Sarah Williams just couldn’t get over the fact that firefighter Ian Johnston didn’t want to be with her. The proof was in the pudding in this one: Ian didn’t want to be with Sarah because he thought she was clingy and obsessive, so she obsessed for a year and a half, ruminating on the best way to kill the next woman he dated.
Ian Johnston, 57, and Sarah, 35, had a brief sexual relationship after the pair met at a ski resort, but Ian soon rekindled his relationship with Sadie after it became clear that things with Sarah, a professional sugar baby, just weren’t going to work out. Ian then began to date a well-to-do business woman named Sadie Hartley. She was older than Sarah by about 25 years, and she also had the added bonus of being sane, unlike Sarah.
Sarah stewed in her rejection and lamented about it to her friend, Katrina Walsh. Katrina had a single shock of hair, a result of suffering from alopecia. Katrina had never met Sadie, but easily fell into the idea that she should die for her sins of dating a man who didn’t want Sarah. Katrina’s husband had left her for another woman in the past, so perhaps there was some empathy there. Or maybe she was just a nutter. Either way, she kept a diary about how excited she was about their plans, at one point writing she had to take a shot of SoCo just to calm herself down.
The pair plotted and plotted for 18 months until finally, in January of 2016, Sarah showed up at Sadie’s door in Lancashire. When Sadie answered, Sarah struck her with a stun gun in the head, and then violently stabbed and slashed at her unknowing rival 40 times. She left her lying in a growing pool of blood in the hallway of her home.
Investigators would later unravel all the lengths the two women had gone to to commit what they had hoped would be the perfect crime. The murder pals had to go to Germany to buy the stun gun, and Katrina did a test run of the killing a week in advance. She purchased some flowers and delivered them to Sadie, just to see what it would be like to have her come to the door. When Williams committed the slaying for real, she wore shoes that did not fit her in an attempt to throw investigators off her trail. Their plotting was no match for good ol’ detective worked, and each were sentenced to prison, where they will remain for the next few decades.
Sarah was described as a “bunny boiler” in court, so derived from the film Fatal Attraction. In the film, a married man has an affair with a woman who refuses to let him go. At one point, she boils his daughter’s pet rabbit in a pot.
In an article in the Telegraph, writer Christina Criddle argues that calling Sarah a bunny boiler “undermines” the seriousness of her brutal crime and conveys an inherent misogyny in glamorizing or minimizing crimes committed by women.