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Jill Dando: The murder of the famous BBC journalist remains shrouded in mystery more than two decades later

In April 1999, BBC presenter and journalist Jill Dando was murdered by a single bullet outside her home in broad daylight.

24 years later and despite being one of the biggest and most notorious murder investigations in British history, the case remains unsolved.

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Now, a new three-part Netflix documentary will attempt to answer the question: Who murdered Jill Dando?

The exhaustive documentary series – which is based on a shorter special produced by the BBC in 2019 – casts the late presenter of shows such as Crimewatch and Holiday as the “golden girl of British television” and a “[princesa] Diana from television”; with thousands of people lining up to attend her funeral.

The documentary includes first-hand accounts from his family, friends and journalists like her BBC colleague Jennie Bond, who was left “cold with shock” as she broke the news of her colleague’s murder to viewers, as well as statements from the police chiefs who investigated the case.

“Imaginary theories”

Dando and Nick Ross on the set of Crimewatch, 1998

The documentary series also explains many of the “imaginary theories” – as Dando’s brother Nigel refers to them – that were dissected by the London Metropolitan Police to understand why “the nation’s darling” was murdered that day in Fulham, at 37 years old. .

These theories range from her death being the work of a crazed celebrity stalker or an enraged lover to a murder committed by professional hitmen from the mafia or criminal world. given his public work helping to catch criminals.

It also hears how a man of Serbian descent called the BBC claiming she had been executed in revenge for the British-backed bombing of the Serbian state channel in Belgrade.

Nigel Dando claims to have his own theory.

He claims CCTV footage shows how no one followed his sister home that day and that by this point she was spending very little time in her own home after moving in with her fiancé Alan Farthing. How could anyone know she was coming at that moment?

Dando told BBC News: “My theory, which I’ve had since before this documentary was released and even more so now that I’ve been able to see the police investigations in more detail, is that it was simply someone who was on the street that day, who may or may not have known that she lived there, that he was armed at the time, someone who might recognize her and who thought maybe he could gain his 5 minutes of notoriety by shooting her.”

“And that’s my view of what happened, as strange as it may seem to people, it’s certainly one of the theories that abound; what Jill was in the wrong place at the wrong time.“, To add.

As a journalist Bristol Night Post At the time of the murder, Nigel Dando says he had no complaints about the widespread media coverage, which was a “huge shock” for his family.

“You have a local girl who has done well, who has achieved celebrity status, a big BBC star who is shot for no apparent reason, on her doorstep, in broad daylight,” he says.

“If you take my feelings of sadness out of the equation, what a huge story it is.”

The mysterious death of his “much loved” and “generous” sister had such an impact on the British public that, for Nigel, “Jill will not be forgotten”.

A “perfect mystery”

Dando was shot in the head at close range outside his home in Fulham.  (SHOVEL).

Dando was shot in the head at close range outside his home in Fulham. (SHOVEL).

Executive producer Emma Cooper – who had previously worked with Netflix on a project about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – says it was “important” to the team “that Jill’s memory and legacy were centrally highlighted” in the documentary series.

Cooper describes it as “the perfect mystery from start to finish.”

That names beloved by the public are murdered in cold blood in English suburbs “is something that doesn’t happen”, told us. “And it’s something that hasn’t happened since.”

Statistically, most homicide victims are killed by someone who knows them.

So, as told in the documentation, Jill Dando’s partner Farthing was questioned by police, as was her ex-partner and news editor at BBC Breakfast Bob Wheaton. Also questioned was his agent Jon Roseman who, inconveniently, had written a detective novel describing a macabre scene similar to the murder.

All were discarded as suspects, as was a person who matched the appearance of the sketch made based on the testimonies of witnesses who claimed to have seen someone sweating at a bus station close to the time of the crime.

The police admit in the program that Having published the electronic sketch was a “big mistake” in the search.

When a precise motive could not be established and real evidence or the murder weapon never materialized, authorities had to go back to square one. The only non-circumstantial evidence they had was a single speck of residue left after firing a gun that matched the ammunition used in the murder.

After a year of mounting pressure on the police due to the media’s immense appetite to find the attacker who had shockingly murdered one of their own (which included a plea for information which aired on Crimewatch), The particle was used to bring charges for Dando’s murder against Barry George – an alleged gun-obsessed lone wolf..

The story of George’s arrest was almost as big as that of Dando’s death. And overnight he became the most famous – or infamous – man in the country.

Details of his past have been made public, including a conviction for attempted rape, a failed attempt as a stuntman and a series of pseudonyms he used in association with famous singers.

He told people he was Freddy Mercury’s cousin claiming his name was Barry Bulsara something that the late singer’s representatives formally denied.

The court found him guilty and he served an eight-year sentence for the crime, which he always denied committing. But In August 2008, thanks to his sister’s support, George was found innocent after a retrial in which the evidence was discarded.and his conviction was considered risky.

However, he later lost his claim for compensation due to wrongful conviction.

In the series we see what his life is like today and we hear him declare how they made him a “scapegoat” and “persecuted”.

The latest episode focuses on the battle George’s lawyer, Michael Mansfield QC, had with Chief Constable Hamish Campbell.

The lawyer vehemently insists that the accusation is untenable, that his client “was not capable of committing murder” and that it must have been a professional crime.

On the contrary, the delegate is convinced, to this day, that it was George. “There’s no mystery to it,” according to Campbell.

“Shake someone’s memory”

Barry George spent 8 years in prison on murder charges, which he always denied.  (SHOVEL).

Barry George spent 8 years in prison on murder charges, which he always denied. (SHOVEL).

Whoever killed Jill Dando got away with it.

While his brother believes it’s “highly unlikely that the police will be able to catch anyone” right now, and doesn’t believe the case will ever be reopened, he remains hopeful that information from the very detailed Netflix show will help him. “stir someone’s memory.”

“The police investigation side of the documentary is really interesting and sheds new light on the lines of investigation they pursued, as well as the magnitude of the information they were receiving,” he says.

“And then you wonder if there is something in all these details, hidden in a file. Suddenly someone has an idea of ​​what happened that day and why it happened.”.

“Or perhaps the perpetrator himself says that he has lived with this terrible secret for a long time and that it is time to go somewhere and tell someone what happened.”

“I don’t expect that to happen, but it would be the ideal outcome of this documentary.”

Who killed Jill Dando? will be available on Netflix on September 26th

Source: Elcomercio

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