New drama will focus on grisly Rillington Place
A new TV drama based on the multiple murders carried out at Rillington Place by Halifax-born serial killer John Reginald Halliday Christie has been commissioned by the BBC.
Rillington Place will focus on the true stories of murderer Christie, his wife Ethel, and their neighbour Timothy Evans, who all lived at the infamous address in Notting Hill, London.
Timothy Evans was sentenced to death by hanging for murdering his wife and infant daughter.
But three years after his execution, Christie was found to be a serial killer who had murdered at least eight women, including his own wife.
Before his own execution, at the hands of Albert Pierrepoint at Pentonville Prison, Christie, born in Northowram, confessed to murdering Mrs Evans and a later official inquiry found he had also murdered Evans’ daughter.
It was not until 1966 that Timothy Evans received a posthumous pardon over the murder of his daughter.
Told from each of their viewpoints, the series will explore the relationships and individual actions that led to the miscarriage of justice.
The events surrounding Rillington Place contributed towards the abolition of capital punishment in Britain in 1965.
Commissioned by Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC TV Channels and iPlayer, and Polly Hill, controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, the executive producers are Phillippa Giles for Bandit Television, part of Endemol Shine Group, and Hilary Salmon for BBC Drama Production.
It will be produced by Sharon Bloom (Silent Witness) and filming will begin at the end of March at the BBC Scotland drama studios in Dumbarton.
Phillippa Giles, managing director of Bandit, says: “This has been a passionate piece involving close relationships with the surviving family members, which we have developed over several years. It will be hugely emotional to start filming this painful story and finally bring it to screen.”
Hilary Salmon, head of BBC Drama Production England, added: “We are thrilled to be bringing this iconic story to BBC One.”
The events were turned into a film in 1971, starring Richard Attenborough, John Hurt and Judy Geeson.