They tried to help their killer lovers escape conviction. But these women’s lies soon caught up with them and saw them facing jail themselves…
UK: Lied to protect her lover
In 2002, the mugshot of Maxine Carr sent shivers down the spine of the nation. The then 25-year-old, primary school teaching assistant, had been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.
Her crime? She provided a false alibi for her boyfriend Ian Huntley, who’d murdered schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, both 10.
Carr claimed Huntley was at home with her at the time of the murders, when she was in fact in Grimsby, visiting family. Her lies meant police originally eliminated Huntley as a suspect.
In a sick twist, Carr, who worked at Holly and Jessica’s school, appealed for their safe return on TV. She even showed a thank you card Holly had made for her.
Eventually the girls’ bodies were found dumped in a ditch. Huntley was arrested and claimed they’d died at his home by accident, after he’d invited them in.
He was convicted of murdering them and sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of 40 years.
Carr admitted lying to try to give him an alibi and was convicted of perverting the course of justice. But she was released from prison in 2004, after serving just 21 months of her sentence.
She was given a new identity and, years later, it was reported she’d married and become a mother.
Antigua: Honeymoon hush-up
Newlyweds, Ben and Catherine Mullany, both 31, were honeymooning on the island of Antigua in 2008. They’d only been married a fortnight when two men charged into their hotel chalet and shot them.
Catherine died, but Ben was still alive and flown back to his hometown in Wales, on life support. Despite doctors’ best efforts, he couldn’t be saved.
Murder investigations soon led police to two local men in Antigua – Avie Howell and Kaniel Martin. But Howell’s girlfriend, Georgette Aaron, told police the two men were with her at a local dance at the time of the shootings.
Police weren’t convinced and reinterviewed her. The following month, Howell and Martin were arrested and charged with the murders. And Aaron was accused of lying to police about their alibi.
Desperate to protect her lover, she continued to protest she was telling the truth. In 2011, Howell and Martin appeared in court. They were both found guilty and handed life sentences.
Later, Aaron was convicted of perverting the course of justice. She’d deliberately tried to thwart police investigations into the murders, and was sentenced to six years.
‘You persisted in making a false alibi, knowing that the murders had been committed,’ the judge said.
USA: Helped her baby’s killer
In 2011, instead of protecting her baby son, Skyler French protected the man who killed him. While she was out, French left her 3-month-old son with her boyfriend, Charles Dowell.
But when she returned, her son was in a terrible state. He had fatal skull fractures, detached retinas, and broken legs.
Instead of rushing him to hospital though, she delayed and took him later that night. The baby later died from blunt head trauma.
French maintained her boyfriend’s innocence, lying to police to protect him. Dowell was arrested though, and later convicted of murder and aggravated child abuse. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Meanwhile, investigators had seen through French’s lies. She was charged with child neglect and accessory after the fact to felony murder. French pleaded no contest and was later found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
During her trial, French admitted to the judge she lied for Dowell to help cover up the crime. ‘He (Dowell) was the only thing keeping me from freaking out or losing myself. I know what I did was wrong, and I do deserve to be punished for it,’ she said.