Brianna Ghey, a 16yo girl, was murdered. Two teens had been planning it for weeks.

Brianna Ghey was "witty, funny and fearless".

Her family described her as a "larger-than-life character", and noted that Brianna had been thriving since coming out as trans a few years prior. She was a 16-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her. Yet it was callously taken away by two of her peers.

Brianna's murder in February 2023 had been meticulously planned by two teenagers, a 15-year-old boy and girl, right from the very start. The 15-year-olds' identities have not been disclosed, only known publicly as Girl X and Boy Y. 

Girl X and Boy Y were intelligent and came from stable family backgrounds. And yet both had a "thirst for killing" a judge later remarked. 

The evidence against them was crystal clear. 

Watch: Brianna's mother's tribute to her daughter. Post continues below.

Video via Sky News.

Girl X and Boy Y had exchanged thousands of WhatsApp messages in the weeks prior, discussing various children they wanted to kill. They had a "kill list" consisting of five youth - they later settled on Brianna as their target.

Girl X was fascinated by serial killers and in her messages to Boy Y she said she had previously watched torture videos via the dark web. Girl X and Brianna had been friends for a few months before the murder plot began. Boy Y had not yet met Brianna, but in his messages to his co-conspirator he referred to Brianna as "prey" and "it". 


Plans to murder a boy were abandoned when Girl X and Boy Y failed to lure him to Culcheth Linear Park, and so they switched their focus to Brianna.

On February 11, the murder was committed.

On the day of her death, Brianna was lured to the park by Girl X before being attacked with a hunting knife in broad daylight. She was stabbed multiple times. 

The teenagers were disturbed by a couple walking their dog, and so they ran away. The teens were then captured on CCTV making their way home calmly. Girl X later posted an online tribute with a photo of Brianna, once the death began making headlines. 

A handwritten "murder plan" of how to carry out the killing was later found in Girl X's bedroom following her arrest.

The handwritten murder plan was found in the bedroom of Girl X. Image: The Crown Prosecution Service.


When Girl X and Boy Y were taken into custody, they both denied murdering Brianna, blaming the crime on one another. Each gave the same explanation - suggesting their own back was turned when the other began stabbing Brianna. Neither had been in trouble with police before.

Given the mounting evidence against them, the pair were charged with murder. 

After detectives confronted Boy Y with the forensic evidence against him - including Brianna's blood on a hunting knife found in his bedroom, as well as on his trainers and clothes - he stopped talking and has been mute since being taken into custody, talking only to his mother.

During the trial, the jury was told they did not have to decide which one of the teenagers stabbed Brianna to find them guilty of the joint enterprise murder.

The evidence was too great - Girl X and Boy Y were both convicted of murder, gasps in the courtroom as the verdicts were delivered. The two teenagers, both now 16 years old, showed no emotion from the dock.

The pair will be sentenced next month, though the judge has confirmed they will each receive a life sentence, the minimum amount of time to serve yet to be determined. 


"The pages and pages of Whatsapp messages between the two, planning and plotting to kill people, talking of murder, torture and cruelty were very difficult to read," said the deputy chief crown prosecutor. 

"They're both really clever kids and very bright, very articulate," the Cheshire Police Detective Chief Superintendent said.

"Their downfall has been their confidence or arrogance around the fact that they thought that they could take another human life and then thought there would be no comeuppance."

The judge determined this was not a hate crime, as there had been other non-transgender and non-queer targets on the duo's "kill list". The police also said they did not believe Brianna was killed for being trans. 

Rather, the senior investigating officer said the killers' only motivation was to experience how it felt to kill. 

"This was a senseless murder committed by two teenagers who have an obsession with murder," he explained. 

During the trial, numerous examples of transphobic language used by Girl X and Boy Y in their messages to one another was shown in court. It highlighted a pattern of complete dehumanisation for their victim.

Advocates also called for Brianna's gender pronouns and identity to be respected in media reporting, as per what her wishes would have been. It comes after some trans rights commentators criticised the fact that Brianna would be described as a male on her death certificate, despite identifying as a woman.


Brianna Ghey was just 16. Image: Supplied.

Brianna's mother Esther Ghey said Girl X and Boy Y had not shown "an ounce of remorse" and she had "lost all sympathy" for them.

"To know how scared my usually fearless child must have been when she was alone in that park with someone that she called her friend will haunt me forever," she said, as her voice broke with emotion.

Brianna's father Peter Spooner said he was "so proud" of his daughter and would never stop loving her.


"When she was little, I remember the faces she would pull to make me laugh," he said, while fighting back tears. "The cheeky giggle, the funny dances are engraved in my memory."

Following her death, over $214,400 was raised for Brianna's family. The funds were used for Brianna's funeral, which was all pink-themed, and her loved ones have also transformed her bedroom into a memorialised space.

Before her death, Brianna had also had quite a large following on TikTok - sharing videos about her story, herself doing make-up tutorials and more. She had created a safe, online community, one that remains in mourning since her death.

The rest of the donations were then given to various charities close to Brianna's heart, including organisations that help LGBTQIA+ youth and those experiencing mental health.

Every day during the trial, Brianna's mother Esther sat in court, repeatedly listening to the last moments of her daughter's life. She has since launched a campaign, Peace in Mind, aiming to provide training for teachers in how best to support young people suffering from mental health issues.

She has also called for the public to have "some empathy and compassion" for the families of Girl X and Boy Y.

"They too have lost a child and they must live the rest of their lives knowing what their child has done," she said.

"After what has happened to our family, it is helping me massively to see how good people can be. We miss Brianna so much and our hearts feel empty without her laughter."

Feature Image: Supplied.