The highly suspicious death of Scottish woman Kirsty Maxwell

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Kirsty Emma Curry Maxwell was born in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sept. 1, 1989, to Brian and Denise Curry. She has a younger brother, Ryan. 

Kirsty, 27, worked for Lloyds Banking Group in Edinburgh and was considered “a true and loyal friend and confidante.” She married her longtime love, Adam Maxwell, in September 2016.

The couple quickly settled into married life and was looking to buy their first home together in 2017. They also had plans to start a family.


On April 28, 2017, Kirsty and 19 friends traveled to Benidorm, Spain, for a hen weekend before her friend’s upcoming wedding. Benidorm is a coastal town along the Mediterranean Sea 139 kilometers (86 miles) south of Valencia. The community offers a variety of attractions that cater to individuals, couples, and families and is widely known for its beaches and nightlife.

The group checked into My Pretty Payma Apartments, also known as Apartamentos Payma, at 9:15 p.m. Kirsty and at least two friends roomed together in apartment 9A on the ninth floor. The entire group dropped off their luggage and went out for food and drinks that night in the “English Quarter” of Benidorm.

Kirsty Maxwell: photo of Apartment 9A at My Pretty Payma resort in Benidorm, Spain
Apartment 9A (Photo credit: My Pretty Payma)

Kirsty and two friends returned to the apartment. CCTV footage captured them waiting for the elevator at 5:35 a.m. on April 29, 2017. The time stamp on the footage was an hour behind, showing 4:35 a.m. The brown-haired girl thought she heard some of their friends outside the room returning to their apartments and took the elevator down to the lobby. She steps out, looks to her left, then gets back in the elevator.

At 6:50 a.m., Kirsty slept while one of her friends filmed her snoring in their apartment.

A short while later, for unknown reasons, Kirsty awoke and left the apartment, taking the elevator to the 10th floor. Her family believes she returned to her room, but it was locked, so she went looking for another friend from her party in an apartment one floor above hers.

But here is where the story turns bizarre and tragic.

At 7:50 a.m., Kirsty fell to her death from the balcony of apartment 10E, occupied by five British men from Nottinghamshire, England. Her body was found alongside the resort’s swimming pool.

Kirsty Maxwell: photo of swimming pool where Kirsty was found dead
(Photo credit: Booking.com)

According to the Curry family website, “Expert analysis showed she was facing inwards towards that apartment,” but how she fell from the balcony “at a closed-off corridor of the apartment can only be answered by witnesses and those present.”

The Spanish police initially treated Kristy’s death as a homicide.

The five men, dubbed the Benidorm Five, in room 10E were Anthony Holehouse, 34; Callum Northridge, 29; Daniel Bailey, 32; Joseph Graham, 32; and Ricky Gammon, 31.

Kirsty Maxwell: the Benidorm Five - Kirsty was last seen in their resort apartment 10E
Top L-R: Anthony Holehouse; Callum Northridge – Bottom L-R: Joseph Graham & Ricky Gammon. Not pictured: Daniel Bailey (Photo credits: Daily Record & New Zealand Herald)

Police arrested Graham on suspicion of murder on the day of Kirsty’s death, releasing him two days later without charge.

Spanish judge Ana Isabel Garcia-Galbis attempted to establish what happened to Kirsty at a court hearing and questioned the other four men.

Graham denied any wrongdoing in Kristy’s death and claimed she entered the men’s room around 8:00 a.m in a confused state before moving to the balcony.

Gammon told investigators that he, Bailey, and Graham were drinking in the apartment’s living room while Holehouse and Northridge slept.

Kirsty knocked on their door, and Graham answered. He claimed Kirsty went straight to the bathroom “very upset” and attempted to climb out of a small interior window overlooking the kitchen area.

Kirsty Maxwell: photo of the resort's bathroom in 10E, where the Benidorm Five stayed and Kirsty was last seen.
The bathroom in 10E (Photo credit: My Pretty Payma)

Graham told police he thought Kirsty was a woman who had been with one of his friends in another apartment, and she could not get back in without a key.

Gammon said Kirsty appeared as if she had taken some drug. However, no drugs were found in her system, only alcohol.

Bailey stated that he immediately woke Northridge. Holehouse claimed he was asleep until he heard Graham say, “You’re in the wrong room!” Holehouse said he never saw Kirsty but heard Graham yell, “The girl has jumped!” He ran to the balcony and saw Kirsty’s body below on the ground.

