Tracie Andrews, born 9th April 1969, a former model and at the time of the crime, a barmaid, who was soon to be married to a young twenty-five year old father, Lee Raymond Dean Harvey. A relationship that was later described as ‘troubled’ by policemen, who on multiple occasions, had to deal with the couple in domestic disputes.
The evening of December 1st, 1996, a motorist came across a white Ford Escort and beside it was a woman cradling her fiancé, whom had been butchered. He had been stabbed thirty times and his throat slashed. The Times had reported that ‘he died in the arms of his fiancée‘.
Only two days passed before Tracie appeared on a news conference, due to her being a former model, she was used to being in front of the camera and being centre of attention, so of course, she looked comfortable. She cried, with a black eye and a small cut on her face as she spoke about the events of that evening. According to Tracie, they had an ‘ordinary night out‘, the couple had gone to Marlbrook Public House, Bromsgrove for a few drinks.
After their drinks, they got in the car to head home in Alvechurch, Worcestershire. Lee had noticed a run down Ford Sierra, and overtook it. Before long, the Ford Sierra was soon on their tail, taunting the couple and flashing their lights, turning it in a high speed race. With their apartment coming up, Lee slowed down to a stop. Lee and the man driving the Ford Sierra got out their cars and had a heated argument. When the driver went back to his car, the passenger got out and attacked Lee. Tracie got out of the car and “told him to F off and he called me a slut and punched me. When I got back up, he was walking back to the car.” The man she described as having ‘starey eyes‘ was driven away in the Ford Sierra.
She said she didn’t realise how bad her fiancés wounds were, until the motorist pulled up with a flashlight. “I tried to think of everything I could do, I put my coat over him, I tried to stop the bleeding and comfort him“. There was no doubt that the story of the events that night were horrific, but the story was in no way original. Seven months earlier, on the M25 a man was stabbed to death after having an argument with another driver, almost a week after that, a passenger man in car, going down a London Street, was shot to death. Both of these cases were said to be results of ‘road rage‘.
The next day after her emotional news conference, Tracie was admitted to hospital after reports stated that she had collapsed from stress, but it was later revealed that the real reason she was admitted, was because she had tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of pills. She had a five year old daughter, but wrote a suicide note saying that she had nothing left to live for and that she wanted to be with Lee, and that she couldn’t go on without him. When she was released from hospital, a few days later, December 7th, she was arrested, then taken back to hospital when she collapsed, where she remained in custody.
Whilst in custody, police carried on with their investigation, they searched the small home the coupled lived in, with their two daughters from past relationships. They interviewed 650 motorists, they needed to find the run-down, beaten up Ford Sierra. Whilst in search for the car, they brought police dogs to the crime scene, and on 19th December, Tracie was charged with murder.
When they looked into the evidence, it all came back to her. Lee had a clump of her hair in his clenched fist, she told the police that the attack happened in front of the car, but the blood they found behind the car as well. When they looked into Tracie more, they found that she had a history of violent behaviour. Witnesses who saw the couple together would state that they saw them arguing all the time, in the street. Lee was seen leaving a few times, but he always came back. And on that night, the couple was seen arguing in that pub. Tracie however, with all the evidence building against her, stuck by her side of the story, she even asked for witnesses to come forward to help her.
It was 30th June, 1997, at Birmingham Crown Court, that her murder trial began. The prosecution said that the argument at the pub must have continued on the way home, at some point the argument got so heated that Lee had to stop the car and they both stepped put to have it out with one another properly. This was when Tracie, with a swiss army knife, stabbed him in the face, neck, shoulder, back, chest and head.
Two different witnesses went to the trial, stating that they had seen the white Ford Escort driving along, with no Ford Sierra in sight, and no car following them. The motorist that I mentioned earlier went to the trial too, he said that Tracie had lied, he didn’t see her cradling her husband like she told the media. In fact, Tracie was standing beside the car, covered in blood. She was not attending to her dying fiancé as she claimed she was. A former police detective, who had also come across the crime scene that night, said that Tracie was a suspect from the start, and not just because she was his spouse.
At the scene of the crime, she was unable to give the make, colour of the car, or the licence plate. However when the police arrived at the scene a little while later, she had every bit of detail to give them. Not only that, but the blood that was on her clothes, the pattern of the blood was that of an attack, and not a pattern of her cradling her dying fiancé. It was reported that the murder weapon was disposed by her during her constant visits to the hospital toilets.
A policeman, whose name I’m not sure, testified in court that there had been a time on 19th October, 1996 that he was called to the couple’s residence, where he had to stop Tracie from hitting her fiancé. A few weeks later, witnesses saw Tracie punching and biting Lee in a nightclub. Every time something like this happened, Lee never retaliated, he always tried to calm her down and protect himself.
The defence tried to say that Lee was possibly killed for a bad drug deal gone wrong, that they had followed Tracie and Lee out of the pub that evening, and they put blame on the police for stopping to look for the Ford Sierra a few days after the murder. The defence then went on to say that the couple “found the glamour in each other” and mentioned that even after his death, she still wore her engagement ring, and that she was “committed to him“.
