Episode 49 - Raoul Moat – Britain’s Biggest Manhunt

“Hello there, this is the gunman from Birtley last night, er, my name is Raoul Moat…um, what I’m phoning about is to tell you exactly why I have done what I have done right? Now my girlfriend has been having an affair behind my back with one of your officers, this gentleman that I shot last night…I am hunting for officers now.” 

This was the 999 call from mass killer Raoul Moat while he was on the run. To understand how he came to be making this call, we must first go back to long before Raoul’s life even began. Raoul’s father’s life, his mother’s life and his own childhood are all inextricably woven into the journey to him becoming a brutal and ruthless killer.   


Raoul’s story begins in a rural county of Northeast England called Northumberland. Peter Blake who was a Birmingham-raised man, graduated from the London school of economics and political science and took up a job at Solihull Borough Council. In January 1972 he moved to Alnwick, Northumberland but the move didn’t stick as he quickly realised that he disliked the quietness of the small town. He was working as the deputy clerk of the township, and he found that there were limited opportunities for socializing or meeting new people and so he packed up again and moved on to Newcastle. 

Newcastle was known as a party city with a vibrant nightlife full of bars and parties. During one of his regular nights out, Peter met Josephine Moat who was a French woman with a Geordie accent.  When the pair met, Josephine was working as a draughtswoman and living at her mother’s house along with her son, Angus. When Peter asked her about Angus’s father, Josephine told him that they were no longer together and that the man never visited his son. Peter took her word for it and the pair began dating with Peter treating Angus like his own son. After a couple of months, the relationship was going well, and Peter asked Josephine to move in with him. She agreed and moved with Angus out of her mother’s home and into a rented cottage into the village of Longhorsley, Northumberland.  

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The trio lived a perfect family life for the first few months after their move.  Peter and Josephine doted on each other and on Angus.  It wasn’t long before the couple were talking about their future together and how to make their relationship more permanent. However, in October, 8 months after meeting each other, Josephine’s mental health began to deteriorate. She had had her ups and downs since long before Angus was born but that year the decline seemed to accelerate. When she was in one of her episodes, she would become a completely different person. Initially, the episodes would be followed by a long break in between but in a matter of a few short weeks, the time between episodes got shorter and shorter. It got to the point where one flowed right into the next until Josephine was almost unrecognisable from the person Peter had met at the bar that night.  

Josephine had once taken pride in cooking delicious meals for her partner and son and keeping their home lovely and clean and Peter would often arrive home from work and find her all dressed up. But as her mental state declined, she wouldn’t move from the couch and the house was messy and dirty with little to no food prepared for Peter or for Angus.  

Peter knew something wasn’t right with Josephine and he took her to be seen by a doctor. After taking her history, the doctor concluded that she had been suffering from an undiagnosed mental health condition for many years. He identified this condition as bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder was previously known as manic depression, and it is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. A person can go from experiencing manic and emotional highs to crippling depression in a matter of hours or spread over days and weeks. This was exactly what Peter had been going through with Josephine.  

The doctor provided medication for Josephine to take which would help to manage the violent mood swings. For a while, the medication helped, and things seemed to calm down inside their house. But somewhere along the line, Josephine decided she didn’t need to take the medication anymore.  She didn’t like how it made her feel and she knew Peter wouldn’t understand so she told him she was still taking it every day like she was supposed to.  

Inevitably Josephine’s symptoms returned, and her mood swings began to take over family life once again. No matter how much Peter begged her to get help or to go back to the doctor she refused.  

During one of her episodes, Josephine became convinced that their little cottage was haunted. That day she packed up her and Angus’s things and returned to her mother’s house in Fenham, leaving Peter behind. Peter wasn’t put off by her erratic behaviour. When Josephine’s mother told him that he couldn’t live under her roof unless the pair were married, he returned to the house with a ring. Peter proposed to Josephine then and there but when she realised that the ring was cheap and wasn’t made of real gold she flew into a fit of rage. Peter tried to explain that when he had enough money, he would buy a better ring and that this one was just to signify their love, but it wasn’t enough. Josephine told him to leave.  

Despite the fight and their unclear relationship status, the pair had not officially split up after the fight. Josephine continued living at her mother’s home, while Peter boarded in a guest house, but they continued to go on dates and occasionally attended gatherings together. They went as a couple to Peter’s office New Year’s Eve party and Peter had every hope that as a new year was dawning, their relationship would get back on track.  

But Josephine had other ideas. In January, she told Peter that she didn’t want to see him anymore. He was shocked at her change of heart, but he respected her wishes and stayed away from the house where they lived, yet he still held out hope that they would someday reconcile and he wrote her letters declaring his feelings, telling her he would be waiting when she was ready to get back together. Josephine ignored his letters.  

But then one day in June, more than 6 months after their separation, Peter received a letter in the mail. The letter was from Josephine’s sister, and it informed him that Josephine had just given birth to their baby. Peter was understandably shocked – he hadn’t known Josephine was pregnant in the first place. He hadn’t seen her or heard from her in months and now there was a child. His child.  

That baby, who we now know as Raoul Moat, was born on the 17th of June 1973. As soon as Peter received the letter, he knocked on the door of Josephine’s mother’s house where he knew she would have returned with his son. But there was no answer at the door.  

He knocked again and again, louder, and louder, yet there was no answer. By then, Peter was fed up. He had been lied to, was being ignored, and now he was being refused access to his own child.  He lost his temper and shouted through the letterbox flap on the front door, demanding that they open the door so he could see his baby.  

This chaos caught the attention of a nearby police officer who threatened Peter with arrest if he didn’t leave the premises immediately. Peter begrudgingly left, but he returned the next day and the next in a vain attempt to see his child. Yet every attempt or visit was met with radio silence. No answer to the door, no responses to his yells, nothing.  

A few days later, Peter received another letter. This time it was from a solicitor hired by Josephine. The letter ordered him to leave Josephine, Angus, and the new baby alone. To make matters worse, the letter made no mention of him as the father of the new baby.  

Frantically, Peter sought help from solicitors of his own and even the local vicar, all of whom told him that they couldn’t intervene or grant him the opportunity to see his own baby. The only information they were able to provide him was that the child was named Raoul and that he had the same red hair as his father.  

