The Stepbrother From Hell: The Horrific Crimes of Nathan Matthews & His Partner Shauna Hoare

(Top left: Nathan Matthews, Bottom left: Shauna Hoare. Right: Becky Watts. Picture credits: bbcindependent)

When the beautiful and shy 16 year old Becky Watts suddenly disappeared from her family home in Bristol, England in 2015, people were in shock and couldn't understand it. It was so out of character for the young schoolgirl who would be too shy to even pay for her fare on the local bus or ask a shop assistant a question. Becky had social phobia and was very quiet around people she didn't know but when she was around her family and very close knit circle of friends, you couldn't keep her quiet. 

As quiet and gentle as she was, she was popular with the small group of people she surrounded herself with and her family adored her, especially her father Darren (who everyone called 'Da') so when she was reported missing, everyone gathered at the family home making posters, phonecalls, searching the local area and working together with the police to try and find out where Becky had gone. 

Like a lot of young girls, Becky had gone through a number of different experiences growing up and one of them was the eating disorder, Anorexia. With the support of her family, she was able to move past this and although her ordeal didn't vanish completely, she was able to manage it better and had gotten herself back to a more healthier eating pattern and weight. 

(Becky Watts. Picture credit: telegraph)

Becky and her father had a very close relationship and could talk about anything, so it was a complete mystery as to why she would suddenly up and leave without leaving a letter or letting anyone know why. In this post, I will be sharing the heartbreaking and gut wrenching story of what really happened to Becky Watts. It's a very difficult case and very disturbing but as always, I will try to be as sensitive as possible without shying away from the facts and details of the case. 

Please be aware before reading any further that I will be discussing murder, sexual assault and human dismemberment. If you are under 18 or are sensitive to such discussion, please refrain from continuing with this post. 

So let's begin with a little bit about Becky's background. As I mentioned before, Becky had been through some journeys as a young girl, only 16 but had dealt with the difficulties of an eating disorder and in her earlier childhood she and her big brother, Danny came to stay with their father and his new partner, Anji as their biological mother was struggling to take care of them. Anji already had a son who was 10 years older than Becky, his name was Nathan and he lived full time at his grandmother's house. Anji felt it was best for Nathan to remain where he was because he had settled in at school and had friends where he was staying so when she moved in with Becky's father, she didn't want to disrupt Nathan's routine in any way. 

Sometimes when a father starts a new relationship with someone else who already has a child, it can be a bit difficult but for Becky and Danny, they took to Anji straight away, they adored her and they loved Nathan too. Everyone seemed to get on like a house on fire but behind the scenes, Nathan began to resent the fact that Darren's kids were at the house with his mother all of the time and he saw the close bond that was developing between Anji and Becky. 

Becky was so young and always wanted to play with the boys but Nathan was always so distant with her. As she grew older, the pair would argue off and on but she still adored him. She treated him like any sister would treat a brother, found him annoying at times but still cared for him. 

As the years went by, Darren continued to work full time but Anji struggled with her health, she always felt so exhausted. With Darren's support she went to the hospital to have some tests and it was there that they found that she was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Darren did his best to help Anji around the house and Nathan & Becky chipped in too. Nathan was also seeing a girl by the name of Shauna Hoare and she and Anji got on very well but Darren always thought there was something about Shauna, something sinister that he couldn't quite put his finger on. 

The family decided that because Shauna and Anji got along so well, it made sense for Shauna to become Anji's carer whilst Darren was at work, and she would be given some money for her help. Shauna was supposed to help Anji out with the cooking, cleaning and taking care of the house but it soon became clear that Shauna was quite lazy, had no intention to help out and was only interested in the money. The arrangement soon fell to the side. 

Darren couldn't stand Shauna's ungrateful attitude towards people, whenever Becky would buy clothes from her favourite online retail store, some of the items wouldn't fit so she would give them to Shauna. Shauna would just take the clothes and not even say a thank you to Becky for her kindness. Becky wasn't bothered about it and didn't make a fuss but it would drive Darren mad. 

Arguments between Nathan and Becky got worse, there was a 10 year age gap between them and Nathan was still acting like an immature mummy's boy who still had this jealous streak about Becky's close relationship with his mother. 

