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Darren Sykes murdered his two sons to ‘punish’ his ex-wife Claire Throssell

Police tape

Evil Lives Here is in Yorkshire, England, to investigate a particularly shocking case of murder when father Darren Sykes killed his two young sons as a way to get back at or punish his ex-wife, Claire Throssell.

Sykes deliberately set a fire in his home after barricading his sons, 12-year-old Jack and 9-year-old Paul, into the loft. Sykes and the boys were all killed from injuries sustained in the fire.

Claire Throssell had first got together with Sykes in 1995 and had found him to be incredibly charming; he had lavished her with compliments and romantic gifts. And the pair soon got married.

Unfortunately, Throssell said a change happened to Sykes approximately three years into their relationship. Over the next two decades, Throssell endured physical and mental abuse until she finally decided to leave for her mothers with two children.

Sykes then began sending abusive text messages to his ex-wife and started stalking the family.

Sykes had revealed a chilling premonition of what he might be capable of doing a year before the murders when he commented on another case where a father had murdered his two children before turning the gun on himself. He said: “That father’s got every right to do that.”

Throssell attempted to prevent Sykes from seeing the boys, but a judge insisted that their father be allowed five hours a week of unsupervised contact.

Darren Sykes barricaded sons in the loft

Five hours was all Sykes needed to barricade himself and his children in the house before using gasoline to set 16 different fires. Jack attempted to drag his nine-year-old younger brother to safety, but tragically, he was overwhelmed by smoke inhalation.

When the firefighters arrived on the scene, Jack was able to tell them that his father was the arsonist. Heartbreakingly, Jack passed away in the hospital five days later. His brother Paul and Sykes both died at the scene of the fire.

Throssell and the police believe that Sykes’s sick motive for the murder was a wish to “punish” his ex-wife. Before he set the fires, he had canceled the home insurance and left Throssell responsible for the home’s mortgage. It’s thought that he hoped to leave her destitute.

More from Evil Lives Here

Follow the links to read about more horrifiying crimes profiled on Evil Lives Here.

Stafford Shaw shot dead his girlfriend and baby daughter, Morgan and Leah Rogers, before fleeing the scene. He later tried to blame Morgan for killing the baby, and he then killed a couple while trying to evade the police.

Police Officer Mark Ganz was gunned down in front of his young nephew during a routine traffic stop in Manhattan Beach, Ca. The killer, Roger Brady, was uncovered in Washington state following another murder in Oregon.

Evil Lives Here airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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