The Real Prime Suspect
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Jackie Malton, the inspiration behind the multi award winning drama Prime Suspect, re-examines some of the most intriguing British and American murder cases.
When a murder takes place, how do detectives find their Prime Suspect – especially when the killer is more devious, determined and disciplined than any they have ever encountered before?
Jackie will be the heart of this series allowing the audience to experience every step with her in the journey to capturing the prime suspect, gaining a conviction and providing closure to those who seek it. The grit, determination, and enquiring mind that saw her excel in her career will be on full show in this series as Jackie returns to her roots as a detective.
Using Jackie’s unparalleled list of contacts, she will get exclusive access to case files, will have credible in-depth discussions with the police, detectives and other professionals who were at the heart of each investigation. This will give the audience a perspective on each case and crime like they have never experienced in True Crime programmes before – all building up to the moment they find their REAL PRIME SUSPECT and they are brought to justice.
EPISODE 1: DONALD NEILSON, The Case of the Black Panther
In this episode, former Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police, Jackie Malton, returns to her roots to re-examine the crimes of Donald Neilson.
A carpenter turned career criminal, Neilson committed over 400 robberies and murdered three people. Terrorising his victims whilst dressed all in black earned him the moniker ‘The Black Panther’.
Neilson’s desire for wealth led to the callous abduction and murder of young heiress, Lesley Whittle, on the night of 14th January 1975. Neilson demanded a hefty ransom and issued a sinister warning to her family if they did not comply with his demands.
Despite one of the biggest police investigations in British criminal history involving multiple forces, Lesley’s body was found hanging in a drainage shaft in Bathpool Park, Staffordshire several weeks later. With Neilson on the run, fear among the public was rife until a chance encounter with police saw Neilson nicked. For his crimes, the judge issued five life sentences, ruling that the once elusive ‘Black Panther’ would die in a cage.
In a bid to unravel this twisted tale of robbery, kidnapping, and murder, Jackie travels to Staffordshire to talk to those involved in the case, from his apprehension, to the conviction.
EPISODE 2: ROBERT NAPPER: AKA The Plumstead Ripper
In this episode, former Scotland Yard detective Jackie Malton returns to re-investigate one of the most devastating series of murders in British criminal history, by the end of which two mothers and a child lost their lives and an innocent man was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
In the summer of 1992, the public had cast its gaze over Colin Stagg. Accused of the brutal murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon common, Stagg was sent to prison awaiting trial. Unbeknownst to those involved in the case against Stagg, the real perpetrator – Robert Napper – was still at large.
Undetected, Napper was free to rape dozens of women and savagely kill Samantha Bissett, before smothering and sexually assaulting her young daughter Jazmine. Their murder in South East London earned Napper the nickname The Plumstead Ripper.
Unlike Rachel Nickell’s death, the double murder of the young mother and her child did not receive the same media coverage and Jackie seeks to uncover why. As she hits the road, she also discovers how this dangerous man was caught after a complex and convoluted police investigation which saw many opportunities missed.
EPISODE 3: IDRIS ALI AND ALAN CHARLTON: AKA: The Skeleton in the Carpet
In this episode, former Scotland Yard Detective Jackie Malton travels to the Welsh capital to meet the team involved in investigating the murder of the girl who became known as the “Little Miss Nobody”. She meets officers who have never talked about the investigation before. Former Detective Jeff Norman for South Wales Police reveals how police were able to identify Karen Price with the help of experts, like world renowned forensic pathologist Professor Bernard Knight and forensic dentist Professor David Whittaker. They were able to indicate the exact age of the victim and a probable cause of death only by examining her teeth.
Jackie discovers how pioneering facial reconstruction became the key to identifying the victim. She meets Richard Neave, a former artist from Medical and Life Science Faculty at Manchester University, and a pioneer in facial reconstruction. He explains how he created a likeness in clay using a model of the victim’s skull. When this unique image was released to the media, two separate social workers came forward to identify the girl as Karen Price. A man who had lived in the basement flat at the time of her disappearance, 31-year old Alan Charlton, became the Prime Suspect. He preyed on vulnerable women: after a heated row with Karen, he killed her and dumped her body right outside the door to the garden with accomplice Idris Ali. Both were charged with murder, with Ali getting a reduced sentence on appeal.
EPISODE 4: JOSEPH KAPPEN: aka: The Saturday Night Strangler
Joseph Kappen was a bouncer and driver in Port Talbot as well as a petty crook with a violent temper. In September 1973, he picked up two 16-year-old girls – Pauline Floyd and Geraldine Hughes – hitchhiking their way home after a night out. Kappen sexually assaulted and strangled both of them, before dumping their bodies in a wooded area in Llandarcy, near Neath, South Wales. The police investigation at the time failed to find the killer.
