Brian Blackwell

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Brian Blackwell
Born 1986 (age 30–31)
West Lancashire, UK
Residence Swinfen Hall Young Offenders Institution as of 2007[1]
Nationality British
Known for Teenager who stabbed and beat his parents to death[2]
Criminal charge Murder, 2 counts[3]
Criminal penalty Life sentence[3]
Criminal status Incarcerated[1]
Conviction(s) Manslaughter (29 June 2005)[3]

Brian snr

and Jacqueline Blackwell[4]
Date 25 July 2004[5]
Location(s) At home their home in Melling, Merseyside, England[5]

Brian Mark Blackwell (born 1986) is a British man who, at 18 years old, killed his parents by stabbing and beating them with a carving knife and claw hammer in their home near Liverpool, England on 25 July 2004.[5]

Early life[edit]

Brian Mark Blackwell was born in 1986 in West Lancashire, UK[citation needed] to Jacqueline Blackwell, a former antiques dealer, and Sydney Blackwell, a retired accountant known as "Big Brian".[2][6] Until July 2004, Blackwell lived at home with his parents in Melling, Merseyside, an affluent village in the northern suburbs of Liverpool, England.[1] It is believed that his parents were overindulgent,[3][7] as well as excessively overprotective and controlling of even minor aspects of Blackwell's life throughout his childhood.[8] He had been an under-18 tennis champion at the local club.[9] Nicknamed "Little Brian" by his parents and "Brains" by his friends, he was described as an "exemplary student" with a scholarship to Liverpool College[2] and was planning to begin studying medicine at Nottingham University in the autumn of 2004.[4] Blackwell's parents always had high expectations of him and told people he was going to be a surgeon.[8]

He regularly told innocuous lies, such as embellishing his academic achievements, but his lying escalated in the two months leading up to killing his parents in July 2004.[5] He applied for 13 credit cards in his father's name[4] and attempted to obtain a cash advance from the bank by falsely claiming to be a professional tennis player who needed the money to play in the French Open later that summer. He wrote on his application form that he'd be able to repay the loan with his fabricated salary of £45,000 a year.[5] His girlfriend at the time believed he was a professional tennis player with a sponsorship from Nike and that he had a £60,000 Mercedes and a £450,000 flat in the same complex where footballer Steven Gerrard lived.[5][10] With the savings bond that his parents had intended for university, he bought his girlfriend expensive gifts, including a Ford Ka,[8] and "hired" her as his manager, writing her a cheque for £39,000 that bounced.[2] When his mother found out about the lies he told to the bank and the large withdrawals he had made, she contacted the bank manager .[5][8]


On 25 July 2004, Blackwell killed his parents in their home by bludgeoning them with a claw hammer and stabbing them repeatedly with a carving knife.[5] He told the Liverpool Crown Court at his 2005 trial that he became enraged when his parents expressed concern about his extravagant spending and tried to stop him from travelling to the US with his then-girlfriend.[2][3][6]

The next day, Blackwell and his girlfriend, who was unaware of the violent crime Blackwell had just committed, went on a lavish holiday in America as originally planned.[2] Upon returning to Liverpool in mid-August, Blackwell stayed at his girlfriend's house for the next couple weeks under the pretense that he was locked out of his parents' house while they were on holiday in Spain.[5][11]

Investigation and prosecution[edit]

On 5 September 2004, six weeks after they were killed, the police discovered the decomposing bodies of Blackwell's parents after a neighbour called to report a strong, unusual odor coming from the property.[6] The injuries from the attacks were so severe that investigators initially thought they were gun shot wounds.[4][12] Blackwell was arrested the following day[12] and charged with two counts of murder.[3][6] He denied the charges during initial interviews and hearings and was remanded into custody without bail until trial.[13]

During an interview, Blackwell claimed he knew nothing of his parents' deaths and was on holiday when they were killed. After two days of questioning, Blackwell's story began to change. He confessed to the killings and claimed that he had acted in self-defence. According to Blackwell, he was holding a claw hammer for hanging a picture on the wall when his father stood up to hit him. Investigators had previously learned that Blackwell's father had been struck on the back of the head while sitting down, which conflicts with Blackwell's claim of self-defence. Afterwards, according to Blackwell, his mother came in, and he attacked her.[citation needed]

The double murder charges was dropped after he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility after experts diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder.[4] Blackwell was sentenced to life imprisonment on 29 June 2005. According to The Guardian, Blackwell could be eligible for parole after serving just over five and half years if a psychiatrist decided he was "fit for release", but the judge stated that "present evidence suggests that that conclusion is unlikely ever to be reached."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Sally Peck and agencies (13 Feb 2007), "Son who killed parents must pay back £37,000", The Telegraph, UK, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bunyan, Nigel (30 Jun 2005), "Psychological time bomb that turned teenage son into frenzied killer", The Telegraph, UK, retrieved 7 May 2016 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Jenkins, Russell (30 Jun 2005), "Narcissus schoolboy who killed his parents is cleared of murder", The Times, London, UK, ISSN 0140-0460, Mr Justice Royce accepted that Brian Blackwell, 19... had acute narcissistic personality disorder. He ordered that a double murder charge be dropped, allowing Blackwell to admit manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Son gets life for killing parents", BBC News, Merseyside, England, UK, 29 Jun 2005, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Carter, Helen (29 Jun 2005), "Fast lane fantasies of a model pupil who bludgeoned his parents to death", The Guardian, UK, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  6. ^ a b c d e Staff and agencies (29 Jun 2005), "Teenager admits killing parents", The Guardian, UK, retrieved 7 May 2016 
  7. ^ "'I long to be a little boy again' - the son who killed his parents", The Times, London, UK, 30 Jun 2005, ISSN 0140-0460, The cossetted only child who beat his parents to death... 
  8. ^ a b c d Russell, Andy (29 Jun 2005), "Son butchered parents", The Sun, London, UK, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  9. ^ "Murdered pair 'stabbed not shot'", BBC News, Merseyside, England, UK, 8 Sep 2004, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  10. ^ "Killer Blackwell's fantasy life", BBC News, Merseyside, England, UK, 29 Jun 2005, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  11. ^ The Telegraph, London (30 Jun 2005), "Narcissist son bludgeoned parents to death", The Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 6 May 2016 
  12. ^ a b "Son held after couple shot dead", BBC News, Merseyside, England, UK, 6 Sep 2004, retrieved 7 May 2016 
  13. ^ "Son sent for trial", The Times, London, UK, 18 Jan 2005, ISSN 0140-0460, Brian Blackwell, 18, a former public schoolboy, denied murdering his father, Brian, 72, and mother, Jacqueline, 61, last July... Liverpool Crown Court remanded him in custody for trial in May.