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Burnt Alive — The Most Chilling Murder In UK History

All Suzanne Capper ever wanted was to be loved. Sadly she died without experiencing any of it.

By Mrs HPublished about a year ago 8 min read

Suzanne Jane Capper was born as one of the two daughters of Elizabeth Capper and her unknown estranged husband in Manchester, United Kingdom (1976). Unfortunately for her, life was very cruel from the beginning. She never knew her dad, and her mother also clearly didn't care.

Soon after Elizabeth's second marriage ended, she walked out of her kids' lives and never looked back, leaving them in the care of their stepdad (John). This brought a lot of suffering for Suzanne and her elder sister Michelle as they had to move from one place to the other, seeking a better home. They went back and forth between friends and family, their stepfather's house and whoever could take them in, and sometimes even local authorities.

This instability affected Suzanne's mental health, and she couldn't perform well at school. At the age of 16, she began skipping classes, and teachers later described her attendance as "erratic": However, despite all the bad things that were happening to her, Suzanne remained a "gentle, high-spirited, and well-mannered girl". She would go out of her own way to help other people, but unfortunately, nobody ever returned the favor, and some took advantage of it.

At age ten, she began babysitting for 26-year-old Jean Powel, who had three kids and resided at number 97 Langworthy Road, which unfortunately later became her house of horrors.

Jean Powell and Suzanne's relationship

At first, Suzanne and Jean Powell's relationship seemed perfect in her eyes. She adored Jean with every fiber of her being and spent more time with her and her kids before completely moving in. She thought she had finally found one thing she had been looking for all her life — love and family, but unfortunately, she couldn't be more wrong. Jean was a devil in disguise.

The House From Hell

To people around the area, Jean's home was known as the house of evil. It was a center for drug dealing, stolen car trading, and sex parties. Well-known criminals came in and out like no man's business, and nobody did anything about it, including authorities.

At one point, Suzanne's elder sister, Michelle, moved in with them, but her stay was short-lived. She said she couldn't cope with everything that was happening, and after only two months, she moved out.

Neighbors also later claimed that even though they were not happy with what was happening, they never said anything because Jean had a "temper". They described her as a wolf in sheep's clothing — beautiful on the outside but deadly on the inside: nevertheless, it wasn't only her who later contributed to the death and suffering of Suzanne Capper. As the old saying goes, birds of the same feather flock together.

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Bernadette McNeilly

Just like her friend Jean, Bernadette was a 23-year-old drug addict who had three kids and lived a few doors away. She was described as a neighbor from hell and cold as ice. She once threatened to burn a neighbor's house after setting their clothes on fire — she literally removed them from a washing line and burnt them to ashes.

Glyn Powell

He was a 29-year-old male with convictions of burglary, theft, and being drunk and disorderly. He was also Jean Powell's ex-husband, and even though they were legally separated, they still stayed under one roof.

Clifford Hayes

He was a 17-year-old who helped run the "family business" and was Jean's young brother and Suzanne's ex-boyfriend.

Anthony Dudson

Despite his young age (16), Anthony was in a relationship with the drug addict mother of three, Bernadette McNeilly but also had sexual relations with Jean. And Lastly, we have Jeffrey Leigh, 26. He was a regular visitor to the house, had sexual relations with Jean, and convictions of robbing his 86-year-old disabled aunt. (who does that?)

NB** All these people ended up moving into Jean Powell's house.

Beginning Of Torture

With all these drug addicts living under one roof, it wasn't long before Suzanne's life became a living nightmare. She had six kids to look after and seven adults, including herself, but no one saw that this was too much for her and helped in any way. She worked tirelessly day and night, but all her efforts were in vain. She was scolded, verbally abused, and physically tortured.

After her first beating, Suzanne made her way back to her stepfather's house, but due to some odd reasons, she returned. Many believed that despite their evil deeds, she valued them as friends and loved their attention.

According to her sister, in the late autumn of 1992, then-20-year-old Suzanne Capper showed up at their mother's house badly beaten and in severe pain. She asked to stay for a night, but because Elizabeth always put men before her kids, she turned her away, claiming that her boyfriend wouldn't be happy with her presence. And without any other choice, Suzanne returned to Jean Powell's house.

Seeing that she had no one to turn to, the group took the abuse to the extreme. They purposely accused her of things they knew she didn't do and punished her for it.