With no hope for a resolution and continuously being pressured to move on, Peter decided to provide the local National Association office with his details. He hoped that Josephine would change her mind and eventually contact him, especially if she needed some financial support, and this way she would be able to make contact with him.  

Josephine was now a mentally unwell single mother of 2 children with no means to financially support herself, yet she continued to refuse all help offered by Peter. For another year, Peter continued to hang around Tyneside, hoping against hope that he would one day meet his son or bump into Josephine so he could try to convince her to give him access to their son. During this time, he began drinking heavily and his work performance declined.  

Eventually, he decided he had to put Newcastle behind him. He packed his bags once more and moved to London.  

After a few months in London, Peter met a woman. Before long, he had moved into her home, and became a stepfather to her children. Despite his life getting back on track, Peter didn’t forget about the son he had never met. He promised himself that when he had the means and Raoul was old enough to decide for himself, he would hire a private investigator to find the boy and hopefully, father and son would be brought together for the first time.  

When Raoul was 40 years old, Peter didn’t have to bother with private investigators to find his son. His face and name were plastered all over the national news as the biggest manhunt in UK history got underway.  


Raoul Moat was the spitting image of the father he never knew. Just like the vicar had told Peter, he had red hair, but he also had his dad’s rosy cheeks and bright blue eyes.  

Raoul didn’t know anything about his father, not his name, not the reason why he didn’t live with them or that his father had been trying to find him since the day he was born. Whenever Raoul asked his mother about his missing dad, she ignored his questions or replied with some sarcastic comment all of which led him to believe that he had been abandoned before his birth. This idea of being unwanted and abandoned was compounded when he found his birth certificate had no name written where the father was supposed to be listed. Josephine had completely erased the man she had once talked about marrying from both her and her son’s life.  

As a child, to cope with the sense of abandonment he felt about not having a father, Raoul made up many fantasies about why his dad had left. He dreamt that he was born in France to a French father who loved and nurtured Raoul and had to leave to keep him and his mother safe.  

In his early years, Raoul and Angus were mostly raised by their grandmother, Josephine’s mum. She felt it was vital for the children to grow up in a calmer environment given Josephine’s unpredictable mental state.  

Raoul and Angus were inseparable and during their young lives, they took interest in exploring the outdoor wilderness surrounding their home. Their curiosity and fondness for the outdoors was nurtured by their grandmother who was a keen gardener herself.  

Aside from Angus, Raoul had another best friend named Tony Laider. The boys had met when Raoul was just 3 years old and together the trio of Tony, Angus and Raoul were.  

notorious for being wild adventurers as they played together outdoors. They spent hours together building huts and collecting discarded things. They would go bug hunting and put beetles and spiders in their pockets to take them home and show their aghast caregivers.  

It was evident that their grandmother tried to give Raoul and Angus a normal childhood despite their unusual situation. Despite her efforts, she couldn’t completely protect them from their mother’s mental volatility or the fact that Josephine seemed to have little to no maternal instinct. She was in a constant state of either physical or mental absence and when she was around her moods were unpredictable. During her manic episodes, she would tell her children that “they are the chosen ones”, “they belong to the royal life,” or “don’t be sad because the devil doesn’t want you to be sad.” In one episode she sat the boys down and made them watch as she burned all their toys.  And then there would be long periods where they wouldn’t see her at all. She would lie in bed for days and weeks on end barely leaving her room to eat or shower.  

Even with their grandmother’s steady hand, Raoul and Angus’s young minds took on board all the things they saw and heard from their mother. It was only when Raoul was.  

around the age of 7 that he realised that his mother was different from other mums. After that he made the connection that she was sick, and it had something to do with her mind.  

But the damage to his mind was already done. Josephine’s behaviour and strange beliefs were engraved into their minds. Raoul’s teenage years were relatively calm, but he began to develop nightmares. In these recurring dreams, the young him would be running through the streets where he grew up while being chased by a bunch of monsters. He was embarrassed about the dreams and by how much they affected him, and he developed a fear of going to sleep in case the nightmares visited him again.  

Raoul’s childhood tells us a lot about the man he would grow up to become. His mother was not always present and when she was, she was distant or delusional. In his mind, his father had abandoned him which could have made him feel worthless or insignificant. It’s clear that no matter how much of his life was progressing toward the light or how much his grandmother tried to balance his childhood, the trauma he acquired during this time would haunt him for the rest of his life.   

It’s easy to look back now and see how much went wrong for Raoul in those early years. Josephine’s decision to separate father and son meant that Raoul grew up with no father figure to help him find his way or to protect him from the impact of Josephine’s mental health condition. Research tells us that the first three years of life are critical when it comes to brain development in children. It’s during these formative years that children learn critical skills like language and movement but it’s also the time when they learn how to respond to stress. When a child is raised in a loving and stable environment, they learn that their parents or caregiver will provide safety and nurturing. On the other hand, if they are raised in a home where they experience violence or neglect, they will try to manage their stress and emotional needs themselves which of course they are ill-equipped to do at such a young age. In many cases, the impact of this childhood trauma won’t become clear until the child reaches adulthood, and they begin to experience anxiety, OCD, or panic attacks, develop substance abuse disorders, or have dysfunctional relationships of their own. The experience and impact of childhood trauma is completely unique to each child. Not every child who experiences trauma will develop difficulties, but they are much more likely to than children raised in stable and safe environments. Even siblings who have grown up in the same home will develop completely different symptoms and this is exactly what happened with Angus and Raoul.  

When Angus was 14 and Raoul was 11, Josephine met the man who would become her husband, Brian Healey. Shortly after meeting, the couple moved in together with Brian becoming the boys’ stepfather.  Raoul finally felt like he had the father figure he had desired for many years. Brian wasn’t an experienced father, and he was described as coming across as a cold person. It quickly became clear to Raoul that Brian was about as far from the fantasies of a father figure he had made up in his mind as you could get. He would frequently shout at Raoul, yet he seemed to get on just fine with Angus.  

Soon after Josephine and the boys moved in with Brian, their beloved grandmother passed away. She told the boys that her dying wish was for the two brothers to stick together for life.  

Sadly, her wish was not granted. As Angus and Raoul grew up, they also grew apart. Where they had once been inseparable, they began to spend more time with others than with each other and they developed vastly different ambitions and desires.  

