How does a woman rebuild her life after her husband kills their children?
Denise Williams has endured every mother's worst nightmare. Her husband Steve Wilson murdered their sons, Bret, eight, and seven-year-old Brad Lee, in an act of despicable revenge hours after Denise insisted their marriage was finally over.
The horrific crime shocked the nation. And it begged the questions: What drives a father to murder his own children? And how does a mother pick up the pieces of her life after such unthinkable loss and trauma?
In her harrowing yet inspiring memoir, Denise Williams details how a miserable childhood drove her into the arms of Steve Wilson, a widower more than twice her age. Vulnerable and desperate for a stable family life, she was pregnant, married and a stepmother-of-two by the age of 16. By 17 she had given birth to her second son.
Denise endured weekly beatings at the hands of her husband, who made his eldest son join in the attacks. Steve's obsession with his late wife, who had died only months before marrying Denise, saw him force Denise to eat her ashes. And despite leaving for women's refuges, Denise always returned for the sake of her boys. Everything she did was for the love of her boys.
But when Steve forced Denise into prostitution, a job she detested, Denise finally fled her home in Birmingham in the dead of the night. Steve had fallen asleep in a drunken stupor on the floor of Bret and Brad Lee's bedroom so, to save waking him and facing yet another merciless beating, Denise left her little boys behind. It was a snap decision she would regret for the rest of her life.
For hours later, Steve called Denise and said: "I have killed the kids". He had driven his young sons to a secluded spot and stabbed them to death in his car.
Denise relives, in heartbreaking detail, the police manhunt and her agonising wait before hearing the worst news imaginable.
At the murder trial, Steve accused Denise of arranging her sons' killings. A jury took under one hour to see through his lies and sentenced Steve to two life sentences. Less than a week later he was found hanged in his prison cell.
Denise has received no counselling throughout her ordeal. Instead, the love of a good man and incredible inner strength saved her from the brink of suicide and helps her cope with everyday life today. Now happily married with three young children, Denise tells her story as a tribute to the beautiful sons taken by the man who helped create them but did not deserve them.
Denise Williams has endured every mother's worst nightmare. Her husband Steve Wilson murdered their two sons, aged seven and eight, in despicable revenge when she told him she was ending their abusive marriage.
Incredibly, Denise has rebuilt her life. She is now happily remarried and lives with her three young children in Birmingham, where she works as an insurance administrator.
Born in Birmingham in 1976 to a splintered family, Denise met Steve Wilson when she was 16 and vulnerable. She was pregnant and married before she turned 17. Her son Bret was born on 26 October 1993 and his young...
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Julie McCaffrey's journalism career spans 17 years and includes five years as a staff writer for the Daily Mirror.
Julie is known for meeting tight deadlines, gaining loyal contacts and writing with accuracy, empathy, sensitivity and warmth. Her wide-ranging portfolio includes interviewing two Prime Ministers, going undercover to expose television auditions and swingers' clubs, filing celebrity interviews from Los Angeles and moving pieces from Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where she was the first journalist permitted full access to the field hospital.
After the birth of her triplet ...
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