DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
ALIBI, schmalibi. Charles Wickenham is the killer. DCI James Langton knows it, Jane – Commander Jane Leigh – knows it, you know it.
I know it, despite having missed the previous two episodes of this show and being, at this point, at the one minute forty-one second mark of the third. Something about the haughty waywickenham started audibly dialling his phone when Langton (Ciaran Hinds) asks him for his fingerprints and his ex-wife’s details.
All the details he needs, as it happens, are in a dossier that Jane hands him when she’s in bed with Langton later. Bit unethical, Jane says, as she wraps up the massage she’s giving him.
Of course Charles Wicken- ham’s got an alibi. If I’m dissecting two women in a way that’s going to attract media attention – mainly because I write letters to a newspaper alerting them – am I going to not have an alibi in place? Hardly.
Charles Wickenham’s a doctor. Have you noticed? It’s always a doctor when the murder’s been especially hectic. I don’t really know why,
Investigator: Hinds and team. because I don’t know that it requires any great medical knowledge to cut a body in half, drain it and torture it.
The killer here is inspired by the Black Dahlia murder of Elizabeth Short that took place in Los Angeles in the ’ 40s. You’ve maybe read James Ellroy’s book about it. Great story in his hands. Much better than this rip-off, based on Lynda La Plante’s novel.
As the cops start to dig into Wickenham’s life, things become cloudier. Sure, he’s a vile bully on a grand scale. But his children – Justine, Emily and Edward – have issues of their own aplenty. Luckily the staff hate him. Plus they’re gossips. Above Suspicion: The Red Dahlia Channel 7, 9.30pm