Firecrest Films has been commissioned by The BBC to make a new series of documentary Murder Trial plus a new 10-part podcast series.

Murder Trial will return later in 2024 and focus on two new cases – the deaths of Caroline Glachan and Ean Coutts. As well as these cases for TV and BBC iPlayer, a new 10-part podcast series, Inside The Murder Trial has been commissioned. Murder Trial is a co-commission between BBC Scotland and BBC Factual while Inside The Murder Trial is a BBC Scotland and BBC Sounds co-commission. Both series are produced by Firecrest Films.

The two new cases which will feature in the TV/BBC iPlayer series will be:

Caroline Glachan – This series of Murder Trial looks at the case of Caroline Glachan, a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl whose body was discovered on the banks of the River Leven in Renton on 25 August 1996. Caroline’s death would become one of Scotland’s most high profile and heart breaking unsolved cases. Despite extensive enquiries and one arrest over the years, police failed to charge anyone for the murder.

However, in November 2023, three people – Robert O’Brien, Andrew Kelly and Donna Brand – stood trial at Glasgow’s High Court accused of murder, 27 years after Caroline’s death. The trio were accused of violently attacking the schoolgirl before pushing her into the River Leven. A fourth suspect died before she could be arrested.

Ean Coutts – This instalment of Murder Trial follows the case of 60-year-old Ean Coutts – a retired army veteran whose remains were uncovered in a disused industrial unit in Glenrothes, Fife in 2020. The horrifying discovery led the police to create a facial reconstruction image in the hope of identifying the victim. They confirmed the identity as Ean Coutts who lived alone in Kinglassie, a small village in central Fife.

Three years on, Murder Trial follows the case as 33-year-old David Barnes stands trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, accused of Ean’s murder.

Meanwhile, a new ten-part podcast series, Inside The Murder Trial, will delve deep into the case of Renee and Andrew MacRae who vanished in 1976. One of the biggest unsolved murder cases in Scottish legal history, the podcast will take listeners through the 2022 trial at Inverness High Court where 80-year-old William MacDowell stood accused of killing his former lover and her son, disposing of their bodies and concealing the murders for 45 years.

The Inside The Murder Trial podcast will be presented by journalist Jane McSorley and feature archive content and key contributors.

Filmed over several years, Murder Trial has access to the prosecution and defence teams, the police investigation and the victim’s families, taking viewers inside high-profile murder cases. .

The two new TV/iPlayer cases are the latest instalments of the award-winning series which includes Murder Trial: The Disappearance of Renee and Andrew MacRae (2023), Murder Trial: The Disappearance of Margaret Fleming (2020) and most recently, Murder Trial: The Killing of Dr Brenda Page which aired in January 2024.

The Murder Trial series is commissioned by David Harron for BBC Scotland and Emma Loach for BBC Factual. They will be executive produced by Iain Scollay and Vari Innes at Firecrest Films.

Inside the Murder Trial was commissioned by Gareth Hydes for BBC Scotland and BBC Sounds. Iain Scolley is the executive producer for Firecrest Films.

Jon Creamer

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