Some of the killers have been mentally unwell and committed horrendous crimes, others have been callous drug gangsters. It’s depressing how often cruel husbands or boyfriends have callously murdered their partners – sometimes even with their children in the house.
The true crime genre is sometimes criticised for being voyeuristic. However, the reason we keep coming back to quality books, dramas and documentary series like Murder by the Sea is because they tell us truths about our world.
Miles Giffard, Jason Mitchell, Robert Mochrie
As novelist Samira Sedira says, ‘Viewing them [the perpetrators] as monstrous aberrations prevents us from understanding human nature.’
This must explain a big part of Murder by the Sea‘s appeal. We all like to be beside the seaside, but amid the hospitality, the fun and the lovely bungalows are very ordinary, apparently harmless and boring-looking murderers.
The ones I’m commentating on this time: Miles Giffard, 26, who murdered his respectable parents in 1952 and threw them off a cliff; Danny Dyke, who ran a sophisticated illlegal drug business, and was killed by other criminals; Margaret Whitcombe, who was murdered by her violent husband on his release from prison; Jason Mitchell, who murdered his father and two elderly neighbours; Robert Mochrie, who bludgeoned his wife and children to death in Barry in 2000.