BBC’s New True Crime Show Looks Into A First-Of-Its-Kind Conviction

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The stories of three unique murder investigations are thoroughly dissected in BBC Two's latest docu-series, Catching Britain’s Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us. The series will focus on the consequences of each murder case, some of which led to the transformation of police interrogation, overturned certain laws, and revolutionised forensic science. Throughout the first episode, the BBC crime series will focus on the tragic cases Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann, who were brutally murdered by Colin Pitchfork in the 1980s. But where is Colin Pitchfork now?

According to The Sun, Colin Pitchfork was jailed for life in 1988 for the rape and murder of Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann. Back in 2017, Pitchfork was spotted in Bristol whilst on day release — which he had been granted after applying for parole. Following his unsupervised public outing, the convicted killer was reportedly taken back to HM Prison Leyhill in Gloucestershire, where he is believed to be serving the remainder of his sentence.

As The Sun reports, Pitchfork's first known victim was Lynda Mann, who was viciously attacked whilst on the way to visit a friend back in 1983. Three years later, Dawn Ashworth also fell victim to the killer, and was tragically murdered as she walked home in July 1986. Following an intense murder case, Colin Pitchfork was ultimately found guilty of all accused crimes, however, the case of Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann became the catalyst of revolutionised forensic detection.


As reported by the BBC, a police investigation into the murders of Ashworth and Mann led to the wrongful conviction of Richard Buckland, who falsely confessed to carrying out one of the killings. However, following a mass screening of over 5,000 men — the likes of which has never been carried out before — Pitchfork was eventually caught out by police. At the time of the investigation, the screenings were carried out using pioneering DNA profiling, and in the months leading to his arrest, Pitchfork had managed to slip under the radar by convincing a colleague to take the DNA test for him. In September 1987, Colin pleaded guilty to both murders, and was sentenced to life in prison by a judge who described the killings as being "particularly sadistic" — and upon his conviction, Colin Pitchfork became the first person in the world to be arrested and convicted using DNA evidence, as The Sun notes.

As previously mentioned, the case of Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann is set to be explored once again, this time in the BBC's latest crime series Catching Britain’s Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us. Using archived material, the first episode of the new docu-series will look into the creation of the world's first DNA database — which in addition to the arrest and conviction of Colin Pitchfork, went onto revolutionise crime detection across the word.

Catching Britain’s Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us airs on Wednesday, October 9, at 9 p.m. on BBC Two, and you can catch-up with any missed episodes of the three-part series on the BBC iPlayer.