The harrowing rollcall of women murdered on our streets: Ashling Murphy, Sabina Nessa, Zara Aleena and Sarah Everard were all killed by strangers while jogging, walking the dog or making their way home from night out
Ashling Murphy was going about her routine when she went on a run in January this year. Sabina Nessa was walking home through a London park. Sarah Everard had just left her friend’s house. And Zara Aleena was walking home from a night out.
All of these women came from different lives, backgrounds and families – but all have one sickening – and heartbreaking – story in common. They were all murdered by total strangers.
From a PSCO walking her dog through her local woodland, to sisters celebrating a birthday with friends, here MailOnline takes a look back at the tragic cases of some of the women murdered while going about their daily lives.
Primary school teacher Ashling Murphy, 24, was the fourth woman Jozef Puska had stalked over the course of several hours
Puska, 33, had left his home in Mucklagh, County Offaly on the morning of the attack, before following several women – including one who may have been the last person to see Ashling alive
Primary school teacher Ashling Murphy, 24, was the fourth woman killer Jozef Puska had stalked over the course of several hours on January 12, 2022.
She had been out jogging when Puska, pictured on a bike, attacked and murdered her by stabbing her 11 times in the neck.
Puska, 33, had left his home in Mucklagh, County Offaly on the morning of the attack, before following several women – including one who may have been the last person to see Ashling alive.
The father-of-five had been active on multiple dating sites before the murder, with police sources saying he had been trying to meet with women ahead of the violent assault on Ms Murphy.
Ashling’s mother Kathleen held a framed picture of her daughter aloft and called her killer a ‘monster’ after Puska was found guilty at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin yesterday. He is to be sentenced to life next Friday.
Women’s Aid welcomed Puska’s conviction, saying the killing ‘sent a shockwave’ through communities in Ireland.
‘That this could happen tapped into a visceral feeling that so many girls and women are socialised to feel – that the risk of male violence is everywhere. That nowhere is safe.
‘The murder of Ashling Murphy was a shocking example of dangers posed to women and the case put a spotlight on the inherent risk of male violence in society.
‘Every woman should have the right to be safe, both in their own homes and in their communities.’
Sabina Nessa was walking home through a park when she was battered to death in September 2021
Selamaj, who was a stranger to the 28-year-old, prowled the streets of Brighton and London just waiting for someone to attack
In September 2021 Sabina Nessa was walking home through a park when she was battered to death by Koci Selamaj.
Selamaj, who was a stranger to the 28-year-old, prowled the streets of Brighton and London just waiting for someone to attack.
Selamaj then carried away an unconscious Ms Nessa, removed her underwear and strangled her to death with her tights. Investigators believe he took her underwear as a depraved trophy of the attack.
He was jailed for life in April 2022 for the savage attack, which saw him hit his victim 34 times with a 2ft-long metal traffic triangle.
Mr Justice Sweeney said it was a sexually motivated murder carried out a time of concern for the safety of young women in the ‘aftermath’ of Sarah Everard’s killing six months earlier.
He set a minimum term of 36 years for the ‘savage’ sexually motivated attack.
Sarah Everard, 33, was walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham, London , when killer police officer Wayne Couzens snatched her off the street
Couzens, who had been married to his wife for 15 years and had two children at the time of the 2021 crime, took advantage of the final lockdown to convince Ms Everard that he was carrying out a legitimate arrest
Couzens, who had been married to his wife for 15 years and had two children at the time of the 2021 crime, took advantage of the final lockdown to convince Ms Everard that he was carrying out a legitimate arrest on suspicion of a breach in coronavirus restrictions.
Using his real police handcuffs and warrant, Couzens restrained the marketing executive and placed her in the back of his car before her death. He then attempted to hide his crime by burning her body.
Couzens was sentenced to a whole life order in the first occurrence of the sentence being handed to someone for a single count of murder.
A later appeal to reduce the sentence failed.
Questions were raised for police officers after it emerged the officer had previously been flagged to police for indecent exposure and was even nicknamed ‘The Rapist’ by colleagues due to his obsessions with brutal porn and his behaviour around women.
Aspiring lawyer Zara Aleena was walking home from a night out on June 26, 2022 when she was attacked by criminal Jordan McSweeney
McSweeney, 29, strangled and stamped Ms Aleena to death after stalking multiple women in one night