Introduction: The Cross Family
In the country of England, located in the county of Hertfordshire, lies the town of Hemel Hempstead. Although Hemel Hempstead ranked as the 21st dangerous town on Hertfordshire, but no on expected the awful events that occurred in 2015, to happen. In a house, on Dunlin Avenue, lived the Cross family. Nicola Cross, later described as loved by everyone that knew her, and ready to help anyone that needed it, very kind, beautiful, inside and out, and a wonderful mom. Her personal mantras were to “keep aiming” and to “never give up”. Nikki, referred to by friends and family, was a crafter and and started her own custom gift company, called Spruce Tags, in 2012. She was able to work from home, while caring for her children.
Nikki met her husband, Danny Cross, in 2004. Danny worked in IT and traveled often for work. After dating four years, the couple had plans of marriage. Due to the financial crisis in 2008, they put marriage on hold. In 2009, Nikki gave birth to their first child, a son named Stanley. In 2013, She finally married Danny. Danny described Nikki as the heart and soul of their family. They were together for 11 years and even took a family vacation, weeks before this awful murder.
The Mystery Stranger Outside
On September 14, 2015, While Danny was working 3 hours away, in Hull, a stranger was seen in the neighborhood, roaming around and knocking on random doors, asking if there were children at different residences. Nikki was settling for a quiet, after tucking her two children into bed. Around 10:30 P.M. that night, Nikki, not expecting any guests or anyone, heard pounding on her door. As she looking through the window, she saw a man peering in her window, his nose pressed up against the glass. He started hitting her vehicle, and when she told him to stop, he began pounding on her door again and demanding that she opens the door.
She then called the police and they arrived in five minutes. The police searched him, but said they had no reason to arrest him, therefore they just told him to go back home. He returned to his home on claymore Avenue, and grabbed a small from his knife block. Nikki asked for an update and the police told her that they had to let him go. She then called Danny back and made a plan for her to go to his parents; a plan that she would not be able to carry out.
The Murder of Nikki
She stayed on the phone with Danny; the idea was to continue talking until she was safe. While this was happening at the Cross residence, at 11:25, the stranger smashed her neighbors’ patio door and the neighbor asked him what he was doing there. Upon realizing he was at the wrong house, he left.
He arrived at Nikki’s home and threw a large pot at her back patio door, grabbed a large knife from her kitchen, and headed upstairs. Over the phone, Danny heard Nikki tell him to leave and that he did not have to do this. Then he heard the voice respond, “I do. I do.” She started to cry and offer to help him, which show the kind of person she was. Danny called the police, using the hotel phone, relaying what he knew. He then heard his wife scream and then silence and he knew it was too late. The man stabbed her 10 times, including in her left ventricle of her heart, making her lose consciousness in minutes and ultimately killed her.
Police arrived and saw him attacking Nikki, but unable to open the door. They went to the back patio gate, which was locked, but saw the stranger holding the children’s hands, attempting to take them. The police stopped him and children were not harmed other than a few cuts on their feet, after walking over glass. The smaller knife must have broke, because they found the handle and blade in different place in the room. He then continued with the larger knife he got out of the Cross family’s kitchen. After knowing that his children were safe, Danny hung up and started to make the drive home. I can only imagine how long this drive would have felt, not really knowing the outcome. The police arrested the stranger, who murdered 37 year old Nikola Cross, whose name is Marcin Porczynski.
Marcin Porczynski was a 23 year old man from Poland. He worked at a Martin Brewer Distribution Center, as a warehouse worker. Co-workers said that he kept to himself; very typical for killers. He lived with a housemate, who became worried about Marcin and that started saying he was hearing voices and talking about things that have not happened yet.
After being evaluated, Marcin was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. He testified that he heard voiced telling him to kill Nikki to save his family. Marcin Plead guilty with reason of mental illness or diminished capacity. He was sentence to a psychiatric unit indefinitely. He will remain in a hospital until he is fit to live out in the community. In the scenario that he would be deemed safe to be discharged, he would be monitored closely, supposedly but we know that goes. he was charged with manslaughter, attempted kidnapping, burglary, and aggravated burglary. Traces of cocaine and cannabis was found in his system, but it was not enough to have any bearing on the murder.
Aftermath and Legacy
The police investigated by The Independent Police Complaints Commission. They found that the police followed policies and guidelines, so they found that there was no misconduct. At her funeral, 400 people attended, wearing bright colors, which was a wish that they discussed when she was not sure that she would make it through her health struggles.
Her husband started a foundation, in Nikki’s name, called Nikki’s Wishes. He also wrote an emotional blog, which I will link in the bottom of this section. It really shows the impact that Nikki’s death had on Danny. 18 months later, he trained and was picked to be on SAS: Who Dare Wins. SAS is the Special Air Services. He ended up having to stop the show, due to a knee injury, but his story left an impact on viewers. In 2018, he married a mental health professional, who helped Danny and the children through their grief. She made it a priority to keep Nikki’s memory alive for the children. They also had a daughter of their own.
This is a tragic case all around. I feel so sad for Danny and the kids. I have strong feelings against the police. They saw it through the window. They had reason to bust in.Who knows, they could have saved her. We will never know. I like to use these stories as a lesson. But I am at lost for what we can do. Nikki did the write things: she locked her doors, called the cops, and was attempting to leave the property. I guess, just listen to our loved ones when they show signs of mental illness. If you would like to donate to Nikki’s Wishes, the link is included at the bottom. The funds go to children who are grieving their parents.
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