‘Until I Kill You’ Ending Explained & Series Recap: What Happens To John Sweeney And Delia Balmer?

Have you entertained the possibility that the person you are dating could be a serial killer? Yet, that’s exactly what happened to Delia Balmer, who had no idea that her new boyfriend, John Sweeney, was a psychopath and a serial killer. Delia’s story is one of the most unimaginable horrors that one might come across. She has written a book about her experiences titled Until I Kill You, where she opens up about her near-death experiences and the torment she went through, to the point where she felt it might have been better to die than to continue living through such pain. The TV adaptation of her story features Anna Maxwell Martin as Delia Balmer. Martin’s portrayal of Delia’s torment is incredible. If you’ve seen her in roles in films and shows like Mandy or Motherland, you’ll know she’s usually witty and funny, but this role is a completely different take for her, and she nails it. On the other hand, Shaun Evans plays John Sweeney. His performance is chilling, capturing the psychopathic tendencies of a killer who appears completely normal on the outside. Sweeney’s relationship with Delia wasn’t his first venture into darkness. He was also responsible for two other murders: Melissa and Paula. The big question is: did he get punished for his crimes? We will find out all about it from this explainer of the series Until I Kill You by Nick Stevens.


Spoilers Ahead

How did Delia find out about John murdering Melissa? 

When we first meet Delia in the series, she comes across as an incredibly fun and vibrant woman. She enjoys lively, colorful things, loves traveling with all her heart, dancing, and just being her authentic self. Melissa is a nurse and a single woman in her forties. Despite her cheerful demeanor, she often felt quite lonely and judged by her co-nurses and colleagues for her wonderfully weird and fun nature. One day, Delia was at a pub, when first saw the man who would destroy her entire life. John Sweeney, who was in his thirties, complimented her dance moves, calling her bold and impressive. Melissa was utterly shocked and taken aback. I mean, how could she not be? She awkwardly told him she wouldn’t be going out with him, but later realized her mistake. Here was a person, after so long, showing some genuine interest in her. She decided she had to follow through. So, she apologized to him with a heartfelt letter and asked him out on a date. Their story began from there. John, a skilled carpenter, seemed incredibly kind and even fixed her door.


Delia felt truly happy with him; he made her feel less alone. However, bit by bit, his behavior started to get suspicious. For instance, at a colleague’s birthday party, John got fiercely jealous when another man hit on Delia. In his anger, he peed on the colleague’s plants in front of everyone, disrespecting both the colleague and Delia. After all, what more could you expect from a man who kept a tarantula as a pet? Despite this bizarre incident, Delia thought she was quite old and needed to settle, so she asked John to move in with her. Five months later, when they went to John’s family home for Christmas, she was bombarded with shocking news. John was previously married and had two kids. How could she expect to be hit with such news when her man hadn’t ever mentioned it? After all, he had moved in with her, and she was planning their future together. It was the least she could expect to know, right? The same John, who had been so impressed with her dancing during their first interaction, now said she was embarrassing him when she danced in front of others. If she talked too much, John would shut her off. It was just too much to bear, but Delia didn’t know this was only the beginning. 

One day, as Delia slept, he even tried to strangle her. By now, she was utterly terrified. John was not just abusive, but he also had the potential to kill her if she wasn’t cautious. Delia confided in Leah, her best friend at work, who advised her to complain to the police. Delia thought if she would change the locks in her house, he couldn’t come in, but that didn’t work out as well. John wasn’t ready to leave, even though she made it crystal clear she didn’t want to be with him anymore. He told her he wanted to draw one last picture of her before he would take a leave. When he showed her the picture, it depicted her as a monster. Delia was deeply hurt and snatched the drawing book from him, only to find something utterly shocking. There was a picture of his previous girlfriend, Melissa, a beautiful model he often boasted about. But the picture showed her mutilated body with no arms, legs, or head. Delia was horrified and demanded an explanation. John, already enraged, started hitting her and confessed the horrifying truth: he’d chopped up Melissa’s body, put it in a suitcase, and dumped it in a river in Amsterdam! Delia realized she was living with a psychopath and a murderer, something she had absolutely no idea about.


