Murderer abused ex-girlfriend Emer and took ecstasy
GRAHAM Dwyer subjected former girlfriend Emer McShea to a battery of relentless psychological abuse while he experimented with drugs and began to reveal his dark interest in knives.
Dwyer - who is beginning life in prison after being convicted of the murder of childcare worker Elaine O'Hara - tried to manipulate and control the young woman he had charmed in college.
Ms McShea was impressed by the suave architecture student who played bass in a rock band when they met in the 1990s. According to friends it was around this time that Dwyer began taking ecstasy and LSD.
Dwyer would fly into fits of intense rage which would leave him sobbing and crying in a way that terrified her.
They had a son together, and Dwyer pleaded with Ms McShea to marry him - but became intensely jealous whenever she was with anyone else.
These are just some of the details from an Irish Independent investigation which sheds dramatic new light on the mind of Ireland's most notorious killer.
"The court did not hear a quarter of what that girl went through with that evil b*****d," a friend revealed. "Because of the rules of evidence she could only talk about his stabbing fantasies in bed, but none of the other stuff could be mentioned because it might prejudice his trial. God bless her… she knew him better than most people and she had a very lucky escape. I can tell you that this weekend is probably the first time she has felt truly free from him in 20 years - and that is no exaggeration."
The couple met while still at college and began dating in early 1992. Just two months later she became pregnant with Dwyer's child.
"Dwyer told her that he was going mad thinking of her and convinced her that she was the centre of his universe," said the friend. In May 1993 he proposed marriage to Emer and she agreed, although reluctantly.
"Emer said there was something she didn't feel right about and she cried quite a lot; she wanted to turn him down, but he had such an influence over her that she felt she couldn't."
Dwyer began chipping away at her confidence and self-esteem in a way that we now know was a precursor of what he did to Elaine O'Hara.
"He gradually became more abusive to the point where he would call her names and tell her she was ugly and fat and that no one else would want anything to do with her because she was damaged goods," another source revealed.
It was around this same time Dwyer divulged his twisted fantasy about stabbing a woman while having sex. He began to bring a kitchen knife into the bedroom. "This terrified Emer," said one friend.
In February 1996 Emer finally left Dwyer's clutches with the help of her family and friends.
She suspected that he was involved with another woman and had been taking drugs.
"She saw him taking ecstasy and LSD, which also altered his moods. It caused a lot of tension because Emer disapproved of this," another friend said.
Dwyer only saw his son at birthdays and Christmas. By this stage he was living with Gemma Healy from Sligo, who he would eventually marry in 2002. But further harassment began when he heard that Emer had met another man, who she has since married.
In 2007 when Emer and her future husband began building a house, Dwyer suddenly began turning up in Ballyshannon.
She spotted him cycling past their home, and on another occasion he was sitting in his car watching the new house.
He began sending her texts making comments about the design of the new house to let her know he was watching.
Three days ago, following a nine-week trial, Dwyer (42) from Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, south Dublin, was convicted by unanimous verdict of stabbing 36-year-old Elaine O'Hara to death in the Dublin mountains in August 2012.