Real Crime

9:30pm Wednesday, October 14 on TV One

When most people think of a killer, they think of a stranger. Yet the truth is, the most common killer is a loved one, and the most common murder scene is the family home. Real Crime: Killer In The Family sees host Laura Richards explore some of the most shocking and puzzling family murders of recent years (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

Richards is a criminal behavioural psychologist working on the cutting edge of murder prevention. It’s her passionate belief that many murders can be prevented, and it’s a belief backed-up with hard statistics. Richards says her mission is to uncover the early warning signs of killers, and help prevent future tragedies.

“Specifically, I want to look at family murders – because though we often associate murder with strangers, the most commonplace to be killed is the family home, and the most common killer is a loved one.”

Each episode sees Richards profile a different type of family killer. She gets access to surviving family members – the people closest to both victim and murderer – and speaks to the police charged with investigating these hideous crimes.

Richards says the so-called ‘family wipe-out’, is perhaps the most chilling type of murder, and episode one shows the story of ‘The Family Annihilator’. In July 2000, mild-mannered family man Philip Austin killed his wife Claire at their suburban home in Northampton.

He battered her with a mallet, stabbed her with two kitchen knives, and then strangled her with her own bra. Later that day Austin killed the family dogs, drugged his two children, then strangled both Jade (7) and Kieren (9) in their beds. Laura Richards talks to members of Claire and Philip’s families, and the police who tried to get to the bottom of this case. She finds out what causes a so-called family wipe-out and why Austin’s family didn’t see it coming.

However, Richards says if they had known the signs, they would have been aware. “Men who carry out family wipe-outs are typically remote and socially awkward, and Austin fitted the bill from the start.”

“I’ve learned from experience that appearances can be deceptive. There are always warning signs and Austin displayed many of them.”

To discover what signs Phillip Austin displayed, be watching Real Life: Killer In The Family, tonight at 9.30pm.

9:30pm Wednesday, October 7 on TV One

Real Crime: Angel Of Death shows the story of Scottish-born nurse Colin Norris, who murdered four elderly patients in a Leeds hospital in 2002, by injecting them with lethal amounts of insulin (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

The so-called ‘Angel of Death’ was imprisoned for the murders of four elderly patients in his care at Leeds General Infirmary. Suspicions were raised when Norris predicted the time of death of one elderly patient, which led police to investigate more than 70 other deaths at Leeds hospitals.

Leeds General Infirmary is part of the biggest teaching hospital in Europe. Norris worked on Ward 36, a general orthopaedic ward that sees hundreds of people treated for broken bones every year.

One of the patients killed was 86-year-old Ethel Hall. A typical patient, Mrs Hall was rushed to surgery after falling and breaking her hip. Five days later, on the road to recovery, she suddenly went into a coma. Doctors were baffled and ordered a blood test, only to discover her blood sugar – or glucose – level was so low that her brain had shut down. This might be expected in a diabetic patient whose body can’t control blood sugar. But Ethel Hall didn’t suffer from diabetes.

Investigations by the hospital concluded that Ethel Hall was deliberately attacked while in her hospital bed. The police were called in, and when Mrs Hall died a few days later, their investigation became one of murder.

Further investigation quickly established that Ethel Hall’s death was part of a pattern. In the previous six months, two other patients had died unexpectedly after developing similar symptoms. However, as both were elderly, and suffering from a number of illnesses, neither death had caused concern at the time.

Police suspicion quickly fell on the staff who’d been caring for Hall that night. One person in particular stood out – but nurse Colin Norris had an answer for everything.

Norris admitted he was the last to see Ethel Hall before she went into a coma, and admitted being the last person to go into the fridge where the insulin was kept. He explained he had been on the scene all night, as he had been at work since 8.45pm: “I was doing my job.”

When questioned about the other two deaths that occurred while he was on duty, Norris claimed to have been ‘unlucky’. “The fact that I’m a nurse and I was in a hospital and someone died – that’s the only thing that you’ve got? I’m not going to admit to anything that I’ve not done, and I never murdered anybody. I didn’t inject anybody with anything. And I don’t think these facts are good enough, I’m sorry.”

Finding evidence to convict Norris was difficult – it took more than five years before he was found guilty of the four murders, and the attempted murder of another.

Real Crime: Angel Of Death shows exclusive access to West Yorkshire Police’s three year investigation, including taped interviews with Norris; the key witnesses who helped convict him tell their story; and sees former colleagues and the relatives of his victims.