Kappen was able to roam free but South Wales Police didn’t give up on the case. Almost thirty years later, Operation Magnum was opened to investigate cold cases. This time, the police had advances in DNA and forensic analysis on their side. To get a better picture of the trials and tribulations of the murder case that took almost three decades to solve, Jackie Malton, former Detective Chief Inspector with the Met Police, speaks to former South Wales Police detective Phil Rees and Senior Investigating Officer Paul Bethall who were involved in the Operation Magnum – the swabbing of hundreds of people in the Port Talbot area in the hunt for the killer.
Revisiting the scene of the murders and Kappen’s former residence, Jackie is able to speak to the forensic officer Dr Colin Dark whose work in advancing familial DNA techniques brought Kappen to justice. In a cruel twist of fate, Kappen had already succumbed to lung cancer and died twelve years prior to the discovery of his guilt. Nevertheless, police conducted a controversial exhumation of his body – the first in the UK criminal history. The exhumation finally proved Kappen was the man police had been hunting for three decades.
Once Kappen was identified as the killer in the Llandarcy cases, police began to suspect that he could have killed another young woman, Sandra Newton, who was murdered three months before Pauline and Geraldine lost their lives. The investigators were right – the exhumation confirmed his guilt in that murder too. Even though Kappen died before anyone discovered his true nature, it did provide some closure for the girl’s families.
EPISODE 5: TIMOTHY ROBSON – AKA: The Killing of a Deaf Girl
On Friday 1st July 1988, the body of 20-year-old Suzanne Greenhill was found in her flat in Tewkesbury Walk, Newport, South Wales, by her fiancé. Profoundly deaf and living alone, Susanne’s eyes had been taped shut and she had been raped and stabbed several times in a frenzied attack. This became one of the most unique and complex cases in British criminal history and most of the team involved have never talked about the case before. In this episode, former Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police Jackie Malton travels to Newport in Wales to talk to the investigators. She meets former Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Gwent CID Mark Waters to find out how the case unfolded.
The biggest obstacle faced by the police was that most of the people they wanted to question were deaf, taking them into a world they knew nothing about. Jackie meets Operation Manager for the case Detective John Stafford, who was in charge of questioning the deaf community. The use of interpreters doubled the time interviews usually take. Jackie visits the location where Suzanne lived with investigating Detective Alyn Chown, who had found an intriguing item of evidence that became key to the case.
Early on, there was a Prime Suspect – 29-year old local man Timothy Robson who was also deaf. His name kept cropping up in statements, but an item of forensic evidence – a fingerprint found at the scene – meant he had to be discounted. For five months the case stalled and they got nowhere. Then, a new forensic team was brought in and they discovered the fingerprint was actually not what it seemed to be. This meant Mark Waters could start the case from scratch and Timothy Robson was back in the picture. Red fibers found at the murder scene were matched with fibers from a red jersey uncovered at Robson’s home. His alibi for the night of the killing was then discounted by his ex-wife and eventually, he was charged with committing the crime. It took more than three years, three trials, and an appeal before Robson’s conviction and sentence were upheld for the murder of Suzanne Greenhill. He received a life sentence.
That still left the question of why a member of the deaf community would kill one of their own – young vulnerable woman who could not even cry out for help. Jackie meets forensic psychologist Professor Mike Berry whose research revealed that deaf women are particularly vulnerable and have a high risk of being raped. Dr Julian Boon sheds light on what might have motivated Timothy Robson to rape and kill in such a cold-blooded way.
EPISODE 6: LOUISE WOODWARD: aka: The Killer in Charge
In the summer of 1996, young and full of energy 19-year-old British au-pair Louise Woodward left her home in Cheshire for the USA. in 1997, she was already known as an infamous child-killer. Revisiting this unusual and controversial case, Jackie Malton, a former Detective Chief Inspector with the Met Police, heads to the USA to investigate the story of how a young au-pair found herself at the heart of this tragic case.
By February 1997, Louise was employed by Deborah and Sunil Eappen in Newton, Massachusetts to take care of their eight-month-old child, Matthew. But tragedy struck when the toddler’s health suddenly deteriorated. He was rushed to a hospital in Boston where doctors noticed multiple injuries, including a fractured skull. All eyes fell on the British nanny when police claimed she had confessed to becoming frustrated with the child while she bathed him.
