Real Crime

Wednesday 2 MAY 9.30pm,

The tiny British Pacific island of Pitcairn – population 47 – became notorious in 2004 when reports of child sex abuse on the island sent shock waves around the world. For the first time, the people of Pitcairn the accused and the victims – tell their extraordinary story.

Real Crime: Myra Hindley: The Prison Years
Wednesday 25 April, 9.30pm

November 16, 2002: the body of Britain’s most notorious child killer, Myra Hindley, was taken to Cambridge Crematorium. Hindley spent the last 36 years of her life behind bars, far longer than any other murderer considered sane, and far longer than any other female prisoner.

In the docks at her sentencing, she appeared to possess a cold and arrogant attitude, which allowed the press and public to brand her a monster and it was an image that stuck. But who was the real Myra Hindley – was she really evil and why does she still fascinate people worldwide?
‘Real Crime: Myra Hindley – The Prison Years’ (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE) sees several former inmates – previously too afraid to speak out – reveal Hindley’s audacious jail-break attempt, what motivated her to kill and her bizarre marriage to an Ian Brady lookalike.

Fellow inmate Nikki Blake says Hindley wasn’t treated as a normal prisoner: “She was a special prisoner – a ‘celeb con’. So she had special perks.”

“Joanna”, an ex-inmate whose identity remains hidden, says the prison officers were on Hindley’s side. “She was treated totally different to any other prisoner that I’ve ever seen before. They used to cut her hair, they used to have conversations with her, and bearing in mind, she is a killer. It was an insult to those children and the families to see the way that she was living.”

But before Hindley confessed, some people believed she had received harsh treatment from the courts and should be free. Prison visitor Sarah Trevelyan was one of a number of high-profile supporters, including Lord Longford, who began a public and controversial campaign for her release. Trevelyan says, at that time, she believed what Hindley said was the truth – subsequently she discovered there was a lot that Hindley didn’t tell.

When Hindley finally admitted to her involvement in the murders, Trevelyan felt sick and confused. “I had this very good relationship with Myra, really, and I am very fond of her and truly supported her through all the years and had done a lot of work on this campaign for her to try and see that she would have a chance of being released. When this came to light I was just gutted…”

‘Real Crime: Myra Hindley – The Prison Years’ shows even after her death, the myth of Myra Hindley continues to haunt people. She lied and then confessed to her sins; she charmed and then betrayed her friends; and the question of her guilt and her remorse still lies in the balance.

Trevelyan says if capital punishment was still around Hindley and Brady would have been hanged: “The story would have ended there. But, because she was kept alive for all of these years, the questions have never gone away.”

Wednesday 25 April 9.30pm,

A documentary in which several former inmates – previously too afraid to speak out – reveal what happened in the secret circle that surrounded Myra Hindley, Britain’s most notorious child-killer.

Real Crime: Jack The Ripper – First Serial Killer
Wednesday 18 April, 9.30pm

Jack The Ripper’s reign of terror remains one of history’s greatest mysteries. No-one was ever charged with the Whitechapel murders of 1888. In the intervening decades, more than 200 people have been named as suspects, yet none of them fits the bill.

‘Real Crime: Jack The Ripper – First Serial Killer’ sees Scotland Yard’s Laura Richards and a team of experts, with the benefits of modern criminology and psychological analysis, use 21st-century techniques to understand the 19th-century killer (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).
‘Jack The Ripper’ was the first modern serial killer; the investigation was the first be conducted under a media spotlight, which sensationalised the murders and put pressure on the police. Laura Richards is a behavioural psychologist, working with the Violent Crime Command at London’s Scotland Yard. With the experience of a decade studying the most dangerous, hard-to-catch criminals – serial rapists and killers – Richards agreed to re-examine the facts of ‘Jack The Ripper’s case.

“There are many features that really grip me about this particular case, not only the fact it happened in London. It’s my home force, it’s where I work and I think the vulnerability of the victims, you know the way they lived, the sadness of their lives, the way it began and the way that it also ended.”

In reinvestigating the case, Richards sifts through details of the victims’ lives to understand how they came to be targeted: “The more you know about how someone lived, the more you know about how they died.” She decodes the injuries left on their bodies to discover what drove the Ripper, and builds a picture of a man who was perfectly sane, frighteningly normal, and yet capable of extraordinary cruelty.

Richards can name the street where the killer probably lived, show an e-fit of his face and can explain, finally, why this killer eluded justice. “He’s someone who’s been totally overlooked by very virtue of the fact that he’s so ordinary and so mundane and I think that’s the whole point. He committed an extraordinary set of offences, but he’s probably quite an ordinary guy.”

She believes if the original investigators had modern police tools: DNA testing, CCTV, fingerprinting, geographical profiling and e-fit imaging – ‘Jack the Ripper’ would have found it a lot harder to evade capture.

