It has been a busy day of news, especially for items coming out of the BBC, and it continues with the news that the corporation is to tell the story of one of the most infamous murder stories in British criminal history. The west London street Rillington Place is synonymous with the serial killer John Christie, and now the BBC has announced that it will dramatise the story in a three-part series.
The drama will, of course, tell the story of John Christie, who carried out at least eight murders – including that of his wife Ethel – in 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This exceptional case not only shocked the nation because of the nature and frequency of crimes committed but also because, before Christie was arrested, a tenant of his, Timothy Evans, had already been arrested and hanged for crime he didn’t commit. The case’s colossal repercussions helped change British society forever.
The story has already been adapted for screen (the big one) in 1971, thanks to 10 Rillington Place, starring Sir Richard Attenborough and John Hurt. This version, says the BBC, Rillington Place will focus on the true stories of murderer John Christie, his wife Ethel, and their neighbour Timothy Evans, who all lived at the infamous address. Told from each of their viewpoints, the drama explores the relationships and individual actions that led to this tragic miscarriage of justice, which contributed towards the abolition of capital punishment in Britain.
With the current trend for engrossing true crime, this could be very compelling indeed.
Rillington Place will be made by BBC Drama Production in association with Bandit Television, for BBC One. It will be directed by Craig Viveiros (And Then There Were None) and written by Ed Whitmore (He Kills Coppers) and Tracey Malone (Born To Kill).