9:30pm Sunday, October 4 on TV One

Father of five, Mohammed Riaz, killed his wife and four daughters, as well as himself, in a house fire in Accrington, Lancashire. His only son escaped because he was in hospital in the final stages of terminal cancer.

Tonight, on Real Crime: Killer In The Family (at 9.30pm on TV ONE), criminal behavioural psychologist Laura Richards takes a look at the case of this ‘Firestarter’, and his reasons for killing his family. When most people think of a killer, they think of a stranger. Yet the truth is, the most common killer is a loved one, and the most common murder scene is the family home.

When Caneze Khanan and Mohammed Riaz first got married, Riaz looked like good husband material. Although he was from a very different background, he seemed open minded. Over the 14 years they were married, the couple had five children together, four girls and a son and Riaz appeared loving towards all of them when they were young. But the balance of the relationship shifted when Caneze started working, says Richards.

From talking to the family, Richards says she learnt that before the fateful night, Caneze had said she wanted to leave her husband, those who knew the couple say Riaz was also becoming alienated from his children as they grew older and more independent. After Caneze’s father, died a head-on clash over culture and identity developed. But instead of confronting the problem through debate, Riaz tried to exert his control through pointed actions.

“Having profiled many of these cases, what’s very clear to me is there’s always a pattern of escalation and a continuum. What’s very clear is that abuse is also about the psychological and emotional abuse and violence suffered at the hands of perpetrators. And Riaz demonstrated all of these things in this case”, says Richards.

As Richards uncovers Riaz’s apparent disgust at his family’s western lifestyle, including his wife’s brave campaigning for women’s rights, and his children’s less than strict adherence to Islam, she discovers that the post-mortem revealed Riaz was a hypocrite – a closet alcoholic with sclerosis of the liver.

She says this case is domestic violence and honour-based violence at its extreme. “You have a man, Riaz, desperate to take control of his family and he’s getting pressure from the community to get his household in check. You’ve got his wife, Caneze, working in the community trying to empower young women, and in fact Riaz at home saying his daughters shouldn’t go to school, come out of education and shouldn’t wear western clothes.

“What’s clear is that Riaz is trying to take control of his family and he decides he’s going to kill them all and set fire to them and destroy the whole family, and this surely a sign that he has completely lost control.”

Richard’s says there were a number of warning signs and risk factors that this was going to happen – and that’s not unique to this particular case. “What I think is now crucial is that we take these lessons and we take these warning signs, and we use them to prevent future tragedies and prevent murders.”

Watch Real Crime: Killer In The Family, tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE.

9:30pm Wednesday, September 30 on TV One

On Boxing Day 2003, David Bieber murdered PC Ian Broadhurst. PC Broadhurst was the first police officer to be shot dead on the United Kingdom mainland for ten years, and his death provoked huge media coverage and a massive man hunt.

But it wasn’t just in the UK where Bieber was wanted. Half a world away in Florida he was wanted for the killing of a fellow body builder and for the attempted murder of a former girlfriend eight years earlier.

Real Crime: Killer On The Run (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE) shows the story of Bieber, who had fled the US by assuming the identity of a dead child – Nathan Wayne Coleman. For eight years he had been one of ‘America’s Most Wanted’ criminals. Now he was one of Britain’s too, and all signs were showing he was trying to escape again.

PC Neil Roper was on duty with Broadhurst when they came across Bieber. He says when the pair got to work, they were expecting a reasonably quiet bank holiday day. When they spotted a black BMW with what looked like a fake tax disc, they decided to do a routine check.

Roper says, “It was a case of talking to [the driver]. If it had of been all right the tax disc, we would have probably carried on and gone on our merry way. We got out of car and had a look at the tax disc, and Ian [Broadhurst] asked him to come and sit back in the car. He put the window down and put him behind him.”

PC Roper then radioed the control room who confirmed their suspicions that the car was stolen. Bieber told them his name was Nathan Wayne Coleman, and the constables told him they were arresting him. Feeling uncomfortable with his behaviour, Roper radioed for back-up.

