Police probe whether dad who kidnapped and strangled student was infamous 90s serial killer


Police are probing whether a dad shot dead after kidnapping and strangling a student could have been behind a string of murders in the 1990s.

Mark Hennessy, 40, was killed by police hunting for missing Jastine Valdez, 24, after she disappeared near Dublin on Saturday.

Her battered body was found lying in thick woodland on Monday.

Dad-of-two Hennessy is thought to have kidnapped the Philippine student at random, strangled her then dumped her body.

As police cornered him on Sunday, he used a secret phone to tell his wife: “I’ve done something awful.”

It is understood a note was found in his car hinting to where Jastine’s body was lying.


Body found in search for missing woman, 24, after suspected kidnapper shot dead by police

Detectives are now checking Hennessy’s DNA amid fears he could be behind a string of disappearances in Ireland, according to the Irish Times .

Officers will reportedly re-examine the Vanishing Triangle cases, relating to a group of young women who vanished without a trace from the Leinster area in the 1990s.

The victims include Fiona Pender, Deirdre Jacob, Annie McCarrick, Jo Jo Dullard, Fiona Sinnott, Eva Brennan and Ciara Breen

The first victim, Annie McCarrick, disappeared in 1993 when Hennessy would have been aged just 16, but her case is being included in the review.

Hennessy’s profile will also be checked against DNA evidence collected in the murder of Raonaid Murray, 17, who was killed in south Dublin in 1999, the Times says.


Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1 on Tuesday, crime correspondent Paul Reynolds said: “They have to look at where he was and what he was doing around the time when some of those women disappeared.

“He would have been very young for some of the cases, for example the case of Annie McCarrick who disappeared in 1993, he would have been only 15 years of age.

“But Deirdre Jacob disappeared in 1998 when Mark Hennessy was 20 years of age so they definitely will look at him.

“But they’ll also look at him for more recent attacks on women. They’ll check his DNA and they will have to consider him even if only to rule him out as a suspect in these cases.”


Jastine’s remains were found in Rathmichael, South Dublin, just before 3pm as faint hopes she could still be alive were cruelly dashed.

The Irish Mirror understands from a number of sources that forensic experts have told gardai they believe Jastine was strangled.

Her parents were being comforted on Monday after learning their only child was murdered shortly after being snatched off the street in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, on Saturday.

On Monday night it emerged:

  • It is understood a note was found in Hennessy’s Nissan Qashqai and it alluded to where Jastine’s body was found
  • The crazed knifeman went out drinking in the Ramblers pub in Ballybrack, South Dublin, after murdering her
  • Dad-of-two Hennessy, 41, was “super aggressive” and slashed at his body and lunged at gardai before being shot dead when he was cornered on Sunday
  • He rang his wife shortly before his own death, admitting to killing Jastine, from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow
  • Gardai are examining whether the psycho knew or had ever met her, or whether the abduction and murder was completely random
  • Chilling videos emerged of Hennessy picking up the Nissan Qashqai he used to abduct Jastine and another of him laughing and joking with women in a pub
  • Sat nav details downloaded from the 4×4 revealed where the killer had driven, narrowing down the search to an area around Puck’s Castle, where gardai found 24-year-old Jastine’s remains in thick gorse scrubland.



A disused golf course was the focal point for the search, which was close to where her purse was found yesterday.

The Garda search team had been trying to cut away a large number of bushes in the secluded and inaccessible area when they found the body.

It is understood officers could clearly see the outline of a dead woman, but because of the depth of bushes it took them over an hour before they were able to reach her.

The secluded Rathmichael area where the body was found yesterday is about a 10-minute drive from where Jastine was abducted.

The crime scene was cordoned off as gardai secured the area and combed the surrounding scrubland for clues.




Police hunting for missing woman shoot suspect dead after he ‘pulled out knife’

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy and the Garda Technical Bureau were notified and they arrived at the scene after 5pm and completed a preliminary examination of the body.

The Valdez family were given regular updates as the search continued and were being supported by specialist liaison officers.

A local couple who owned an American-style Hummer 4×4 handed in a woman’s jacket they found just before 4pm.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror, the man, who did not want to be identified, said: “We found the jacket across from the golf course.



“We had offered to help and we were asked by the guards to drive around the area as the Hummer is obviously a lot higher up and it’s easier to see things. My girlfriend is about the same height as the missing woman and it was about her size so we thought it might be significant to the investigation.

“If it is her jacket there could be DNA on it and that could be important.”

Earlier, just 1km away, 60 members of the Defence Forces and gardai and the members of the Civil Defence combed nearby woodland close to Puck Castle Lane and removed clothing and personal items as bagged evidence.

Dozens of specialist gardai in the water and air support units were involved with a flurry of helicopters flying overhead and drones were also brought in to give an overhead view of the dense landscape.


It emerged yesterday Hennessy admitted murdering the 24-year-old student, telling his wife: “I’ve done something awful.”

The call, from a secret or “burner phone”, was made just minutes before he was shot dead. On Saturday, a short time after abducting and murdering Jastine, he was seen out drinking in a local pub.

The Irish Mirror has learned Hennessy had three previous convictions.

He was found guilty of possessing cannabis in 1999 and fined €100, while in October 2000 he was separately convicted for two public order offences – threatening and abusive behaviour and being intoxicated in a public place – and fined €250.

Footage has emerged of Hennessy socialising in a local pub – and buying the car he used to abduct Jastine.


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The video shows him enjoying a night out with a number of women as music plays in the background. And in a second clip, Hennessy is seen at a car dealership in the process of buying a 171-registered black Qashqai last September.

At the time he said: “Absolutely beautiful now, it drives really well. I’m delighted with it. The staff have treated me very well as well.”

As gardai approached him on Sunday, he lunged at an unarmed traffic officer with a knife – and it was at this point he was shot.

Gardai had begged Hennessy to drop the blade, he then began to self-harm, stabbing at himself. Then he advanced towards the officer – stabbing at him. A detective then fired a shot to protect his colleague.

A source said: “This was the most difficult of situations – this man was in a super-aggressive crazed state.


“He lunged at the garda and the policing training the gardai have is they must protect the lives of their colleagues and the public in such a situation.

“The detective concerned is a well-regarded member of the force with a lot of service – he is well-known as someone very cool under pressure and is straight as a dye. The shots were taken to protect life – it is devastating for these members to have to take a life.

“They did not know what was happening and as they moved in they were putting their lives at risk. They were hopeful that Jastine was inside the car but didn’t know.”

Shortly after the fatal shooting Hennessy’s family arrived at the scene and broke down in tears as they were told he was dead.

Around 200 people attended a candlelit vigil for Jastine last night. Members of the local Filipino community and others gathered at St Fergal’s Church in Bray to show their support to the family.



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