How did Delia end up in the hospital? 

John was so terrified of Delia revealing his secrets to the police or even to her best friend Leah that he made sure she couldn’t talk to anyone or get on the phone. He strapped her to the bed, molested her, and even held her at gunpoint, making sure she couldn’t escape or communicate with anyone. But Delia was a smart woman. She pretended to sympathize with him, talking about how he needed to see a doctor to get better. I think she was trying to win his trust so he would set her free. When he finally fell asleep that night, Delia managed to get out of the house and go straight to the police station. The most awful part was how useless the system was. They told her there wasn’t enough solid evidence to support her claims. Because they were a couple living together, they didn’t believe he had forced himself on her. They did not even care about the disturbing drawings in his sketchbook, saying that they were just drawings, nothing more.

Even though she claimed he had confessed to the crimes, they didn’t believe her. It was so hurtful and frustrating to see how the system often shifts the blame to the survivor the same way they had done here, suggesting she is mentally unstable or making up stories. Thank goodness John left their place, knowing Delia had escaped and might have gone to the police. He realized it would be dangerous for him to stay there. But six months later, when Delia came home after spending the night out with Leah, she found that John had returned to torture her again. Fortunately, Leah called the police, and he was arrested on the spot. Even though he was accused of murder and they found gloves, an axe, and cleaning products in their apartment, which all belonged to John, he still got bail. Surprisingly, the court thought Delia was mentally unstable and falsely accusing him of these crimes because there was no solid evidence. Delia knew it was a lost cause and feared she would soon be dead because John would definitely seek revenge. She was right. When she came home, John attacked her from behind. Thankfully, a neighbor intervened and hit John from behind. John fled the scene, but Delia ended up in intensive care at the hospital. And you know what was the saddest part of all? The fact that she thought it would be better if John killed her like other victims. After all, what was the difference between being dead and living with this constant fear that John might hunt her down and she might be dead soon? 


Did Delia and the other victims get justice? 

Delia realized she couldn’t stay at her old place anymore; life had taken such a toll on her. She had difficulty even moving or walking, and things were getting very tough. She was constantly tormented by nightmares and anxiety attacks. To make matters worse, her best friend Leah had also moved away, terrified by the whole incident and the possibility that John might come after her too. Little by little, Delia began to piece her life back together. She met a man named David. At first, it was really hard for her to trust any man again, but David was kind and generous. When she finally opened up about her past traumas, she felt safe and secure with him. And what about John? He had changed his name to Joe Johnson, but that was the only thing he had changed. He was still obsessively drawing pictures of Delia, imagining killing her and drawing her face on a cockroach’s body. I think it indicated that he wanted to step on it and kill her.

In Until I Kill You‘s ending, a woman named Paula, searching for her friend, accidentally knocked on John’s door. With his charming personality, he invited her in for coffee. Paula, seeing how charming he seemed, didn’t refuse his invitation. And then, you guessed it—he killed her too. I don’t know if it was some kind of twisted motive or just a game to him, but he found pleasure in killing people, for sure. Thankfully, Paula’s missing persons report, along with the previous case of Melissa Halstead, led the authorities to charge and arrest him. As the sole witness, they asked Delia to give her side of the story in court. You can imagine how difficult it was for Delia to relive all those traumatic memories again. She was enraged—not just at John, knowing he was a raging psychopath who needed medical help, but also at the system. What about the police and the court? They were supposed to give people justice, right? Instead, they had thrown her out on the street, not believing her and calling her mentally unstable. Calling her a survivor didn’t help much, as she felt her life had ended the moment he tried to murder her. She could have ended up like Melissa or Paula. But through her evidence and testimony, John was finally sentenced to life in prison. After all this time, justice was served.


Delia’s journey showed not only how dangerous people like John were but also how ignorant the system was and how it failed to protect her and others like her. Despite all she went through, Delia showed amazing strength and played a crucial role in putting a dangerous man behind bars. Now, Delia has turned her life around. She works as a therapeutic massage nurse and has written a book about her story of survival. Her experience serves as a powerful reminder of the need for better protection and support for victims.

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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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