Angus was intelligent and dedicated to his schooling, so he was more inclined towards enrolling in university when he finished high school. He ended up going to Newcastle University for his bachelor’s degree and then to Nottingham University to complete his master’s degree. He is currently an HM resource and revenue officer.  

Raoul, on the other hand, was more inclined towards physical and outdoor activities just like those he had enjoyed as a child. He left school when he was 16 and at 17, he started to take karate lessons. The physical exertion of the karate classes caused him to lose weight and become musclier which was a far cry from the slight boy he had been during childhood. At this point, He also began to dye his naturally red hair, black.  

Raoul made friends with a group of bodybuilders who encouraged him to join them for their weight’s sessions. He began lifting weights and developed an obsession with clean eating. But the new regime wasn’t giving him the results he wanted fast enough so he began to use steroids to accelerate the process. Looking back, you can see how this was likely a symptom of Raoul wanting to take control of something. For his whole life up to this point, he had no control. Not over his lack of a father, his unwell mother, his angry stepfather or losing his loving grandmother. Now he had an opportunity to do something exactly how he wanted to.  

Many suspect that the steroids and his obsession with bodybuilding were what triggered Raoul’s future actions but it’s fair to say, even with his challenging childhood, no one could have predicted the man he would become.  

When he was 19, Raoul started to work at a local factory. It was around this time, that family members noticed Raoul’s personality was changing. He had been a happy and loving child but now he was becoming a person who was angry and quick to use violence. The steroids were not only helping him in gaining muscles but also heightening his aggressiveness and making him short-tempered. And it wasn’t just his relationships that were being impacted. He had also begun to demonstrate his aggressiveness at work where he would stand over others or stare down at his colleagues. For this reason, he couldn’t hold a job down for long. In the space of a few months, he had short stints as a milkman, a tree surgeon, and a mechanic.  The only job that he was somewhat successful at was as a nightclub doorman. As a bouncer, he was required to be assertive, and he knew that the bigger he was the more intimidating he was which gave him the perfect excuse to keep using steroids.   

For the next couple of years, Raoul continued his streak of quarrelling with his stepfather. He was still living at home with Josephine and Brian and the fights had become an almost daily occurrence. The conflicts usually broke out over something mundane but would always end the same way with Raoul blaming his mother and stepfather for causing the fight to happen.  

Meanwhile, he continued taking steroids and lifting weights until he had grown into a 240-pound man. When he was 24 years, he decided he had had enough of Josephine and Brian, and he moved out of home and into a flat in Newcastle city centre. But it wasn’t just a new location he was after. Raoul seemed to be trying to completely detach from his previous life. He cut off all ties with anyone from his past including his mother and Angus, the brother he had once been so close to. He told them to leave him alone and not try to find him.  

Despite Josephine’s inability to provide a safe environment for her children when they were young, she loved them as much as she was able. Some years after Peter had left and the boys where young teens Josephine had finally decided to get help for her bipolar diagnosis. While she would never be fully free from the impact of her condition and she could never take back her children’s experience of the years she had spent in and out of mania and depression, she had been taking her medication regularly and was much more settled during their adult years.  

Raoul’s decision to cut Josephine and Angus out of his life was concerning to his mother. Ignoring his wishes to leave him alone, Josephine attempted to find out where Raoul was living but with no internet in those days, she had no success.  With no other sources to rely on, she asked the Salvation Army to look for her son. They contacted Raoul and informed him of his mother’s wish that he returns home. Unsurprisingly, Raoul ignored his mother’s pleas.  

Then something odd happened. In the year 2000, Raoul randomly appeared on Josephine’s doorstep. She hadn’t heard from him in three years, and he looked different than the last time she had seen him. He had cut off his dyed black hair and allowed his natural red hair to grow out. He looked much more like the son she had been missing but the words he had to say were far from what she had expected. He sat across from Josephine and announced that he would be leaving for good. After that, he left as abruptly as he had arrived and without any goodbyes.  

Raoul spent the following years living by himself and getting into trouble frequently. But something had shifted. He stepped up from what was once petty behaviour to the kind of trouble you can’t so easily brush off.   His desire for control began to extend past himself and he took out his anger and discontent on others.  

He began to hurt animals and women, without any regard for his actions. In one instance, he encountered an 18-year-old girl at a crowded bus stop. The woman was unknown to Raoul and was minding her own business while she waited for the bus. Raoul forced her to put on a jester’s hat and handed her a sign that read “I have been naughty” to wrap around her neck. He laughed hysterically at the girl while she stood there completely humiliated. Because of Raoul’s size and the crazed look in his eyes, the woman and the onlookers didn’t feel that they could do anything to stand up to him. Their safest course of action was to wait for him to grow tired of his game and leave them alone. 

In another instance, Raoul took similar pleasure in abusing yet another young girl after he caught her stealing food from a shop. He tied her to a chair and left her alone overnight, scared for her life. 

Raoul’s repeated success at intimidating people gave him a sense of entitlement to be what he described as a vigilante. As if he wasn’t already cruel enough, it was reported that he once battered a dog to the point of breaking its legs and left it on the side of the road to die. It took two days for the animal to die from its injuries. It would later be revealed that during his teenage years when his aggressive and violent nature had started to reveal itself, he had thrown a friend’s cat through a banister and slammed it on its back several times until he finally broke its back and it died.  

Raoul’s obsession with power and violence didn’t just stop at hurting random strangers and animals either. He was also violent with his romantic partners. One of his earliest relationships was in 1997 right after he moved out of home.  The woman’s name was Caroline and when she met Raoul, she was an 18-year-old single mother to 2 kids from another man. After barely two months of seeing each other, Raoul proposed to Caroline. Caroline didn’t waste a second in saying yes. Despite his size and the fact that the steroids left him angry and bitter, Caroline hadn’t seen a side of Raoul other than the one he showed her of a gentle partner and a nurturing father figure for her kids.  

After becoming engaged, Caroline and Raoul moved into a three-bedroom home in Newcastle. Now that they were together more than they were apart, Raoul’s true nature was revealed in full force to young Caroline.  

The first of his many cruel acts was to ask Caroline to leave her eldest daughter, Tamara, at her mother’s place and run away with him. Caroline denied this awful request for obvious reasons, but she stayed with Raoul despite his strange and concerning demand.  

