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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 7 August, 2020

"I want someone to care for me and love me" - court hears Elaine O'Hara text messages

More than one thousand messages were read to the Central Criminal Court today.

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE GRAHAM DWYER trial has been hearing text messages about killing Elaine O’Hara and other women that the State claims he sent the Dubliner the year before he’s alleged to have murdered her.

Among more than a thousand messages read to the Central Criminal Court today were texts about how the sender would kill Ms O’Hara in woods without her consent.

The sender of the messages also asked Ms O’Hara to find him someone else to kill in several of the messages read out on the 33rd day of the architect’s murder trial.

Mr Dwyer (42) is charged with murdering Ms O’Hara at Killakee, Rathfarnham, Dublin on 22 August 2012, hours after she was discharged from a mental health hospital.

The Cork-born father of three of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 36-year-old childcare worker on that date.

Crime and policing analyst Sarah Skedd had prepared a chart of more than 2600 messages recovered from various devices in the investigation.

She spent today dealing with messages between Ms O’Hara and a phone that the State said the accused purchased in the name of Goroon Caisholm on 25 March 2011.

Ms Skedd confirmed the content of the texts, which were read out by Seán Guerin SC, prosecuting.

The messages

The person using the other phone texted Ms O’Hara to help him get his ‘knife into some flesh soon’.

“I’ll do my best Sir. If you want you can kill my sister,” she suggested.

She agreed that her sister had just had a baby but said they had never got on and that she was a bitch. She then said that she was joking and that it couldn’t happen.

Some of the messages read out from April 2011 concerned Ms O’Hara giving up smoking, with the man telling her to get her teeth whitened afterwards. When she said she couldn’t afford to, he replied: “I can rob the girls I stab.”

In another text, he suggested: “Maybe do my kill during your holidays? Will take the day off work for it.”

She sent him a picture of marks on her wrists at one stage, blaming ‘your ties’.

“Nice,” he replied. “May as well have used the knife… Next time nice oval stab wound.”

“Not if I have my way,” she wrote.

“You don’t get your way. I do,” he replied. “What if I did just one? What would happen?” he asked.

She said she was afraid that it would set her recovery back.

“Will have to find me a victim to stab. That’s an order,” he wrote later.

“Sir, how do I do that?” she asked.

“We will go out for remote walks… and strike if conditions are right,” he replied.

“I will prepare hunting bag with things for the murder,” he wrote later.

He said that it didn’t have to be her he’d kill.

She said that she knew he wouldn’t do it.

“Are you saying I couldn’t kill you if I wanted to?” he asked. “I could bring you out in a case, but not if you help me stab someone… It’s your fault I want to kill and you won’t let me stab you.”

She said she never thought her wanting to die would lead to this.

“Seeing you helpless and at my mercy turns me on,” he wrote half way through the month.

“I can’t wait to knife you”

She asked if he could find another way of hurting her besides stabbing and he suggested needles. She said they might try a few.

“Ok, think about where I can leave marks,” he wrote.

He also suggested sticking a scalpel in a particular area that wouldn’t be seen.

“Just figure out a way I can hurt you,” he continued. “Thin, black knife in the belly?”

Addressing him as sir, she said that it wasn’t her choice and warned that she would scream.

“I will make it as painless as possible,” he wrote.

“I can’t wait to knife you,” he wrote later. “I hope I can stop once I start.”

He asked how many times he could stab her. She said once and asked him not to leave a big scar.

“I want to give you a satisfying stabbing and can’t if you don’t want marks,” he wrote.

“I can’t let you cut me. It’s not right”

He sent her a text on the evening of 14 April, telling her to get naked and strip all sheets off the bed.

“Cuff your hands behind your back. You have 10 minutes. Go,” he wrote.

There were other similar messages before he would visit her, but in later months he texted simply: ‘Assume the position’ ahead of his arrival.

She sent him apologetic text messages a few days later.

“I have to be able to hurt you,” he wrote. “I have to be able to mark you.”

She said she understood if he didn’t want to see her anymore.

“I thought I could, sir. I really did, but I can’t,” she wrote.

“Sir, I can’t let you cut me. I just can’t. It’s not right,” she added later.

“Then you have you help me cut someone,” he replied.

“Use fake knife on you and get to stab some girl to death,” he wrote.

“Yes, sir. As you wish,” she replied.

“We plan a killing,” he wrote.

“When, sir? I am busy this week,” she replied.

He asked her to suggest locations.

