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Terrifying criminal avoids justice for 30 years and only served 4 years in jail - Once Upon a True Crime

Peter James in front of the old Brighton pier

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Full Episode

Brighton-born master storyteller Peter James revisits his home city where two nine-year-old girls mysteriously disappeared in October 1986 and their bodies discovered in a local park the next day. With the help from the cases' lead police investigators, James unravels how officers came to suspect Russell Bishop as the killer, who sensationally walked free after the trial. His name resurfaced three years later when eerily similar circumstances occurred to a seven-year-old girl who survived. This episode takes viewers on the gruelling 30-year fight for justice.

In 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. 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 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.