By Paul Williams
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Extra resources for Almost the Perfect Murder: The Killing of Elaine O’Hara, the Extraordinary Garda Investigation and the Trial That Stunned the Nation
He assumed that she had overslept and then rushed out in a panic, forgetting her phone. m. ’ Sheila Hawkins noticed that there was still no sign of life in the apartment and that Elaine’s car was not in the underground car park. She thought Elaine must be working late at the festival in Dublin. First thing the following morning Sheila Hawkins checked the apartment again. When there was still no sign of Elaine or her car, the niggling feeling she’d had since Wednesday night turned into apprehension.
In August 1992, Frank and Eileen O’Hara brought her to the high-profile psychiatrist Professor Anthony Clare. He agreed to take Elaine on as a patient and she was admitted for treatment to St Edmundsbury Hospital in Lucan, west Dublin. Professor Clare and his team were initially uncertain about Elaine’s diagnosis and thought she had an emerging psychotic illness. She informed Professor Clare that she had had fantasies of being restrained or imprisoned from the age of twelve but wouldn’t elaborate.
He had demonstrated the intelligence, meticulous planning and attention to detail of a serial killer. It was therefore reasonable to suspect that the perpetrator could have been successful in the past. There were enough missing women in the Leinster area to support such a hypothesis. It added to the sense of urgency about the mission at hand. Apart from finding Elaine O’Hara’s killer, the investigators faced another massive challenge: the post-mortem could not establish how Elaine had met her death.