Who was Adam Fanelli? Aged 39, Stabbed to death, Suspect Arrested

BEDFORDSHIRE, UK – Adam Fanelli, 39, was a beloved father of three, who was murdered in a horrific triple stabbing attack that took place over just 27 seconds on a residential street in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire on November 13th, 2022. Another man, 27-year-old Patrick Howard, also lost his life in what officials described as “utterly senseless” violence.

The incident began with a minor altercation between suspect Nicholas Papworth, 31, and another man at a local pub. After the group left the pub, Anthony Bennison, 23, searched for them in his BMW before locating Patrick Howard and the other man. They escaped momentarily through an alleyway before running into Adam Fanelli, 39, who had emerged from his home after hearing a commotion outside.

What followed over the next 27 seconds on Tithe Farm Road was a level of violence officials called “truly incredible.”

According to Bedfordshire Police, Mr Fanelli had told his mother before exiting their home that he’d “be back in a minute.” Both he and Mr Howard were pronounced dead at the scene. The third victim was hospitalized with serious injuries but survived.

What happened on the night of the attack?

Sunday, November 13th, 2022 began like any other for the residents of Tithe Farm Road in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire. But shortly after 1 am, chaos and violence erupted that would leave two beloved local men dead and a community shattered.

The spark that ignited the deadly chain of events occurred earlier that night at a local pub, when suspect Nicholas Papworth became involved in an altercation with another man. Later, Papworth and his friend Anthony Bennison began actively searching for the man in Bennison’s BMW.

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When they located the man with 27-year-old Patrick Howard and another companion, Howard’s group fled through a nearby alleyway and encountered 39-year-old Adam Fanelli, a devoted father of three who had emerged from his home after hearing a commotion.

27 Seconds of Incredible Violence in Crime Scene

What occurred next on the quiet residential road was over in just 27 seconds, but unleashed a level of violence the court would later describe as “truly incredible” and utterly senseless.

As Fanelli’s mother waited inside their home, expecting her son to return momentarily, Bennison exited his BMW and ruthlessly stabbed Fanelli twice in the chest. Fanelli managed to flee but collapsed in a nearby driveway, where he ultimately succumbed to his wounds.

Bennison then barbarically turned his fury on Howard and the other man, stabbing Howard in the neck in a blow that severed his spinal cord, paralyzing him instantly. He proceeded to stab the second man eight times in quick succession in the back and neck.

Police seal off the scene of the murders of the attacks
Pic: Police seal off the scene of the murders of the attacks (Source BBC)

As Howard lay helpless in the road, Bennison delivered a forceful kick to his head before getting back into the BMW. Papworth then drove his Volkswagen Golf directly at Howard, running him over violently and even dragging his body a short distance trapped beneath the car.

In the wake of the 27 seconds of carnage unleashed on their street, residents described being awakened by screaming and a loud argument shortly after 1 am. Multiple reports of a hit-and-run were received by emergency teams, who arrived to find the lifeless bodies of Fanelli and Howard.

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Police quickly launched a sprawling investigation. Bennison’s abandoned BMW was discovered in North London within an hour of the deadly attacks. Papworth’s Volkswagen Golf was located in nearby Chalton, where he had set the critical evidence alight in an attempted cover-up.

As investigators meticulously pieced together accounts from traumatized witnesses and community members reeled from shock and grief, two suspects found themselves in handcuffs and ultimately convicted for the horrific murder of two beloved locals.

Suspects Killers, Anthony Bennison, and Nicholas Papworth Found Guilty After 8-Week Trial

23-year-old Anthony Bennison and 31-year-old Nicholas Papworth, both of Amble Close, Houghton Regis, were arrested and each faced two grave counts of murder. Additional charges for the duo included one count of attempted murder for the third victim who survived, three counts of conspiracy to commit murder, and three counts of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

Following an extensive 8-week trial under the scrutiny of the public eye at Luton Crown Court, Bennison and Papworth were found guilty of two counts of murder. Bennison, now 25, was convicted in both Fanelli and Howard’s deaths, while Papworth, now 33, was cleared of involvement in Fanelli’s murder but found directly culpable for Howard’s slaying.

Adam Fanelli Murderer Anthony Bennison and Nicholas Papworth
Pic: Killers (Left) Anthony Bennison, and (Right) Nicholas Papworth (Source: The Sun)

In an impassioned statement during sentencing, Justice Michael Simon pulled no punches in condemning the “carnage” and “shocking violence” that left the victims’ loved ones with a “cavernous void in their hearts.” He emphasized that the savage attacks began over a minor dispute following “celebrating new life” at the pub, wiping out two innocent lives in mere minutes.

“Nothing this court can do will fill the cavernous void in the hearts of the victims’ loved ones.”

He added

Echoing the judge’s sentiments, Senior Crown Prosecutor Robbie Weber branded the attacks as a “sheer level of brutality,” stating “no words” could adequately describe the merciless viciousness exhibited by Bennison and Papworth across those horrific 27 seconds.

Families pay tributes to “Loving” Father and “Cheeky” Boy

After a deadly attack that claimed two cherished lives, the families of 39-year-old Adam Fanelli and 27-year-old Patrick Howard shared moving words paying tribute to their lost loved ones.

Fanelli’s family issued a statement highlighting Adam’s devotion as a father of three and his exceptionally warm spirit, saying he was “undoubtedly a loving and devoted dad” with “a heart bigger than a house.” They emphasized the immense grief left by the stalwart local’s absence, calling Fanelli “a person that emulated ‘once met never forgotten’ in every way possible.”

They said, but could not come close to filling “the void that could never be filled” in their lives. Family expressed solidarity with the Howard family in their profound loss.

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In their tribute, Howard’s family reminisced on 27-year-old Patrick’s vibrant spirit and boundless kindness during his short life. They affectionately called Howard “the most lovable, cheeky chap you could meet” who freely gave his energy and care to all he encountered.

Howard’s giving nature made him the very “heart and soul” of his community, his family said. The pain of his unnecessary death had indelibly left its mark across an entire town where Howard was beloved by all. “If love could have saved Patrick, he would have lived forever,” they remarked sorrowfully.

Gruesome Killings Documented in 24 Hours in Custody Special

True crime program 24 Hours in Police Custody has turned its spotlight on the disturbing triple homicide that rocked the small town of Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire last November.

A chilling new two-part special dubbed Murder on Camera will document the brutal stabbing deaths of father-of-three Adam Fanelli, 39, and 27-year-old Patrick Howard last year.

Adam Fanelli Murderer Anthony Bennison on 24 Hours in Police Custody
Pic: Adam Fanelli Murderer Anthony Bennison on 24 hours in Police Custody (Source: The Sun)

The locally renowned Channel 4 investigative series will examine the savage attacks that stemmed from a minor pub dispute but spilled onto the streets and claimed two innocent lives.

Cameras were rolling as crucial evidence was almost destroyed when one killer attempted to conceal his involvement by torching his car. They continued filming as police secured eyewitnesses whose testimony would prove critical in court.