Including To Catch a Serial Killer with Trevor Mcdonald
How the police brought double murderer Christopher Halliwell to justice
NEW DOCUMENTARY To Catch a Serial Killer Thursday, ITV HD, 9pm
ON19 MARCH 2011, 22-year-old
Sian O’callaghan disappeared after a night out with friends in Swindon. Wiltshire Police launched a missing person’s inquiry, and their only lead was grainy CCTV footage.
Fortunately, it revealed a vital clue. It showed Sian walking into the headlights of a car, which officers later identified as a Toyota Avensis belonging to taxi driver Christopher Halliwell. Hoping Sian could still be alive, detectives arrested Halliwell on suspicion of kidnap.
‘The main question was,
“Is Sian still alive?” Will you tell us where Sian is?’ says Det Supt Steve
Fulcher, who led the inquiry. ‘All I could do was plead with him for her life.’
Halliwell drove detectives to a remote road close to
Uffington in Oxfordshire where Sian’s body was later found. But, in a bizarre twist, Halliwell then led them to the spot where he’d buried another victim – 20-year-old Becky Godden, who had gone missing in 2003.
The murders are recalled in this new ITV documentary, presented by Sir Trevor Mcdonald, which features reconstructions and talks to the victims’ relatives.
It turned out to be far from an open-and-shut case. Halliwell refused to co-operate at the station and it became the police’s word against his. In 2012, he was found guilty of Sian’s murder and later, in 2016, of Becky’s murder after soil samples were found on a spade that placed him in the field where her remains were found.
That wasn’t the end of the story, however. Because Det Supt Fulcher had breached police rules by not cautioning and charging Halliwell or offering him access to a solicitor when he led officers to Becky’s grave, he was found guilty of gross misconduct and later resigned. But he remains adamant that what he did was the right thing at the time.
‘I’ve brought two daughters back to their mothers and prevented other victims,’ he says.
‘But for my course of action, Becky would still be in that field,
Sian would never be found, and
Halliwell would still be on the streets.’
SIR TREVOR MCDONALD MURDERED SIAN O’CALLAGHAN KILLER CHRISTOPHER HALLIWELLFIRST VICTIM BECKY GODDEN