Man and the mother and girlfriend he 'stabbed to death' are named

‘Murder suicide’ trio pictured: Man and the mother and girlfriend he ‘stabbed to death’ are named – as it’s claimed his lover’s ex warned police he was ‘out of control’ hours before deadly rampage

  • Ken Flanagan reportedly killed Karen McClean and his girlfriend Stacey Knell
  • Flanagan then killed himself in Newtownabbey, a large town north of Belfast
  • Detectives say the murders are linked and are not looking for anyone else 
  • Comes amid reports police were told about Flanagan’s ‘out-of-control’ behaviour

A man who stabbed his mother and girlfriend to death before killing himself in an apparent murder suicide has been named locally.

Ken Flanagan is understood to have stabbed his mother Karen McClean and girlfriend Stacey Knell to death at separate properties in Newtownabbey, a large town north of Belfast.

Ms Knell’s former partner, and father of her daughter, claims he warned police of ‘out-of-control’ drug user Flanagan’s behaviour just hours before the murders. 

Mr Lillie said ‘red flags started popping’ when he saw Flanagan with his child because ‘I didn’t want a guy with his reputation to be near my daughter’. He did not provide any more details. 

Police were called to reports of a stabbing at a residence at around 11pm on Friday, where a woman, understood to be Ms McClean, was pronounced dead.  

A search of a second property located another dead woman – believed to be Ms Knell – and an unconscious Flanagan who died soon afterwards despite attempts to revive him.

Detectives investigating the double murder say they are linked and they are not looking for anyone else in connection to the deaths. 

A man who stabbed his mother and girlfriend to death before killing himself in an apparent murder suicide has been named locally as Ken Flanagan (pictured)


Flanagan is understood to have stabbed his mother Karen McClean (right) and girlfriend Stacey Knell (left) to death at separate properties in Newtownabbey, a large town north of Belfast

Mr Lillie told Sunday World that his ‘gut instinct’ was telling him to call social services on Flanagan, because he knew something wasn’t right. 

Social services then advised him to get in touch with the police. 

Police confirmed they did receive a report, but said there was no evidence that the child was in danger.

Flanagan is understood to have been recently imprisoned and resumed a relationship with Ms Knell once he was released. 

He was dubbed ‘out of control’ by people close to his family.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell confirmed police received a report of a stabbing at a residential property in the area shortly before 11pm on Friday.

Police and the ambulance service were called to the scene where a woman was found dead.

‘As officers carried out further inquiries, they attended a residential property in the Glenville Road area,’ DCI Caldwell added. 

‘An unconscious man was located in the property. Despite the provision of first aid, the man was pronounced dead.

‘On searching the property, another deceased woman was located. While we have launched a murder investigation, we are not looking for anyone else in connection with these incidents which we believe are connected.’

No other details were immediately available. 

Detectives investigating the double murder say they are linked and they are not looking for anyone else in connection to the deaths. Pictured: Police at the scene on Friday

Sinn Fein MP John Finucane said the community is in shock following the double murder.

The north Belfast MP said: ‘My first thoughts are with the family and friends of the women who were brutally killed last night.

‘It’s important to bear in mind that at the heart of this tragedy are grieving families.

‘The local community are absolutely shocked and stunned by these killings.

‘These brutal killings highlight once again the need to oppose all violence against women and the need for a Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy in the north.’

SDLP councillor for Glengormley Noreen McClelland tweeted: ‘Such dreadful news from Newtownabbey this morning. Totally shocked and distressed to hear. Thoughts with the families.’  

The scene at Glenville Road, Newtownabbey. A narrow road is cordoned off with police tape blocking the path

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