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Grisly New BBC Series Will Follow Durham Killings

Grisly New BBC Series Will Follow Durham Killings

Murder Mystery and My Family returns to BBC One this week and it's set to explore a fresh batch of mysterious murders occurring in County Durham.

Series 4 - beginning at 10am on Monday - will again see top criminal barristers Jeremy Dein and Sasha Wass reinvestigate historical murders on behalf of family members of the convicted.

The programme sees historic cases reinvestigated (Credit: BBC)
The programme sees historic cases reinvestigated (Credit: BBC)

The barristers reopen old cases, presenting new evidence to a judge for assessment. This time, Sunderland university PhD graduate Dr Patrick Low, who specialises in 18th and 19th-century murders, will also be adding his expertise.

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This series will include the case of a young soldier John Stephenson Bainbridge, who was convicted of murdering 75-year-old solicitor's clerk and family friend and Edward Frederick Herdman in County Durham in 1934.

Bainbridge protested his innocence until the moment he was executed at Durham Prison in May 1935.


The case attracted a media circus, with particular interest from self-made millionaire Violet van der Elst, who happened to be a campaigner for the abolition of Capital Punishment.

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"This was a particularly interesting case and famous because of Violet's involvement, whose life work was campaigning against the death penalty," says Dr Low.

"The execution attracted protests and Violet addressed the crowds with a megaphone."

(Credit: BBC)
(Credit: BBC)

The series will also see Sasha and Jeremy reexamine a case from 1884 in which three men stood trial for the murder of policeman Sgt William Smith, who was stoned to death in his home in the village of Butterknowle.

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Three men stood trail but only one - Joseph Lowson - received the death sentence.

All 10 episodes of Murder Mystery and My Family series 4 will be aired daily on BBC One over the next two weeks (with episodes split in two parts). If you miss them, you'll be able to find them on iPlayer shortly after.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: TV News, TV Entertainment, Netflix

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Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.