Wednesday 20 June 2018

Family 'stunned' by secret life of Jastine Valdez killer Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy
Mark Hennessy
Mark Hennessy, who abducted and killed Jastine Valdez, leaving her body at Puck’s Castle Lane

Ken Foy

Twisted killer kidnapper Mark Hennessy was leading a shocking secret life in the weeks before he brutally murdered tragic student Jastine Valdez.

The Herald can reveal that gardai are investigating if the father-of-two was using the dating app Tinder to search for women with whom he could have extramarital affairs.

His secret life - which he kept hidden from his wife and has left his family "completely stunned" - included abusing cocaine, drinking heavily and apparently using Tinder to meet women.

Investigators also believe a missing iPad owned by Jastine holds the key to establishing whether or not there is any link between the Tallaght IT student and her murderer.

Jastine Valdez
Jastine Valdez

A source disclosed last night that it is believed the killer had been using the app but it is not known whether he had interacted with Jastine on it in the weeks before he savagely strangled the Filipino national (24).

"This man's family are absolutely devastated and shocked by his actions," a senior source said last night.

"They had no idea that he would be capable of such a thing and have fully co-operated with the garda investigation."

It is also understood that Hennessy's devastated Welsh wife and mother of his two children was re-interviewed by specialist detectives yesterday and has fully co-operated with the probe.

Mark Hennessy, who abducted and killed Jastine Valdez, leaving her body at Puck’s Castle Lane
Mark Hennessy, who abducted and killed Jastine Valdez, leaving her body at Puck’s Castle Lane

The Herald understands that this innocent woman is "completely stunned" by the manic actions of her 40-year-old killer husband last weekend, which ultimately led to him being shot dead by a garda detective in Cherrywood Business Park on Sunday evening.

We can also reveal that the body of the killer has been returned to his family.

The black Nissan Qashqai driven by Mark Hennessy is surrounded by unmarked garda vehicles after he was spotted in Cherrywood and shot by armed officers. Photo: Arthur Carron
The black Nissan Qashqai driven by Mark Hennessy is surrounded by unmarked garda vehicles after he was spotted in Cherrywood and shot by armed officers. Photo: Arthur Carron

A funeral service for Hennessy is due to take place tomorrow afternoon at Mount Argus in Harold's Cross.

"This man's body has been handed over to funeral directors and his family are making arrangements for an extremely private ceremony," a source confirmed last night.

While Hennessy's heartbroken family is said to be struggling to come to terms with his shocking actions, a massive garda investigation continues.

Investigators have not yet found any evidence to "definitely" link him to tragic Jastine but have said that mobile phone evidence and her iPad may be the key to establishing exactly how the shocking murder unfolded.

"The missing piece, the key piece, is finding her handbag and its contents, which it is suspected include an iPad Mini," a source said last night.

"Garda technical experts are also trying to rebuild her mobile phone, which also may contain key data.

"At this stage, this murder still looks like a random act of mindless evil. There is still absolutely no evidence of contact between the two of them yet."

Tragic Jastine is due to be buried in her native Philippines, but this is not due to happen for a number of days at least.

Yesterday, gardai continued to search for Jastine's missing handbag near Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, where dense gorse and undergrowth was being probed by officers.

Searches are expected to continue today.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman (GSOC) released details about the fatal shooting of Hennessy by a south Dublin-based detective on Sunday night.

It said Hennessy was shot dead in his car and had wounds consistent with self-harming.

Hennessy's death was caught on camera footage from a garda traffic car at the scene.

"A garda service weapon was recovered from the scene. The remaining ammunition and one spent cartridge was located in the firearm," a GSOC spokesperson said.

"A Stanley knife was subsequently recovered from the vehicle, the Nissan Qashqai, which had been the subject of a garda alert."

The spokesperson confirmed that a post-mortem showed Hennessy was in fact shot in the shoulder.

Herald

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