Once Upon a True Crime Episode 4: The Ice Cream War Murders by Douglas Skelton

Douglas Skelton
Douglas Skelton | Once Upon a True Crime

Four of Britain’s best-known crime writers turn detective in a brand-new series Once Upon a True Crime, exclusive to Crime + Investigation. Featuring Peter James, Denise Mina, Mark Billingham, and Douglas Skelton, the show investigates the real-life murders that inspired some of the acclaimed authors’ most famous novels.

In the final episode, which airs on 16th May at 9pm, Scotsman Douglas Skelton shares his inside knowledge of the notorious Ice Cream War Murders, a tense gangland turf war, which inspired his novel Blood City. Skelton revisits the gritty scenes of Glasgow’s East End in the 1980s, where rival organisations were locked in a campaign of violence and intimidation as they competed to sell goods (including drugs and stolen items) from their ice cream vans.

But what began with slashed tyres and smashed windscreens escalated into mass murder, with a horrific arson attack that killed a family of six.

On 16th April 1984, the front door of van-driver Andrew “Fat Boy” Doyle’s family home was doused in petrol and set alight. Strathclyde Police arrested several people in the aftermath, but it was Thomas Campbell and Joe Steele who were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Skelton delves into the tensions between the rival factions of 80s gangland Glasgow, the 20-year battle to prove the innocence of the two men convicted - and the unsolved case that still haunts the city.

Episode four will be available to stream on Crime+Investigation PLAY from 17th May. The first three episodes are available on the platform now.