Next Episode of Crimes That Shook Britain is
Dermot Murnaghan joins us as we uncover the truth behind the crimes that shocked the nation in a brand new and exclusive series of Crimes That Shook Britain.Join us as we shed new light on the chilling crimes that created shock-waves across the country and changed the UK forever. Told through the eyes of those at the heart of the crimes, the new series analyses the events that led to such atrocities before examining the devastating effects that they have left in their wake.Using drama reconstructions, witness accounts, police interviews, archive news pieces and intimate access to victims and families; every episode of this compelling series explores the dark depths of some of Britain's most infamous and disturbing cases.
Rachel Nickell was innocently walking her dog on Wimbledon Common back in 1992 when she became the victim of a vicious sexual assault and was stabbed forty times, with her attacker fleeing the scene. Along with her dog, Rachel's two year old son Alex was also present. A passer-by found Rachel's body, with Alex clinging to her side, repeatedly saying "wake up mummy, wake up". A huge police investigation ensued, and although the police didn't have many clues as to who carried out the fatal attack, they pinned their leads on to one man, Colin Stagg. They began ‘Operation Edzell', what was later described as a ‘honey-trap', which involved an undercover female officer, "Lizzie James", feigning a five month relationship (involving meeting together, phone conversation and letters) to try and coax the ‘truth' out of him. Believing they had enough evidence to send him to trial in 1994, the judge at the Old Bailey threw it out, believing it to be "deceptive conduct of the grossest kind". Although never completely rid of the allegations (even up to fifteen years later), in 2007 Stagg had received over £700,000 in compensation, and after new D.N.A. evidence arose, Robert Napper, who was (and still is) incarcerated in Broadmoor prison, was found guilty of her manslaughter. Colin Stagg had also received a full apology from the police.
Stephen Griffiths (self-named as The Crossbow Cannibal) was arrested on the 24th May 2010 after being accused of murdering three women, all prostitutes who had worked in Bradford's red light district, close to where he had lived. A PhD student at the time, Griffiths was working on his doctoral thesis regarding applied criminal justice. He was swiftly charged with murdering 43-year-old Susan Rushworth (disappearance on the 22 June 2009), 31-year-old Shelley Armitage (disappearance on the 26 April 2010) and 36-year-old Suzanne Blamires (disappearance on the 21 May 2010). Four days after Ms Blamires vanished, he was arrested. Griffiths hid a dark side, obsessed with murder and serial killers, he is said to have had a misogynistic, vicious and violent streak, seeing prostitutes as below him, enjoying what he saw as some sort of ‘power' over them. On the 24 May, 2010, a caretaker at Griffiths' block of flats was checking CCTV from the weekend before. What he saw was to shock him. A lady had been seen running from Griffiths' flat, petrified and screaming. Seconds later, he was chasing her, before going out of camera shot. Knocking her unconscious, Griffiths dragged her back in front of the camera, before firing a bolt through her head. This was Suzanne Blamires. He then deposited her body in the nearby River Aire, where officers found it the day after arresting Griffiths. Human tissue remains were also found of Armitage, however, no remains of Rushworth have ever been found. Currently serving a whole life tariff in Wakefield Prison, we have interviewed the families of his victims along with those who knew Griffiths, and those affected by his terrible actions, to gain an insight to the man who calls himself ‘The Crossbow Cannibal'.
In February 2000, seven year old Victoria Climbie died at St Mary's Hospital, Middlesex. She had suffered the worst case of child abuse ever seen in the UK, at the hands of her Aunt, Marie Therese Kouao and an acquaintance, Carl Manning. Victoria had 128 separate injuries, which social services had failed to notice and act upon. As a result of her murder, the Government conducted the biggest overhaul of the child protection service in this country. In a rare move, the inquiry that followed called both Manning and Kouao to give evidence to try and understand the authority's failings.
Sally Anne Bowman was just 18 years old when she was brutally raped and murdered after a night out with friends. Two weeks after her birthday on 25th September 2005, she was attacked with a knife on her own doorstep. A local chef by the name of Mark Dixie was eventually arrested for Sally's murder following a high profile investigation by the Metropolitan Police. The 35 year old had a string of previous convictions, but was only linked to the murder through DNA after being arrested for a separate offence. In 2008, three years after Sally Anne's death, Dixie was found guilty of the crime and given life imprisonment, with a recommendation that he serves at least 34 years in prison.
On 15th August 1998, in the small village of Omagh in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, a car bomb was detonated in the main shopping street, which is Market Street. Twenty nine people and two unborn babies died as a result. The victims included children, both Catholics and Protestants, tourists both from the Republic of Ireland and Spain and a pregnant woman. Three days after the attacks, the Real IRA (RIRA) claimed responsibility for the attacks. Although one man was charged and convicted with the crime (Colm Murphy, sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2002), he was released in 2005 due to evidence that the Gardai had tampered with his interview. To this day, nobody has been convicted and remains in prison for the crime. There have been allegations of cover-up by the police force both sides of the border, and of a lacklustre performance in the investigation by the then Royal Ulster Constabulary (Now the Police Service of Northern Ireland, or PSNI), and although never formally tried in court, a civil case taken by members of the victim's families stating that Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were guilty of the bombings, and were held liable for £1.6 million of damages.
On 12th February 1993, two year old James Bulger was abducted from a shopping centre in Bootle, Liverpool by two ten year old boys. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables tortured him for over two miles before killing him next to a railway line. The crime shocked the world through the brutality of the senseless crime, and the fact the killers were children themselves. Controversially sentenced until they were 18 years old, Thompson and Venables were then released just eight years after the killing. Recently Venables was imprisoned once again for possessing indecent images of children.
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