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What's coming up in 'Bubble & Squeak Murder: The Killing of David Jackson'

Police bodycam footage from Penny Jackson's arrest
Image: Still image from police bodycam footage showing Penny Jackson's arrest | The Bubble & Squeak Murder: The Killing of David Jackson

Bubble & Squeak Murder: The Killing of David Jackson tells the story of a shocking case that began with a simple birthday celebration in a sleepy coastal town. This new documentary examines how 66-year-old Penny Jackson murdered her husband, David Jackson, by stabbing him multiple times with a paring knife. What initially looked like a crime with a clear-cut solution, quickly turned into one with dark and disturbing secrets lying beneath the surface.

The show premieres on Crime + Investigation on Monday, 13th February and will be available to stream on Crime + Investigation Play from Tuesday, 14th February. Here are five key talking points from the opening episode.

1. Penny Jackson’s shocking quotes

Perhaps the most memorable part of this case was the distinct lack of remorse Penny Jackson showed immediately after murdering her husband. During the trial, audio from the 999 call (which she made herself) and police bodycam footage from the arrest were broadcast around the world. Viewers were surprised to see the housewife so calm. She was happy to be arrested and go to prison for her actions, uttering many memorable and chilling quotes during the proceedings.

Some of these quotes include her telling the 999 operator that David ‘is bleeding to death in the kitchen with any luck’ and explaining to a police officer: ‘I know what I’ve done and I know why I’ve done it, and if I haven’t done it properly I’m really annoyed.’ When another officer urgently explained that they needed to start performing CPR, Penny appeared annoyed that people were trying to help David and responded: ‘No, no, no. Please don’t. I should’ve stabbed him a bit more.’

DCI Paul Settle, a retired member of the Met Police, explains on the show that in his 30 years of policing, he had never seen an arrest or a case like this one. Penny claimed that the reason for her actions is that David was ‘a vicious bully’ and that she had ‘just had enough’.

2. Berrow is not a traditional setting for a murder

David Jackson was a 78-year-old ex-army officer and appeared to be happily enjoying his retirement with his wife in Berrow, a picturesque community in Somerset. It is a rural village, with rows upon rows of beautifully kept houses that are popular with tourists and retirees. Residents take great pride in their homes and Berrow was not known for knife crime or its crime rate in general. However, that all changed on the night before Valentine’s Day in 2021.

3. Did COVID-19 lockdowns contribute to the murder?

The Bubble & Squeak Murder took place almost a full year after the first COVID-19 lockdowns were put in place. Reports of domestic abuse increased during the pandemic’s strictest lockdowns as people were forced to spend a huge amount of time together.

Both Penny and David were shielding which meant that, outside of weekly Zoom calls with their friends, most of their human interaction was just with each other. They were in a pressure cooker from which there was no escape. Every disagreement would have been heightened by the situation. Penny claims that the couple had a row about her decision to serve bubble and squeak with her gourmet birthday meal, an argument that escalated and ultimately ended with David’s death.

4. Penny alleges she was a victim of coercive control

Penny openly admitted to the murder, something that would typically result in the killer going straight to prison without a trial. However, she claimed that she was a victim of coercive control and that David subjected her to an endless cycle of abuse. It was apparently the argument during her birthday celebration that led to her taking drastic action. Her allegations meant the case had to go to trial. Penny attempted to defend herself with a ruling of diminished responsibility or loss of control.

The police found a hastily written confession note that detailed why Penny felt she had to end David’s life. The fact that the note was written before the murder harmed her defence because it meant the stabbing was a pre-meditated action. Furthermore, numerous witnesses claimed that it was Penny who was the abusive party in the relationship.

5. Testimony from experts and people close to the case

Bubble & Squeak Murder: The Killing of David Jackson features testimony from numerous experts who discuss the complicated context surrounding the case. This includes Caron Bell, a television correspondent who was one of the first journalists to arrive on the scene, and Dr Soham Das, a forensic psychologist who is particularly interested in how Penny’s state of mind contributed to her actions.

The show also includes exclusive interviews with David’s sister, Veronica and Malcolm, Penny and David’s best friends who were due to have weekly Zoom catch-up on the night of the murder. Finally, episode two showcases an interview with David’s estranged brother, Alan, who completely believes Penny’s side of the story.

Bubble & Squeak Murder: The Killing of David Jackson premieres on Crime + Investigation on Monday, 13th February and will be available to stream on Crime + Investigation Play from Tuesday, 14th February.