The ‘Real Crime’ documentary, ‘Jack The Ripper – The First Serial Killer’ sees Richards uncover results that bring her closer than anyone has ever been to understanding and unmasking the Ripper. The results completely change past understanding and dispel the many myths that have grown up around the case.

Wednesday 18 April 9.30pm, TV ONE

Jack The Ripper’s reign of terror remains one of history’s greatest mysteries. With the benefits of modern criminology, psychological analysis and a team of experts, Scotland Yard’s Laura Richards uses 21st century techniques to understand a 19th-century killer.

Wednesday 11 April 9.30PM, TV ONE

An investigation into how the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI remain at the heart of a continuing international policy to cover-up the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.

Real Crime: The Iceman Confesses: Secrets Of A Mafia Hitman
Wednesday 21 March, 9.30pm

In 1991, Richard Kuklinski, a Mafia contract killer who has freely admitted to killing more than 100 people in cold blood, was interviewed in Trenton Maximum Security Prison for an ‘America Undercover’ special.

‘Real Crime: The Iceman Confesses: Secrets Of A Mafia Hitman’ returns to the prison nearly 10 years later for a new interview with the notorious “Iceman”, who continues to serve a multiple life sentence with no hope of being freed (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).
Sitting in a stark interview room, Kuklinski coolly adds to his gruesome list of confessed murders with several more descriptions, many of which are told here for the first time. This documentary includes home-movie footage, photo stills, and dramatic re-enactments.

His chilling “impersonal” nature comes from his dad, Kuklinski says, adding that it was easier to kill people if they were loudmouths like his father. He also admits he hated his dad and probably would have killed him if he had the chance.

Kuklinski’s Mafia killing roots were planted when Roy deMeo and another mobster “auditioned” him by telling him to gun down a stranger who was walking his dog. Kuklinski did, and soon became one of deMeo’s favourite “enforcers”. The hitman insists work for the mob was strictly business, and he didn’t mix it with his family, who never had a clue that he was a killer.

As his career evolved, Kuklinski was always looking for new ways to get away with murder. He killed by gun, by knife, by Molotov cocktail, by cyanide — and by other unorthodox weapons.

He also had no qualms about killing his friends. In the early ’80s, under increased heat from the Feds, deMeo appeared to be ready to turn against the Mafia. Having pointed a gun in Kuklinski’s face several times and threatened to shoot him, deMeo was himself found dead in the trunk of a car in 1983. Over the next three years, with a task force bearing down on him, Kuklinski tried to eliminate any friend he didn’t trust. In 1986, he was betrayed by “the only man I didn’t kill”. His brother Joey, who raped and killed a 12-year-old girl over 25 years ago, lives in the same prison as his brother, but the two rarely talk.

Kuklinski believes he no longer feels an urge to kill. If he was miraculously freed, he would retire in peace and find a quiet place to think, he says. ‘Real Crime: The Iceman Confesses: Confessions Of A Mafia Hitman’ concludes that the files on the Iceman will never be closed as long as the number and identities of the people he killed remain unknown.

Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire
Wednesday 28 March, 9.25pm

In March 2006, Dyersburg, Tennessee, was put on alert after two children were apparently kidnapped by their live-in nanny. When the police caught up with Erika Sadowski a few hours later, they were stunned to discover that ‘she’ was actually a ‘he’.

‘Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire’ shows the story that shocked America and divided a community (tonight at 9.25pm on TV ONE). Sarah Garner and Robert Smith had employed Sadowski as their live-in nanny for five years when the event occurred and they had no idea she was a he.
They were not the first Dyersburg family Sadowski had nannied for: David Burgess had employed her for to take care of his daughter Tiffany for six years and it was he who recommended Sadowski. Burgess says, “she was a great person, she treated my daughter great and my daughter loved her”.

When the alleged kidnapping occurred and it was discovered that Erika was once Edward Sadowski – a man who spent 20 years in military service in the Air Force, had married twice and had four kids – the case captured the town’s imagination and sent ripples throughout the community.

Edward retired from the Air Force in 1987 on a pension, started taking hormone therapy and started a new life as a nanny. When Erika came out to her family as a woman, the family disowned her and from that day on she kept her true gender a secret.

Why Sadowski took the children for 15 hours is still unclear. While Garner and Smith maintain their children were kidnapped, Sadowski made a statement to police that saw her charges reduced and bail dropped by 90 per cent, from US$100,000 to $1,000. What she said to the police remains confidential.

“Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire’ talks with the families who employed Sadowski but who remained oblivious to her secret, and pieces together the events of the night in question. Featuring an exclusive interview with Sadowski herself “Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire’ is a true tale of life imitating art.