Great Britain

Killer who wrote ‘it was me’ on girlfriend’s body after stabbing & strangling her to death in ritualistic murder jailed


A TWISTED killer strangled and stabbed his girlfriend to death before daubing the words "it was me" on her body in a ritualistic slaughter.

Daniel Smith, 41, used nail varnish to write the chilling message after arranging Imogen Bohayczuk's body on the bed "like a spectacle".

The depraved boyfriend then went on a spending spree - using the 29-year-old's bank card 38 times to buy booze from a local shop.

Smith has now been caged for life with a minimum of 17-and-a-half years after admitting murder.

Imogen's body was discovered on the bed with her arms crossed clutching at a bottle of perfume two weeks after the brutal killing.

A soft toy had been left by her neck with her legs bound after she was savagely stabbed multiple times on February 18 this year.

Tragic Imogen also suffered bruising to her face and arms where she desperately tried to fend Smith off.


Manchester Crown Court heard how the brute had previously emotionally and physically abused mum-of-one Imogen.

The "vulnerable" care worker met "violent and manipulative" Smith last year.

But months after they embarked on a relationship, Imogen told a housing officer she had been stabbed in the thigh by Smith.

She only agreed to treatment if police were not informed but the worker spoke with colleagues who sent officers to the home - but no action was taken.

On the day she died, Imogen twice called police telling them he had "gripped her around the neck.

She also text an ex saying: "He strangled me so much I nearly died and then he got a knife. I thought I was going to die.''


He begged her to go to police but Smith had taken her phone and replaced it with a new SIM card.

Police arrived at her home 24 hours later but left when there was no answer as tragically she was already dead.

It was only when a housing officer visited the home that her body was found - two weeks after Imogen was murdered.

A probe has now been launched into why police failed to respond to her emergency calls.

Tim Storrie QC, prosecuting, said: "When officers attended at the scene, they found a grim scene. Imogen had been laid on her bed, her body had been arranged as though she were a spectacle.

"Chillingly an exhibition had been made of her body. It was a cruel humiliation of the victim to daub her body with the boast 'It was me'.''


Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service - available every day from 10am-6pm.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

The court heard harrowing accounts from Smith's ex-girlfriends that revealed him as a violent monster.

They described in terrifying detail how the fiend made them believe he would kill them and lied about having cancer to "manipulate".

One explained how she was so "terrorised" by Smith she moved across the country for him, while another became a prisoner after he stole her bank cards.

Mr Storrie said: "This pattern of violent and manipulative behaviour was to be replicated in respect of his relationship with Imogen.''

Sentencing, Judge Patrick Field QC slammed the murderer for the "brutal and ferocious" attack.

He said: "She had received a terrible beating with bruises to her face and head and also to her upper limbs caused, no doubt, as she tried to fend off your attack.

"On her right leg you had daubed the words, “It was me” in red nail varnish. This macabre graffiti is said to be some kind of confession by you; a sign to the police that you were responsible for the killing but I reject that notion utterly.

''If you had wanted to make clear to the police what you had done, you could have gone to them and told them. This act looks like an act of callous and cruel triumphalism.

''Imogen was a young woman when she died. She was the mother of a young child.

"In killing Imogen you have deprived that child of a mother and Imogen’s parents and siblings have been deprived of a daughter and a sister. Their grief is palpable.''

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