6 Documentaries About British Serial Killers, Because These True Crime Stories Are Gripping AF
After the recent release of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, it seems that intrigue surrounding all things serial killers (as morbid as it may sound) has gone into overdrive. Over the past few years, real-life murder documentaries such as Netflix's Making A Murderer have caught the attention of viewers around the world, but, more often than not, these stories focus on cases that took place in the U.S. So, if you're looking to learn more about true crime in the UK, there are plenty of thrilling documentaries about British serial killers to delve into.
Shocking real-life stories that shook the country, including the distressing case of Dr. Harold Shipman and the despicable crimes committed by husband and wife Fred and Rose West, still haunt the nation to this day. As these serial killer tales live on, a new generation no doubt find themselves brimming with intrigue — and I can't think of a better way to revisit these famous cases than an in-depth look at the murderers and their crimes, as told by the people who dealt with them first hand. Well, these British serial killer documentaries provide exactly that, and I've gone ahead and listed the very best docs out there. Enjoy.
1. 'Dark Son: The Hunt for a Serial Killer'
Dark Son: The Hunt for a Serial Killer tells the story of the biggest unsolved serial murder case in British history. This BBC programme documents the so-called "Jack the Stripper" murders, which took place in 1960s London. It is believed that, in total, "Jack the Stripper" was responsible for the murder of six women, and in this fascinating documentary, criminology professor David Wilson fronts an investigation that aims to finally identify the person behind these gruesome attacks.
Dark Son: The Hunt for a Serial Killer is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer, and will air on BBC Four on Tuesday Feb. 12 at 9 p.m.
2. 'The Pusher: Manchester's Serial Killer?'
This Channel 4 documentary tells the mysterious story of the "Manchester Pusher" — the name given to an unidentified serial killer who is believed to be responsible for the remains of 80 people that have been discovered in Manchester's canals. Greater Manchester Police have stated that there is no evidence that the suspected serial killer even exists, but some of the victims' families think otherwise.
The documentary first aired in 2016 and was last on as a repeat in 2017.
3. 'Harold Shipman: Catching Doctor Death'
Doctor Harold Shipman managed to poison and kill more than 250 of patients over the course of three decades, and the two-part UKTV documentary Harold Shipman: Catching Doctor Death gives viewers insight into one of Britain’s biggest ever murder investigations. The series consists of two episodes, both of which explain the motivations behind Shipman's killings, and offer a look back at his troubled childhood.
Harold Shipman: Catching Doctor Death is currently available to watch on UKTV Play.
4. 'Jack the Ripper: Tabloid Killer'
When it comes to serial killers, one person synonymous with the term is Jack the Ripper. By now, many of us are very familiar with his despicable killing spree, but in this documentary, viewers take a closer look into a theory that suggests that the Ripper could have been fabricated by the British tabloids in order to attract readers who couldn't get enough of his ongoing story.
Jack the Ripper: Tabloid Killer is currently available to view on Amazon Prime.
5. 'Measuring Evil: Britain's Worst Killers'
Measuring Evil: Britain's Worst Killers is a three-part documentary series that sees Professor David Wilson take a look back at some of Britain's most notorious killers. Chilling tales about serial murderers such as Peter Sutcliffe and Ian Huntley are evaluated by a team of criminologists, forensic psychologists, and police experts.
You can enjoy this terrifying yet gripping series on Sky's On Demand service.
6. 'Fred and Rose West: The Real Story'
Nearly 25 years ago, a missing person's case involving Fred and Rose West's daughter, Heather, led to one of the most shocking serial killer stories in British history. Fred and Rose were unmasked as vicious murderers after human remains were discovered in the back garden of their terraced home.
The ITV documentary Fred and Rose West: The Real Story is fronted by Sir Trevor McDonald, and was due to air on Jan. 31, 2019. However, the broadcaster recently announced a change to their schedule, and the highly-anticipated doc is expected to air at a later date on ITV. Keep your eyes peeled.