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Nick Castree

Child killer’s son opens up about growing up with a murderer

“I went to bed an innocent young man and I woke up the son of a murderer.” -Nick Castree

Nick Castree recently opened up to BuzzFeed News on what his life was like before and after he learned at age 27, that his father was a killer and responsible for the brutal murder of a young girl. Ronald Castree, of Oldham, Greater Manchester, England, was not only a child murderer, but a “tyrant” to live with, according to Nick.

To make matters worse, Nick recalled that neither parent was really there for him and his brothers as they grew up. While his dad would beat them and his refer to his children as “leeches,” his mother abused them psychologically.

“It was absolutely horrendous. We had no love whatsoever from either parent. My mum couldn’t show us love because she was too badly psychologically scarred by my father.”

Ronald Castree pressured his wife, Beverly, to give up her job and stay at home with the children, which opened her up to severe abuse by her husband after she became financially dependent on him. In turn, Beverly had difficulties being a caring mother to Nick and his older and younger brothers.

Nick recalled how not only would his father beat his mother, but he would beat his older sibling “black and blue” throughout his childhood. Nick said most of the abuse towards him by his father was emotional and psychological. Castree would call Nick homophobic slurs and constantly tell him he was useless.

“You’ll never amount to anything, you’re queer.”

Yet, despite the daily outpouring of abuse, Nick had no idea that in 1975, his father killed a little girl, Lesley Molseed. Castree didn’t say a word when another man was blamed and convicted for the child’s death.

Castree abducted the 11-year-old girl near her home. He then took her to open land in Yorkshire, where he raped her and stabbed her to death. Lesley was a special needs child who was small for her age and experienced difficulties with learning. She was out buying bread for her mother when the convict kidnapped her. A motorist found the girl several days later, lying lifeless in a field. Authorities said she’d been sexually assaulted and stabbed in a brutal and “frenzied” fashion.

Stefan Kiszko, a local tax clerk, was later charged and convicted for the girl’s rape and murder. He spent 16 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit before he was exonerated. In the meantime, Castree was arrested for abducting and trying to assault another little girl. Since it was first offense, however, authorities fined him only.

Nick said he cut all ties with his father when he was 16, after he left school and started working full-time. He saved up enough money to rent his own home, and offered his mother and little brother a safe place to stay.

“I encouraged my mother to leave my father in 1997. I set up home for her. We packed her what we could behind my father’s back. I rented a house behind my father’s back. We literally flitted away, just loaded up my car with what I could carry. My older brother came back [while we were packing] and we begged him not to tell my father, and he didn’t. I knew what I was taking on: I was caring for my mum and my younger brother.”

Castree eventually found his wife and begged her to come back to him. She refused, and Nick didn’t hear much from his father again until 2006, when DNA evidence linked him to Lesley’s murder.

“I hoped and prayed my father would look me in the eye. I hadn’t seen him since 1997. But he wouldn’t look in our direction,” Nick said, while recalling how he sat in the front row every day of his father’s trial. “When the jury had found him 10–2 guilty, that he did abduct that little girl, take her to moorland, sexually assault her, stab her, then went back to his family and his newborn child, that’s when it kicked in. I just broke down.”

Nick, who also discovered that Castree had abused several other children, said he could never forgive his father, nor understand how he could let an innocent man stay in prison for so long.

“For my father to allow an innocent man to serve 16 years, develop mental health issues, I can’t forgive him. It’s absolutely disgusting. It’s absolutely disgusting that he allowed that to happen.”

Nick currently has his own family and runs a successful business. His relationship with his husband, Anthony, was made official in a civil partnership. After writing a book and years of counseling, he is still on the road to recovery, and hopes that his story, in some way, can help others.

“Now I want to move on and be a family with my son. I won’t be a victim. It’s because of what I’ve been through that I am who I am.”

[Feature Photo: Twitter]