Investigation Discovery’s ‘Vengeance: Killer Coworkers: Bloodshed in the Barn’ chronicles the tragic murder of a stablehand and riding instructor Fiona Southwell in Seaton in July 2016. The investigators quickly nabbed the killer following witness testimony and were aghast to find that she had been killed for resentment over a job. If you want to learn more about what happened as well as the identity and current whereabouts of the perpetrator, we’ve your back. Let’s begin then, shall we?
How Did Fiona Southwell Die?
Riding instructor Fiona Southwell lived with her brother, Samuel Southwell, and their elderly mother at Arram Hall, near Seaton. She worked as a freelance riding trainer before being recruited as a stable hand at Grange Farm in Goxhill Lane, Seaton, near Hull in England. The family of the 60-year-old reminisced about how she devoted her entire life to horses and treated them as “the great love of her life.” Fiona had even taken part in a horse parade for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and used to paint commissioned pictures of horses using her years of experience with the animals.
Fiona was also a member of the Hornsea Art Society and had been exhibiting her artistic works for about 10 years. On July 15, 2016, Samuel went down to the barns to check up on his sister when she did not come to the house for meals. It came as a shock when he found the 60-year-old’s body in a barn at Grange Farm. Police arrived at the scene around 7 pm to find she had been stabbed at least 19 times in her face, neck, and private area.
The autopsy report stated that the defensive wounds on her arms revealed that she had attempted to defend herself after being cornered in the barn by the assailant. An investigative officer said, “It was a sustained, extremely vicious attack with an extreme level of violence, and to consider how long it takes to cause that number of injuries is a disturbing thought.”
Who Killed Fiona Southwell?
The authorities appealed to the people of the vicinity, especially those who passed by the farm around the time of the murder, to come forward with any information regarding the incident. The police didn’t have to look long for their killer as they found a witness who testified seeing a former employee of the farm, Daniel Edwards, with Fiona on the day of the murder. Daniel lived in King Street, Hornsea, and was arrested a day later, on July 16. He denied having any knowledge of the crime or being at Grange Farm on the day of the murder.
However, police found several pieces of evidence at his residence that directly contradicted his claims of innocence. Officers recovered clothing stained with Fiona’s blood from his bedroom as well as the victim’s blood on his ankle. They also located a bloody kitchen knife, covered with Fiona’s blood, in a hedgerow near the farm and a blood-stained child’s vest that detectives believed had been used to wipe the knife clean.
The 22-year-old could not explain any of the above items and was duly arrested on the charges of the murder of Fiona. Daniel had worked as a stable hand since the Spring of 2016 at the Grange Farm, where he was recruited to look after three horses. However, he had been reportedly dismissed in a cordial and gentle manner on the grounds of poor timekeeping and was replaced by Fiona in May 2016, which angered him. The authorities believed Daniel thought killing Fiona would lead him to get hired again at the farm.
Daniel had a prior conviction for being drunk and disorderly in public as well as one caution each for assault in 2012 and indecent exposure in 2014. Highlighting Daniel’s erratic behavior, the owner of the guest house where he stayed for a few months before the incident said, “…we have phones in all the guest rooms and we had a bill for £200 linked to sex chat lines and other things like that. We soon realised that it was Daniel… He began to take more and more liberties with us and he was up to all sorts of shenanigans.” He was reportedly asked to leave after 3 months.
Furthermore, the police also came across a string of expletives laden and misogynistic posts on Facebook in the weeks leading to the murder as well as hours after the crime had occurred. Furthermore, the CCTV of a neighbor also captured Daniel strolling near the crime scene a few minutes after the 60-year-old riding instructor was killed.
Where is Daniel Edwards Today?
Daniel Edwards was found guilty of murder by a Hull Crown Court jury in a trial held in February 2017 after less than 3 hours of deliberations. The judge handed him a life sentence with an order to serve a minimum of 24 years in prison before he would be eligible for parole. His learning disability was reportedly considered while determining the severity of his sentence.
While handing out his sentence, the judge severely admonished Daniels and said, “The use of some of the language of the Facebook posting you later shared – you let out the demons within you.” He further added, “The attack on Fiona Southwell was merciless and savage.” As of the present, Daniel is presumed to be serving his sentence in HMP Hull located in Kingston upon Hull in England.