Friday 27 April 2018

'I had a good time... but did I help others?' - killer Catherine Nevin's final letter

Convicted killer Catherine Nevin revealed her inner thoughts on life and death in a letter penned before her death

Catherine Nevin case
Catherine Nevin case
Catherine Nevin, who carried a red rose at the funeral of her husband

Kyle Ewald and Patrick O'Connell

Convicted killer Catherine Nevin - known as the Black Widow - revealed her inner thoughts on life and death in a letter written while she was ill with cancer.

The letter was sent to Tiglin rehabilitation chairman Aubrey McCarthy with specific instructions from Nevin that it be shared with the public in the hope that it would help others in similar situations.

The document had been typed as Nevin was too weak to use a pen towards the end of her life and was dated December 12, 2016.

Nevin asked reflective questions and contemplated her life: “What did I do with my life? I had a good time - enjoyed myself, had a bit of craic, did my work, looked after my family - but did I help others?”

The letter steers clear of mentioning her involvement in her husband’s murder, of which she was found guilty for paying a hitman to commit at their business, Jack White’s pub in Co Wicklow in March, 1996.

“Did I ever look up at the sky and appreciate the sunshine or was I too preoccupied with other things? Did I ever really appreciate the beautiful morning mist or was it always too easy to turn over and sleep some more?” wrote Nevin.

Catherine Nevin with husband Tom whom she had murdered Photo: COLLINS DUBLIN
Catherine Nevin with husband Tom whom she had murdered Photo: COLLINS DUBLIN

The Black Widow was charged with murder in April 1997 and found guilty in August 2000 following a lengthy trial. Details of Nevin’s attempts to solicit three men to murder her husband emerged during the trial, but she never revealed who pulled the trigger.

Prior to her death last Monday, she had been on temporary release from the Dóchas Centre women’s prison since last August , following being granted full-time compassionate leave due to her need of end-of-life care that could not be provided in prison.

Nevin protested her innocence till her death and never revealed the identity of the hitman she hired. She will now take the secret of who killed her husband to her grave.

The full letter is published in today's edition of the Sunday World.

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