University of York graduate Neil Entwistle wept in court on Friday after being shown police footage of the bodies of his wife and baby daughter. He is currently standing trial in the United States for their murders in January, 2006.
Entwistle, who graduated from the University in 2002 with a degree in Electronic Engineering, is accused of murdering his wife Rachel, 27, and their nine-month-old baby daughter, Lillian, in the family’s rented home in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
The couple met while Rachel, an American national, spent a year at York in 1999. Both were members of the University Boat club. They married shortly after his graduation in 2002 and moved to the United States.
Rachel and Lillian’s bodies were discovered by police on January 22, 2006, after friends of the family became concerned. Entwistle flew home to the UK just hours after his wife and daughter was killed. He was arrested by British police in London on February 9, 2006 and extradited to the United States.
Jurors in the double murder trial, taking place in Middlesex Superior Court, were shown a 20-minute-long video made by a police forensics team as they investigated the couple’s bedroom, where both bodies were found with gunshot wounds.
Entwistle, who has made no public displays of emotion since the trial began on June 6, broke down in tears shortly after the video began and wept throughout its duration.
A post-mortem examination of the bodies found that Rachel had been shot in the forehead at close range while Lillian had been killed with a bullet that passed through her chest and lodged into her mother.
Both were killed with a .22 revolver belonging to Rachel’s stepfather, Joseph Matterazzo. State prosecutors allege that Entwistle stole the gun from his in-law’s home in nearby Carver and used it to execute his wife and child and returned it immediately after the killings. Entwistle’s fingerprints were found on the gun along with those of 25 others close to the case, including members of Rachel’s family.
Testifying on June 8, Matterazzo claimed that Entwistle had asked him to bury the two bodies together because “that’s the way I left them.” Matterazzo said: “He asked me if Rachel and Lilly could be buried together because ‘that’s the way I left them, I mean found them.’“ When pressed on Entwistle’s wording, Matterazzo claimed: “That’s exactly what he said.”
Matterazzo claimed Entwistle made the slip during one of a number of telephone conversations between the two in the three days after the killings. Entwistle called from his parents’ home in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, which he returned to after the killings in January 2006.
During one of the conversations Matterazzo said he asked Entwistle: “Neil, did you do this, or do you know who did this?” Entwistle allegedly said he did not.
Earlier, the court heard from Lloyd Cooke, Rachel’s uncle that he and Matterazzo had taught Entwistle how to use a gun, including the weapon used in the murder. Cooke said: “He handled the firearms well.”
Papers submitted to the court by the prosecution allege that a number of pornography and pyramid scheme websites were hosted by a domain registered at Entwistle’s former student house on Heslington Road, just minutes from the University of York campus.