Next Episode of Written in Blood is
Crime novelist Simon Toyne investigates some of the darkest real-life crime stories which have inspired pieces of crime fiction.
Mason Cross invites Simon to his hometown of Glasgow to uncover a case that literally unfolded on his doorstep.
Peter Robinson invites Simon to Yorkshire, the setting for his successful DCI Banks series, where he reveals the largely untold story of 14-year-old Elsie Frost, who was fatally stabbed while walking home from a sailing lesson in Wakefield in 1965. She had had a choice between two routes home, and not wanting to get her new shoes dirty, she had walked the cleaner path; a path that played home to a killer. Elsie was found in a nearby tunnel having bled to death mere minutes prior to the discovery. The crime rocked the community, culminating in a mistrial after a local man was falsely accused. The case stayed cold for half a century, until an investigation into another crime led police to uncover evidence pointing towards Elsie's killer. As the investigation moved from Rotherham to Barnsley before concluding in Leeds, the episode journeys through many of the familiar landscapes that underpin every Peter Robinson book.
Karin Slaughter is joined by Simon in her home city of Atlanta, Georgia. She introduces Simon to the case of Paul John Knowles, A.K.A. the ‘Casanova Killer'; a spree killer who terrorised the whole of the US, and who came within a few miles of Karin's family home. The arc and mythology of the ‘Casanova' character finds parallels in the male villains of many Karin Slaughter books. She explains that ‘Casanova' has been recycled into an adjective for a romantic ladies' man, when in actuality, Casanova himself was a kidnapper and a rapist, who bragged about drugging women before having his violent way with them. This is not a romantic character but a criminal; a predator bent on control. Along the journey of the episode, Simon and the audience learn how the real case of the ‘Casanova Killer'influenced Karin's writing of an historical crime novel, and provoked her to explore the motives of killers with a hatred of women.
Sophie Hannah takes Simon to Nottingham to explore the murder of 16-year-old Collette Aram in 1983; an investigation which saw police interview over 20,000 people, and which became the first ever case to be featured on TV's "Crimewatch". The case left authorities scratching their heads for decades, until it was cracked open by DNA profiling in 2009, when the killer's son – who hadn't even been born at the time of the crime – was arrested for a driving offense. It is an example of the real murder mysteries that fascinate Sophie and inform her writing; how they can leave entire communities guessing and fearing the worst.
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