After that, Raoul grew more and more vicious. Their disagreements ended only because Raoul would become physically violent with her, and she would back down to stop the beatings. When that wasn’t enough, he began to violently rape Caroline when she refused to perform certain sexual acts, he demanded from her. Caroline was regularly fearful for her life and that of her two children, but Raoul was so controlling she couldn’t see a way out of their relationship. Her only mistake was thinking she could somehow do something that would convince him to stop beating her and to return to the Raoul she had fallen in love with. 

On Christmas Eve of 1997, Caroline refused to cook for Raoul, and he flew into a rage and began choking her. He continued to throttle her until she was almost unconscious before the attack was eventually stopped by a friend. Caroline never reported this incident to the police as she was afraid of what Raoul would do to her and her children. But she finally decided she had had enough, and she broke up with Raoul.  

Just days after her leaving him, Caroline discovered that she was pregnant with Raoul’s baby. Despite his terrible nature and how he had treated her, Caroline made the decision to tell Raoul about the pregnancy. It was a decision she instantly regretted. When she told Raoul, he was furious, and he demanded that she get an abortion. If she refused, he told her “I know two girls who can kick the baby out of you”. If that wasn’t enough, he then threw a fridge freezer across the room at her and her daughter who was standing right next to her. Whether it was to kill Caroline or her daughter or her unborn child, Caroline will never know but she didn’t need any more encouragement to report Raoul’s violence to the police.  

With the help of her family, Caroline was able to get a restraining order against Raoul. She left the home they had once shared and was given a social housing apartment. Horrifically, the property was located just 100 yards from where Raoul lived. Even though the restraining order was against Raoul, it was Caroline who felt restrained. For 5 months she was terrified of leaving her home or having her children out of her sight for fear of what Raoul would do to get back at her.  Despite the injunction, he continued to threaten her and her unborn child’s life from afar.  

Caroline went on to give birth to the baby girl that Raoul wanted to die. Her name is Katelaine Fitzpatrick, and she was the spitting image of Raoul Moat with her red hair and blue eyes. For a while, Caroline kept the truth of who Katelaine’s father was from her daughter. She was led to believe that her dad was the same as her two older siblings. However, when Katelaine was around the age of 7, a relative told her that her father was in fact Raoul Moat, and that her mother left him as he was cruel to her. Katelaine never met Raoul or spoke to him as Raoul had made it very clear he wanted nothing to do with her. When Katelaine was 11 she heard her father’s voice for the first time when he appeared on national news. She would later recall how she had never been happier to have been separated from her father.  

After Caroline, Raoul Moat’s next relationship was with Marissa. Marissa was 19 years of age when her sister arranged for her to go on a blind date with Raoul. Like many women before her, she was charmed by his sweet talk and muscular physique. He seemed to be able to put on a mask of a kind and considerate gentleman behind his burly façade. Just like with Caroline, the couple’s first few months together were great.  

When he uttered the words “You are mine now, I own you” Marissa took it as a cute and endearing statement. She was about to find out what he actually meant.  

Raoul was a possessive person and from the start, he disliked it when Marissa would talk to other men. Marissa thought this was pretty normal until one night when Raoul was working at the nightclub, he noticed a man had wrapped his arms around Marissa and the pair had carried on with their conversation. The man was interested in hooking up with Marissa’s friend and Marissa was trying to help him get on her good side. But from Raoul’s perspective, there was something else going on between Marissa and the stranger. 

He grabbed the man from behind and dragged him outside to a nearby side alley and battered him until he was unconscious. When he returned to the club, he dragged Marissa away from her friends and pinned her face onto the staircase railing and told her she couldn’t leave without him. Once again, his behaviour was enabled by friends and bystanders who chose not to do anything about the violence they were witnessing.  

That night when they returned home, Raoul dragged Marissa to their bedroom roaring “If you want to be a slag, I will treat you like one.” He pulled out a belt and tied her wrists to the bed. Using another belt, he hit her several times before he viciously raped her in their own bed. Another night, she reported that she thought she was going to die when Raoul came home from the nightclub and demanded he had sex with her. Her refusal resulted in a series of beatings which lasted the whole night.  He dragged her to the living room by her hair, smashed her head on his knee, picked up a baseball bat, and held it against her throat as she fought for air. Marissa recalled the moment she saw the real Raoul Moat “I was struggling to breathe but somehow, I found the strength to pull it slightly away from my windpipe. His face was horrible, screwed up, and twisted with anger”. The night was far from over for Marissa as he continued to hit her spine with the baseball bat, and when she managed to crawl away, he grabbed her by the throat and squeezed it until she dropped to the floor, unconscious. She woke up, throwing up blood, and somehow found the strength to stagger onto the street where a policeman found her and took her to the hospital.  

Marissa pressed charges against Raoul, but she was visited at the hospital ward by a friend of Raoul who persuaded her to drop the charges against him. Despite the police begging her to proceed she took the words from Raoul’s friend as a warning. If she didn’t drop the charges he would hurt her, maybe even kill her. She dropped all charges against him.  

When Raoul finally visited Marissa at the hospital, he saw the state she was in and instead of expressing any concern or apologising for putting her there he laughed. He told her she looked like Frank Bruno and that she needed to sort her face out before she came home.  

This incident and resulting hospitalisation did nothing to stop the way Raoul treated Marissa. The physical and sexual abuse towards her never stopped. He would become enraged if Marissa were to even look at the opposite gender and time and again, he would accuse her of cheating. Turns out that all the while he was the one getting some on the side which she only found out when she got an STD while pregnant with Raoul’s child. 

Marissa was 23 years old at that point and just like with Caroline, Raoul tried to kill this baby too. He was convinced that the child wasn’t his so one night he got Marissa onto a settee, punched her across the face several times, pulled out clumps of her hair, and threw her onto the TV.  

By then Marissa knew for sure that Raoul was sleeping with other women, lots of other women. Marissa had discovered a diary Raoul had kept, along with pictures of other girls he was cheating on her with. In this diary, he would note down the names of each woman he had slept with and on which day.  On one of the days, he had slept with both Marissa and another girl, this time an underage one. When Marissa confronted Raoul about this, he simply said he couldn’t choose between them, and it would be easier for him if they both just killed themselves.  

