The stories of three murder investigations and their extraordinary consequences, which overturned laws, transformed police interrogation and revolutionised forensic detection, are being told in a new three-part OU / BBC collaboration.
The first episode (‘DNA’) of Catching Britain’s Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us is on BBC2 at 21:00 (BBC2 Wales at 23:15) on Wednesday 9 October. It tells of the hunt to find the killer of two teenage girls in 1980s Leicestershire which led to an extraordinary forensic breakthrough – DNA fingerprinting.
The next episode (‘Double Jeopardy’) sees a mother, shocked by the failure to convict her daughter’s killer, fight for justice by taking on the legal establishment and overturning an 800-year-old law. The final episode (‘Interrogation’) is how a 1970s miscarriage of justice, involving three teenage boys, would lead to a radical overhaul of police powers and a brand-new method of investigation.
The academic consultants for the series were Paul Catley, Head of the Law School; Dr Matthew Jones from OUBS, Director of Policing Organisation and Practice; and OU colleague Dr Zoe Walkington who is Deputy Director for Learning in the Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL).
You can investigate more about DNA, forensics and the criminal justice system via the OpenLearn website.
Pictured above, left to right: the OU’s academic consultants for the series – Paul Catley, Dr Zoe Walkington and Dr Matthew Jones.