Jeremy Bamber’s slip on live TV convinced detectives he was guilty

For a month, Jeremy Bamber convinced senior detectives that his vulnerable sister, Sheila, had carried out the massacre of his entire family.

Police believed his story that his father, Nevill, had called him from White House Farm and told him that the mum-of-two was "going beserk" with a gun.

After all, Bamber himself was the person who called officers to report something wrong at the farm.

Sheila had suffered from a well-documented battle with serious mental health problems and was taking strong medication.

And it appeared after she had gunned down her father, mother and two young sons, she turned the gun on herself and took her own life.

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Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas 'Taff' Jones, believed Bamber's version of events without question.

One officer who was at the crime scene on the night of the brutal murders said: "Because Taff had made up his mind, it ceased to be a crime scene.

"Ordinarily, it would have been taped off, but too many boots had been in already."

Nevill had been shot eight times and was found downstairs.

Bamber's mother and sister had been gunned down in his parents bedroom, while his two young nephews, Nicholas and Daniel, were shot in their beds.

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But some of the team working on the case were not so convinced by Bamber's version of events.

One of them was Detective Sergeant Stan Jones, who  had his suspicions about Bamber as soon as he met him.

He told his superior officer: "We're not happy with this bloke, his demeanour, his answers to our questions – this ain't a bloke grieving.

"This is an oddball, a guy who is not all he seems."

His boss, Detective Inspector Robert Jones took these concerns seriously and phoned Taff to tell him about his team's suspicions.

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But the leading officer wouldn't listen and firmly believed Sheila was the one responsible.

Det Sgt Jones was determined he wouldn't be ignored and listed his concerns, which included Bamber's strange behaviour since the murders, the phone call he made to his girlfriend on the night of the deaths and the fact no one in the family believed Sheila could have killed her mum, dad and sons.

Once again, these were all ignored – but the suspcions didn't go away.

Det Sgt Jones was alone in thinking there was something off with Bamber. His concerns were shared by his colleague, Det Con Micky Barlow and Det Insp Robert Miller.

Then, on the day Bamber buried his entire family, he made a slip which convinced the officers who had doubts that he was guilty and had been the one to butcher his closest relatives.

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Bamber, who had even set his video recorder to tape the funeral on the evening news, could be heard sobbing as he left the church on television.

Det Insp Miller knew immediately something was very wrong.

He said: "I turned to Micky Barlow and said 'this bloke's acting. Sure enough, I got a call from Jeremy's teacher shortly afterwards."

Bamber's former housemaster contacted police and told Det Insp Miller: "It seemed to me that Bamber was acting.

"My wife, who was watching the television with me, also made comments about it."

By now, the suspicions about Bamber were increasing.

So when his girlfriend, Julie Mugford, came forward weeks after the killings to drastically change her statement and implicate her boyfriend, police knew they had their man.

Bamber was arrested and charged. The following year he was convicted of all five murders and told he would be spending the rest of his life behind bars.

  • White House Farm is on ITV tonight at 9pm.

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