Advanced Television

Crime+Investigation UK unveils Once Upon a True Crime

February 15, 2022

Crime+Investigation UK has announced a new four part-series, Once Upon a True Crime, which follows some of Britain’s best-selling crime fiction writers as they turn detective to explore the enduring mysteries of the real-life murder cases which have inspired some of their most famous characters and novels.

Scheduled to premiere in spring 2022, the series features authors Denise Mina, Mark Billingham, Peter James and Douglas Skelton, as they re-visit the crime scenes of the real-life murderers and victims who have helped inspire their fiction.

For Denise Mina, it’s the Glasgow haunts of Scotland’s most notorious serial killer, Peter Manuel, on which she based her book, The Long Drop. For Peter James, it’s the tragedy of the so-called ‘Babes In The Wood’ murders in Brighton in 1986. For Mark Billingham, it’s the final, enduring mysteries of the grotesque couple Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, which helped inspire the best-seller, Their Little Secret. And for Douglas Skelton, it’s the infamous 1980s gangland turf war known as the Ice Cream Wars, which terrorised Glasgow’s East End, the background to which influenced Blood City.

The series has been ordered by Dan Korn, VP of Programming at A+E Networks UK, and Diana Carter, Commissioning Editor and Head of Talent at A+E Networks UK.

Carter said: “It’s a real pleasure to work with leading authors such as Peter, Denise, Mark and Douglas and provides a fascinating insight into how true crime inspires their own work. We can’t wait until Once Upon a True Crime hits our viewers’ screens, we’re really excited to be the home of this intriguing and innovative series as the worlds of true and fictional crime merge for what is a captivating watch.”

Mark Downie, Creative Director for IWC Media, added: “Few people understand the mind and motivations of a murderer better than a crime fiction writer, so the opportunity of immersing some of Britain’s best storytellers into the true crimes which have fascinated them most, felt irresistible. Incisive, enquiring and endlessly curious, our authors’ investigations promise fresh insights and new perspectives on the nuances and complexities of four of the UK’s most shocking crimes.”

Once Upon A True Crime promises to be an innovative, revelatory and filmic method of helping to ensure that the victims in each of these troubling cases are not forgotten and that their families’ campaigns for justice endure.

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