Police not seeking anyone else over ‘shocking and horrific’ double murder

Police have confirmed the identities of the two women murdered in their Newtownabbey homes on Friday – saying the “shocking and horrific” attack has “left children facing a lifetime without their mums”.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 1:13 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 2:15 pm
Stacey Knell. Pic: Pacemaker

The man found unconscious in the house where one of the victims died has also been formally identified by detectives as 26-year-old Kenneth Flanagan.

Flanagan is now known to have stabbed his own mother, Karen McClean, 50, to death at her Derrycoole Way home, before murdering his girlfriend Stacey Knell, 30, at her home in Glenville Road on Friday evening.

Police have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the murders, but have urged anyone with information about the circumstances to assist the investigation.

Karen McClean

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said: “I can confirm the identities of the two women who were murdered were Karen McClean, 50 and Stacey Knell who was 30 years old.

“This was a really shocking and horrific double murder of two women inside their own homes. A place where they should have been safe. My thoughts are very much with their families as they come to terms with their tragic loss.

“Both women were mothers and this appalling murder has left children facing a lifetime without their mums.”

DCI Caldwell said police initially received a report of a stabbing incident at Derrycoole Way just before 11pm.

Kenneth Flanagan

“Officers attended, along with colleagues from NIAS and sadly, a woman was pronounced dead,” he said.

“Officers then attended a residential property in the Glenville Road area where a second woman was found dead. An unconscious man was also found inside the property who subsequently died. He was 26-year-old Kenneth Flanagan.

“I am not looking for anyone else in connection with the murders which I believe are connected,” the senior detective added.”

Anyone with any information which might assist the police investigation is being urged to contact 101, quoting reference number 2441 of 19/03/21. A report can also be made online using the non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/, through the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/

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