According to a report in the Watford Observer, 54-year-old Paul Simons met up with 23-year-old hospital cleaner Michael Brennan earlier this year. Brennan moonlights as a gay escort. The two men met online and got together to have sex on May 3.
And that’s when things took a very dark and deadly turn.
Brennan is currently on trial for allegedly stabbing Simmons in the chest, heart and back over 20 times. It has also been alleged that he hit Simmons in the back of the head with a hammer and carved “ritualistic” markings into his body with a saw blade.
During court testimony this week, forensic pathologist Dr. Nathanial Carey added that score marks were found going from Simmons’ buttocks up to the nape of his neck, and were “drawn across the skin quite slowly and steadily to limit penetration by the blade.”
“Is it possible they might appear almost as if some other purpose to them rather than to incapacitate?” Defense counsel Sarah Forshaw asked during cross-examination.
“Yes,” Carey replied.
“Almost ritualistic?” Forshaw asked.
“That might be seen,” Carey said. “I’m not saying it was an example of that because most of the wounds are stab wounds.”
Prosecutors claim they murder was premeditated, saying they uncovered a large stash of knives, hammers, and notes detailing what he was going to in Brennan’s possession. It’s also alleged that disturbing comments and hieroglyphic writing was found on walls at the scene of the crime.
On the bedroom door were the words: “call 999 don’t enter.” And written on one of the walls were the words: “If someone needs to be killed, you kill them, that’s the way, right?”
Prosecutors also claim that police found notebooks and other documents, which included writings and diagrams from before the killing, from Brennan’s mother’s house. The documents referred to Satan, demons, and casting a spell. They also say that the night before Simmons’ murder, Brennan watched The House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects several times. And his computer history showed a Google-search for “horror stories based on true stories.”
Brennan denies murdering Simons, but he has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Photo credit: BBC.