How Shaye Groves Used Her Fascination With True Crime In Attempt To Thwart Murder Charge

The following article includes allegations of sexual assault.

A British woman sentenced to 23 years to life in prison reportedly built her alibi for the crime she committed from what she learned watching true crime documentaries, BBC News reports. In July 2022, Shaye Groves (pictured) brutally stabbed and killed her boyfriend, Frankie Fitzgerald, who was 25 years old when he died. A father of two, Fitzgerald's throat was slit before he was stabbed 17 times in the chest. Though if all had gone to plan, Groves' attempted alibi would make her appear a victim in the case.

During the five-week trial for Fitzgerald's murder, it was learned that Groves, who as of this report was 27, frequently watched true crime documentaries and had a particular interest in serial killers such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Groves' fascination with true crime went so far as to hang framed photos of famous murderers on the walls of her home. Through reading about and watching murder documentaries, "[Groves] was familiar with crime scenes, how to create a false narrative and how to set up a false alibi," prosecutor Steven Perian said (per BBC News).

Groves alleged Fitzgerald assaulted her

Per The Guardian, Frankie Fitzgerald's murder was a crime of passion and jealousy committed after Shaye Groves reportedly discovered Fitzgerald messaged an underage girl online. Another aspect of Groves' defense included home videos that Groves sent to her friend, Vikki Baitup, of what appeared to be Fitzgerald assaulting her. Groves and Fitzgerald did reportedly engage in BDSM sex acts. In addition to the framed photos on her walls and her interest in true crime documentaries, Groves reportedly kept a selection of books on crime and criminals. She also had a collection of weapons, like the Celtic dagger with which Fitzgerald was killed.

In the aftermath of the crime, the Mirror reports Groves called Baitup. During that phone call, Grove giggled and made small talk, Baitup said in her appearance at the murder trial. In Baitup's testimony, she explained (via the Mirror), "[Groves] said to me 'it's really big, you've got to promise not to tell anyone.' That's when she went upstairs, went into her room, pointed the camera at [Fitzgerald] and said 'I've done him,'" referring to Fitzgerald's murder. At the end of the call, Groves reportedly asked, "'[W]e're still friends aren't we?'," according to Baitup's testimony. 

Fitzgerald blocked the underage woman

During the trial, it was revealed that Frankie Fitzgerald had blocked the young woman Shaye Groves caught him messaging when he learned she was underage and that Groves failed to notice. That woman reportedly turned out to be 17, one year older than the age of consent in the U.K., according to the World Population Review. The Groves-Fitzgerald sex tapes were also carefully edited to appear to depict assault when in truth, they were consensual sex acts.

According to prosecutor Steve Perian (per the Mirror): "[Groves] deliberately set up a false narrative of being abused by Frankie Fitzgerald, a false alibi she sent to Vicky Baitup and was cleaning the crime scene having watched these documentaries ... Where would the defendant have got the insight from to plan the details of the attack and to make it look like she was the victim of an assault?" Perian added. Meanwhile, Groves claimed Fitzgerald's murder was in self-defense. At the time of her conviction, Groves had one daughter, according to the Daily Mail

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).