October 1, 1999
Peter Stafford kills his wife, their three children (pictured), and himself
While the motivation behind the attack is unclear, it was reported Peter was depressed due to his mother’s lung cancer diagnosis and “money worries” from the possibility of Peter losing a majority of his business. It is suspected the financial hardship and depression led to the murder-suicide.
The bodies of the Stafford family members were discovered after Helen Stafford failed to bring her youngest child to her father’s house as scheduled. Helen was found in her bedroom with a head injury as well as stab wounds. It was speculated she was knocked unconscious with a lump hammer before she was stabbed to death. Kellie (alternatively spelled Kelly), 7, and her 2-year-old brother Joe were found in their pajamas in a room downstairs while their brother Daniel, 6, was in an upstairs room next to his toys. All three children were killed by multiple stab wounds.
Peter’s body was found hanging from a bannister. Though no suicide note was left behind, the killings were deemed to be murder-suicide.
Grice, Elizabeth and Martin, Nicole. “What drives a father to kill his family?” The Telegraph. August 31, 2001. Accessed: October 1, 2019. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1339038/What-drives-a-father-to-kill-his-family.html
“Man killed wife and three children, then hanged himself.” The Guardian. February 1, 2000. Accessed: October 1, 2019. https://amp.theguardian.com/uk/2000/feb/01/3
“How could a loving father kill his own child?” Independent. November 8, 1999. Accessed: October 1, 2019. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/how-could-a-loving-father-kill-his-own-child-743101.html?amp
“Funeral for ‘tragic’ family.” BBC. October 19, 1999. Accessed: October 1, 2019. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/479576.stm (image source)
“Family found dead at home.” BBC. October 4, 1999. Accessed: October 1, 2019. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/465016.stm