The bolt on inside of the king's bedchamber door had been purposely removed leaving it easy for the assassins to force their way in. On hearing a noise outside, James was quick to realise that his life was in danger, he hoped to make his way to safety through a small tunnel that led to the cellar, but this was blocked. Unable to escape he waited in silence until he thought the danger was over and then called out, but the men were still in the room, two of his assassins crawled in and attacked him with knives, the third coming in later finish him off.
James died from sixteen stab wounds, his hands torn to ribbons defending himself from his enemies blades.
James's killers, Walter and Thomas Stewart where related to the king through Robert II of Scotland, and Robert and Thomas Graham were wealth landowners. They all managed to escape, but were soon found and all died horribly gruesome deaths in ways that don't bear thinking about.
Walter Stewart and Robert Graham had problems with James's rule that were numerous and complicated. They did conspire and act against the king in what appears to be a frenzied attack. However, I do realise these were hard and different times, but the way these men were dealt with was simply barbaric.