REVIEW: Donal MacIntyre’s Murder Files provides an insight into police techniques
Renowned criminologist Donal MacIntyre is back with a new series investigating some of the country’s most horrific and hard-to-crack crimes.
The new ten-part series, Donal MacIntyre’s Murder Files, dives straight into the heart of the cases that have had police investigators scratching their heads over recent years. Using the recollections from the police involved in the investigation, the series provides a detailed and insightful depiction of how cases were solved.
The first episode in the series tells the story of London schoolgirl Jeshma Raithatha. Jeshma, a typical student three days short of her 18th birthday, went missing on May 16, 2005. Her body was found more than a week later, obscured from view near her home. She had been violently raped and murdered.
The investigation into what had happened to Jeshma was long and difficult. Her body was discovered late and she had been attacked at random by a person she did not know. This led to a race against time to discover the truth, both to provide solace to a grieving family and provide assurance that the perpetrator could not commit such a crime again.
Together with former Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Hill, who led the investigation, Donal investigates the difficulties involved in locating Jeshma’s killer and bringing him to justice. Going through the painstaking process step-by-step, the documentary familiarises the audience with police strategies and processes to find both the victim and her killer. It explains how police must learn as much about the victim as possible (termed as ‘victimology’ in the show) in order to uncover who would attack her.
Donal MacIntyre’s Murder Files succeeds in providing its audience with a detailed, behind-the-scenes look at how the police operate in unusual circumstances. For crime documentary-fans, this is a valuable insight into the system. The high stakes nature of the case at hand creates a very tense and raw episode of television.