To Catch a Serial Killer with Trevor McDonald
How double murderer Christopher Halliwell was finally brought to justice…
Early in the morning of 19 March 2011, 22-yearold Sian O’Callaghan disappeared after a night out with friends in Swindon. Although Wiltshire Police launched an inquiry, their only lead was grainy CCTV footage.
Fortunately, it revealed a vital clue. It showed Sian walking directly into the headlights of a vehicle, which was identified as a Toyota Avensis belonging to taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, who was later arrested under suspicion of kidnap.
‘The principle question was, is Sian still alive?’ says former Det Supt Steve Fulcher, who led the inquiry. ‘All I could do was plead with him for her life.’
Steve talks about the case in a documentary this week, in which Trevor McDonald finds out how Halliwell was brought to justice.
Halliwell drove officers to a remote road near Uffington, in
Oxfordshire, where they found Sian’s body. In a bizarre twist, he then led them to the spot where he’d buried a second victim – 20-year-old Becky Godden, who’d gone missing in 2003.
Despite his graveside confession, Halliwell refused to cooperate and it became the police’s word against his. But in 2012, he was found guilty of Sian’s murder, and then of Becky’s in 2016,
after soil samples that were found on a spade placed him in the field where she was found.
Because Steve had breached police rules by not cautioning Halliwell or offering him access to a solicitor, in 2014 he was found guilty of gross misconduct. But he insists that what he did was right.
‘I’ve brought two daughters back to their mothers and prevented other victims,’ he says. ‘But for my course of action, Halliwell would still be walking the streets.’
On the case… Steve FulcherTerrifying… Halliwell (left) targeted Sian onher way home