“Hellfire Club… Killiney Hill. There are loads of places,” she wrote.

“What about luring someone and stabbing her in your place?” he asked.

“No. It’s too risky, sir,” she replied. “You really have to be careful with your phone… Cops use satellite in the area.”

He said they could ‘switch off before we head out’.

He discussed the option of leaving a crime scene.

“If we bury, then we can take mobile on a detour,” he wrote.

He texted her later in the month to say they would meet for ‘outdoor play and a bit of reconnaissance’.

She asked where they were going.

“Mountains,” he replied.


In later texts, he asked her what kind of things she liked.

“If the master is happy. I love making people happy,” she wrote.

“What if it makes me happy to hurt you?” he asked.

“Don’t even try to stab me, sir,” she wrote later.

He assured her that someone else would be stabbed and asked what ways he could hurt her.

“I’m a sadist and enjoy others’ pain. You should help me inflict pain on you and help me with my fantasies,” he wrote. “Help me rape and stab a young girl… You help me stab a girl and you won’t get knifed.”

He texted her on 25 April 2011 to tell her he had found a dead sheep.

“Might go back after dark and see how it feels to sink a knife into it,” he wrote.

He texted her later that month that they must get her tattooed.

“Possibly the word, slave, somewhere private,” he replied. “I will pay for it.”

He asked if she had enjoyed the previous night.

“It was good talking about your death,” he wrote.

She said she would be a better slave and thanked him for sticking with her.

“It will be all worth it when I kill you ;),” he wrote.

“It will all be worth it when I get to knife someone,” he added later. “Can’t wait.”
She texted him on 26 April to ask when they would be doing it.

“Will you be able to handle all the blood?” he asked.

“I don’t know, sir,” she replied.

“Maybe you should help me (just) plan it,” he suggested.

“Everyone has to die sometime,” he wrote. “Going to hit her across the head with a hammer so she doesn’t feel the knife… Her heart will be pumping during the stabbing so I’ll get the full effect.”

He continued with other suggestions: “I can undress so don’t get blood on my clothes… No point in burying her.”

He said they would need to tidy things up and leave nothing ‘except the naked, stabbed girl’.

He then told her he had taken the following Friday off work for her tattoo, knife shopping and their ‘first recon outing’.


She texted the man in early May 2011 to tell him she was quite down and had been to the doctor.

“Unfortunately, I’m not suicidal,” she explained.

He replied that he was ‘here to help in any way I can, including painless end’.

“I have everything ready if it all becomes too much,” he wrote. “Just think, all your worries gone. I can fit you in Thursday.”

She texted him after leaving an exam early, saying that she wanted to sleep all the time.

“I can put you to sleep J” he wrote.

“Stop,” she replied.

“I know you want it. 30 seconds to slip into oblivion,” he continued.

He texted her on 11 May to say he could adjust his ‘kind offer to hang you in your apartment’. This would mean she would be found and buried properly, he said.

“If you want to go, I want to do it right,” he wrote.

“Right now, I’m not that bad,” she said later.

He texted her on 24 May to say he had left his phone off in case a stabbing had been investigated.

“Animals have picked the carcass clean, yay,” he wrote.

She asked how he knew.

“I was up flying… and had a peak,” he wrote. “Rib cage where knife went in… rest of sheep moved.”

“I want to do a woman next,” he wrote. “It was fantastic feeling the knife go in and watch the blood spurt out. So happy.”

“Woman next, stabbed to death,” he continued. “We have to work on it… I wish I had kept the clip of the stabbing, all that blood.”

He told her he had a recurring dream that he would go to her apartment, that Ms O’Hara would have a girl there for him and all his knives laid out.

“Not going to happen, sir,” she wrote.

They then discussed her dreams of serving a master.

“Life is short, especially for you, ha, ha,” he wrote.

They discussed her borrowing money from him and he said she could repay him in blood, ‘€50 per stab’.

“I’m not giving blood, sir,” she said.

“I might just snap and stick you anyway, against your will,” he wrote.

She told him that scared her.

“Better stab someone else then, but who?” he asked.

He told her to ‘just say the word and I will end all your problems’. She said she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

He later told her he would lend her the €600 she owed her counsellor.

“It’s the least I can do. You will be helping me kill,” he wrote.

“Looking forward to getting new bike tomorrow to try to lose weight. Must get fit for the murder,” he wrote another day. “It’s hard work. My hand is sore from the last stabbing.”

He told her that he wished he had her chained up at his feet to rape or abuse any time.

