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CLASSMATES FROM HELL; 2 of Ireland's most brutal sex beasts went to same school.

Byline: LYNNE KELLEHER

RAPIST Larry Murphy was a classmate of the man convicted of the brutal murder of civil servant Marilyn Rynn.

Ireland's most vicious sex attacker was in the same year as David Lawler who raped and strangled his victim.

The beasts, both 37, went to Scoil Chonglais, a secondary school in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, two decades ago.

A spokesman for the school said last night: "Both of them attended this school.

"But I don't remember if they were friends. David Lawler was from the town and Larry Murphy lived in the country.

"They never got into much trouble while they were here. They both came from very respectable families."

The similarities between the sinister pair are startling.

Teachers and fellow pupils were shocked when once quiet schoolboy Lawler was charged with the murder of Marilyn Rynn.

The father of two, described as a bright student, pleaded guilty to murdering Marilyn at his trial in early 1998.

Now three years later, his childhood classmate is behind bars for an equally horrific crime.

A Garda spokesman said last night: "Both men carried out violent sexual assaults.

"Both men were very quiet, unassuming sort of fellows. Lawler left Baltinglass after his Leaving Cert and moved to Dublin.

"They would have been around the town together when they were growing up.

"Both were married with children when they carried out the horrific crimes.

"Both of them held down secure jobs and they both ended up pleading guilty to raping their victim."

It is unclear if the pair kept up contact with each other after leaving school in the early 1980s.

But both became dangerous sex criminals and committed two of the most horrifying crimes Ireland has ever seen.

Bizarrely, both were expectant fathers when they raped their victims in lonely wastelands.

Both were bright students, neither had previous convictions and neither were known to Gardai.

Where Lawler strangled his victim, Murphy was disturbed while trying to strangle a terrified young woman.

Ironically, the two men are now expected to be in the same prison where they will have sex therapy sessions.

Telephone technician Lawler killed Marilyn Rynn after dragging her into the bushes from a dark path in Edgeworth Lane, Blanchardstown, Dublin.

Lawler was a father of one when he carried out the murder three days before Christmas in 1995.

He stalked the 41-year-old single woman as she walked home from her office Christmas party at 3am.

Detectives believed tragic Marilyn sealed her fate when she told her killer she knew him.

Her battered body lay frozen in the undergrowth by the Tolka River for more than two weeks.

Lawler became the first murderer in the state to be convicted of a killing on the basis of DNA evidence.

He volunteered a blood sample to Gardai because he believed traces of DNA would have died by the time the body was found by a police dog.

But the DNA had frozen in sub-zero temperatures and detectives were able to charge Lawler.

Lawler, who pleaded guilty to the horrific murder, was given a life sentence in January 1998.

One of five children, he worked installing phone lines and was a keen internet user.

There was no history of violence and his family background was described as stable.

He told Gardai he just carried out the attack on spontaneous impulse.

Lawler choked her to death with his bare hands and left her naked body in brambles. After the murder and before he was arrested and charged in August 1996, his wife had their a second child.

Larry Murphy's wife Margaret was also pregnant when her husband was arrested and charged.

Gardai said Lawler's wife never knew what her husband had done until he was charged.

During the hunt for Lawler, Gardai took more than 2,000 statements and 354 blood samples for DNA testing.

Almost 100 samples were taken from men with a history of sexual assault.

Lawler was first questioned just after the body was discovered. He admitted to Gardai that he had been in the area that night when answering door-to-door inquiries.

In July 1996 the first test results came back indicating that Lawler matched the DNA profile of the rapist.

Further tests were taken and he was arrested and charged with the murder on August 6.

He was released on bail on condition that he lived with his parents in Baltinglass and sign on daily at the local Garda station.

Youthful Marilyn had been very close to her family, particularly her 78-year-old mother, with whom she spent a lot of time.

The civil servant was remembered by her workmates for her wit.

One former work colleague of Marilyn's said she always had a lot of fun in her life and always looked for the best in people.

She added that Marilyn was "feisty, independent and thought she could look after herself".

It is only pure luck that Larry Murphy's victim lived to tell the tale of the night she met one of the most evil men in Ireland.

Murphy was jailed for 15 years last week for the brutal kidnap, rape and attempted murder of a young woman.

He drove around remote woodlands with her in the boot of the car and was trying to strangle her when two hunters stumbled on to the scene, saving the life of the 27-year-old businesswoman.

Gardai are now to quiz Murphy in connection with the disappearance of missing women, waitress Jo Jo Dullard, student Deirdre Jacob and US tourist Annie McCarrick.

He became a suspect in the cases due to the nature of the abduction and rape for which he was convicted last week.

CAPTION(S):

MISSING: Student Deirdre Jacob; PUPIL: Murphy, left, and Lawler, right, went to Scoil Chonglais, above; KILLER: Lawler leaves court after he was given life in jail for the murder; VICTIM: Marilyn Rynn was killed by Lawler
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 17, 2001
Words:978
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