What nobody knew at the time was that Nathan had been harbouring sick fantasies about young girls around Becky's age. He had an obsession with schoolgirls and Shauna was well aware of all of this and even encouraged the whole thing. The pair would send each other messages and talk about how they wanted to kidnap a schoolgirl and keep the girl as a sex slave. It was all very sick and perverted. Nathan was in his late 20s, Shauna was 22 and they'd just had a baby but here they were, sharing these disgusting, paedophilic fantasies. 

There was no big dramatic incident or argument on the day that Becky went missing, she just simply vanished and no stone was left unturned in the search for her. All hands were on deck when it came to looking for her and cooperating with the cops. Everyone was frantic with worry and wanted to do everything they could to help, everyone but Nathan and Shauna. For some reason these two individuals were acting quite distant and were hard to pin down. Their behaviour was suspicious from the start. 

In police interviews, the pair acted casual, cool and laughed. They acted like the whole situation was one big joke. A comment from Nathan raised a few eyebrows from the investigators. He mentioned that he felt that Becky did not show his mother enough respect. Investigators and anyone watching the interview footage could sense an air of animosity there which was quite strange considering the circumstances, you would expect him to be worried sick about his step sister. 

Things went from bad to worse when blood was found in the family home belonging to Becky and Nathan. Later on, investigators found Shauna's DNA on a mask and some trash bags. It soon became clear, the horrific truth....Becky was deceased, she'd been murdered and Nathan and Shauna had been responsible for her death. 

In the beginning, Nathan did what he could to protect Shauna, claiming that she knew nothing of Becky's death but forensics said otherwise. When he knew the cards were all stacked against him he chose to have a written statement (a typical move from a coward who wants to downplay their involvement in a crime or avoid talking face to face about what they have done) and confessed to Becky's murder. 

(Becky's bedroom. Picture credit: mirror)

We may never know the true events of that horrible day but according to Nathan Matthews, he came up with this ridiculous plan to scare Becky because he was fed up with how she was treating his mother and was worried about how her behaviour would affect his mum's health. This alone was nonsense, anyone who knew Anji and Becky could clearly see how close the pair were and Becky was like a little mummy's girl around Anji. There was no problems at home so this story he had come up with was pure nonsense. 

He arrived at the family home on the 19th of February 2015 with Shauna whilst nobody but Becky was there. Becky was in her bedroom and he told investigators that Shauna went into the garden to have a cigarette (which was another lie, she was with him the whole time). They had a trash bag, a stun gun, handcuffs, tape and a mask as they made their way to Becky's bedroom. The pair charged in on the frightened teenager in an attempt to kidnap her. Nathan said that he wanted to kidnap Becky, hold her somewhere for a while just to scare her and then let her go. It's clear to see from the messages that Nathan and Shauna shared, that this was a horrible sex assault gone wrong. They talked many times about kidnapping a schoolgirl and using her as a sex slave and it's quite obvious that this is what Nathan had planned for Becky. All those years, he had designs on his own step sister and when he couldn't get his own way he took her life. 

As timid and shy as Becky was, she put up a strong fight. The evil pair had her trapped in her own bedroom and as they attempted to bundle the terrified child into the trash bag, Becky kicked and lashed out in an attempt to protect herself. Shauna tried to hold Becky down as Nathan tried to get her into the bag, suffocating her as he did so. Within moments Becky was dead. 

It was pure horror, evil and no words could I ever find to describe it. Not even being there to witness such horror but the details are enough. As a final insult, Nathan and Shauna took away Becky's body to their cluttered and filthy home where they placed her remains in a bath tub and proceeded to continually stab her body. Nathan's sick idea that he had read somewhere in an attempt to drain out all of the bodily fluids. After this he took the saw that he had purchased in organisation for the crime and took apart Becky's remains, decapitating her in the process. He then placed each of the remains in plastic bags and arranged a hiding place for them. Shauna's DNA was found on the bags so she helped him carry this sickening act out. 

When Becky's father found out the truth of what happened he was incredulous, beyond anger, beyond pain. I cannot imagine how he felt but I read his book and even taking in his words, one cannot begin to imagine the loss of a child for one thing but in the manner in which she died, what happened afterwards to her remains and to think that all of that had been done by someone that he considered a's just beyond all understanding and belief. 

And the guilt that Anji must have felt, even though she was not responsible. She had lost two children, one was her son who she thought she knew, this evil monster who had done such a horrendous thing and also the loss of a young daughter in such an evil and sickening manner. 

