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'White House Farm' True Crime Drama With Stephen Graham Starts Tonight

'White House Farm' True Crime Drama With Stephen Graham Starts Tonight

A new six-part drama based on the chilling true story of a mass murder in an Essex farmhouse lands on ITV at 9pm tonight.

The 1985 White House Farm murders saw five family members massacred, including six-year-old twin boys (Credit: ITV)
The 1985 White House Farm murders saw five family members massacred, including six-year-old twin boys (Credit: ITV)

In 1985, the White House Farm murders gripped the nation. The case involved the brutal massacre of five family members, including six-year-old twin boys.

During the early hours of the morning on August 7th 1985, police were called to White House Farm, where couple Nevill and June Bamber had been shot and killed along with their adoptive daughter, Sheila Caffell, and Sheila's six-year-old twin sons, Daniel and Nicholas Caffell.

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The investigation was waylaid by a red herring. Initially, the murderer was believed to be former model Sheila Caffell (played by Cressida Bona) who had a history of mental health problems.

Freddy Fox plays Jeremy Bamber, whose apparent devastation at the death of his family was so convincing it wrong-footed the investigation. (Credit: ITV)
Freddy Fox plays Jeremy Bamber, whose apparent devastation at the death of his family was so convincing it wrong-footed the investigation. (Credit: ITV)

It was only when Jeremy Bamber, Sheila's brother, became the focus of the investigation that a new picture began to emerge.

Freddy Fox plays Jeremy Bamber, whose apparent devastation at the death of his family was so convincing that it set the investigation on the wrong footing.

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Investigating Officer DCI Thomas 'Taff' Jones is played by Stephen Graham (This Is England, The Virtues, A Christmas Carol) who short-sightedly believes the White House Farm murders to be an open-and-shut case.

The murderer was initially believed to be former model Sheila Caffell, played by Cressida Bona (Credit: ITV)
The murderer was initially believed to be former model Sheila Caffell, played by Cressida Bona (Credit: ITV)

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The Harrowing True Story Behind New ITV Drama 'White House Farm'

But DS Stan Jones, played by Mark Addy, has an uneasy feeling about the route the investigation is taking.

Suspecting that his senior officers may be in search of an easy win, Jones slowly begins to put pressure on Bamber and unpick his account of the night in question.

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Colin Caffel, Sheila's husband and father to twins Daniel and Nicholas, worked as a consultant on Kris Mrska's screenplay, which draws on Carol Ann Lee's 2015 book The Murders at White House Farm, as well as Caffel's In Search of the Rainbow's End.

Colin Caffel, Sheila's husband and father to twins Daniel and Nicholas, worked as a consultant on Kris Mrska's screenplay (Credit: ITV)
Colin Caffel, Sheila's husband and father to twins Daniel and Nicholas, worked as a consultant on Kris Mrska's screenplay (Credit: ITV)

Reviewing the true crime drama in the Radio Times, Paul Kirkley writes, "It's as sensitive an approach as you could hope for.

"The killings - in the first of the six episodes at least - happen off-stage, and director Paul Whittington (who also helmed Little Boy Blue) keeps his camera at a discreet distance as the police discover the bodies, showing us only what's forensically important to see.

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"Elsewhere, the dust-baked, bleached yellow wheat fields of rural Essex give the episodes a certain terrible, cinematic beauty."

DS Stan Jones, played by Mark Addy, has an uneasy feeling about the route the investigation is taking. (Credit: ITV)
DS Stan Jones, played by Mark Addy, has an uneasy feeling about the route the investigation is taking. (Credit: ITV)

In summary, Kirkley adds: "If there's any solace at all to be found in the story, it's that, 35 years on, it remains as deeply shocking as ever. Maybe when we stop being morbidly fascinated by such horrors is the time we should really start to worry."

The six-part drama White House Farm starts on Wednesday 8th January at 9pm on ITV.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: TV News, TV Entertainment

Mary-Jane Wiltsher

Mary-Jane Wiltsher is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist. Elsewhere she writes for Stylist, Euronews, PHOENIX and What We Seee.