A 14-year-old girl discovered her father is a famous murderer after being given a homework assignment to research serial killers.
The Telegraph reports that Samantha Bryan was instructed by her school to research notorious crimes connected to the Grimsby area where she is from. She was given a list of names and chose Ian Huntley, who was arrested in 2002 for murdering 10-year-old girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. After Google-searching Huntley, Samantha discovered a picture of herself and her mother online.
“It was like being thumped in the chest,” Samantha told the newspaper. “I began to shake, I couldn't stop the tears.”
Samantha was only four at the time of the murders, and had never met her biological father. Her mother left Huntley after he allegedly physically abused and raped her. She then married Martin Bryan, Samantha's current father.
“I try not to even say his name, as to do that is to acknowledge his existence,” Samantha said. “I hate him. He's never been my dad, he's nothing more than a sperm donor. To know he is genetically connected to me sickens me.
“I'm speaking out, as I refuse to be ashamed for existing, otherwise I'd become just another of his victims. To acknowledge him as anything else would be to give him a power I will never let him hold over me.
“I didn't cause the pain, suffering and anguish he has caused to so many people, although I think of his victims and their families. I feel so terribly sorry for Holly and Jessica's parents for what he's done. Especially with young sisters myself. Ever since I found out about the girls I've thought about what they must have felt.”
She said one picture of a woman and a girl "jumped out at me." Although Huntley did not appear and the faces were pixelated, "I knew instantly one was my mum. And the little girl standing beside her was me at about 10.”
“The shock was painful,” she added. “A thousand questions ran round in my brain. I didn't want to be associated with a killer. Was there anything of this monster in me? This Ian Huntley who had killed two little girls.”
Samantha, now training to become a paramedic, told the newspaper that she had previously felt the killer was a “dark specter hanging over [her] life," but has since drawn a line under the association.
“He is pure evil,” she said. “What he is like hasn't been passed on to me. I refuse to let something like him take over my mind or my life. I will make a positive difference with my life, I want to help others... the exact opposite of everything he stands for and ever will.”