Next Episode of The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story is
not planed. TV Show was canceled.
In 1955 Ruth Ellis was the last woman hanged in Britain for the murder of her lover. In this investigative three-part series film-maker Gillian Pachter re-examines the case.
In episode three Gillian turns her attention to Ruth's execution and the last-minute attempts to save her life even though Ruth herself was determined to die. Gillian explores the role of her case in the introduction of the defence of diminished responsibility in England and its place in the eventual abolition of capital punishment in Britain in 1965. But Ruth's personal legacy is much more tragic as Gillian explores the effects of the events of 1955 on Ruth's family. This takes Gillian to a taped conversation recorded by Ruth's son in the 1980s, where his despair at what happened when he was ten is movingly clear; Andre lost his mother and he lost David who he loved. He took his own life in the 1980s and today his ashes are close to his mother's in a cemetery in Hertfordshire not far from where David Blakely was buried. Three victims of a truly tragic set of circumstances.
Episode one explores the early years of the investigation from 1975, when the first Ripper murder occurred.
The location of the first two murders in Chapeltown, then well-known as Leeds's main red light district, led the police to decide that prostitution was the connection between the attacks. After the second murder in January 1976, the police announced they were hunting a ‘prostitute killer' and the investigation became driven by this theory.
As the Ripper's murders cause terror in the north of England and the unknown killer becomes a kind of cult figure, with Yorkshire Ripper chants at football matches and Thin Lizzy's Killer On The Loose topping the charts, Manhunt explores how the police investigation became a wild goose chase.
Letters and a tape claiming to come from the murderer himself lead the police to believe the killer is from the North East. Women who survived attacks by the Ripper claim police ignored their witness statements and promising lines of inquiry were derailed - all because they did not fit with senior officers' theory about the killer's motivation.
Ending with the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe, this episode reveals how his name was already in multiple police files: he had been interviewed nine times during the course of the investigation. Had the police arrested him the first time he was questioned in November 1977, seven women's lives might have been saved.
Justice charts the arrest, trial and conviction of Peter Sutcliffe, and the legacy for the relatives of his victims and the survivors of his attacks.
Speaking to one of Sutcliffe's defence team, a leading barrister from the prosecution, and journalists who covered the trial, this episode traces the story from moment of arrest. Witnesses were offered money for exclusives - potentially jeopardising the trial - long queues formed for the public gallery and front row seats in court were given to VIPs. Shockingly, the women Sutcliffe attacked were once more classed as either prostitutes or 'innocent victims'.
After the trial a catalogue of errors are revealed, revealing how the police's original theory about a ‘prostitute killer' took them in the wrong direction right from the start. Going back to survivors and relatives of Sutcliffe's victims, the film explores the legacy left behind by his crimes - and what it has been like to live as the child of a Ripper murder victim.
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