The Real Prime Suspect series 2

I watched the opener of Jackie Malton’s latest series last night and thought it was a particularly sensitive and interesting episode. The case was the heartbreaking kidnap of Muriel McKay from her home in Wimbledon in 1969. It was extraordinary for several reasons. Muriel was the wife of Alick McKay, a newspaper executive and right-hand man of Rupert Murdoch. In […]

Murder by the Sea: Michael Downes

Anyone who doubts the value of bobbies on the beat in these days of major police cuts should consider the case of Michael Downes in Blackpool in the 1970s and 80s. Two years after the cruel murder of 64-year-old widow Catherine Weaver in 1978, another woman, Hilda Keefe, 64, spotted an intruder at the Blackpool home she shared with her […]

The Trial of Christine Keeler

When researching The Hunt for the 60s’ Ripper I came across a book that really shocked me. This was Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK, written by Geoffrey Robertson QC and published in 2013. It is a slim but angry look at the Profumo Scandal. This was the 1963 hoo-hah in which Secretary of State for War John Profumo was forced […]

Murder by the Sea new series 2019

I’ve heard CBS Reality’s Murder by the Sea is returning in January (Tuesday 7th 10pm). For those who haven’t seen it, the premise is that the jolly seaside resort is often the setting for unusual and sometimes frightening homicides. Why should a place we associate with fun, sun and relaxation suffer such crimes? Having been involved as a talking head […]

ITV drama about serial killer Dennis Nilsen

ITV has just announced a new three-part drama about murderer Dennis Nilsen. Called Des – Nilsen’s nickname – it has top-quality talents involved, including David Tennant (a long way from Doctor Who here), Daniel Mays (Line of Duty) and Jason Watkins (The Crown). It is also based on Brian Masters’ landmark book, Killing for Company: The Case of Dennis Nilsen. […]

Murder by the Sea: Louisa Merrifield

Of the six cases featured in the latest Murder by the Sea series, Louisa May Merrifield’s is the one I would most like to research further. The Blackpool Poisoner was the final episode on CBS Reality’s British series last week, and it is fascinating. In 1953 Louisa went to work as a housekeeper for a rather cranky old gal called […]

Murder by the Sea: Barry Rogers and Penelope John

It is hard not to feel great sympathy for Rhianne Morris, who appeared on this week’s Murder by the Sea. She was the girlfriend of Barry Rogers, who, with his mother Penelope John, went to jail in 2018 for murdering his grandmother, Betty Guy. It is clear Rhianne is still haunted by her time with Rogers, who was abusive to […]

Hatton Garden ITV

ITV’s Hatton Garden drama has been engrossing. The language is ripe and the cast – including Timothy Spall and Kenneth Cranham – is excellent. The Diamond Wheezers who burgled the underground safe-deposit company in London’s jewellery district in 2015 is a fascinating true-crime story. While pulling off this shocking theft, the veteran lags are also gasping, collapsing, falling asleep and […]

Murder by the Sea: David Ellis

The CBS Reality series continued to rake through the dark side of our seaside towns this week. This time it was the sad case of Swansea landlord Alec Warburton, who was murdered by his callous tenant, David Ellis. Ellis had a number of grubby convictions behind him, including sexual offences against a girl. He was also a liar and seems […]

Murder by the Sea: Mamie Stuart

The third episode of Murder by the Sea on CBS Reality is about a case that is 100 years old. The murder of Mamie Stuart was all made all the more unhappy because this was a crime in which the killer escaped justice. Mamie, a 26-year-old chorus dancer, disappeared in 1919. She had married to a man called George Shotton […]