This declaration resulted in Marissa agreeing to a suicide pact. She was young and she didn’t realise the control Raoul had over her. Raoul drove them both to a picturesque spot where they sat under a tree holding hands. They took turns swallowing nytol tablets and vodka, and both of them passed out. Marissa somehow woke up before Raoul and ran to get help from a nearby police officer. It was reported that the only reason Raoul had survived the overdose was that he had an enlarged heart as a result of his steroid abuse.  

After that incident, Raoul admitted himself to a psychiatric ward. When Marissa visited him, he told her that he was interested in seeing other women. Somehow despite the beatings, the cheating, the control and the failed suicide pact, the relationship continued for 8 years.  And throughout it all, Raoul had complete control over every aspect of Marissa’s life.  

He would force her to wear tight clothes that hugged her figure. He only allowed her to drink and party when he was around. Despite not wanting Marissa to have any children, he refused to allow her to take contraceptive pills, as he thought this would enable her to sleep with other men. He even forced her to get a tattoo of his name on her body. Somewhere along the way he also developed an odd habit of using her clothing to cross-dress.   

After giving birth to her first child, Marissa quickly fell pregnant again. During both of her pregnancies, he would call her fat and disgusting and would use this as an excuse to date and sleep with other girls.  

Their toxic and dangerous relationship only came to a halt when she found out he was sleeping with a 15-year-old girl while Marissa was pregnant with her second child.  

Despite calling it quits on their relationship, Marissa’s mental torture by Raoul was still not over. In 2006, Raoul decided to kidnap his two daughters. Marissa reported their kidnapping to the police who offered no help as they said that because Raoul was their father technically, he was allowed to take them when he pleased. Ultimately, Marissa was given visitation with her two daughters and was only able to see them over the weekends.  

Whilst it’s not known if Raoul physically or sexually abused his two children, he certainly carried out a level of emotional abuse. He convinced them that their mother was a reckless, dangerous drug dealer who was abusive to them, and he had left her to keep them safe. He even went to the extent of taking the children to the police to testify about this alleged abuse they endured from their mother so he could retain custody. The police were able to catch onto these lies when one of the girls was asked how she knew about what had happened and she replied, “Daddy told me in the car.”  

It didn’t take long for Raoul to begin another relationship with a woman named Samantha Stobbart. His sick obsession with dating younger girls repeated in this relationship. When Raoul met Samantha, he was 31 years old, and Samantha was only 16. Like with the others, things were good at the beginning with Raoul seeming to take great care of Samantha.  

Early in their relationship, Samantha gave birth to their child, Chanel. After that Raoul began to exercise his power and control over her just like he had with all the women he had been with before. Samantha was a child herself, attempting to raise a child whilst working as a hairstylist trainee. Despite her naivete, she quickly realised that life with Raoul was not a safe place for her or her child. After years of living with his abuse, Samantha managed to scrape together enough money to make a run for it and escape his control.   

Raoul was infuriated by her escape, and he tried his usual tactics of manipulation, blackmailing, and threats to get her back. He may well have been successful if he hadn’t been arrested for assaulting a 9-year-old child and sentenced to prison for four months.  

Those four months of freedom were enough for Samantha to break away from Raoul once and for all now that he wasn’t close enough to harm her or her child. After getting herself settled, she met a man named Chris Brown who was understanding of her hardships and wanted to support her. He was a father to 2 children and accepted Chanel as his own. His presence in her life was meant to be the light at the end of the tunnel for Samantha. With life finally looking up for Samantha and Chanel, the couple decided to tell Raoul about their relationship. They hoped that if he knew she had moved on with someone else, he would leave her alone when he was released from prison.  

Little did they know, this one decision would inadvertently trigger a violent rampage, in which only one of them would survive.  

Raoul, who was 37 years old at the time, was set to be released from his imprisonment on Thursday the 1st of July 2010 from Durham prison. Raoul being locked up behind bars meant he couldn’t harm Samantha and she used the opportunity to write a letter to him to break off their relationship for good. She knew Raoul well enough to know he wouldn’t just leave her alone because she said so and she made one final, fateful decision. She told Raoul that she had met someone else, and that Chris was a good father and would take care of her and Chanel.  

Chris Brown was a kind and caring man who was known for his sense of humour and for always being filled with laughter. He was a gentle guy who taught karate and had two kids of his own from a previous relationship. When Samantha met Chris, she felt that she had found her Mr Right. 

In the letter she sent to Raoul, she made it very clear that Chris was not someone to be messed with. She specified his experience in karate and that he was a police officer for the Northumbria police station in the hopes that Raoul would stay well away.  

Unfortunately, Samantha and Chris underestimated the monster that lived within Raoul. 

Rather than convincing him to leave Samantha alone, the letter had the opposite effect on Raoul. He now knew he would be alone when he left prison, so with nothing else to lose, he began to plan his revenge.  

He wasn’t quiet about his intentions. He told several other inmates that once he was released, he was going to kill not just one person but multiple people. Hours before Raoul’s planned release, one of the inmates reported his threats to a prison officer. But the officer did not take them seriously. It turns out that lots of prisoners make such threats and most don’t follow through on them, so the officer filled out a report, but he wrote that Raoul had threatened to assault people rather than kill them. The report noted that Raoul had identified a partner, but it gave no specific name. 

On July 1st, 2010, just as expected, Raoul was released from jail in the early morning hours. The report about Raoul’s threats was still being processed for approval from senior officers. 24 hours after the report had been signed off and one day after Raoul was released, a probation officer rang the Northumbria police station. He reported that Raoul was a recently released inmate and prior to being set free, he had mentioned he was possibly going to carry out an assault on an unnamed person. Tragically, due to the lack of severity when the report was first taken by the prison officer and because of a lack of specific information about the identity of the person or their address, Durham prison couldn’t persuade the Northumbria Police station to take any action.   

The following afternoon, Durham Prison sent an email to the Northumbria Police Force Intelligence Bureau about the potential assault. It arrived in their inbox at 4.15 pm, just 15 minutes after the staff left their workplace for the day.  