Some people raised eyebrows as Darren and Anji continued to be a tower of strength for each other despite everything that happened. Darren didn't blame Anji for what Nathan had done but he still hated Nathan and wanted to kill him. It was difficult for everyone to try and process. It was the stuff of nightmares. 

When Becky's funeral took place it was a beautiful service and she had a white coffin. Her biological mother was not present as she wanted to grieve in private away from the cameras. Anji arrived with Darren, she was in a wheelchair, possibly an indication of how much the ordeal had taken it's toll on her health personally. One can't imagine not only how hard it was for Darren losing his beautiful daughter but for Anji too who had all eyes on her. The newspapers focused their attention on her as the mother of the killer as if to say that she should not have been there. 

The trial was even more difficult as if everything else had not been the most evil of nightmares already, Darren, Anji and the rest of Becky's family had to sit there and hear the harrowing details of Becky's murder. 

When it all came to a close, Nathan Matthews was sentenced to a life sentence with a minimum of 33 years and Shauna was given 17 years for manslaughter. They both had the nerve to appeal their convictions but these were later thrown out. 

(Anji & Darren at the front with family and friends. Picture credit: Daily Mail)

Since Nathan and Shauna have been behind bars, they have both been subjected to various assaults by fellow prisoners. In one incident, Nathan had boiling water thrown at him, when Darren heard of this news on the same day as his birthday, he celebrated and said that it was the best present he could have gotten. 

Darren and Anji are still together and plan to be buried next to Becky when they pass away. 

This case was so incredibly sad and unbelievable, I remember following the news reports at the time. I think we all thought that this was a really sad but common situation of a young girl running away to meet a boyfriend or something like that, but we hoped that she would return safe to her family. Obviously the real story was horrendous and every child who is reported missing, no matter the circumstances, should be taken seriously. I honestly don't know how Darren and Anji hold it together. I will honestly say though, that as I was reading Darren's book and how he spoke of how Anji had a desire to see Nathan and ask him why he murdered Becky and the fact that she still loved him, it baffled me. I can understand in some ways wanting to know why but to say that she still loved him? How could you love anyone who did that? Her son is a monster, pure evil, a perverted, sick and twisted monster. People may disagree with my opinion but anyone who can take a saw and cut a child into pieces is not worthy of love (in my opinion). 

I'll be honest, It's not my decision or my business but I hope that Anji doesn't visit Nathan in prison, you could just just imagine his smug evil face thinking he'd gotten away with it where his mother was concerned. If you've read about the case before my blog you probably see how he had a very good way of manipulating his mother and making out that he did it all for her to protect her health when we know it was a perverted plan gone wrong. The murder wasn't done to protect his mother, it was his plan to live out a sick sexual fantasy. 

As I bring this post to a close, I think about Becky and how her short life had made such a huge impact to the small group of people she held dear to her. In life it is all about quality not quantity and we know that Becky will never be forgotten, she was too much of a bright light in this world. Who knows what she would have gone on to achieve and where she would be now. I hope wherever she is, that she is at peace. 

RIP Becky 

Further Reading & Sources:

Becky: The Heartbreaking Story of Becky Watts by Darren Galsworthy

Becky Watts | Various News Articles by Bristol Live

Murder of Becky Watts | Wikipedia

Becky Watts | Article: The Sun

- Darren Galsworthy Interview | BBC Newsnight (Clip)

Nathan Matthews | Interview (Clip)

Danny Watts | Interview (Clip)

Becky Watts | News Report: Good Morning Britain (Clip)

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest case, I really appreciate it & for all of your support over the years with this blog. Take care and I'll see you next time (& hopefully for a natter on my Socials) x 


  1. Hello Jo !

    I just read your latest true crime case. Another masterful work from you Jo.

    This is one of the most heartbreaking cases that I ever read. I am so sad for the family of Becky. My prayers are with Darren and Anji.

    Nathan and Shauna are monsters and pure source evilness. I am in disbelief. Nathan is barbaric and unhuman.

    Can’t believe that Nathan and Shauna had the nerve to appeal the verdict. At least prisoners had not been kind to them behind bars.

    I share the same opinion with you about Anji and his love to Nathan.

    RIP Becky Xx

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