At around 7:15pm on Dec. 8, 2014, prosecutors say two girls who were then 13 and 14 let themselves into the unlocked home of a woman in the UK, a woman known as an alcoholic who sometimes bought liquor and cigarettes for underage teens. At 7:30pm, the woman, Angela Wrightson, who was 39, returned home from the local shop in Hartlepool and was never seen alive again, reports the BBC. The circumstances surrounding her death are now the subject of an intense court trial expected to last five weeks in which the girls are accused of not just murder but torture. The girls were in the care of social services at the time and had troubled relationships with their mothers. Their relationship with each other was described as "intense." The first evidence of a problem was a Snapchat image one of the defendants posted around 9pm, in which Wrightson appears in the background not smiling and with visible, fresh marks on her face.
The girls were caught on CCTV leaving the home around 11pm, were asked by a friend why they had blood on their clothes, and then returned from 2am to 4am. Upon leaving, they called police for a ride home, which resulted in another Snapchat image captioned, “Me and [name] in the back of the bizzie van again." The following day Wrightson's landlord found her dead body, sitting upright on a couch, naked from the waist down, with more than 100 injuries, reports the Guardian. Weapons used included a wooden stick riddled with screws, a TV, a printer, a coffee table, a kettle, and glass ornaments. The attack allegedly continued after Wrightson lost consciousness, at which point "further indignities were heaped" on her motionless body on the sofa. The girls reportedly told friends they attacked Wrightson after she threatened them with a knife.