Unbeknownst to anyone involved in this report, Raoul had not wasted one minute since his release. On the afternoon of July 1st, the same day that he was released from prison, he posted on Facebook “I have lost everything… I’m not 21 and I can’t rebuild my life. Watch and see what happens.”  

He dressed in a bright orange t-shirt and went shopping where he was captured on CCTV purchasing camping gear. That same day he was visited at home by a friend of his named Karl Ness who handed him a sawn-off shotgun and 6 cartridges. He had contacted Karl from inside prison and asked him to deliver a car with 6 wheels which is code for a gun with 6 cartridges. Once Karl handed over the weapon, Raoul modified the cartridge to give the bullet a greater rate of projection. To put it simply, Raoul wanted to make sure that anyone he shot at, would be instantly killed. Ironically, his interaction with Karl on the doorstep was captured by CCTV cameras which Raoul had installed at his house to capture the harassment he claimed to have endured from police officers.  

Raoul had a deep hatred towards the police, and he claimed that they harassed him for most of his life for no good reason. He refused to acknowledge his part in their so-called harassment. He always blamed his violence against women on the women themselves and he asserted that the thugs that he was caught up with were all innocent too.  

After his imprisonment and the breakup with Samantha, his hatred towards the police had intensified. He detested them, and now she was sleeping with one. He decided he needed to ruin the police just like they had ruined his life. If he hadn’t been locked away, Samantha would never have left him to be with a policeman, so her leaving was on them.  

On the 3rd of July 2010, two days after his release and just 12 hours after Durham prisons notification of a potential assault to the Northumbria Police Force Intelligence Bureau, Raoul and Karl climbed into a stolen white transit van. Raoul knew exactly where he would find Samantha. He figured she would be hiding out with her new beau at her parent’s place in Birtley, Northumberland. Karl parked the van on the edge of the street while Raoul crept out of the van and went on foot to hide behind a shrub near Samantha’s house.  

From that position, he had a clear view of Samantha’s next-door neighbour’s house where he could see and hear Samantha, Chris and their friends laughing and talking about him. Hearing their voices fuelled an already vicious fire and he sent a text message to Karl telling him “I am going to kick off nice and proper when they come out.”  

Despite the laughter, Samantha and Chris were worried about their safety. They knew Raoul had been set for release two days before and while they hoped their letter had been enough to scare him away, they didn’t hold out much hope that it would work for long. Chris had asked to borrow a bat from his friends in case Raoul came looking for trouble. Knowing how possessive Raoul was, Samantha was particularly worried about Chris, and she asked him to stay over at their neighbour’s house that night. But Chris refused the offer and vowed to stay and protect her and Chanel.  

The following morning at around 2.30 am, Chris and Samantha walked out of their neighbour’s house back towards their home. Raoul had been waiting for just this moment…he appeared from the darkness and ran across the grass while aiming his shotgun at Samantha. Samantha saw Raoul charging towards them and yelled out “It’s Raoul”.  Chris instinctively jumped in front of the gun’s trajectory as Raoul pulled the trigger. The first bullet drove into Chris with a huge force thanks to the modified cartridge and he fell onto the ground bleeding.  As he attempted to stagger across the grass to protect Samantha, Raoul went in for another round. He took aim and fired a second bullet into Chris’s chest.  

Samantha was frantic and screamed for help, but she was defenceless against this monster with a gun. She ran back into the neighbour’s house and watched in horror as Raoul toyed with Chris who was now fighting for his life in the front garden. Raoul was maniacally laughing at the sight of her partner’s wounded body. She saw him slowly walk up to Chris who was injured so greatly that he couldn’t even put his own arms over his head. she was powerless to stop him as he nudged his shotgun into Chris’s head, pulled the trigger and sent a third bullet into his brain, sealing Chris’s fate.  

But Raoul’s attack was far from over. With one police officer down, he turned his attention back to his other primary target and the mother of one of his children, Samantha. He had watched her run inside the house, so he walked in front of a window which gave him a clear view of Samantha as she cowered trying to protect herself. But her arms were no match for his gun and when two bullets came smashing through the window she was completely exposed. Samantha took both bullets to her stomach and collapsed onto the floor. Later, Agnes Hornsby, Samantha’s grandmother reported that the reason why Raoul aimed for her stomach was so that she would never be able to wear revealing clothes again, his final act of control over her life.  

While Samantha was left to bleed to death on the floor of her neighbour’s house, Raoul calmly walked back to his van. But by the time he reached the end of the street where he had left Karl, neither he nor the van was anywhere to be seen. Karl would later claim that he hadn’t known about his friend’s plan and when he had heard the gunshots he was spooked and ran off to escape from trouble, though, it’s hard to believe Karl didn’t know what Raoul was about to do considering he was the one who had delivered the gun directly into Raoul’s hands.  

While Raoul was making his getaway, Samantha was still lying on the living room floor bleeding out. Through some miracle, the shot had ripped through her arm on the way to her stomach which had protected her internal organs from greater damage. She was rushed to the hospital and immediately taken for an operation to remove the bullet which had penetrated deeply into her stomach. Eventually, she was able to make a full recovery, physically at least.  

Tragically, Chris was pronounced dead on the scene. It would later be revealed that Chris wasn’t a police officer at all, the claim was merely something the pair had come up with to further intimidate Raoul to stay away.  

Just hours after killing Chris and maiming Samantha, Raoul called a friend to brag about what he had done “I shot Sam, I feel full of beans like a huge cloud has been lifted from my shoulders.”  

After taking statements from witnesses and friends of Samantha and Chris, the police made a public announcement that they were looking for Raoul Moat in connection to a murder and an attempted murder.   

Despite Northumbria police’s quick appearance on the scene and search parties patrolling all over Northumberland, Raoul was nowhere to be found. Over the coming days, officials made 28 arrests of anyone with a possible connection to Raoul but none of them could provide any information about Raoul’s location. 

The last person to see Raoul that day was Andy McAlistair, a former friend of Raoul. That morning Andy had heard the news about what his ex-friend had been up to and was therefore surprised, to say the least, when he opened his front door to find Raoul on his doorstep. Andy calmly requested that Raoul hand himself over to the police and claim that killing Chris was a murder of passion which should mean that his sentence would be much shorter. Raoul however, felt that his work wasn’t done yet and he ran off into the night once again. Andy promptly called the police but by the time they showed up Raoul was long gone.  

