herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Killer Molly recommended books to friends about female murderers

Molly Martens had a fascination with stories featuring female
characters with murderous intent.
Molly Martens had a fascination with stories featuring female characters with murderous intent.

Killer Molly Martens joined a North Carolina book club and recommended two novels in the months before her husband's homicide - The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and Gone Girl, both about female murderers.

The shock revelation came when Davidson County Sheriff's Department officers spoke to Martens' neighbours, friends and associates in the weeks after her Irish businessman husband, Jason Corbett (39), was brutally battered to death in the bedroom of his Panther Creek Court home.

Mr Corbett had his skull smashed with a metal baseball bat and a heavy concrete brick while he was asleep in bed.

Martens and her father, retired FBI agent Tom Martens (67), were convicted of the second-degree murder of the Limerick father-of-two by a Davidson County Superior Court jury following a month-long trial last summer.

They are both now serving sentences of between 20 and 25 years in high-security North Carolina prisons.

Mr Corbett's sister, Tracey Corbett-Lynch, led the campaign for justice for her brother and has written a book about the ordeal her family suffered, entitled My Brother Jason.

The book reveals that Martens had a fascination with stories that revolved around strong female characters with murderous intent.

Hint

The Tennessee-born nanny not only recommended The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and Gone Girl to her book club friends but in 2011, as she was leaving Ireland with her husband-to-be Mr Corbett, she gave her new sister-in-law a present of a book called A Reliable Wife.

Ms Corbett-Lynch revealed the book was about a woman who planned to murder her new husband, whom she had met through a newspaper advertisement.

"I found it strange at the time but, years later, I couldn't help but wonder whether it was a deliberate hint of things to come," she said.

Ms Corbett-Lynch, her sister Marilyn and her brother Wayne, who is Jason's twin, have all insisted they believe there were clear signs of premeditation in the August 2, 2015, killing.

Martens had been trying for five years to get her husband to allow her to adopt his two children by his first wife, Margaret 'Mags' Fitzpatrick, who died of a tragic asthma attack in 2006.

Martens met Mr Corbett when she applied to work as a nanny with the two children in Ireland in early 2008.

The murder trial revealed Mr Corbett had traces of a powerful sedative in his system, which had been prescribed for his wife just days before his killing.

Speaking about her brother, Ms Corbett-Lynch said her sibling "died a brutal, awful and cruel death at the hands of the two people who he should have been able to trust most".

"Had my brother been less trusting, more selfish and less generous with his love and time, he would probably still be alive today," she added.

However, she said Mr Corbett loved his wife.

"Having lost his first wife, his true soulmate Margaret 'Mags' Fitzpatrick to an asthma attack in 2006, my brother steadfastly did not want to take another parental figure away from his children," she said.

"Jason firmly believed his love could rescue his wife from her personal demons and long-standing mental health problems. He paid a terrible price for that trust."

She also recalled identifying her brother's body in a North Carolina funeral home and "initially not even being able to recognise him such was the damage to his face and head".

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