The control room sent out the nearest officer available, PC James Banks, and while Roper left the vehicle to help the recovery truck take the BMW away, he left his colleague, PC Broadhurst alone inside with the increasingly anxious driver. When Roper returned to deal with the handcuffs, Bieber pulled out a gun – of the five shots fired two hit Ian Broadhurst, the second, at point blank range as he lay on the ground; Roper was shot twice in the back; and Banks once, but remarkably the bullet hit his radio, saving his life. Bieber fled, and a full scale murder hunt was underway.

Real Crime: Killer On The Run follows the hunt for David Bieber; his attempts to avoid capture; and once jailed his plans to escape.

Even now from his prison cell, escape is at the forefront of Bieber’s mind with elaborate plans that include helicopters, guns and even cosmetic surgery. He is on high security and known as one of Britain’s most dangerous prisoners.

9:30pm Wednesday, September 23 on TV One

Spring 2006, just before midnight in Wembley, North London, police are called out to investigate the death of a young Special Constable, Nisha Patel-Nasri, in what looks like an attempted burglary gone tragically wrong. However, as the investigation gets underway, it becomes clear that little about this killing is what it seems.

Real Crime: A Very Special Constable tells the inside story of the police investigation into Patel-Nasri’s death – a tale of greed, lust and the ultimate betrayal (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE). Found suffering from a single stab wound to the groin by her neighbours, Patel-Nasri was rushed to the hospital. Despite the paramedic and medical staff who’d battled to save her life, she died a few hours later, as her brother comforted her husband, telling him: “I’ll look after you.”

Her husband, Fadi, had gone out to play snooker that evening, but quickly returned to the house after getting a phone call telling him what had happened. He was found by police at the scene, understandably shocked and distraught.

Early on in the murder investigation, police found a knife missing from the block in Patel-Nasri’s kitchen, and were told there had been an attempted break in a few days before her death. More red herrings would then be thrown up – Fadi had received a threatening phone call after a business transaction went sour, and for a time this was a serious line of enquiry – but gradually the police were to get the breakthroughs they’d need.

They found the murder weapon, dumped in a drain a couple of streets from the murder scene. Focusing on this location, they then discovered CCTV footage of the getaway car, identifying it as a silver Audi A4. Shortly afterwards, police made an interesting discovery while looking at Fadi’s phone – pictures of another woman.

Initially laughing the idea off, Fadi later confessed to having an affair with a Lithuanian prostitute. Police eventually discovered Patel-Nasri’s own husband had arranged her murder in order to claim her life insurance, and begin a new life with his prostitute lover.

Real Crime: A Very Special Constable shows the inside story of the police investigation into Patel-Nasri’s murder, with exclusive interview with the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime Squad. It also hears from family and friends about the emotional impact behind the headlines of a story that shocked the United Kingdom.

9:30pm Wednesday, September 16 on TV One

Arthur Shawcross is described as a psychopath. Found guilty of killing two children and 11 prostitutes, his tales of cannibalism and mutilation have made him one of America’s most notorious serial killers.

Real Crime: Interview With A Serial Killer goes inside Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York State, to meet the killer himself, and discover how and why he killed (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

It is known that Shawcross killed his victims by asphyxiation, and gained sexual satisfaction from the attacks, but exactly what he did to his victims and why, is not clear.

In 1972, Shawcross killed two children. While he admitted to the murder of the young boy, he would not admit to killing the young girl. Plea bargaining with the police, he led them to the body of the boy and wasn’t charged with his murder. He faced a reduced charge for the killing of the young girl, and served less than 15 years of his sentence.

Just 15 months after he was released, he started killing again. When police questioned Shawcross about the prostitute killings, and discovered his earlier crimes, they were sure they had their man. Putting pressure on him to confess, Shawcross gave in. He says he confessed to the murders of the women because he got tired of the interrogation. “I just got tired of it after 14, 16 hours later. [Tired of] all that was coming at me. I just couldn’t handle it.”

Describing himself as ‘somewhat evil’, Shawcross is prepared to talk in gory detail about the death of the 11 women – murders he seems to justify in his own mind. But when asked about the brutal murder of the two children he killed earlier in his life, he refuses to talk, and when pushed, walks out.

The documentary gives viewers a glimpse of a manipulative man who has changed his story numerous times over the years. Has he exaggerated cannibalism to gain media notoriety; has he made up a history of child abuse and damaging wartime experiences to gain sympathy; or is he simply a man, even having spent more than 17 years in prison, who is unable to accept responsibility for his horrific crimes?

