Netflix’s next true crime series is all about the life and tragic unsolved death of Jill Dando, one of Britain’s most beloved TV presenters.
In April 1999, Crimewatch presenter Jill Dando was killed by a single gunshot to the head (thought to have been fired by a lone gunman) outside her home.
Police followed a theory that the culprit was an obsessed fan. It led them to look at Barry George, who lived near Dando’s west London home. But, while he was convicted in 2001 and jailed, he was acquitted seven years later.
Now, Netflix is bringing Dando’s life – and death – to our screens in a new true crime series.
What will the Jill Dando series be about?
The as-yet-untitled show – which hails from Empress Films – promises to blend archival footage with new research and interviews to revisit Dando’s life and career, as well as her legacy to investigative journalism.
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It will, too, delve further into the details surrounding her death, which remains, even now, one of the most notorious unsolved murders of the 20th century. Indeed, it even inspired the complex Gail Vella storyline at the heart of Line Of Duty’s sixth season.
“Parts of the [Line Of Duty] plot seem to draw on the Jill Dando murder and the subsequent arrest of an ‘oddball’ with a fascination for celebrities, firearms residue found, a hitman-style killing,” tweeted former BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw at the time, noting the similarities between Vella and Dando’s deaths.
Who killed Jill Dando?
Despite police identifying over 2,000 potential suspects, the investigation into the 37-year-old’s murder remains open, and the Metropolitan police say they will investigate any new information that becomes available.
Barry George, as mentioned already, was convicted and imprisoned for the murder, but after eight years in prison, he was acquitted following an appeal and retrial.
In 2012, the Serbian ‘warlord’ Arkan was named as a suspect in the case, although he had died in 2000. And it is of course worth noting that, in 2014, a former colleague of Dando’s came forward and said she was trying to expose a VIP paedophile ring just months before her death.
Speaking to the Daily Express, they said that Dando had raised concerns to her BBC bosses about allegations of sexual abuse happening at the corporation.
“I don’t recall the names of all the stars now and don’t want to implicate anyone, but Jill said they were surprisingly big names.
“I think she was quite shocked when told about images of children and that information on how to join this horrible paedophile ring was freely available.”
In the same interview, the unnamed colleague added: “Jill said others had complained to her about sexual matters and that some female workmates also claimed they had been groped or assaulted.
“Nothing had been done and there seemed to be a policy of turning a blind eye.”
A BBC spokesman said they would always investigate any allegations of this nature, but added: “We’ve not seen anything that substantiates these claims.”
Who is behind the new Jill Dando series?
There are some true crime heavyweights behind Netflix’s Jill Dando series, which is directed by Marcus Plowright (Fred And Rose West: Reopened) and executive produced by Emma Cooper (The Mystery Of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes).
When can we watch the Jill Dando series?
We don’t have a release date for the documentary series just yet, but Netflix has it slated to air sometime later this year.
We will bring you more details as and when they become available.
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