ITV dramatises shocking case of murderous Christian dentist

ITV dramatises shocking case of murderous Christian dentist April 29, 2016

At 9pm tonight (Friday), ITV begins a four-part dramatisation of the murders committed by a devout Northern Ireland Christian, Colin Howell, above, who killed his first wife, along with the husband of his mistress.
Howell,  according to this report, told his second wife Kyle Jorgensen about the murders but swore her to secrecy.
The astonishing story of betrayal, violence and perversion – Howell sexually abused sedated patients – is told in the drama, which stars James Nesbitt as Howell.
Kyle – a New Yorker – said of Howell:

He abused patients, he is a compulsive liar, he was an adulterer in our marriage and murdered two people.
Everyone thought he was this great Christian guy but they were so wrong. He was a monster.

Kyle had moved to the UK partly to rid herself of the memory of a violent three-year marriage to her first husband. She had two kids.
She threw herself back into education, attended the University of Ulster and joined a local church in Castlerock, County Derry, where she was introduced to Howell, then a father of four, at Bible study in December 1996.
The dentist and his lover – played on screen by Genevieve O’Reilly – wanted their partners dead so they could set up home together. But they split after five years and Howell met Kyle.

James Nesbitt and Genevieve O'Reilly as Colin Howell and Hazel Buchanan in 'The Secret'.
James Nesbitt and Genevieve O’Reilly as Colin Howell and his lover Hazel Buchanan in ‘The Secret’.
They wed within five months and she soon fell pregnant with the first of their five children.
She recalled:

I really looked up to him as a teacher. His biblical knowledge was amazing. He knew it all, but the faith I believe he’s been living is really very hypocritical. He would preach on what kind of people we ought to be, about sexual immorality.
This was going on for years. I had no idea. He could do it right to your face. He was very deceptive.

Howell and Kyle were raising their seven-month-old son Erik when, in 1998, he suddenly admitted his past.
For the next ten years the revered Sunday School teacher bullied Kyle into keeping his secret, blackmailing her into thinking she must not utter a word for the sake of their children – or he would take his own life.
Confused, frightened and alone, Kyle tried to tell members of her church. But Howell was so respected among them that one church elder told her:

I don’t want to hear it.

It was only in 2009 and after a string of conflicts that Kyle forced Howell to confess.
He is now serving a minimum 21 years after admitting gassing his first wife Lesley, 31, and policemanTrevor Buchanan, 32, husband of his lover.
He told Kyle, now 50, how he used a garden hose connected to the exhaust of his Renault car to kill them nearby Coleraine in 1991. He made the deaths looked like a double suicide.
Kyle also discovered that throughout their marriage Howell had been sexually abusing sedated women under his care at his surgery in ­Ballymoney, Country Antrim.
She also claimed that he became addicted to pornography.
Howell’s deceitful life finally unravelled after he lost £350,000 in a “get-rich quick” scam in the Philippines.
He had netted £212,446 from Lesley’s will, £27,000 from the estate of her father, a £120,000 life insurance payout and a £54,635 endowment policy.
Howell admitted everything to church elders and police in January 2009 after Kyle told him:

You will confess. You will never be a free person unless you confess and be really honest.

The killer has another 16 years to serve before he can apply for parole.
His former lover, Hazel Stewart, nee Buchanan, 53, who remarried after their split, got 18 years for her part in the murders.

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  • Broga

    “Everyone thought he was this great Christian guy but they were so wrong. He was a monster.” The mixture as so often before.
    Not the kind of dentist you would want operating the drill.

  • Robster

    Should have been a cleric, would’ve been right at home.

  • barriejohn

    His biblical knowledge was amazing. He knew it all, but the faith I believe he’s been living is really very hypocritical. He would preach on what kind of people we ought to be…
    Like so many. I really never understood, even as a Christian, why it was necessary to be TOLD to love people, yet I knew many sour-faced, straight-laced Christians who claimed to have a “love for souls”, yet despised the people around them – even (or especially!) other Christians. Missionaries only carried out their “selfless” task of medical work and translation, etc, to “bring souls to Christ”; there seemed to be no love for humanity whatsoever. The sainted George Muller only set up his Ashley Down orphanages to “prove” that God would support such endeavours in answer to prayer alone (a completely bogus premise); any desire to better the lives of the disadvantaged was hardly ever mentioned, and, of course, they were all indoctrinated with fundamentalist Christian ideas. I just LOVE this peanuts cartoon, which sums it up perfectly:
    “Love one another”!

  • Angela_K

    When this drama is screened, no doubt there will be the usual cries of “nothing to do with religion”, “Anti-Christian”etc. This story has the familiar mix of religious hypocrisy, abuse and cover-up.

  • Broga

    @Angela_K : If it is judged good it is Christian; if it isn’t it is judged not Christian. The no true Scotsman approach.

  • andym

    “His biblical knowledge was amazing”
    “She also claimed that he became addicted to pornography.”
    And the difference is?

  • Stuart H.

    Re the cover-up by church elders – saw something similar in my town some years ago in the case of a preacher with a thing for under-age girls. Made more complicated because he was a former Loyalist thug who ‘found God’ inside, was relocated here under some sort of witness protection thing and so his criminal past was hidden from the general public.
    In that case, the church elder was a senior police officer, one of the few who knew the guy’s real past, and families of victims were ‘advised’ to move away rather than give evidence in court. Meanwhile, other good Christians advised the families that if they spoke up they would be unwelcome at church and unemployable. In a small town, where local employers and small business owners tend to be churchgoers, that was a very real threat so all but one victim and their families did move away.
    Never, ever, underestimate the depth to which religious hypocrites will go to hide their dirty secrets.

  • Angela_K

    Stuart H. The police do have a large Christian contingent as well as Masons among the higher ranks, so I’m not surprised to hear that.

  • barriejohn

    Re Freemasonry and the police, the following has been in the news again recently:
    My brother-in-law was a member of the force in the 1980s, so it doesn’t surprise me at all.

  • Christianity in general has to take some responsibility for his crimes for it gives its members a placebo that extinguishes the pangs of conscience.