In December 1992, the whole group was infected with pubic lice, and instead of taking the blame since they were going back and forth with each other, they blamed it on her. They claimed that she had stolen a pink duffle coat, infected it then gave it to them.

They then spent days torturing and abusing her until she felt that enough was enough and went back to her step fathers' house. But because the group wasn't done with her, they came up with a strategy to lure her back and continue their evil deeds.

Suzanne's extreme torture and last days

On the 7th of December, 1992, they all told her that a guy she fancied was at Jean Powell's house looking for her, and since love was all Suzanne ever wanted, she was thrilled to the core. She joyfully made her way there, not knowing that it marked her end of days.

Upon her arrival, she was held down, shaved everywhere, including her eyebrows then covered with a plastic bag. The group then took turns hitting her in different parts of the body, including her head, with heavy belt buckles and large wooden spoons until she was in and out of consciousness. Soon after, she was locked in a cupboard without food, water and denied a toilet.

However, for the next few days, Suzanne's constant screams for help traumatized their kids, and they moved her to Bernadette's abandoned home. Over the next five days, her suffering continued. Her two front teeth were pulled out with pliers, and her whole body burnt with cigarettes and injected with amphetamines. She was then tied to an upright bed frame and forced to listen to a song by Chucky, "I'm Chucky, wanna play", at maximum volume through her headphones.

Since she was denied the loo, she pooed and peed on herself, and once the stench of waste was too hard to bear, she was shoved into a bathtub filled with concentrated disinfectant and scrubbed with a stiff brush until her skin began falling. By the end of the week, she had no life left in her. Both her arms were broken, and her whole body was covered with burns and bruises.

In the early hours of December 14, 1992, Suzanne was forced into the boot of a stolen car after a friend had visited the home and saw Suzanne's state. Even though he never reported the case or said anything to anyone, the group panicked and thought they should get rid of her. They then drove to a remote and secluded area where Bernadette poured her fuel on her, and they set her alight.

“She went straight up in flames and was screaming,”.

Soon after, the group made their way back, singing, "Burn baby, burn," in celebration of their victory, not knowing Suzanne was stronger than they thought. Somehow, she survived the brutal attack, crawled to the road for help, and named the witches and wizards.

The man who found her, Barry Sutcliffe, said he couldn't believe what he was seeing and that some people were capable of such evil. Suzanne's body was 80% burnt, and though she made it to the hospital, she quickly fell into a coma and died four days later. Due to the nature of her body, she was only identified by the only fingerprint that had survived the fire, which was a part of her thumb. According to Dr. William Lawler, a Home Office pathologist, "It was clear from the outset that Suzanne was unlikely to survive. She suffered superficial but widespread burns that led to several complications internally.

Arrest and sentencing

A few days later, the police raided the house of horrors and were moved to tears. In the bin, they found Suzanne's hair, a pair of pliers, and her discarded teeth. At first, everyone denied their involvement in the case but soon caved in after Anthony's father convinced him to tell the truth. However, they pushed the blame on each other and distanced themselves from the final act.

In a trial that lasted 22 days, all members were found guilty and sentenced to different counts. Jean Powell, Bernadette, Anthony, and Glynn were guilty of false imprisonment, conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm, and murder. They were all sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 25 years. However, Jean's sentence was later reduced by two years after she allegedly showed remorse and helped prevent a prison break.

Clifford Hayes and Jeffrey Leigh were acquitted of the murder charge because the judge believed they were not present when Suzanne was set alight, but they were both found guilty of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and sentenced to 15 and 12 years, respectively. To this date, only Bernadette, Jeffrey Leigh, and Clifford Hayes have been released.

Suzanne's mother later claimed that she was devasted by what her daughter went through, but if only she had let her in that night, all of this might have been prevented. Her stepfather also noted that he often tried to stop her from Jean's house, but Suzanne had a very strong will. May her soul rest in peace and everybody who loved her find closure.

Personal Advice

I have seen many cases like these were due to a parent's wrong choices, especially a mother; kids end up falling into the wrong hands. Please never put a man before your kids. Take care, and God bless.



About the Creator

Mrs H

Hie,guys. Thank you for stopping by. I write about true crime, rare stories and paranomal activities. If you are interested in such, please feel free to stick around. Thank you

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    Mrs HWritten by Mrs H

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