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Saturday 10 December 2016

Book throws new light on lovers who carried out murder of partners

John Spain Books Editor

Published 15/10/2011 | 05:00

THE sex-in-the-dentist's-chair murder case gripped the entire country earlier this year.

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Now a new book, 'Let This Be Our Secret', tells the full shocking story of dentist Colin Howell and his lover Hazel Stewart for the first time.

Written by Deric Henderson, the leading reporter on the sensational case, the book contains new insights into the notorious affair and the murders.

At the time of the affair which began in 1990, both Colin Howell and his lover Hazel Buchanan (as she then was) were married to other people. Howell, a successful dentist, was married to Lesley, a nurse.

Buchanan, a Sunday school teacher, was married to RUC constable Trevor Buchanan. All were members of Coleraine Baptist Church in Co Derry.

The affair between Howell and Buchanan was uncovered by church members and the couples agreed to counselling. However, they soon resumed their affair and in May 1991 Howell poisoned both their spouses with hoses fed into their houses from his car exhaust.

Police came to the conclusion that the pair had killed themselves because they were so distraught at their partners' betrayal.

A series of disasters in Howell's life -- the death of his eldest son and the revelation that he had been sexually assaulting female patients in his dentist's chair -- led him to confess to the murders.

He was convicted for murder in December 2010, as was Stewart in March of this year, despite her protestations of innocence.

Exclusive extracts will appear next Monday and Tuesday in the Irish Independent. The book will be published by Gill & Macmillan next Friday at €14.99

Irish Independent

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