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.
From IWC Media (a Banijay UK company), the makers of Robbie Coltrane’s Critical Evidence, the four-part series will relive four chilling cases that each author cannot forget.
Denise Mina guides viewers through the case of one of Scotland’s most notorious serial killers, Peter Manuel, which inspired her novel The Long Drop. Nicknamed the ‘Beast of Birkenshaw,’ Manuel was convicted for the murders of seven people and hanged at Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison for his crimes; the second to last prisoner to die at the Barlinnie gallows before the death penalty was abolished in the UK.
International best-seller, Peter James revisits the shocking, so-called Babes in the Wood murders in Brighton of 1986. The case of two young girls, Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows, who were sexually assaulted and killed became one of the largest and longest-running inquests in Sussex police history.
Mark Billingham delves into the story of two of Britain’s most infamous serial killers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley,whose killing of five children became renowned as the Moors Murders. Their twisted relationship influenced his best-seller Their Little Secret which features his award-winning, fictional Detective Tom Thorne.
Scotsman Douglas Skelton also shares his knowledge on the notorious Ice Cream Wars, a tense gangland turf war which inspired his novel Blood City. Skelton revisits the gritty scenes of 1980s Glasgow, where conflicts and corruption strained the city’s East End as rival criminal organisations competed to sell drugs and stolen goods from ice cream vans.
In each episode, the writers retrace the steps of the killers and victims, taking viewers through every twist and turn in the story. With unprecedented access to experts, witnesses and journalists that covered each case, the murders are pieced together and new, untested theories surface in attempt to resolve mysteries that remain.