The next day, on Saturday the 4th of July 2010 at 12.31 am, 999 received a phone call from none other than Raoul Moat himself.  

“Hello there, this is the gunman from Birtley last night, er, my name is Raoul Moat…um, what I’m phoning about is to tell you exactly why I have done what I have done right? Now my girlfriend has been having an affair behind my back with one of your officers, this gentleman that I shot last night…I am hunting for officers now.”If he had not been a police officer, I would not have shot him, it’s as simple as that.”  

The fact of the matter is it wasn’t as simple as that. There’s no way of knowing if Raoul would have pulled the trigger if he had known Chris wasn’t an officer. His long history of violence towards others and his long-standing hatred of the police would make anyone question whether what he said was true.  

But there was no question, that Raoul’s final chilling words on that phone call were as true as any he had ever spoken. “I am hunting for officers now.” Raoul put the police on notice that any officer he came across would suffer the same fate as Chris.   

Just minutes after this phone call was made, Raoul found his first target.  

PC David Ruthband was a 42-year-old father to two children and an officer from the Northumberland police station. From his years of experience, PC Ruthband was aware of an intersection at the west end of Newcastle that many criminals would use to make a getaway from the town. As the manhunt for Raoul got underway, he parked there as a lookout for a man in a white van.  

At 12.40 pm Raoul arrived at the intersection where he spotted a police traffic car parked at the roundabout. Inside the vehicle PC Ruthband was keeping a keen eye on the vehicles coming and going through the intersection. What the police were not yet aware of was that Raoul had found another car to use while he went on with his killing rampage. Unbeknownst to them, Raoul was now driving a black Lexus that he had borrowed from another one of his friends.  The police vehicle’s dashcam captured how Raoul circled the roundabout several times before he finally stopped near the police car and crouched down as he approached the car from behind.  

Raoul caught PC Ruthband off guard and in the blink of an eye, he fired a bullet through the window aiming directly at David’s face. PC Ruthband recalled seeing the emotionless face of Raoul before he fired the first shot that left him bleeding profusely from his face. Blinded by the blood pouring out of his eyes and head, PC Ruthband was only able to hear the loud blasts of another bullet being fired as he was shot a second time. After taking a second round to the face, the officer decided his best bet was to play dead and hope that Raoul bought his act and left him alone. Miraculously, Raoul did just that and he got back in his car and drove away. The officer was able to call for help and with mere moments to spare he was rushed to the hospital for life-saving surgery.  

Unfortunately, while medical staff were able to save his life, they were not able to save PC Ruthband’s vision. The attack left him permanently blind with his last visual memory being Raoul’s cruel face. Following the incident, PC David Ruthband spent his life running a charity called The Blue Lamp Foundation which raises money to help emergency service personnel injured in the line of duty. He was later fitted with prosthetic eyes and was honoured with The Pride of Britain award. Whilst the award and his work with the Blue Lamp charity were fulfilling, PC Ruthband struggled to adapt to life as a blind person. In public, he maintained his happy and uplifting persona but behind doors, he was fighting his own demons. His life was nothing like the one he had planned, and his injuries affected not only him but his family as well. He went from being an independent police officer to being dependent on others for his basic needs and the seismic shift took a toll on his marriage. His wife left him after finding out he had been having an affair and in February 2012, 20 months after Raoul’s attack, a mentally tortured PC David Ruthband took his own life, leaving behind two children.   

The shooting of PC Ruthband that day does not mark the end of Raoul’s rampage.  

Just 50 mins after shooting the officer Raoul Moat made another call to the police station.  

“Are you taking me serious now? I am going to destroy a few lives like you have destroyed mine. This is what happens when you push, push, push, and push. I am absolutely not going to stop. You are going to have to kill me.”  

Northumbria police had been taking him seriously since the first threat but with the shooting of one of their own officers, they knew that Raoul wasn’t about to give up easily. And yet in one final desperate attempt to put an end to his killing spree, they took to the media to plea with Raoul to hand himself in.  

At 2 am the following day, Monday the 5th of July, Raoul was joined by Karl Ness once more. Together they paid a visit to Andy’s house and this time they handed over a 40-page letter of Raoul’s “innermost thoughts” to make the police and the public aware of the reason for his horrifying actions. In this manifesto, Raoul detailed all the trauma he had experienced right through from his childhood to his relationship struggles and finally, his motivation to go on his killing spree. Raoul blamed his family, ex and current girlfriends, social services, and mostly the police for his decision to become a murderer. He wrote, “The crimes I have committed are to the people that have wronged me in some way.” “All my life, I have wanted death, hence the reason I took risks and made the worst kind of enemies.” He ended his letter by writing “I will keep killing police officers, they have hunted me for years, now it’s my turn to hunt them.” 

Once again, Andy attempted to convince Raoul to hand himself in. Instead, Raoul took Andy’s mobile phone and drove away. He rang the police and told them he had taken two hostages. He named them as Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, who was the owner of the black Lexus Raoul was driving.  

At the time, the police were unaware of either man’s involvement in Raoul’s plan or they took measures to keep their identities confidential for the sake of the supposed hostages’ safety. But the two men had been in on it from the beginning and they had each sent their families two letters. In one letter they faked the hostage situation and in the other, they confessed to being accomplices of Raoul Moat’s revenge plan.  

Karl Ness had been a friend of Raoul Moat for several years.  They met through their mutual interest in bodybuilding as well as working at the nightclub together as doormen. Karl kept in contact with Raoul throughout his prison sentence and had agreed to help with weapons and a vehicle for Raoul’s grand plan.  Both Karl and Qhuram had accompanied Raoul to Tesco when he shopped for camping supplies which they planned to use to stock up a hideout for Raoul to use when he was on the run from the police.  

On the 5th of July, the same day Raoul reappeared on Andy’s doorstep, Samantha regained consciousness after her attack. She was petrified to learn that Raoul was still not in custody, but she had some relief when she was informed that her room had been guarded around the clock. Samantha agreed to make a public plea asking Raoul to hand himself over to the police if he truly loved her and Chanel.  

