Episode 1: The Mystery of Missing Margaret Fleming - Monday 1st February at 9pm
When Derek Fleming was diagnosed with terminal cancer he feared for his vulnerable teenage daughter Margaret, who had learning difficulties. But believed he had found the perfect solution when he asked family friends Edward Cairney and Avril Jones to help care for her when he died. After his death Margaret eventually moved in with the pair in 1997.
But in 1999 Margaret vanished, last seen in December, Cairney and Jones told family she’d left with travellers. Letters arrived from Margaret sporadically over the years proving she was still alive. What the couple weren’t telling anyone was that they were still claiming Margaret’s benefits. It was only when there was a change to the benefits system that their web of lies and deceit began to untangle.
Police were called, and an investigation was launched. Police believed that they murdered 17-year-old Margaret in late 1999 and then created a tissue of lies to make it seem as if she was still alive, even travelling the country to write letters purporting to come from her.
In June 2019 Cairney and Jones were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Margaret Fleming, fraudulently claiming £182,000 in benefits and perverting the course of justice.
Episode 2: Murdered in His Bed - Monday 8th February at 9pm
In quaint, picturesque Plympton, Devon, Audrey and Eric Hingston, 81 and 83, were enjoying the twilight of their happy marriage in their cosy home. This idyllic scene was destroyed when Eric was brutally stabbed to death during a supposed burglary in 2003.
His widow, Audrey made pained TV appeals to locate the killers, and bravely managed to provide police with a perfect description of the two culprits. As the bereaved extended family were torn between sorrow at the loss of Eric, and sympathy for Audrey, police launched an investigation costing £160,000 involving 481 hours of house inquiries.
They tracked down the two men Audrey had described, but there was a problem. They both had cast iron alibis. This prompted police to review the case and they came to a shocking realisation. At the crime scene, they found the supposedly stolen jewellery hidden in bin bags, and other signs of a set up. The town was thrown into turmoil when a new arrest was made, and this time it stuck; it was Audrey.
Episode 3: The Reclusive Millionaire - Monday 15th February at 9pm
Dawid Rymar, Slawomir Bugajewski and Irene’s Millar had been hired by reclusive property millionaire William John Saunderson-Smith to renovate one of his properties. A few months after finishing the job they crept into 58-year-old William Saunderson-Smith’s bedroom and bludgeoned him to death as he slept, before making off with £2,000 in cash.
But £250,000 in cash in the attic of the property, as well as £100,000 secreted in another house owned by Saunderson-Smith, went unnoticed by the killers. Rymar, 24, and Bugajewski, 39, spent the money they had stolen on a trip to Paris, where they posed for photographs in front of the Eiffel Tower, en route to their native Poland.
37-year-old Mydlarz, flew directly back to his homeland. They had planned their raid in meticulous detail, scoping out nearby streets in a bid to avoid detection on CCTV. It took detectives nearly a year to bring them to justice and in 2012 they were all found guilty.
Episode 4: Love and Hate - Monday 22nd February at 9pm
On 31 July 2013, three days before her 30th birthday, Rwandan national Linah Keza was found dead. She had been stabbed to death by her ex-partner David Gikawa in her east London home in while their two-year-old daughter was in the flat. Days before her death Linah went to a solicitor to seek a non-molestation order.
Her statement laid out in detail how, over four years, she was harassed, stalked, coercively controlled, intimidated and abused by a David: who punched her, attempted to strangle her, suffocated her with a pillow, put a knife in her mouth and threatened to kill any man who came near her. Linah said “I believe that I will be at risk of significant harm if the respondent is not ordered to stop immediately … I am petrified … I do not want to live a life of violence anymore”.
Police officers regularly visited her home when she told them Gikawa was armed and had threatened violence. But despite all Linah’s efforts to keep him away, Gikawa managed to find a way into her flat.