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The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It?: People Have Mixed Reactions To Court Scenes In Louise Woodward Channel 4 Documentary

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The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It?: People Have Mixed Reactions To Court Scenes In Louise Woodward Channel 4 Documentary

A true crime documentary series exploring the trial of former nanny Louise Woodward has left viewers with a mixed reaction after watching courtroom footage.

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The three-part series comes almost 25 years after eight-month old Matthew Eappen was rushed to hospital after suffering catastrophic brain injuries.

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Woodward, the 19-year-old British au pair who was looking after him at the time, was accused of the murder, by shaking.

Woodward, who was originally from Cheshire in the UK, finished her A-levels in 1996 and flew to the US for a gap year where she started working for an au pair agency in Boston.

She was hired by Doctors Sunil and Deborah Eappen in 1997, who were also parents to Matthew and Brendan.

Matthew died from a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain (Credit: Channel 4)
Matthew died from a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain (Credit: Channel 4)
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Doctors identified a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and retinal haemorrhages. Investigators and experts believed he had been the victim of shaken-baby syndrome.

Police claimed Woodward admitted to shaking Matthew and throwing him onto a pile of towels during an interview.

Woodward was arrested on 5th February 1997 for assault and battery and then murder when he passed away. 

Louise worked as an au pair in Massachusetts (Credit: PA)
Louise worked as an au pair in Massachusetts (Credit: PA)
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The trial was filmed and footage was shown during the documentary. While some viewers have called Louise 'cold' others defended her.

One person tweeted: "I thought it then and I thought it now, what an incredibly cold, cold person #louisewoodward was. No concern or regret on the death of the baby. Not a tear shed in that courtroom. Chilling.#thekillernannydidshedoit."

Another viewer replied: "She cried when she was found guilty."

A third person agreed, writing: "Yeah I thought she came across as very cold, it didn't help her."

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Louise had a lot of support in her hometown of Elton, Cheshire during the trial (Credit: PA)
Louise had a lot of support in her hometown of Elton, Cheshire during the trial (Credit: PA)

On the other hand, some viewers noted her age and lack of knowledge of the American justice system for her reactions.

"It's a shocking and completely unfamiliar situation for anyone to be in. I'll refrain from judging their looks and behaviour and just go with the evidence," said one person.

A second Twitter user wrote: "She was vilified by the media. Look beyond [their] portrayal and there’s an innocent naïve young girl."

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While a third shared: "She was a 19 year old girl, advised how to behave in court, in another country."

The documentary series has unprecedented access to both defence and prosecution lawyers from the trial, detectives, paramedics and journalists. 

(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)

The documentary will also explore the verdict which saw the judge throwing out the jury’s decision, reducing Louise’s murder conviction to involuntary manslaughter and releasing her from prison.

Louise was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years to be served in October 1997.

Her sentence was later reduced to manslaughter after the Judge reduced the conviction to involuntary manslaughter in November 1997.

Louise's sentence was reduced to time served (279 days) and she was freed.

All episodes of The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It? are available to watch on All4 now.

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4/Shutterstock

Topics: TV And Film, Channel 4, True Crime

Gregory Robinson
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