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Wednesday 24 April 2019

Molly's book club picks reveal she was fascinated with stories of female killers

Martens recommended books about murderous women
Martens recommended books about murderous women

Ralph Riegel

Killer Molly Martens joined a North Carolina book club and recommended two novels in the months before her husband's homicide, 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle' and 'Gone Girl', both about female murderers.

The shock revelation came when Davidson County Sheriff's Department officers spoke to Molly's neighbours, friends and associates in the weeks after her Irish businessman husband, Jason Corbett (39), was brutally battered to death in the bedroom of his Panther Creek Court home.

Mr Corbett had his skull smashed with a metal baseball bat and a heavy concrete brick while he was asleep in bed.

Molly and her father, retired FBI agent Tom Martens (67), were convicted of the second-degree murder of the Limerick father of two by a Davidson County Superior Court jury following a month-long trial last summer. They are both now serving sentences of 20-to-25 years in high-security North Carolina prisons.

Mr Corbett's sister, Tracey Corbett-Lynch, led the campaign for justice for her brother and has written a book about the ordeal her family suffered.

'My Brother Jason' is published by Gill Books and is serialised in the Irish Independent.

The book reveals that Molly had a fascination with stories which revolved around strong female characters with murderous intent.

The Tennessee-born nanny not only recommended 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle' and 'Gone Girl' to her book club friends but in 2011, as she was leaving Ireland with her husband-to-be Mr Corbett, she gave her new sister-in-law a present of a book called 'A Reliable Wife'.

Ms Corbett-Lynch revealed the book was about a woman who planned to murder her new husband whom she had met through a newspaper advertisement.

"I found it strange at the time but, years later, I couldn't help but wonder whether it was a deliberate hint of things to come," she said.

Ms Corbett-Lynch, her sister Marilyn and her brother Wayne, who is Jason's twin, have all insisted they believe there were clear signs of premeditation in the August 2, 2015 killing.

Molly had been trying for five years to get her husband to allow her adopt his two children by his first wife, Margaret 'Mags' Fitzpatrick. She died of a tragic asthma attack in 2006.

Molly met Mr Corbett when she applied to work as a nanny/au pair with the two children in Ireland in early 2008.

The murder trial revealed Mr Corbett had traces of a powerful sedative in his system which had been prescribed for his wife just days before his killing.

The book also revealed Mr Corbett, worried at his wife's mental health problems and with strain mounting on their relationship over her bizarre behaviour and mood swings, was planning to bring his two children back to Ireland on the day he was murdered.

His wife had secretly visited US divorce lawyers to determine her rights to the two children just weeks after her 2011 marriage.

A suitcase packed with clothing - seen by his two children - had vanished from his home by the time police were called in the early hours of August 2, 2015.

Mr Corbett's laptop and mobile phone had also vanished - and were never found.

Mr Corbett-Lynch said she is convinced Molly learned of her brother's plan to bring his children back to the safety of Ireland - and decided to act to prevent it.

Davidson County District Attorney's Office carefully considered a first-degree murder charge but decided, on the basis of the evidence, to opt instead for a second-degree murder charge against the father and daughter.

In North Carolina, a first-degree murder conviction can carry the death penalty.

Irish Independent

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