Chilling True-Crime On Wife Who Murdered Her Husband Airs Tonight
In a new episode of Lady Killers, airing tonight on Quest Red, viewers will dive into the Hannegret Donnelly case, who carried out a systemic and sustained campaign of abuse on her husband Christopher Donnelly, which ultimately led to his death.
In March 2018, the German mum-of-four made a call to police to report the death of her partner. When officers arrived they found the body of the music teacher, who had been dead for 12 hours, with 78 external injuries including fractures to his neck and spine.
His cause of death - a bronchial infection - had been the result of years of torture, abuse and humiliation which had caused his immune system to fail.
When Hannegret, a former midwife, was pulled in for questioning, she played off her husband's injuries as "banter" and "light-hearted", recalling jovially stories of how she'd "chased him round the table".
The episode will explore the dark secret that the Donnellys held behind the walls of their home in Aylesbury.
Experts will describe how Hannegret created a kind of 'psychological fortress' around her husband and children, cutting them off from the outside world, removing technology and home schooling the children.
Due to the abuse Christopher was subjected to at the hands of his wife, he'd become physically weak towards the end of his life.
As author and former Detective Clare Mackintosh notes in the documentary: "There were a number of old injuries that showed that Christopher's abuse had started many years previously. He had a cauliflower ear, and a fracture to the cartilage in his voice box which was consistent with attempted strangulation."
Former Detective Peter Bleksley adds, "There was so much scar tissue that even the office pathologist was shocked."
The pathologist who assessed Christopher determined his prolonged level of abuse led to him contracting a bronchial infection, ultimately leading to his death.
Hannegret Donnelly was convicted of murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 16 years.
The Lady Killers airs at 10pm on Thursdays on Quest Red.
Featured Image Credit: Quest Red