Shawcross says he is somewhat of a celebrity at the correctional facility. “I get letters from all over the world. I get a lot of college students, college professors, doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, all kinds of people from all walks of life.” He says he enjoys the attention, but sometimes it gets to be a hassle.

Real Crime: Interview With A Serial Killer also sees Maggie Deming speak, for the first time on television, about Shawcross, the man she only recently found out was her father. She only discovered that he was her father in 2000, but has embraced their relationship and even allows him to play grandfather to her seven kids. She explains the complex father-daughter relationship she has with her serial killer dad, and why she is the one person who can overlook his crimes.

9:30pm Wednesday, September 2 on TV One

Best-selling author Martina Cole (Dangerous Lady) immerses herself in the brutal world of girl gangs in Los Angeles and London in the Real Crime documentaries Martina Cole – Girls In Gangs. Tonight’s second documentary takes a look at girl gangs in Los Angeles (at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

Determined to find out what drives teenage girls into violence and crime, Cole draws on her own research into gang culture to gain the trust of real life gang members and reveal the depths of fear, anger and despair they face on a daily basis.

With girl gangs responsible for some of the most serious crimes in both cities, many members are themselves the victims of horrific and unrelenting violence, both from rival gangs and their own.

9:30pm Wednesday, August 26 on TV One

Best selling author Martina Cole (Dangerous Lady) immerses herself in the brutal world of girl gangs in Los Angeles and London in the Real Crime documentaries, Martina Cole – Girls In Gangs (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

Determined to find out what drives teenage girls into violence and crime, Cole draws on her own research into gang culture to gain the trust of real life gang members, and reveal the depths of fear, anger and despair they face on a daily basis.

With girl gangs responsible for some of the most serious crimes in both cities, many members are themselves the victims of horrific and unrelenting violence, both from rival gangs and their own. Tonight’s documentary takes a look at girl gangs in London.
As a crime writer, Cole is used to writing about women caught up in the criminal underworld. She says it’s a world previously dominated by male gangs, but more and more girls seem to be getting involved.

“The latest police report [in the UK] estimated 2800 organised crime gangs were active in England and Wales, but incredibly, no one seems to know how many girls are involved in these gangs. Even the Youth Justice board says little has been written about young girls in gangs.”

She adds, “In 2007, the Metropolitan Police identified that 90 per cent of gang members were male, however they pointed out that females participated in gangs in other ways. I want to find out what those other ways are.”

Cole asks, if the girls are forming gangs of their own, are they really gangs or just girls hanging out together in groups. She says as a teenager, she used to hang out with a group of girls and stand outside the off-license all night, but it wasn’t because they were going to rob them or anything like that, it was because it was the only place with a light on.

Watch Real Crime: Martina Cole – Girls In Gangs and join Cole as she delves into the world of Girls In Gangs in London, tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE.

9:30pm Wednesday, August 19 on TV One

Real Crime: America’s Deadliest Prison Gang shows the inside story of the most violent and powerful prison gang in North America: The Aryan Brotherhood (AB) (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

Run from cells in maximum security prisons across America, the AB has used intimidation and murder to corrupt and control the Federal prison system. In 2007, 23 of their leaders were flown Con Air style to the biggest mass murder trial in the history of the United States. This film asks uncomfortable questions about just how and why this gang was able to achieve such success. It stands accused of hundreds of beatings and killings, of intimidation, racketeering and drug dealing. This documentary asks questions about how and why this gang was able to achieve such success.

Helped by an array of federal forces, former American federal prosecutor Gregory Jessner spent years using every trick in the book in an obsessive quest to bring the Brotherhood down. He says, “These guys are the smartest, the toughest, the savviest, the most ruthless, inmates.”

Jessner says the AB was not a white supremacist organisation like the Aryan Nations. “It started out with a racial orientation, but they have traditionally been allied with the Mexican Mafia, and also they have had alliances even with black criminal organisations, and that’s just more about furthering the interests of the gang.”

When Jessner started investigating the Brotherhood in the early 90s, he quickly realised he was dealing with a remarkable prison group: “The AB was traditionally very selective and that set them apart from other prison gangs. They just wanted to maintain the very high quality of their membership and so, just on the face of it, these are people who would have been highly respected in prison.”

Jessner claims the Brotherhood was responsible for countless stabbings, killings, and physical assaults. He says violence was their trademark: “Prison is full of tough guys. But, you know, the people who will successfully stage a murder and sneak up behind somebody and stab them in the neck until he’s dead, there’s not that many people in prison will to do that as readily.”

