Crime + Investigation UK is launching a new four part-series, from IWC Media. Once Upon a True Crime follows some of Britain’s crime fiction writers as they turn detective to explore real-life murder cases which have inspired some of their characters and novels.

Scheduled to premiere here in Spring 2022, the series features best-selling authors Denise Mina, Mark Billingham, Peter James and Douglas Skelton, as they re-visit the crime scenes of the real-life murderers and victims who have helped inspire their fiction. These are the cases they can’t forget.

For Denise Mina, it’s the Glasgow haunts of Scotland’s most notorious serial killer, Peter Manuel, on which she based her book, The Long Drop. For Peter James, it’s the tragedy of the so-called ‘Babes In The Wood’ murders in Brighton in 1986. For Mark Billingham, it’s the final, enduring mysteries of  Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, which helped inspire the best-seller, Their Little Secret. And for Douglas Skelton, it’s the infamous 1980s gangland turf war known as the Ice Cream Wars, which terrorised Glasgow’s East End, the background which influenced Blood City.

The series has been ordered by Dan Korn, VP of Programming at A+E Networks® UK, and Diana Carter, Commissioning Editor and Head of Talent at A+E Networks UK.

View Dan Korn’s Factual Film on Televisual Watch where he discusses this series in the context of  the A+E commissioning brief in the UK.

Diana Carter said: “we’re really excited to be the home of this intriguing and innovative series as the worlds of true and fictional crime merge for what is a captivating watch.”

The twists and turns of each story will be relived through the eyes of the authors and the experts and witnesses they meet along the way. Retracing the steps of killers and victims in forensic detail, often in the company of the detectives who worked each case or the journalists who covered them, the authors will piece together what happened and why and examine new, as yet untested theories to try and resolve the unanswered questions of each case.

Mark Downie, Creative Director for IWC Media, said: “Few people understand the mind and motivations of a murderer better than a crime fiction writer, so the opportunity of immersing some of Britain’s best storytellers into the true crimes which have fascinated them most, felt irresistible.”

A+E  bills the series as “an innovative, revelatory and filmic method of helping to ensure that the victims in each of these cases are not forgotten and that their families’ campaigns for justice endure.”

The Motion Content Group is collaborating with A+E Networks and IWC on the series.

Pippa Considine

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