women’s blood during sex acts. He came across O’Hara, who had a history of self harm. Early on in their master-slave relationship, Dwyer told O’Hara via another mobile phone text: “My urge to rape, stab, kill is huge. You have to help me control or satisfy it.”