In 2002 Ian Huntley was arrested, charged, and convicted for the murder of two 10-year-old girls, Holly Marie Wells and Jessica Chapman. A serial rapist and murdere, Huntley was sentenced to life in prison and will spend at least 40 years behind bars before parole is even considered. These were some of the bullet points 14-year-old Samantha Bryan found while researching a school project on ‘notorious crimes’ near her small town of Cleethropes, Lincs in England. While investigating Huntley on Google, Samantha found a pixelated picture of herself and her mother and her heart nearly stopped.
“It was like being thumped in the chest,” Samantha told the Mail on Sunday. “I began to shake, I couldn’t stop the tears.” Samantha had never met her biological father and was only 4-years-old when he was arrested for murder. Samantha’s mother Katie was only 15-years-old when she was physically abused and raped while in a relationship with Huntley. Katie left Huntley during her pregnancy and would go on to marry a man named Martin Bryan, a man Samantha calls ‘dad.’
Samantha is now 18-years-old and has come forward in an interview to help separate herself from her biological father.
I try not to even say his name, as to do that is to acknowledge his existence. I hate him. He’s never been my dad, he’s nothing more than a sperm donor. To know he is genetically connected to me sickens me.
I’m speaking out, as I refuse to be ashamed for existing, otherwise I’d become just another of his victims. To acknowledge him as anything else would be to give him a power I will never let him hold over me.
I didn’t cause the pain, suffering and anguish he has caused to so many people, although I think of his victims and their families. I feel so terribly sorry for Holly and Jessica’s parents for what he’s done. Especially with young sisters myself. Ever since I found out about the girls I’ve thought about what they must have felt.
When I got to the name Ian Huntley [on the school project list] it meant absolutely nothing to me, nothing at all.
I entered his name into Google and started scrolling through pictures of him. There were headlines calling him a ‘cold-hearted’ child killer”, that sort of thing.
[One pixelated picture] jumped out at me. I knew instantly one was my mum. And the little girl standing beside her was me at about 10.
The shock was painful. A thousand questions ran round in my brain. I didn’t want to be associated with a killer. Was there anything of this monster in me? This Ian Huntley who had killed two little girls.
He is pure evil. What he is like hasn’t been passed on to me. I refuse to let something like him take over my mind or my life. I will make a positive difference with my life, I want to help others… the exact opposite of everything he stands for and ever will.
Wanting to help save life instead of destroy it, Samantha is now training to become a paramedic.