Britain's Darkest Taboos

Episode Guide Series 6

BRITAIN'S DARKEST TABOOS SPECIAL: WHAT MAKES A MURDERER?

This special episode looks back over five years and 40 episodes of Britain’s Darkest Taboos and examines what we can learn from some of the most disturbing familial crimes in British criminal history.

In this special episode our regular experts psychologist Emma Kenny and former Detective Superintendent David Swindle are joined by award-winning Investigative Journalist Mark Williams-Thomas.

They look into the patterns and profiles that lie behind Britain’s Darkest Taboos and ask: Who is most likely to be a victim of familial crime? And What are the most common methods and motives?

Episode Number: 
1

MY SISTER: DRIVEN TO HER DEATH BY HER ‘SAFE BET’ HUSBAND

On March 24th 2014 driving test examiner Ian Walters drives his car off the M1 motorway at over 80 mph in a deliberate act, killing his wife Tracy.

Ian and Tracy married in Cyprus in what appears to be a fairytale wedding in September 2012. To the outside world, Ian and Tracy seem a normal, loving couple but behind closed doors, the marriage was troubled from the outset. Walters was demanding and controlling. And he became physically and psychologically abusive towards his wife whenever she refused his sexual advances.

In March 2014 they go on a make-or-break holiday but it ends in tragedy when Walters drives their car off the motorway at high speed. The incident is captured by motorway CCTV cameras.

Tracy’s family talk for the first time in detail about the couple's troubled marriage and their fight to get justice for Tracy.

Psychologist Emma Kenny and Former Detective Superintendent David Swindle examine how an apparently dependable and upstanding pillar of the local community commits murder and what happened in those final chilling moments leading up to the crash.

Episode Number: 
2

MY MOTHER MURDERED BY HER GOLDEN BOY SON

Ross Taggart dials 999 on the 23rd December 2014 to report his mother Carol missing. Two weeks later Carol’s body is found and her son is charged with her murder.

Ross’s sister Lorraine Bristow and step father Shaun Taggart reveal how close Ross was to his mother and and talk about how the shocking truth emerged -  that Ross Taggart murdered his mother at the family home and then buried her body under a caravan. In the days after murdering his her Ross goes clubbing and pawns his mother’s jewellery.

In a television exclusive, Carol’s family reveal how Ross was his mother’s favourite and how he slowly began isolating her from the rest of the family.

Former Detective Superintendent David Swindle and psychologist Emma Kenny examine how a son could commit such a callous act and then attempt to carry on with his life as normal. 

Episode Number: 
3

HE TRAPPED OUR SONS IN THE ATTIC, THEN SET FIRE TO THE HOUSE

On the 22nd October 2014 Darren Sykes lures his sons Jack and Paul into the attic with the promise of a new train set. He then sets fire to the house, leaving the children, and himself, no way of escaping.

Jack and Paul’s mother Claire Throssell reveals the years of torment she and the boys suffered at the hands of Darren, how his behaviour spiralled out of control and the devastating impact of his actions.

She also reveals how her oldest son Jack told fire fighters: My dad did this, and he did it deliberately.

Our experts, psychologist Emma Kenny and former Detective Superintendent David Swindle, look into how a father could commit such an act and the impact it has had on Claire’s life. Claire also reveals how her local community have helped rebuild the house and how her campaigning work has helped her.

Episode Number: 
4

MY SECRET TORMENT: I WAS ABUSED BY MY FATHER

Alissa Moore was subjected to years of horrific sexual abuse at the hands

of her father James O’Brien. The abuse started at the age of seven and throughout her childhood, she was repeatedly raped and assaulted by him.

In July, 2015, O’Brien was jailed for 24 years. Alissa’s mother Joan O’Brien was also jailed for 6 years after being found guilty of 2 counts of child cruelty.

In an incredibly brave interview, Alissa waives her right to anonymity to talk on tv for the first time about her lost childhood in chilling and sickening detail. Former Detective Superintendent David Swindle and psychologist Emma Kenny examine the horrific details of this case

Episode Number: 
5

OUR FATHER KILLED OUR MOTHER AND LEFT OUR FAMILY DIVIDED

Assia Newton is planning a fresh start after ending her violent and abusive marriage to Kelvin Newton. Then, on July 14th 2013, Kelvin Newton enters the family home and strangles his wife to death with a dog lead. 

Assia’s daughters Sameera and Charmaine reveal how losing their mother has shattered and divided the family and how, along with Assia’s sister Nadia, they are now creating a legacy in Assia’s name.

The programme reveals the full extent of the abuse endured by Assia and the catalogue of offences committed by Kelvin, including threatening police officers with an axe and attempting to set the family home on fire.

With expert analysis from former Detective Superintendent David Swindle and psychologist Emma Kenny the programme looks into the devastating effects domestic homicide has on a family.

Episode Number: 
6

MY STEPFATHER TOOK MY SISTER AS A LOVER THEN STABBED HER TO DEATH

Leanne Meecham is stabbed multiple times at her house in Southend on sea in February 2014. The killer is her stepfather and former lover Simon Meecham.

Simon was married to Leanne’s mother before embarking on the six-year relationship with his step daughter in 2007. The relationship was abusive from the outset with the Police being called on several occasions.

Leanne’s sister Carly Bush and her best friend Alex Speight tell us about their deep sense of loss and former Detective Superintendent David Swindle psychologist Emma Kenny look at Meecham's’ controlling and obsessive behaviour and what drove him to murder Leanne.

Episode Number: 
7

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