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ITV viewers praise 'harrowing' true crime documentary that raises domestic violence awareness

ITV viewers praise 'harrowing' true crime documentary that raises domestic violence awareness

It brings attention to three heartbreaking murders whereby the victim and perpetrator were family members

An ITV investigative true crime series is the series that you need to watch if you haven’t gotten round to it yet.

The crucial three-episode run explores a trio of horrific murders of which the victim and perpetrator are family members.

The stories explored in Murder in the Family are that of Cheryl Hooper, who was shot by her ex-husband, Andrew Hooper; Jennifer Cronin, who was burned alive by her son-in-law, Kieren Lynch; and Kelly Fitzgibbons who was shot to death along with her two children by her fiancée, Robert Needham.

Jennifer Cronin with her former son-in-law Kieren Lynch. (ITV)
Jennifer Cronin with her former son-in-law Kieren Lynch. (ITV)

In the United Kingdom, more than 100 women are killed by men each year - as highlighted by Labour MP Jess Phillips.

For the past nine years, she has read aloud a list of women killed by a man, or where a man is the principal suspect in the UK.

The Guardian reports that ‘a woman has been killed by a man every three days in the UK on average’.

This should give an insight as to why a documentary series such as Murder in The Family is so important - as it highlights women dying before their time at the hands of men and also gives them a voice after their lives were taken.

Jennifer Cronin's daughter, Susan Lynch, claimed that if the police had taken her complaints more seriously, her mum would still be alive.

Robert Needham and Kelly Fitzgibbons. (ITV)
Robert Needham and Kelly Fitzgibbons. (ITV)

According to the Daily Mail, Susan called police six times in 24 hours on one occasion, but Lynch was apparently not re-arrested.

A spokesperson for Essex Police said in the programme that on the morning of the murder, officers had changed the status of the case to medium from 'high risk' - meaning they didn't expect there to be 'imminent' physical harm.

"Medium risk cases are where there is still potential risk of serious harm but that risk might not be imminent." they continued to say.

"There had been a break-up and obviously Kieren was taking it extremely badly. It was dealt with as domestic break up and in hindsight, that was the wrong decision. It should have remained high."

Murder In The Family first aired in January 2023, but continues to affect viewers who've praised ITV for televising an unflinching look at these women’s lives and the lives of surviving family members.

Andrew Hooper and Kelly Hooper. (ITV)
Andrew Hooper and Kelly Hooper. (ITV)

One person wrote on X: “Started watching Murder In the Family on ITV X. Jesus Christ. First episode was brutal," while someone else called the show 'harrowing'.

Another person said: "Watching ‘Murder in the family’ on ITV and it’s heartbreaking and also so scary. so scared of leaving."

A fourth said: “Wow #MurderInTheFamily on ITVX was such a sobering watching, the level of cruelty those men unleashed on the women they “loved” unimaginable! the police also need to start taking stalking seriously.”

Meanwhile, a fifth said: "I just watched a series "murder in the family" on ITV.....every single case was devastating to watch, every single case was a male violence against women."

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Crime, ITV, TV And Film