“The sh*t you give me would be beaten or cut out of you,” he wrote.


He then said he was thinking about visiting a prostitute to see how easy it would be to kill her.

“Maybe I can bring one to your place and do it there,” he suggested.

He asked if she would be squeamish.

“It’s a tough choice. Either you let me stab you or you help me do it to someone else,” he wrote.

“I help you do it,” she replied.

“Was lucky with last victim,” he wrote, saying he wouldn’t do it without the perfect plan.

“Yes sir,” she replied. “Don’t you know, sir, there’s no such thing as a perfect plan.”

He said that lots of people had stabbed and got away.

“Why not me?” he asked.

He told her at the end of May that if they didn’t ‘do someone soon, I’ll have to do you’.

“I’ll try not to kill you,” he wrote later.

“I don’t want to die,” she wrote.

“Let’s concentrate on getting … me to stab some bitch to death,” he said.

She told him she’d had a scary dream in which he’d made her watch him stab a girl to death.

“I’d love that,” he replied.

He then texted her some new instructions. He told her he wanted her to be enthusiastic and encourage him in his plan to stab a woman, to think of places where he could do it and work on the details of his ideas.

He told her to prepare herself to take part as he might enjoy watching her stab the woman.

He also told her to think of outdoor locations such as woods, parks and graveyards, along with indoor locations including an empty house, her apartment, a prostitute’s apartment or a car.

On one of the occasions that she told him she wanted to smoke in her apartment, he replied that smoking disgusted him and that there would be black tar oozing out when he would stab her in her lungs.

He texted her on 2 June to tell her he had good news.

“Family will be away for the last week of June and first week of July so I can stay over and chain you,” he wrote.

On another occasion she texted to ask him where the blue gloves were.

“Should be in the outer part of the kill bag,” he wrote.

“I have to get blood soon,” he wrote that same day. “Think about how and when or who we do it to.”

He told her he would not be able to lend her cash.

“We can rob some rich woman. Then we stab her,” he suggested. “I should make the stab look like a robbery? Stab outside the clothes.”

“I really can’t wait to do it,” he wrote later. “I keep watching the video of when I stuck you.”

He texted her another day that he was just out of a meeting.

“I’m thinking about stabbing and rape,” he wrote.

She replied that it would be great if they could have what they wanted and none of the consequences.

“We can,” he replied.

“Sir, you were worried about getting caught after the sheep,” she wrote. “Everything has consequences… When I cut or someone else cuts me, I go down big time.”

He told her to think about a victim for her master ‘or you will be’.

He asked if she had heard about an attack on a woman in a park in Tallaght and pointed out a mistake the attacker had made.

“Start looking up for properties that are remote and have a young female auctioneer,” he wrote. “Up mountains, near you, as remote as possible.”

He said he had found a cottage with a female agent called Leslie and told her to find similar options.

“I want someone to care for me”

He asked if she had First Aid items for a punishment he was about to give her one evening. He texted her the following morning to ask how her wound was.

“I should have gone deeper for blood,” he wrote.

“Between the punches and the stabs I will never find my true love,” she wrote at one stage. “I want someone to care for me and love me.”

He texted her that he was looking forward to seeing her research on finding a victim.

“No play, no research,” she wrote.

He told her he would expect research and an apology and said he hadn’t given her permission to sign up for a fitness group she had joined.

He texted her to ‘assume the position’ that evening and told her the following morning to keep the stab wounds clean and covered.

They continued texting after his family went away at the end of the month. She asked if he wanted to stab all the time.

“I want to stick my knife in flesh while sexually aroused and see pain,” he replied. “Blood turns me on.”

On another occasion, he described four ways he could kill Ms O’Hara. His favoured option would be to take her to woods, strip her and stab her. He said he would leave her clothes in her car near the sea and that it would look like she had drowned.

A specific evening was chosen at the start of July to go out and find someone to kill.

“We’re going to have to do it next week. My brother has called over,” he wrote that evening.

“Bad timing,” she replied.

“Really bad, but maybe he saved a girl’s life,” he said.

Ms Skedd will continue outlining the content of the text messages tomorrow.

The trial has heard that Ms O’Hara was last seen in Shanganagh, South Dublin on the evening of 22 August 2012.

A cause of death could not be determined when her skeletal remains were discovered at Killakee on 13 September the following year.

It is the State’s case that Mr Dwyer stabbed her for his own sexual gratification.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and the jury of five women and seven men.

Originally posted at 7pm.

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Natasha Reid

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