Louise claimed that she had never made such a confession, nor had she harmed Matthew while he was in her care. But her credentials and character came under scrutiny as Matthew succumbed to his injuries and died five days after being admitted to the hospital.
Jackie meets key people involved in the investigation – retired State Trooper Bob Manning who worked on the case, Dr Eli Newberger – the pediatrician who treated Matthew, and Dr Gerald Feigin – the US pathologist who conducted the post mortem. Jackie is able to learn more about the wounds and damage inflicted on Matthew from first-hand accounts. She speaks to Prosecutor Gerry Leone and learns how, after an intense trial before a US court, the young Brit was convicted of a second-degree murder and faced life behind bars. Woodward’s conviction was later reduced to involuntary manslaughter on appeal, and she was released for the time served, outraging the family’s supporters and the general public.
This became a landmark case, opening up discussions on the “shaken baby syndrome” and controversial arguments over the cause of the child’s injuries. It went on to spark an international debate that has continued ever since.
EPISODE 7 : PETER TOBIN. AKA: The Anagram Serial Killer
As a former Chief Inspector with the Met, Jackie Malton knows a thing or two about how devious criminals can be. In this episode, she revisits the case of Scottish serial killer Peter Tobin, who had a criminal record dating back to his childhood. She travels to Glasgow to meet officers, forensic scientists, and the legal team who were instrumental in putting him behind bars forever. Most have never talked about these harrowing cases before.
The true extent of Tobin’s crimes came to light after the murder of Angelika Kluk – a 23-year-old Polish student. Jackie meets retired Senior Investigating Officer of Strathclyde Police David Swindle who led that case.
Following his release from prison in 2004 for the rape and assault of two young girls in 1993, Tobin sought solace at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Glasgow. In late September 2006, using the false name of Pat McLaughlin, he was employed there as a handyman. He befriended Angelika Kluk, who also worked there as a cleaner, then raped and murdered her. He buried her body in a chamber beneath the floor near the confessional in the church. Tobin absconded and assumed another false name – James Kelly – but after a nationwide media appeal campaign he was recognised and arrested in London.
Jackie meets scientist Carol Rogers to find out how the meticulous forensic evidence secured at the church became pivotal to Tobin’s conviction. He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 21 years for Angelika Kluk’s murder.
Evidence collected during the investigation led detectives to realise that Tobin would have had other victims and thus Operation Anagram was launched. Jackie speaks to the cold case reviewing officer Robert Swanson, who built a detailed picture of Tobin’s movements and life up to the time he was imprisoned for the first time, and the girls who had gone missing during that time. While behind bars, Tobin was linked to the murders of 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol – neither had been seen since 1991. In 2007, after extensive investigations the bodies of both girls were uncovered in the garden of a house in Margate where Tobin once lived. Jackie meets forensic archaeologist Lucy Siburn to find out how evidence was collated to convict Tobin for the murder of both girls.
Speaking to prosecuting QC Dorothy Bain, Jackie is finally able to meet the people who brought justice for the victims. With three murders formally attributed to Tobin and many more unsolved cases bearing similar characteristics, he is regarded as one of the Scotland’s most prolific serial killers.
EPISODE 8: THERESA RIGGI: aka: The Family Annihilator
On 4th August 2010 in Slateford – a quiet, affluent Edinburgh suburb – emergency services were called to a home of California-born Theresa Riggi after reports of a gas explosion. What initially seemed to be a devastating tragedy, soon became something far more sinister. Travelling to Edinburgh, former Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police Jackie Malton sets out to explore rare case of filicide – when a parent murders their own children.
Jackie discovers the true horror that took place in the Slateford flat when she meets former Senior Investigating Officer Keith Hardie, retired family liaison officer Dianne Smith, and one of the first CID officers on the scene – Neil Spowart,
Jackie learns how police found the bodies of the three children: eight-year-old twins Austin and Luke and their five-year-old sister Cecilia. They were inside the home, laying side by side on the bedroom floor. Each of the children had been stabbed eight times with different knives in what appeared to be a meticulous and premeditated attack. After the killing, Theresa staged a gas explosion before throwing herself off the second-floor balcony in an attempt to take her own life. She survived the fall and it was soon revealed that what lay at the heart of this case was a tragic family drama. The mother was obsessively paranoid about her children and was going through an acrimonious divorce from her husband Pasquale Riggi. He’d been concerned about her increasingly possessive behavior and the two were locked in a bitter struggle for custody of the children.
