Mother who spent years grieving her baby daughter and toddler son after her partner killed them and made it look like natural causes to stop her leaving him admits she still feels ‘guilty’ over their deaths
A mother who spent years believing her two children had died of natural causes before learning they had been murdered by their father admits she still feels ‘guilty every day’ and wonders if she could have done more to save them.
Jordan Monaghan, 30, of Blackburn, killed his 24-day-old daughter Ruby in her Moses basket at home on New Year’s Day in 2013, and smothered 21-month-old son Logan in a changing room cubicle at the local swimming baths eight months later.
In both instances, he led his then partner Laura Gray, 29, to believe their children had tragically died of natural causes.
Doctors ruled Ruby had pneumonia, while Logan’s cause of death was inconclusive. Laura never suspected her children had died at the hands of their father.
After evading justice for six years, and while on bail for the murder of his two children, he killed his new girlfriend, 23-year-old Evie Adams, with a deadly cocktail of prescription drugs in October 2019, making it look like suicide.
Last month he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ruby, Logan and Miss Adams.
Speaking today, Miss Gray says she believes Monaghan killed their children in a bid to stop her leaving him and admits she still feels ‘guilty’.
Jordan Monaghan, 30, killed his 24-day-old daughter Ruby in her Moses basket at home on New Year’s Day in 2013, and smothered 21-month-old son Logan in a changing room cubicle at the local swimming baths eight months later. In both instances, he led his then partner Laura Gray (pictured with Monaghan and Logan) to believe their children had died of natural causes
Siblings Logan and Ruby, pictured, were killed within eight months of each other by their father, Jordan Monaghan. Their mother Laura still carries the deaths of her children with her
Miss Gray says she believes Monaghan killed their children in a bid to stop her leaving him
Last month Monaghan (pictured) was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ruby, Logan and Miss Adams
‘I always feel guilty, every day I feel guilt, and it runs through my head all the time what I could have done differently. I carry that with me every day. I will carry that with me for the rest of my life.’
Miss Gray had known Monaghan since childhood and was best friends with his sister. He proposed when Laura was just 16 and they moved in together the following year.
‘We settled down and were really happy,’ she recalled. ‘Jordan was well thought of by family and friends. There were no warning signs at all.’
In 2011, the couple welcomed son Logan and Monaghan seemed to be a ‘good dad’ who doted on his son.
Now looking back, Miss Gray believes she missed early signs of coercive control.
‘He was controlling me, even then, but I didn’t see it,’ she said. ‘Nobody did. I could never in my worst nightmares have imagined what the future held.’
Ruby’s (pictured) and Logan’s deaths were both investigated as sudden and unexplained events, but the girl’s death was attributed to bronchiolitis and Logan’s cause of death remained ‘unascertained’
Monaghan smothered Ruby (pictured left) on New Year’s Day, 2013, as she slept in her Moses basket. Monaghan was alone with the child as her mother slept upstairs at the family home. He killed son Logan (right) at a swimming pool
Laura, pictured with her daughter, said she still cradles her children’s toys to feel close to them
Timeline of Jordan Monaghan’s murders
Monaghan’s daughter Ruby dies at their home in Blackburn, Lancashire aged just three weeks.
Monaghan’s son Logan dies, aged 21 months. Monaghan is questioned by police for eight hours but released.
An inquest is held into the death of the two children. Ruby’s death is attributed to bronchiolitis and Logan’s cause of death remained ‘unascertained’.
Monaghan and his then partner, Laura Gray, the children’s biological mother, undergo genetic tests to determine whether the children were killed by a hereditary condition.
Monaghan is arrested and quizzed by police, after an incident involving another child, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Police reopen the investigation into the deaths of the two children and Monaghan is arrested on suspicion of murder.
Monaghan at this point is in a relationship with Evie. Police become so worried about her welfare that they take her to a place of safety.
But manipulative Monaghan ignores their orders and continues to see her. When the pair are stopped together in a car he claims she is ‘some bird I just met’.
While he is on bail for double murder of the two children, Monaghan’s new partner, Evie Adams dies of a drug overdose.
Despite now suspecting he is behind the deaths of two children and Evie, police bail him again and the investigation appears to make little progress.
Between October 2019 and January 2019
Police continue their investigation.
Detectives, who had earlier warned Evie through a court order to steer clear of Monaghan, make a breakthrough.
They discover in the toxicology reports that Evie had a cocktail of tramadol and diazepam in her system.
It is revealed the defendant illegally bought strong prescription drugs on the black market via WhatsApp and other contacts.
Police meanwhile call in 12 of the country’s leading experts in cardiology, genetics, neurology and paediatrics, to try and get to the bottom of what happened to the babies.
Monaghan is rearrested and charged with all three murders.
Monaghan is found guilty of three counts of murder following a 10 week trial at Preston Crown Court. He is sentenced to life in prison.
On December 8, 2012, the couple welcomed a daughter, Ruby, and had the ‘best Christmas ever’.
‘I felt like the luckiest mum in the world, with my own little family,’ Laura said. ‘It was all I had ever wanted. I was determined to give my children everything I had never had.’
Days after Christmas, Laura was upstairs folding clothes when Monaghan shouted that Ruby wasn’t breathing. She rushed downstairs to find their daughter fighting for breath in his arms and phoned the ambulance.
The newborn spent three days in hospital before being sent home with her parents.
The following day, on New Year’s Eve, Ruby was killed by her father.