In the USA, the RICO Act is designed to take down major crime syndicates like the Mafia. Jessner used it ruthlessly against those he believed were the leaders. “Rico was designed to allow you to prosecute an organisation that’s engaged in organised crime and that’s an apt description of the Aryan Brotherhood,” he says.

Award-winning director Jeremy Marre spent two years infiltrating the AB for this Real Crime documentary. Filming in maximum security prisons across America, achieving unprecedented access to the gang’s leadership – sometimes at gunpoint – and acquiring secret videos of prison killings, beatings, riots and drug running, America’s Deadliest Prison Gang shows graphic evidence of the power and ruthlessness of this dangerous secret American organisation.

9:30pm Wednesday, August 12 on TV One

On January 1, 1993, 39-year-old Colin Ireland made a New Year’s Resolution – to become a serial killer. Within a three month period he brutally murdered five gay men, four of them in just 15 days, and became known as ‘The Gay Slayer’.

Using never before broadcast footage of Ireland’s chilling confession, Real Crime: Serial Killer On Camera, sees presenter Mark Austin tell the story of a nobody who wanted to be a somebody – and thought the best way to do it was to become a serial killer (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

Preying on customers of The Coleherne pub in Fulham, London, Ireland would go to men’s homes under the premise of a sexual encounter where he would tie them up, demand pin numbers under the threat of violence, before finally killing them. An avid reader of true crime books and FBI manuals, Ireland would meticulously clean the scene to remove all traces of himself and stay overnight with the body, to avoid attracting attention.

On March 8, 1993 he visited to The Coleherne and met his first victim, Peter Walker. According to Ireland, Walker agreed to be tied up as part of a sex game. Once there, Ireland beat and killed him. “I remember after Walker, looking in the mirror, walking down the road and I thought, ‘People must see in my face that I’ve just murdered someone, they must be able to tell, they must just by looking at me.’ I remember losing my virginity and I remember that same feeling then. You’re almost buzzing,” says Ireland.

It took 24 hours before Walker’s body was discovered. The death received no publicity so, unaware the police had found the body, Ireland made an anonymous call to the Samaritans to tell them what he had done and then, contacted the Sun newspaper.

Two months later, Ireland’s taste for murder returned and he headed back to The Coleherne for his next victim. Despite the similarity between the two killings, police did not make a connection, and Ireland grew more frustrated as his craving for recognition remained unfulfilled. A week later, he returned to The Coleherne pub where he met his third victim. “It was building up,” explains Ireland, “I was on a sort of rollercoaster. I felt there was more I should be doing.”

The police again failed to link the murders. Three days later, Ireland was back at The Coleherne where he met his fourth victim, 33-year-old Andrew Collier. Collier, like Walker, was HIV positive. Until this point, the police had seen no link. But now a new team of detectives, led by Albert Patrick, were assigned to the Collier murder case. The retired detective chief superintendent recalls: “The scene was very unusual. I quickly became aware of the Peter Walker case that happened a few months before, so there was obvious concern, in my mind, that we had a potential serial killer on our hands.”

Five days after Collier’s murder, Ireland made a series of phone calls to the police who finally realised one man was responsible for the four deaths. But Ireland, eager to shock them even more, killed again. However, the police obtained CCTV footage of Ireland and his fifth victim, Emanual Spiteri, together on the night of the murder, and started piecing things together. Recognising himself on the CCTV footage, Ireland visited a solicitor, armed with an alibi. Ireland was unaware he had made one major mistake – leaving a single fingerprint on the window at Collier’s home.

“That was his only mistake. There was no other forensic evidence whatsoever apart from that one fingerprint,” says Patrick. Police had what they needed to charge Ireland with the murders of Collier and Spiteri.

Throughout two days of interviews, and for weeks on remand in prison, Ireland remained silent before suddenly finding his voice. “I wanted to create a situation that I couldn’t back out of my decision, so I deliberately talked to wardens. I said I wanted to change my plea to guilty,” Ireland says.

The day after Ireland delivered his frank and horrific confession to police, he was charged with the further three murders. Unlike other high profile serial killers, Ireland pleaded guilty to all charges. As such there was no need for a full trial and, ironically, his decision to plead guilty meant his notoriety would never match the fame, which he craved, of other multiple murders.