I can’t rest knowing killer is out there
WITH his cropped hair, cheeky grin and lanky frame, Daniel Grainger looks like a typical teenage boy on the brink of manhood.
But the courage with which he faces a horrific childhood trauma sets him apart from his peers.
Daniel was just five when his mum was brutally murdered and the 16-year-old has grown up clinging to a handful of blurred memories of her.
Patricia Grainger, a single mum, was sexually assaulted, strangled and stabbed.
Her body was dumped in a stream near her home in Parson Cross, Sheffield, on August 10, 1997.
She had been missing for a week before her body was discovered. It is thought she died the day before she was found.
Despite the heartache, Daniel refuses to be a victim.
In a remarkable show of bravery, Daniel set up whokilledmymum.com last year. He has also, with the help of Yorkshire Police, distributed 5,000 leaflets begging for information to help solve the crime.
His determination has led to two arrests. Late last year South Yorkshire Police revealed they had arrested two men, aged 51 and 59, in connection with Pat’s murder.
They were not charged but released on bail while police continue their inquiries.
Daniel said: “I don’t want to get my hopes up. But I would sleep better at night knowing justice had been served.”
Despite his young age at the time, Daniel recalls the day he found out his mum was dead in vivid detail.
He says: “It was the school holidays. There were so many police cars and vans outside our house that day. I’d only ever seen the police on TV before.
“The road was taped off. All our neighbours were huddled outside the house crying. I was only five but I knew something very bad had happened and started crying. All I wanted was a hug from my mum. She was the only one who wasn’t there.”
Daniel’s aunts Lynne Marsden, now 39 and Sharon Grainger, 33, both housewives, still live in Parson Cross.
He adds: “Lynne and Sharon took me away from the house. It was too chaotic for me. I sat on the back step in Lynne’s garden with Sharon next to me. Her eyes were all red and puffy. I asked where my mum was and that made her cry.”
Shortly after the murder, three people were questioned by police but later released.
In September 1997, another man was arrested and charged but no conviction followed. Years of dead-end leads spurred Daniel to set up whokilledmymum.com,
The site has now had more than 442,000 hits. He says: “I can’t rest knowing her killer is out there. Someone has got to know something about what happened to my mum and why.”
For years Daniel lived in fear that his mum’s killer would strike again.
“If anyone stared at me, I wondered, did they kill my mum? I was so paranoid.
“I sat in my room with the curtains drawn, too scared to go out. I hated the darkness. So I kept a light and my TV on and stayed awake all night thinking about my mum.”
As a teenager, Daniel fought depression. But the support of his family got him through the darkest days.
“Every second of every day, I thought about my mum’s murder. I just wanted to block it out. Eventually all the pent-up grief inside me bubbled up and popped.”
Luckily, Daniel’s aunt Sharon was there when he reached breaking point in 2007. And through a veil of tears, he confessed he was having suicidal thoughts.
Sharon booked him an emergency appointment with the family GP, who diagnosed Daniel with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“For years I had been on edge and kept everything inside,” he says.
“I didn’t want to open up but eventually I had no choice. Suddenly I realised how I felt was normal. I could deal with things and have a future of my own.”
At this point, Daniel began to turn tragedy into a fight for justice. “I needed something to focus on,” says Daniel.
“I wanted to start a website. But I didn’t have the courage. I was worried it was a stupid idea.
“My best friend urged me to go ahead. She’s always been a great listener.
“One day Mum’s killers will be put in prison. I just know it. I’ll never give up on the fight.”
Source The Sun (Link no longer available)
I can't rest knowing killer is out therePublished: 11th January 2009WITH his cropped hair, cheeky grin and lanky…