Love can make you do crazy things. When you’re young and in love you feel as though you can take on the world, that no one can stop you, that what you have will last forever and nothing else will matter from here on out. Every moment together feels like the first time and every moment apart feels like agony.
Being blinded by love, especially when you’re young and with your first love, can lead you to step into a world of irrational thought and kneejerk reactions. Being deeply in love at a young age can cloud the judgment of impressionable minds. Suddenly, every criticism feels like a threat to your relationship. Every negative swipe or side eye feels like a direct attack on the purity of your love.
For teenage sweethearts Kim Edwards, 14, and Lucas Markham, 14, nothing was going to get in the way of their love. Not even Edwards’ mother.
Edwards and Markham were precisely the kind of couple you’d expect in two 14-year-olds. “He was my first serious boyfriend. We started having a sexual relationship. It was the first time for both of us,” Edwards had said in interviews. “I felt very close to him. It was the closest I’ve ever felt to anyone.”
The two had made it “official” in May of 2015. Things had apparently been going just fine for the couple, until Edwards’ mother, Elizabeth, 49, had learned about Markham’s tendency to get into trouble. Elizabeth felt that Markham was becoming a bad influence on her daughter and she strived to keep them apart.
But, like any teen in love, that would only serve to drive them closer together.
This tension between mother and daughter quickly spiraled into violence. On April 11, Edwards and Markham met at a local McDonald’s and began to plan. They were going to murder Edwards’ mother and younger sister, Katie, 13.
Two days later, when everything was ready to go, Markham crept into Elizabeth’s room as she slept, and stabbed her eight times. First in the throat to prevent her from screaming for help and waking Katie.
Kim was in another room, waiting. She apparently didn’t like the smell of blood.
Using the same knife, Markham made his way into Katie’s room. He too stabbed her in the neck to prevent screaming, and smothered her with a pillow.
The couple, apparently reveling after their actions, took a bath to wash off the blood before allegedly having sex and settling down to watch Twilight while eating ice cream and toasted teacakes.
During the investigation and trial, Markham and Edwards’ names were not released to the public because of their young age. After the verdict, however, the courts felt the need to release their names to the public.
According to Sir Brian Leveson, an English judge, “In the circumstances of this case, notwithstanding that the appellants are only 15 years of age, we have no doubt that the lifting of reporting restrictions is in accordance with law, pursues a legitimate aim and is a reasonable and proportionate measure … properly balancing the welfare of the appellants … against article 10 rights of the press and the interests of the public.”
Edwards and Markham were found guilty and were each given a sentence of 17-and-a-half years. They are believed to be Britain’s youngest double killers.