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The Disappearance Of Shannon Matthews: Viewers Have 'Shivers' After 'Heartbreaking' Channel 5 Documentary

The Disappearance Of Shannon Matthews: Viewers Have 'Shivers' After 'Heartbreaking' Channel 5 Documentary

Heartbroken viewers of Channel 5's new Shannon Matthews documentary, The Disappearance Of Shannon Matthews, say it left them with "shivers".

Shannon's disappearance in March 2008 sent shockwaves through Britain, and triggered a massive £3.2million search to find her.

The nine-year-old was reported missing after last being seen at a swimming lesson in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, but was discovered just short of a month later after in the bed base of a flat, after being hidden by her mother, Karen, and Michael Donovan.

The documentary reflected on the desperate search for Shannon, and the jaw-dropping conclusion.

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Karen Matthews was responsible for kidnapping her daughter (Credit: PA)
Karen Matthews was responsible for kidnapping her daughter (Credit: PA)

And viewers said that seeing the events playing out again was truly gut-wrenching.

"Watching The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews and it seeing she was born on the same day as me has sent shivers through me," one viewer wrote. "There are some sick a**holes in this world."

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"I often wonder how Shannon and her siblings are coping now...wherever they are, I wish them all well. So sad...#ShannonMatthews,' another wrote.

As a third pondered: "The most heartbreaking thing is #ShannonMatthews was the one her mother targeted, because of her age, under ten, placid, timid and the quiet one of the family.

"So she wouldn't fight back or try to run away out of fear it's so heartbreaking what she went through".

Karen Matthews and Donovan - her partner's uncle - decided to kidnap Shannon so that they could cash-in on the publicity her disappearance brought, in the wake of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

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Shannon was found hidden in a bed (Credit: Police Handout)
Shannon was found hidden in a bed (Credit: Police Handout)

They had also hoped to work together to profit from the £50,000 reward on offer for her retrieval, by eventually releasing her and taking credit for 'discovering' her.

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However, police found the little girl hidden in the base of a divan bed after neighbours alerted them to "little footsteps". She had been drugged and tethered.

Speaking in the doc, detective constables Nick Townsend, 61, and Paul Kettlewell, 68, said that they had "bonded like brothers" since working together to find Shannon.

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"I was elated. I couldn't believe we'd found her and she was alive," Paul recalled. "As we went down the stairs it was like carrying my own child.

"I passed Nick on the stairs and said, 'I've got her!' I still get emotional about that moment now."

Shannon Matthews wanted to claim the money for herself (Credit: PA)
Shannon Matthews wanted to claim the money for herself (Credit: PA)

Nic concurred: "Nobody ever thought we'd see Shannon Matthews alive again, so to see her in the arms of PK...

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"It's hard to describe the emotion. You just want to cheer. I can't describe anything other than euphoric."

On December 4, 2008, mum-of-seven Karen was found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice, alongside Donovan.

Both kidnappers were sentenced to eight years behind bars at Leeds Crown Court.

You can watch The Disappearance Of Shannon Matthews on 5Star now.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: True Crime, TV News, Channel 5

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Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]