Laura recalled: ‘The children were in bed and we watched a film and saw the New Year in before I went to bed. Jordan stayed up to give Ruby her 2am bottle.
‘I woke in the early hours to Jordan shouting that she wasn’t breathing. I ran downstairs and I could see, the moment I looked at her, that she had gone. We called an ambulance and I went with her to the hospital, but it was too late.’
A routine police investigation followed and Ruby’s death was attributed to acute bronchial pneumonia.
‘I crashed completely after Ruby died,’ Laura said. ‘I really leaned on Jordan for support. He was very strong and practical. He planned the funeral, then he returned to work.
‘He just carried on. But again, I just thought that he was being strong for me. I didn’t suspect a thing. We focused on Logan, because he was all we had left. Jordan had a really close relationship with his son.’
Shortly after their daughters death Laura asked Monaghan to move out after discovering he had developed a gambling addiction and had stopped paying the rent.
The next day, he killed Logan, again making it look like a natural death.
The triple murderer took his toddler to the local swimming baths and smothered him in the changing rooms. He pushed the toddler home in his pram with the rain cover down, making it look like he had fallen asleep on the journey.
‘Jordan told me to wake Logan while he went out to collect a pizza. ‘I knew the moment I lifted the rain cover.
‘He looked the same as Ruby. Jordan tried CPR, covering up what he had done and putting on a show, knowing he was already dead. I was shell-shocked, absolutely devastated.’
Monaghan gave chilling interviews, speaking of his family’s heartbreak at losing two young children and pleading ‘for answers’.
In August 2013 an inquest attributed Ruby’s death to bronchiolitis and Logan’s cause of death remained ‘unascertained’.
Monaghan and Miss Gray underwent genetic tests to determine whether the children were killed by a hereditary condition.
Now looking back, Laura says there were subtle signs something was wrong.
‘When I found Ruby, she was covered with a blanket,’ she explained. ‘Looking back, that didn’t make sense. Surely if she wasn’t breathing, he would have uncovered her?
‘With Logan, he had taken him swimming without telling me. Jordan hated swimming, he’d never been. Then he came home and insisted that I woke Logan, to ensure that I found him. I still struggle not to blame myself.’
In the wake of her children’s deaths Laura suffered a breakdown and was admitted to hospital for psychiatric help.
Monaghan exploited the situation and visited Laura ‘every day’, eventually leading to them rekindling their relationship.
‘He was really supportive,’ Laura continued. ‘He was the link to my two children, the only one who knew how I truly felt.’
Logan (left) and Ruby’s graves, which still have ‘Mummy and Daddy’ on them. Laura says she wants to find a way to have ‘Daddy’ removed
In the wake of her children’s deaths Laura suffered a breakdown and was admitted to hospital for psychiatric help. Pictured, Laura today
The couple tried to rebuild their lives, but Monaghan began gambling again and Laura finally ended the relationship.
She said: ‘He knew that we were having problems and I think he did it to bring us closer together, knowing that I would lean on him for support. And I did. I leaned on him, and he knew that I needed him. It was a control thing.’
In January 2018 Monaghan was arrested and quizzed by police, after an incident involving another child, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Police reopened the investigation into the deaths of the two children and Monaghan was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Laura said she will ‘always be a mum’ and Monaghan can’t take that from her
By January 2019, Monaghan was in a relationship with Evie Adams. Police became so worried about her welfare that they take her to a place of safety.
But manipulative Monaghan ignored their orders and continued to see her. At one point, when the pair were stopped together in a car, he claimed she was ‘some bird I just met’.
Eight months later, in October 2019, Miss Adams was found dead after an apparent drug overdose.
In reality, Monaghan had illegally bought strong prescription drugs on the black market via WhatsApp and other contacts.
Miss Adams was found to have tramadol, diazepam, amitriptyline, zopiclone and pregabalin medication in her body after her collapse and death on October 24, 2019.
She died from tramadol and diazepam toxicity.
Monaghan then faked a suicide note from Miss Adams, discovered apparently by chance falling out of a picture frame as he removed the couple’s favourite photo of themselves to place in her coffin.
The killer was re-arrested in January 2021 and charged with all three murders.
He claimed to have nothing to do with the death of his children, but a dozen experts told the court that while the exact cause of the deaths was difficult to pin down, imposed airway obstruction was either ‘likely’ or could not be ruled out.
Now Laura is trying to rebuild her life with the help of her new partner Andy Chambers, 33, pictured, and the couple hope to one day start a family of their own
Monaghan also claimed the illegal prescription drugs were for himself and denied ever giving any to Miss Adams.
On December 17 he was convicted of the three murders and two counts of attempted murder in relation to a third child who cannot be identified.
Laura found comfort in meeting Miss Adams’ family at the trial but said she is also haunted by what might have been had she and Monaghan stayed together.
‘It’s scary to think what could have happened if we hadn’t split up,’ she admits.
Now she is trying to rebuild her life with the help of her new partner Andy Chambers, 33, and the couple hope to one day start a family of their own.
Laura, who still feels close to her children by cradling their toys, teddies and even the clothes they wore on the day they died, says she can never forgive Monaghan for what he has done.
She added: ‘No punishment would ever be enough. What he did is beyond human understanding. I will always carry the memory of my precious children and I want to make them proud.
‘The thought of having more children after what’s happened is hard, but I want to keep that hope alive. I will always be a mum, it’s all I ever wanted, and Jordan can’t take that from me.’