“A Murder in the Family,” episode 2, follows the tragic story of Jennifer Cronin, who was attacked and burned alive inside her home by her son-in-law, Keiren Lynch after the latter lost control and became a dangerous stalker following his divorce. Just like its predecessor, episode 2 kicks off with a frightening call from a woman who, in a petrified voice, begs the 911 operator to come to save her mother from her husband. The breaking voice was more than enough to send shivers down anyone’s spines. What followed next was terrifying enough to shake the nerves of the bravest of hearts. The woman reveals to the operator that her husband has set her mother on fire. According to media reports, Keiren Lynch approached Jennifer Cronin and torched her alive before setting himself alight.
Keiren Lynch was booked on the charge of attempted murder and was taken to the hospital for the burns alongside his mother-in-law, Jennifer Cronnin. According to Jennifer’s daughter Susan’s account, the burns left Jennifer with no eyebrows or eyelashes; all her hair was burnt off, and she had red and black scars all over her body. As per the medical examiner, the fire caused third-degree burns on Jennifer’s body. Unfortunately, Jennifer didn’t survive the treatment and died two weeks after the accident. Susan even blamed the police for their negligence, saying if they had acted quickly, her mother could have been saved.
The Uneven Relationship
Susan met Keiren when she was seventeen when she was working as a hairdresser in a local shop. Keiren was a bricklayer; at first, he seemed to worship the ground Susan walked on. Jennifer, too, had grown to like Keiren, not knowing that the very man she was hitching her daughter to would set her on fire. Susan was really close with her mother, and even Keiren at first got along well with Jennifer, swearing he would do anything to keep Susan and her mother happy and protected.
According to Susan’s daughter, Keiren used to be a wonderful person, someone who always made her laugh and made sure she got everything she needed. But in reality, Keiren had a more Jekyll and Hyde personality, obsessed with being the best at everything. He was competitive and a control freak, always correcting everyone so they could fit into his definition of a “perfect family.”
Susan’s life took a downward spiral when Keiren became an alcoholic and began abusing her physically and financially. Keiren’s already abusive and irrational behaviour became considerably worse when he started consuming cocaine. He even held a kitchen knife to Susan’s throat, saying he’d kill her first and then take his life. Susan filed for divorce, and he moved along with his daughters. Keiren began stalking Susan and, on multiple occasions, tried to force himself into her house. Susan began dating someone, which only added to Keiren’s already hot temper. Keiren was once arrested on the charge of holding weapons and making homicidal threats.
After getting out, Keiren again tried contacting Susan, paying very little heed to the restraining orders. He even slipped into the garage and disrupted the power to the house, frightening everyone, but he wasn’t arrested. Keiren was just not accepting that his relationship with Susan had come to an end.
On the Day Of The Murder
The situation was getting worse and worse, as Keiren was calling Susan uncontrollably. Keiren’s search history suggested that he had searched for flammable liquids, and he crossed the line when he threatened to kill his own daughter. On the day of the murder, Keiren managed to enter Jennifer’s house and hide in the garage. Jennifer Cronin went out in the garden for fresh air but, in a split second, was attacked by Keiren, who doused her body with kerosine, eventually setting her ablaze. After that, Keiren doused himself with the liquid, torched himself, and succumbed on the day of the attack.
Jennifer Cronin held the fight for seventeen days but passed away on the 30th Match of 2018. The authorities accepted their mistakes for ignoring Susan’s call for help, as they believed that Keiren didn’t really present a direct threat to herself and her family. They even tried to justify their negligence by saying that at the time of the attempted murder, they didn’t have any units available in the area. Susan, in her account, says that she’s more disappointed in the police than she is in her ex-husband, and her mother could’ve been alive and well if they’d responded to their cries for help rather than labelling Keiren as “Not an Imminent Threat.” Susan, to this day, breaks down in tears and blames herself for falling in love and marrying a monster who enamored her with the promises of a better future and ended up robbing the most precious thing from her: her mother, Jennifer Cronin.