The media leapt on the case and it was extensively reported. Riggi was charged with murder but pleaded guiltily to a charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility. In April 2011, she was found guilty of the murder of her children and ordered to serve her 16-years sentence in a secure unit. In March 2014 at the age of 50 she was found dead in her cell – supposedly from natural causes.
The murder of children by a parent is relatively rare but the shockwaves it creates are enormous. Theresa Riggi has been nicknamed the “family annihilator”, as she had planned to kill not just her children but also herself. Jackie meets with psychologist Dr Julian Boon to find out what drove her to commit such a crime and what frame of mind she would have been during that fateful day.
EPISODE 9: JOHN DUFFY and DAVID MULCAHY: aka: The Railway Killers
In this episode, former Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police Jackie Malton returns to her roots as a detective to re-examine the crimes of childhood friends – John Duffy and David Mulcahy – two of the most notorious rapists and murderers in British criminal history. What made their crimes distinctive was the fact they worked together – meticulously planning and executing crimes against women.
During the 1980s, a series of violent rapes occurred across London, all with one common factor – they were located in and around quiet railway stations. All of the women talked of two men acting together and they soon became known as “The Railway Rapists”. Then, in December 1985, Duffy and Mulcahy took their first life – the victim was 19-year-old Alison Day. This would be the catalyst to two further murders committed in 1986 – of a 15-year-old Dutch schoolgirl Maartje Tamboezer and 29-year old Anne Lock. All three women were abducted in the vicinity of a railway station, then tortured and raped before being murdered. In the days before the coordinated police resources, none of the three separate police forces investigating these crimes were aware of the link between them. But when officers from the three teams appeared on national television appealing for information on their cases, “Operation Trinity” was born to coordinate the efforts.
Jackie Malton meets key officers involved in the investigations, who have never been interviewed before, including retired Hertfordshire Detective Inspector Paul Dockley, and Chief Inspector Brian Roberts of the Metropolitan. She also interviews Psychologist David Canter to discover how the FBI-style criminal and geographical profiling were used during these investigations, for the first time in the UK history.
In November 1986, John Duffy was finally charged after a long investigation, but there was sufficient evidence to convict him for only two of the murders – Alison Day and Maartje Tamboezer. He left his accomplice’s name out of the story, meaning Mulcahy walked free. But 10 years later, while still behind bars, Duffy began talking about his crimes in great detail to a psychologist, finally naming Mulcahy as his accomplice. A new case was opened. Jackie meets retired Detective Andy Murphy who headed up “Operation Marford” to re-examine the original convictions. In 2001, using DNA evidence and Duffy’s testimony, both men were separately tried and convicted of a total of fourteen rapes and murders of all three women – Alison Day, Maartje Tamboezer, and Anne Lock.
EPISODE 10: NEIL ENTWISTLE: aka: The Deadly Family Man
Growing up in the town of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, the seemingly shy and unassuming Neil Entwistle beamed with pride when he married his university sweetheart, an American exchange student Rachel Souza, in 2003. Shortly after the birth of their daughter Lillian in 2005, the couple moved to Massachusetts in the US, settling down in the leafy town of Hopkinton. Their life seemed to be perfect – he was a computer engineer and she was a teacher. But everything descended into chaos on the morning of 21 January 2006, when the family was reported missing by Rachel’s mother.
Flying to the USA, former Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police, Jackie Malton revisits this case, speaking to Hopkinton detectives Scott Van Raaleten and John Porter who attended the crime scene. While investigating the house police made a horrible discovery – they found bodies of the mother and her child in the bedroom. Baby Lillian had been shot through the chest and Rachel in the head. Meanwhile, Neil was nowhere to be found – he had fled across the Atlantic to England.
To better understand the case, Jackie speaks to Bob Manning, retired State Trooper with the Massachusetts State Police, who was on duty the day the murders were discovered and who spoke to Entwistle over the phone when he fled to his parents’ home in England. That phone call became a crucial piece of evidence in the court case. Jackie also meets with James Connolly – a former detective and State Trooper – who was in charge of the homicide unit at the time. Entwistle became the subject of a high-profile extradition order from US attorneys, who wanted to charge him with both murders.
At the trial in Woburn, Massachusetts, Entwistle denied that he had killed his family, saying that a murder-suicide plot by his wife had left him a childless widower. But the forensic evidence told a very different story. Speaking to Prosecuting Attorney Gerry Leone, forensic scientist Deanna Miller, forensic analyst Detective Captain Mary Ritchie, and ballistics expert John Drugan, Jackie learns how the irrefutable evidence proved that the supposedly docile husband and father was in fact a cold-blooded murderer. He received a life sentence with no opportunity for parole.
Monster Films for CBS reality