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"I feel... not much": Boy A - the convicted murderer who watched violent pornography and horror movies

Boy A was found guilty of the murder of Ana Kriegel in May 2018.

IN MANY WAYS, Boy A is a typical young teenager. 

He likes video games, he has a group of friends who go exploring. He draws and has an interest in playing with toy guns. He likes steak. He hates homework. He watches horror movies and listens to rap and heavy metal.

Boy A has also just been found guilty of murder, making him one of the country’s youngest-ever convicted killers. 

He murdered Ana Kriegel, aged 14, on 14 May 2018 when he was 13 years old. He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting the schoolgirl.

The court heard how he killed her while wearing a ‘zombie mask’ in an abandoned house near a popular park in Lucan.

Ana’s blood was on his boots, on his gloves and on a ‘zombie mask’ which contained both their DNA. His semen was on Ana’s vest top which was discovered discarded in Glenwood House. 

Boy A was convicted by a jury yesterday after over 14 hours of deliberation.

Despite the evidence against him, he had pleaded not guilty to the charges. On each day of hearings, Boy A arrived at the Criminal Courts of Justice with his parents and sat in the back of the courtroom. 

During the trial, Boy A was always well-presented and sat quietly with his parents. The various gardaí who had dealings with him had no problem telling the court that he was polite and courteous when they interviewed him prior to his arrest. 

A teacher gave evidence to the court that he was an intelligent young man who had never caused any problems in school. 

All of these positive and normal attributes jarred with how the court heard that Boy A had spoken of his desire to kill; how he had picked out Ana Kriegel as his target; and how he had created a ‘murder kit’ comprising a zombie mask, protective gear and builders’ tape.

Plan

Boy B, also found guilty of murder, was a friend of Boy A. He described to gardaí how Boy A was planning to kill Ana.

In the recordings of interviews played in court, Boy B told gardaí that he was in school when he was approached by Boy A around a month before Ana died. 

“I was in school by myself. He came up to me and said ‘hey, wanna kill somebody?’. I said no. He replied with ‘ah, here. Why not’. [I said] because it’s retarded. I then asked him who he was planning to kill and he replied ‘Ana Kriegel’. I replied with ‘in your dreams’. Then he just went. I didn’t think he was being serious.”

The court previously heard that Boy A had asked Boy B to call in for Ana and to arrange to meet in the park. The reason given for this was that Boy A could tell Ana that he was not romantically interested in her.

Boy B was asked by gardaí why Boy A’s bag – which he brought with him when going to the park – contained a mask, gloves, knee pads and shin pads if he was there to deal with a relationship matter. 

Boy B responded: “He was planning to kill Ana – I didn’t know.” 

A significant portion of evidence was deemed to be inadmissible by Judge Paul McDermott during legal argument in the middle of the trial.

While it was deemed prejudicial for the jury to hear it, it now gives insight into what Boy A was interested in during the weeks and months before he killed Ana Kriegel. 

The search history evidence that the jury saw

During the course of the investigation, gardaí seized a number of electronic devices belonging to Boy A. 

An exhibit displayed to the court showed screenshots of the search engine data captured in January and February of 2018 from a phone taken from Boy A. 

Terms found when the search engine was examined included:

  • ’15 most gruesome torture methods in history’
  • ‘horror movies that will blow everyone away’
  • ‘Ouija board haunted asylum (warning)’
  • ‘Until Dawn get Jessica’s clothes off’
  • ‘top 10 sexiest videogame characters of 2017′.

Until Dawn is a zombie video game – the developers of that game created a scenario where the player can strip the character ‘Jessica’ down to her underwear. Boy A was searching for ways to be able to do this. 

Other terms that were found when the search engine data was examined, the court heard, included: ‘Mega Mastadon’ (a toy foam gun), ‘creepy forward facing skull’, ‘gold skull’, ‘abandoned places in Lucan’ and ‘printable gift vouchers’. 

The evidence the jury was not shown 

While the jury was given a snippet of information regarding Boy A’s online activity, much was held back. 

During a day of legal evidence which the jury was not present for, more information regarding Boy A’s sexual interests, as well as how he viewed himself, came to light. 

A questionnaire-type document with Boy A’s name on it was excluded from evidence.

It was a list of questions and answers:

  • Where do you like to hang out? Abandoned places
  • What are your favourite books? Horror
  • Favourite sports? Combat
  • Favourite movies? Horror comedy 
  • Favourite music? Rap/heavy metal
  • Single or taken? Single
  • I would describe myself as…crazy, funny, adventurous
  • I am… strange
  • I think… differently
  • I feel… not much
  • I hope to… do well in life
  • I feel… angry when someone tries to annoy me or hits me
  • I love… steak and drawing
  • I hate… homework

The pornography evidence kept from the jury

Note: The following sections contains details of graphic internet searches and photographs.

While the jury heard that Boy A had searched for abandoned places in Lucan and the most gruesome torture methods in history, it had not heard the extent of his searches for pornography. 

A total of 12,000 pornographic images were found on Boy A’s devices. Aside from those images, Boy A’s devices had internet searches for “child porn”. This term was searched for on two separate devices found in his room.

Photographs of a man wearing a mask were discovered on a phone found in his room.