Graham had taken so much cocaine that night that his nose bled heavily. Police took him to a local doctor to see if the blood was related to Kirsty’s fall. However, his nose was “red raw” from the “large amount of cocaine” he had snorted. 

The four men left court without speaking to the media and were allowed to return to England. All five later returned to Spain voluntarily and exercised their legal right to answer questions through their lawyer. They refused to answer questions from Kirsty’s family attorney.

Northridge released a statement on behalf of himself, Bailey, Gammon, and Holehouse.

Per the BBC:

“This was a tragic accident, and we categorically deny any involvement in this unfortunate incident.

“It goes without saying that our deepest sympathy goes out to Kirsty’s family and our thoughts are with them all at this terrible time.

“We have had our names dragged through the mud and used in a derogatory manner throughout this process through no fault of our own.”

The men were among a group of 50 from Nottingham staying at the resort, and the Curry family believes those people might have more information about Kirsty’s death.

In 2019, the Spanish police said Kirsty’s death was an accident. The men’s lawyer Roberto Sanchez declared no evidence linked them to Kirsty’s death.

He further said, “The investigation had found that Kirsty might have been affected by alcohol consumed during the previous night, with possible effects including blurred vision, loss of balance, and emotional instability.” (BBC)

Kirsty’s family has accused the police of failing to investigate properly. They say the Spanish police did not interview key witnesses, specifically Kirsty’s friends who traveled with her to Spain, and investigators did not follow significant crime scene protocols and procedures. Furthermore, they did not retain the entire CCTV footage from that morning, and potential evidence, like Kirsty’s clothing, was destroyed during the autopsy for whatever reasons. (Why didn’t they give them back to her husband?)

The family’s website states, “The police report and media reporting based on Spanish sources (including briefings and quotes from the family’s initial Spanish lawyer) indicate that Kirsty tried to escape the apartment in fear of her life.”

The Currys hired retired detective David Swindle to investigate Kirsty’s death. Swindle helped catch serial killer Peter Tobin

In 2020, the family’s legal team tried unsuccessfully to reopen the case, citing many unanswered questions about the young woman’s death. 

The following year, the Currys called for Scotland to implement a coroners system similar to England and Wales. Scottish families who lost a loved one abroad must do everything alone. In contrast, in England and Wales, a coroner establishes how someone dies once the body is returned home and then holds an inquest, where a local police officer becomes involved.

Brian Curry told the BBC: “If we had the coroners system, we could have had the girls who were with Kirsty interviewed, the men interviewed, we could have had a dedicated senior investigating officer, we could have had a “go-to” person.”

Earlier this year, Kirsty’s family appealed for a mystery woman to come forward. The Spanish police told them in 2017 that another woman was with the Benidorm Five. She was one of the key witnesses the Spanish police never interviewed, likely because there was a misunderstanding of where the woman resided, believing her to live overseas. However, she lived in England, yet the Spanish police still have not questioned her.

Through his investigation, Swindle discovered a middle-aged couple staying at the Hotel Presidente in Benidorm when Kirsty died. Their room overlooked the pool at Kirsty’s resort. They told a housekeeper they saw a body lying by the pool on the morning of her death. The couple checked out afterward. Swindle could not locate them but said the Spanish police never spoke to them. 

To honor their daughter’s memory, Brian and Denise Curry launched the Kirsty Maxwell Charity to emotionally and financially support families of people who died abroad.

Adam Maxwell and Kirsty’s family continue their fight for justice and the truth about Kirsty’s death. You can follow them here → Kirsty Maxwell Information Appeal – Home | Facebook. They have a lot of information on their page. The family will be at UK CrimeCon in Glasgow on Sept. 10, 2022.


Something worth noting: In 2021, police arrested Holehouse in a £1.2m money laundering operation.

Weird fact: As of this writing, the apartment Kirsty stayed at in Benidorm, 9A, is listed as one of “Our Favorites” on the resort’s website. 

Kirsty Maxwell: screenshot of resort's website

True Crime Diva’s Thoughts

Here’s what I think. I believe that once Kirsty was inside apartment 10E, the men in that room, or one of them at least, tried making the moves on her, and she panicked and tried to get away from them. 

All “E” apartments appear to be on the corner of the building. All of the resort apartments are similar in layout. 

Look at apartment 10E. You can see more here.

Kirsty Maxwell: photo of the living room of apartment 10E at My Payma Apartments in Benidorm, Spain.
The Benidorm Five’s apartment living room in 10E

There are two sets of doors. The apartment does not have balcony floors, only railings. I think Kirsty fell out of the ones on the left, although I could be wrong.