With witnesses telling stories of the abuse, it was acknowledged in court that the couple had ‘hard times’, and blamed it on an abortion that Tracie had. She even told the court that having a baby in a relationship like that wasn’t a good idea, because they were already strained financially. It was said in court that due to the abortion, Tracie had put on some weight and Lee made comments about it, he later said sorry and offered to pay for breast surgery.
They made Lee sound like an immature and jealous man, who had trouble accepting the former models past relationships and that he had hit Tracie ‘once or twice‘.
Tracie took the stand and denied ever having an argument in the pub on that night and when questions came about hr hair being in Lee’s hand, she said she didn’t know how it got there but that her hair falls out easily, all the time. The defence team tried hard to convince the jury that the motorist in the Ford Sierra was to blame, saying it was racially motivated. Lee was dark-skinned and according to Tracie, the killer called him a “p*** bastard“.
The jury started their deliberations on 27th July, 1997 and it was reported that Tracie and her family went and had drinks in a family members garden, pre-celebrating. However, Tracie was celebrating for nothing, two days later on the 29th, the jury found her guilty of murdering Lee. She was sentenced to life imprisonment with the recommendation of fourteen year minimum.
After failing an appeal in October 1998, in April 1999, she wrote to a friend of hers, confessing to killing her fiancé. This letter told a different story to the one that she had told. In this letter, she explained that they had got into an argument in the pub, about her ex partner, the father of her daughter. She said that the argument got so bad that she asked Lee to pull over, and when he did, she said she was going to walk home, and that she did. When she walked down the road, she came to his car, he had pulled over ahead and waited for her. She then wrote that he told her to get back into the car and she refused, telling him that they were over. He got mad, accusing her of sleeping around, so she taunted him by telling him all about her ex lover. Apparently Lee got so mad that he pulled out a knife, grabbing her by the hair and apparently said “Let’s see if Andy wants to see you with a fucked up face”.
Struggling, she claimed that she managed to get him to the floor by kneeing him, they fought on the floor before Tracie picked up the knife. The letter stated:
“I must have stabbed him. Then he stood still and shouted, “You fucking bitch“, then hit me so hard I fell again. I got up halfway and all I can remember is seeing red. I just went mad. Everything went like slow motion. I was shaking and had lost all control, all the abuse I had suffered and all the nasty things that had been thrown in my face, the way he openly admitted to hating my relationship with my daughter and the fact that he had held the knife to me and was going to either slash my face or stab me, had just come to a head. I have never in my whole life lost control like I did this night.”
The letter then went on to say about how she tried to cover her tracks, and so miserably failed to do so. She admitted that the knife had been flushed down the toilet at the hospital. She admitted that she wanted to tell the truth after her failed suicide attempt but, in the letter she wrote, “My family, Lee’s family, were going through a nightmare. How could I be the one to say ‘This is what happened – Lee was either going to slash my face or stab me, but I got the knife and it was me who killed him’. Please God tell me, how do you ever come to terms with something like this?”
This letter was not seen so much as a confession, but as an excuse, trying to say that she killed in self-defence, which no one believed. Whilst incarcerated, she became good friends with a lady named Jane Andrews, convicted of stabbing her boyfriend to death in 2001. If you want a post about her, let me know in the comments.
It was reported in 2006 that Tracie was hoping to be released and was planning to marry. She had been known to have many same sex relationships whilst in prison, but stopped when she met her new fiancé. Home Office denied rumours that she was being released, but she was moved to Send Prison in Woking, Surrey.
One of the prison guards told journalists, “Andrews has moved to this prison and admitted to the murder, which has surprised a lot of people. Although she has accepted her guilt, nobody really believes that she feels remorse. She sees this as her first step on the way to parole. Andrews is manipulative and devious. Officers believe she will say or do anything to get out of jail.”
Whilst incarcerated, she had changed her name to Tia Carter. Then in 2009, she underwent surgery to correct a class III occlusion, which was a surgery to stop her bottom jaw from protruding over her top jaw. This operation happened before she was released and there was a lot of controversy over this, but also because it was paid for by the NHS.
In July 2011, Tracie, now Tia was released. She done this to have full anonymity, which had been denied and has been restricted from going within twenty-five miles of Lee’s family or their houses.
Lee’s mother, Maureen counted down the days that Tracie would be released, she and her husband Ray, tried endlessly to get Tracie’s minimum sentenced extended, telling politicians that life should mean life, but it fell on deaf ears. On the day of Tracie’s release, Maureen spent the day at her son’s gravestone.
“I go every week to talk to Lee, sometimes I tell him off for every being involved with that woman, sometimes I just stand there and cry” It hurts her beyond words that her son’s life has ended and Tracie is a free woman, to walk the Earth without any remorse for what she had done. She believes that Tracie has the attitude that she has done her time, her slate is now clean.
Twenty-five years after killing her fiancé Lee Raymond Dean Harvey, Tracie married Phil Goldsworthy. It was said that they met when they worked at the same pub together, her a barmaid, and him a bouncer.
Tracie may have changed her name many times, now known as Jenna Stephens. She may have done some time in prison, got married. But she will always be the woman who killed her fiancé and tried to cover her tracks. She will always be a woman, capable of killing again.