Sexual violence

Separately, another 5,000 images were found stored on an Alcatel phone found in Boy A’s bedroom, with many depicting scenes of sexual violence. 

Some of the images, described by gardaí during the legal argument depicted: 

  • An image of a male and female, with the female wearing a school uniform. She is not clothed from the waist down.
  • An image with a female wearing underpants bound to a wooden post behind her. This image shows a man behind her, squeezing her throat. There is another person there watching who is uninvolved. 
  • Another of a door ajar with a female wearing underpants and a male behind her wearing a balaclava.
  • A video of a naked woman who appears to have arms and legs bound together by rope to a bench – a sexual act is then performed.
  • An image of a woman who is bound at the wrists and ankles with a gag in her mouth and a person behind her.

Other searched words or phrases on the Alcatel phone included: child porn, dark web, horse porn, animal porn. These were all from November 2017.

Other searches included, from November 2017: “child porn”, “horse fucks girl”, “horse porn”, “animal porn”, “cute teen fucked hard from [pornographic website]“, and “teen sweet Russian.”

During legal argument, Justice Paul McDermott said the evidence of the pornography could not be introduced by the prosecution because the searches took place a long time before the alleged offence. He also said that its value to the trial was outweighed by its potential prejudicial value.

To ensure a fair trial, he decided not to admit the exhibit into evidence.

The made-up assault 

Ana Kriegel’s body was discovered on 17 May 2018, three days after she went missing. Gardaí originally called to the home of Boy B on the night of her disappearance. It was only the following day when Boy B told officers that Boy A was also in the park on the day of Ana’s disappearance.

Gardaí called to the home of Boy A on the morning of Tuesday 15 May and he was asked to show gardaí where he last saw Ana.

At this point, officers had been told that Boy A had been attacked by two men in the park and were investigating – something we now know was an outright lie. 

From the outset, Boy A stuck to his story that he was attacked by two men as he walked home from meeting Ana in the local park. He told this to his friends, his teachers, his parents and gardaí.

His description of them never changed. One was stocky, the other skinny.

They grabbed him from behind and began kicking him on the ground. But he said that he was able to get up and perform a kick to the head of one of his assailants, leaving his attacker bloodied. The two then fled after the attack, Boy A told gardaí. 

But no CCTV evidence of any alleged attackers could be found. The injuries Boy A sustained were from Ana as she fought for her life in Glenwood House. She kicked and punched Boy A a number of times causing him damage to his arm, chest, leg and head. 

Boy A’s father was irate when he heard his son had been attacked. He called the gardaí who then began to investigate. As part of this inquiry, Boy A’s DNA was taken. 

Detective Garda Gabriel Newton described how she was initially dealing with the alleged assault suffered by Boy A in the park on the day of Ana’s disappearance.

Newton said she requested the clothing Boy A was wearing and said it was important she did so as there could be traces of the attackers’ DNA which could have been transferred to his clothing during the assault. 

It was this DNA evidence which was to link Boy A to Ana’s murder.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Boy A stuck to his story about being attacked. He never changed the description of the fictional two men who attacked him, he never changed how he described they beat him. 

He stuck to his story, not once amending any part of his account when questioned by officers. 

Forensic evidence and the garda interviews 

Despite his protestations, the DNA evidence against Boy A was incontrovertible. 

DNA expert John Hoade gave evidence to the court about how he studied the boots belonging to Boy A which were handed over to Forensic Science Ireland. Hoade said he examined a number of separate areas of blood staining on the soles and upper ends of the boots. 

He told the court that the blood found on these boots matched that of Ana Kriegel. Hoade, in his testimony, told the court that he believed the blood evidence indicated that “Boy A either assaulted Ana Kriegel or was very close to her when she was assaulted”. 

Gardaí found a blue-and-white backpack in a wardrobe in Boy A’s bedroom. 

When this bag was searched it was found to contain a mask, gloves, a snood (a type of head and neckwear), knee pads and shin pads. 

In his evidence, Hoade said that he found blood staining on the mask, knee pads and gloves, as well as on the bag itself. He said this blood matched the DNA profile of Ana Kriegel. 

The mask would cover the eyes and nose but not the mouth of its wearer. It had blue liner around the eyes and red around its lips. Hoade agreed with prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan that there was fake blood around where the mouth would be, when worn. 

Boy A took part in a total of six interviews with gardaí after his arrest on 24 May under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. His solicitor and father were present for all interviews. 

At one point during interview, Detective Garda Tomás Doyle told Boy A that his boots had been forensically examined and that they had been found to contain Ana’s blood on them. 

Responding to the garda, Boy A said: “Are you joking me?” The garda informed him he was not, to which Boy A added: “Are you actually being serious?” Boy A was told by gardaí that they would not joke about something of this nature. The garda told Boy A that this particular piece of evidence was “significant and serious”.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Boy A stuck to his story about how he was attacked by two men. 

Boy A is now one of the youngest-ever convicted killers in the history of the State. The Irish public will never know his name. 

His fate is in the hands of Mr Justice Paul McDermott, who must decide what sentence to hand down to this teen, who has been convicted of murdering and sexually assaulting Ana Kriegel. He will remain in custody for the next four weeks until his sentence is handed down. 

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