But, explain to me how she “jumped” when she would literally have to CLIMB over the railing to jump. If she had fallen, there had to be a reason she was leaning over the rail. Here’s a pic of 9E to give you a better perspective.

Kirsty Maxwell: photo of the living room & balconies of apartment 9E at My Payma Apartments in Benidorm, Spain.
Apartment 9E living room/balconies

Her rejection might have caused one or more men to THROW her off the balcony. She did not jump or fall on her own. I believe they all lied about the events to save their asses.

Maybe she saw something she should not have seen – like a sexual assault of the mystery woman who never came forward or the massive amount of drugs the men likely had.

Graham had snorted a shit-ton of cocaine before Kirsty’s death. The average high lasts 15-30 minutes, so the user will keep snorting to maintain a consistent high, according to drugabuse.com.

That article also states that a dangerous side effect of snorting coke is “unpredictable and violent behavior.” So, I wonder if that happened to Graham when Kirsty unexpectedly showed up at the door.

We know Kirsty did not take drugs, yet Graham said she seemed “confused.” One source reported that Kirsty had about 10 drinks the night before her death. Whether that is true, I don’t know. But I’d argue whether alcohol would leave her in a confused state to the point she freaked out like they say she did.

There’s no way she would have willingly walked into that room, KNOWING a MAN answered the door. There were no men on the trip with the girls. 

She likely would have immediately said something like, “Oh, I’m sorry, I have the wrong room.” Drunk or not. Even if the girls had men in their room, they would have likely answered the door, not the men. I do not believe Kirsty just barged into the men’s apartment as they claimed.

Why did Kirsty leave her apartment? The theory is that for whatever reason, she left to go to another friend’s apartment, and when she returned, she could not get back inside. Kirsty knew some of the girls were staying on the 10th floor. Because her group immediately went to the bars after arriving in Benidorm, she likely was unfamiliar with the resort. 

So why didn’t she pound on her apartment’s door or go to the front desk? I guess it would be logical for her to go up to the tenth floor where her other friends were staying. But she obviously did not know their apartment number. 

I’d like to know why the men never denied Kirsty was in their room. If you’re guilty, you would probably initially lie. If they had fibbed, would the police have been able to determine precisely what room balcony she had fallen from?

Were they telling the truth about the events that morning? The fact that they quickly lawyered up and refused to answer questions without their lawyer seems a bit suspicious, although not unusual.

Where’s the CCTV footage from the 10th-floor hallway? Did Kirsty actually knock on the door of 10E? Were any of the men standing in the hallway at the time?

If you read the linked article about Holehouse, then you learned that he is a big-time criminal. So, that is another reason why I’m suspicious of the Benidorm Five.

I find the actions of Kirsty’s two friends in the CCTV videos odd. At the elevator, they both turn and look toward the hotel doors as if someone or something caught their attention. You can see people walking into or by the hotel on the right of the screen. 

They do not talk directly to Kirsty at all, although it does appear that she might have said something to them.

It also looks like one girl hands the other girl something. Maybe it was the hotel key. You also see Kirsty grabbing for one girl’s purse. The whole thing seems off.

I also find it strange that the brown-haired girl hops back in the elevator at 5:50 a.m. because she thought she heard their friends outside the apartment. Why did she take the elevator to the lobby if the noise came from the hallway?

I also find it kind of peculiar that her friends filmed Kirsty snoring. I don’t know why; I just do. We do not know that it is Kirsty because you only see the woman’s hair and back. Now, if Kirsty was asleep after an all-nighter, 1) why would she suddenly wake up and leave the apartment, and 2) why was the one recording still awake? I think the recording is a bit odd because it’s very shaky and blurry, and you never see Kirsty’s face. 

Now, her roommates were awake, so how could Kirsty have left the apartment without seeing or hearing anything or knowing why she had left?

Speaking of the 19 girls with Kirsty that weekend, a few of them, including one of Kirsty’s roommates at the resort, spoke to the Scottish Sun in 2018. At the end of the article, there is a blurb about how the Sun pays for “your stories.” So, I’m a little skeptical of the interview. However, a BBC documentary called “Killed Abroad” covered Kirsty’s death, and the women appeared in the film.

I believe everyone involved in this case knows something more than they are telling, including Kristy’s friends. But then again, I’m suspicious of everyone and everything!

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True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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