Meanwhile, Northumbria police released information to the public describing the black Lexus and its number plate, in hopes that a member of the public would see the vehicle and tip them off to its location. Given the severity of the case, extra firearms officers from forces including Cleveland, Humberside, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and Cumbria, were brought in overnight to join the manhunt. Northern Ireland also sent 20 armoured cars and the Metropolitan police sent 40 armed officers to support the operation. In total 19 police forces participated in the manhunt which, at the time, made it one of the biggest British manhunts in history.  

On July 6th, 2010, a man matching the description of Raoul Moat was involved in an armed robbery at a chip shop in Rothbury. The man had entered the shop, threatened the staff and stolen 100 pounds before leaving them with a letter. The letter confirmed that the assailant was Raoul and the letter reiterated that he wasn’t going to stop killing until he himself was dead.  

Rothbury is 10 miles from Newcastle and is known as a quiet marketplace, but with Raoul’s presence in the village, it quickly became the scene of chaos. When a local resident notified the police of a black Lexus matching the description of Raoul’s getaway vehicle, armed officers swooped in on the location. The Lexus was found abandoned in a car park behind some industrial units in the village but there was no trace of Raoul or his alleged hostages. By 11 am that same day, a two-mile exclusion zone was set up around Rothbury and more than 500 armed officers flooded the township.  

Just 40 minutes later a police helicopter located Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan on foot as they fled the abandoned Lexus. When their identities were confirmed a ground unit intercepted the two men. Officers used flash bangs and grenades to distract the supposed hostages in case they were armed, and they were arrested at gunpoint for conspiring to commit murder. 

Officers knew there was a strong possibility that Raoul wasn’t far away.  

Sure enough, Raoul had split off from the two men and had made an escape into dense woodlands nearby. He was experienced in battling through the thick underbrush and had set up a well-concealed camp out of sight of anyone who might pass through the area.  

With the police hot on his tail, Raoul abandoned his camp and on July 7th officers found his tent and some personal items but frustratingly, once again, there was no sign of their target.  

One of the personal items found at the campsite which increased the urgency to apprehend Raoul was a Dictaphone used to record his innermost thoughts. In the hours-long recordings, he stated his anger about the media’s coverage of the case and their decision to showcase his life outside of his killing spree. He went on to make a horrifying declaration – he would kill a member of the public for every lie that was being published by the media.  

Major media outlets were immediately informed of the threat and a media blackout was imposed. They were asked to only cover details of his killing spree and were barred from covering information regarding Raoul’s past. The police offered a reward of ten thousand pounds to any resident that provided any information regarding Raoul’s whereabouts. 

By this stage, Raoul had been on the run for three days. He had no food or money; his two contacts had been captured and he had no information on the police’s next moves. Rumours began to spread around the tiny town that Raoul was hiding in plain sight amongst the residents while the police wasted their time scavenging the wilderness for him. Some people reported that vegetables had been stolen from their gardens and others whispered about finding the shape of a head imprinted onto a pillow that no one had slept on. 

On July 8th at around 7.25 pm, now 6 days after his killing rampage, a local resident informed the Northumbria police of a man matching Raoul’s description near the banks of a river in the centre of Rothbury. Armed police were brought into form a barrier that covered the entire premises of the National Trust’s Cragside Estate in Rothbury. Members of the public were advised to stay indoors, with their doors and windows locked as a major security operation was taking place.  

 Sure enough, emerging from the woods, was Raoul Moat.  

In his hand was the same shotgun he had used to kill Chris Brown and severely injure Samantha Stobbart and PC Ruthband. The police and Raoul Moat stood approximately 20 feet or 7 meters from each other while they stared each other down. Officers knew they were at the precipice between being shot at by Raoul or watching him shoot himself in front of them.   

Suddenly, Raoul sank onto his knees and pointed the gun at his neck. An officer with experience in talking offenders down was brought in to convince Raoul to choose another way. Despite his heinous actions, there is no satisfaction for officers in an offender killing himself before being brought to justice and answering for his crimes.  

The officer attempted to appeal to Raoul’s humane side and reflected on his troubles as a child that may have been the cause of his actions. They provided the opportunity for Raoul to give himself up without causing any more harm to anyone including himself. At around 9 pm, after more than an hour facing each other, Raoul was shot with an experimental type of taser gun in an attempt to disarm him and allow officers to cuff him. But the firing failed, and the standoff continued long into the night. Though the exact details of what was said at the riverside haven’t been released, Raoul did comment on the fact that he had no dad.  

At 1.15 am after 6 hours of pleading, negotiating, appealing and periods of silence, Raoul Moat shot himself in the head.  

He was immediately transported to the Newcastle General hospital accompanied by two police cars. An hour after shooting himself, Raoul Moat was pronounced dead. An autopsy confirmed that Raoul Moat’s death was caused by a single gunshot wound to the head.  

On the 15th of March 2011, Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan were sentenced to life in prison for conspiring and assisting Raoul Moat to carry out his killing rampage. They both denied any involvement and stood by their story of being held against their will.   

Ultimately, the manhunt for Raoul Moat cost the taxpayer more than one point five million pounds. In September 2011, a three-week inquest was held to examine the police’s actions in the lead-up to Raoul’s suicide. The inquest confirmed that Raoul had died as a result of suicide, and it found no wrongdoing on the part of the police.   

However, the actions of the media in their coverage of the manhunt were called into question and many claimed that their take on Raoul aggravated him and escalated the situation. Raoul’s older brother Angus called the coverage a modern-day public execution which he believed led to Raoul’s rampage. He made no excuses for his brother’s heinous actions but questioned the need for all the ugly and traumatic aspects of his brother’s life to be reported on while he was still on the run.  

Shockingly, some media reports glorified Raoul’s physique and after his death, he was even labelled a hero as fan pages, dedicated to him began popping up on Facebook. These pages drew condemnation from the public, families of the victims and even the prime minister at the time.  

The final words of this story belong to Peter – the father who never knew his son Raoul and who believes everything would have been different if he had been given the chance to parent his son all those years ago. Peter approached the police during the final standoff and offered to talk to his son for the first time in an effort to get him to give himself up. However, the police determined that Raoul might see the move as a trick to get him to surrender and the offer was declined.  

Peter commented:  

“I’m to blame for everything that happened…I know if I was there for him growing up, he would have turned out very differently. If this story should teach us anything, it’s that boys need fathers.”