Episode 3 of “A Murder in the Family” sheds light on the heartbreaking case of Kelly Fitzgibbons and her two daughters, Lexi and Ava, who were shot dead by her husband, Robert Needham. The episode opens up with an intimate family video of the Fitzgibbon household, which shows kids running around the house, followed by a booming gunshot. Sussex Police are investing in the case after the bodies of four people were found in a house in West Sussex. The bodies belong to Kelly Fitzgibbons, her daughters Ava (age 4) and Lexi (age 2), and at last, the murderer Robert Fitzgibbons, who was discovered with a shotgun in his hand. The girls were wearing pajamas; Ava was nearest to the door, and the ballistic report suggested that she was shot from close range, the same as her sister Lexie. Kelly was initially shot on the landing, moved into the bedroom, and died there, and Robert’s body was found on the landing just outside the bedroom.
Just days after the start of the national lockdown in 2022, builder Robert Needham shot dead his partner Kelly Fitzgibbons and her two daughters. The horrific ordeal that took place on March 28th, 2020, shocked everyone, as nobody suspected that Robert could do such a thing. Robert had a clean record, no arrests, and no complaints of domestic abuse filed by Kelly.
The Brewing Nightmare
According to Ema, Kelly’s twin sister, Kelly was a joyful woman, always looking out for her family and friends, and she aspired to settle down with someone special and start an equally loving family. Robert’s presence seemed to eliminate that feeling of incompleteness. Robert was quiet and introverted and, at first, seemed like a very nice guy. Their love blossomed, and within a year, the couple moved in together. The news that Kelly was expecting a child brought them even more joy. Kelly had her two children within a span of two years. Unfortunately, Kelly’s perfect life took a downward spiral when Robert applied for a gun licence, and he chose not to mention that he has a decade-long history of mental health problems. Robert has three episodes of mental health illness at various points in his life but was granted the licence to retain firearms. Robert began ignoring his family and used to go away for days. Little did she know, her husband was masterfully hiding a truth, capable of breaking his perfect family. In reality, Robert was suffering from a severe cocaine addiction and had kept his addiction a secret from his wife. As time passed, Robert became less and less reactive and more introverted. Kelly never felt threatened and was desperately trying to make her marriage work. However, her efforts were in vain, and Kelly decided to leave her husband, angering him, who was always high on cocaine.
The Day Of The Murder
Robert knew exactly what he wanted and brought a gun. Even though he was planning it for a long time, it culminated on that point. Robert’s frustration owing to the financial worries only contributed to his annoyance and anger. On March 28th, Robert was putting a playhouse together for his daughters, maybe to normalize the situation or make it special before he carried out his monstrous ordeal. After the girls were put to bed, Rob and Kelly spent some time together in the living room, drinking wine and ordering Chinese. At some point, Kelly went to the bathroom, giving Rob enough time to load his shotgun and shoot the girls. The sound of the gunshot sent Kelly racing to the bedroom, and she leaned over to her kids to save them but was shot in the head from point-blank range. After killing his wife and daughters, Rob brought the shotgun up to his face and squeezed the trigger. The bodies were discovered by Kelly’s uncle, who had used a ladder to gain entry into the house before discovering Ava and Lexie between the sheets and his niece on the floor in a pool of blood. The police were unable to track Kelly’s and her daughter’s time of death, but Emma believed that Rob killed himself hours after he had murdered her sister and niece.
Rob was a drug addict and psychopath who believed that owning a gun granted him control over anyone. The Fitzgibbons household blames the cops for their negligence in granting Robert a licence to keep guns when he had a history of depression and drug abuse. Robert was clearly unsuitable for holding a firearm licence, and the authorities failed to see that. A very similar case of carelessness happened in Jennifer Cronin’s case, where the authorities failed to dispatch units even after receiving countless calls from Susan asking them to arrest her stalker and sociopath’s ex-husband. The police did nothing, and Jennifer Cronin was set ablaze by her son-in-law.