The bolt on the 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. While James was making his escape it is said that Catherine Douglas, lady in waiting to Jame's queen Joan Beaufort, rushed to the bedchamber door and placed her arm across the door to prevent the murderers making their entrance. However, the door was easily forced and this broke Catherine's arm.
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.