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Murder of Elaine O’Hara by Graham Dwyer investigated in Death in Dublin

Picture of Elaine O'Hara circulated by police
Elaine O’Hara was murdered during a twisted sexual fantasy by Graham Dwyer. Pic credit: Garda Siochana (Irish Police)

Investigation Discovery is traveling across the Atlantic Ocean to Dublin, Ireland, to investigate the murder of Elaine O’Hara, who was killed by Graham Dwyer and dumped in the mountains in 2012.

O’Hara was a 36-year-old childcare worker who tragically began a sexual affair with the already married Dwyer some years before her death. The police would later argue that Dwyer saw this relationship as a way to act out his twisted sexual fantasies.

The police believe the pair first met in 2007 on an adult fetish website; the relationship quickly dwindled only to be rekindled again in 2012, just before she was killed.

O’Hara disappeared from her Dublin home on August 22, 2012, and was never seen alive again. Security footage showed her leaving her apartment with a cellphone, but she had left all her other belongings behind.

She had suffered from mental illness for many years, which led many to suspect she had committed suicide, including her own family. A witness told the police she’d seen a woman matching her description crying at the graveyard where her mother was buried on the day she disappeared.

It was over a year later, in September 2013, when a dog walker in the mountains just south of Dublin found human remains that were later identified as O’Hara.

Coincidentally, a few days beforehand, a bag had been discovered in a nearby reservoir, which contained bondage items such as handcuffs and leg restraints. They also found a supermarket loyalty card that belonged to O’Hara.

The police subsequently learned of Dwyer’s relationship with O’Hara through emails and cellphone records.

The police uncovered cellphone texts sent from Dwyer to O’Hara, which were of a violent and sexually graphic nature. On the phones, Dwyer’s name was set at ‘Master,’ whereas O’Hara’s name was ‘Slave.’

Graham Dwyer fantasized about killing

In June 2011 he sent a text reading: “I want to stick my knife in flesh while I am sexually aroused… I would like to stab a girl to death some time.” He followed that by writing: “My urge to rape, stab or kill is huge. You have to help me control or satisfy it.”

A former partner of Dwyer’s came forward to tell the police he had told her he fantasized about killing a woman during sex and that he would even take a knife into bed so he could pretend to stab her during sex.

Dwyer was arrested in October 2013 and was charged with murder. His lawyers argued his innocence, stating there was no concrete evidence to say he was a murderer and the cause of O’Hara’s death was never adequately explained.

However, the police argued that Dwyer had preyed on a vulnerable woman who suffered from low self-esteem. They say he lured her to the cemetery before killing her in the mountains, and he then tried to cover-up the crime as a suicide.

Dwyer was convicted in 2015, and sentenced to life in prison.

More from Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more horrible crimes profiled on ID.

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Shane Langley had subjected his wife, Christine Oliveaux, to years of abuse. When she finally plucked up the courage to leave him, he came after her family with a rifle and killed her mother, Vennie Oliveaux.

Death in Dublin airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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