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Manhunt: The real-life story behind the ITV drama

Manhunt: The real-life story behind the ITV drama
Martin Clunes in Manhunt Image copyright ITV

ITV drama Manhunt is telling the categorical-lifestyles yarn – over three nights – of how serial killer Levi Bellfield became once delivered to justice.

The policeman who pieced collectively the evidence to preserve him, Det Ch Insp Colin Sutton, is performed on display cowl by Martin Clunes.

Bellfield became once convicted of killing three young ladies in south-west London and Surrey in the early 2000s.

Here’s what took place in the case that is being dramatised on display cowl.

Who were the victims?

Image copyright Getty Images

Image caption Amelie Delagrange, left, and Marsha McDonnell

Amelie Delagrange became once a 22-year-previous French student who had been living in Twickenham for 3 months when she became once killed on 19 August 2004.

She had been working at a patisserie in Richmond and became once in the UK to additional her analysis, as she had a “passion for the English language”. She had a shut circle of mates and a boyfriend furthermore living in the UK.

Amelie, from Amiens, became once a “real student, vivid and never gave her oldsters any issues”, her mother Dominique Delagrange talked about.

The previous year, Marsha McDonnell had been murdered, on Four February.

The 19-year-previous became once on a hole year sooner than initiating college, having accomplished her A-stages, and became once planning a trail to Australia.

Marsha had been working in a present shop in Kingston, Surrey, on her year off. She became once inquisitive about tune, and a tune room at a youth’s hospice became once named after her following her execute.

Milly Dowler became once thirteen when she became once murdered in March 2002.

She became once a Year 9 pupil at Heathside College in Weybridge, Surrey, and lived in nearby Walton Park with her oldsters and sister.

Milly became once described as being a reasonably, standard and colorful youngster, with mates saying she became once “constantly attempting to manufacture americans giggle and smile”.

Image copyright Surrey Police

Image caption Milly Dowler became once somewhat, standard and colorful

What took place to the three victims?

Det Ch Insp Colin Sutton grew to alter into fascinating by the case when Amelie Delagrange became once murdered.

At the time, arrests had already been made in connection with the execute of Marsha McDonnell. The link to Milly Dowler’s loss of life had now no longer but been chanced on.

There safe been fears a serial killer became once on the free. Nonetheless it became once the investigation into Amelie’s loss of life that might possibly consequence in the jigsaw pieces coming collectively that led to Bellfield being caught.

Amelie’s physique became once chanced on on Twickenham Green where she became once attacked after a night time out with mates. Having overlooked her bus quit, she became once walking dwelling across the green.

She had been struck over the head with a hammer, as had Marsha McDonnell.

Image copyright ITV

Image caption Manhunt started with the investigation into the execute of Amelie Delagrange

Marsha had been to the cinema with mates on the night time she became once attacked, unbiased appropriate yards from her dwelling in Hampton where she lived with her oldsters, sisters and brother. She had bought off a bus and became once walking help dwelling when she became once killed.

It became once handiest when Bellfield became once convicted of the 2 ladies’s deaths in 2008 that he grew to alter into the significant suspect in the unsolved execute of Milly Dowler.

Milly had been walking dwelling from a railway position after college when she became once kidnapped. Her physique became once later chanced on 25 miles away in Yateley Heath, Hampshire. It later emerged she had been strangled.

Bellfield furthermore tried to execute Kate Sheedy, 18, in Will even 2004 by running her over twice in a car shut to her dwelling in Isleworth, west London. She survived her injuries and went on to offer evidence against Bellfield.

How became once Levi Bellfield caught?

Image copyright Metropolitan Police

Image caption CCTV of Amelie boarding a bus on the night time she became once killed

Colin Sutton says that, when he became once tasked with leading the team of detectives checking out who killed Amelie, he had to connect out of his mind the similarities with Marsha’s execute.

“It became once very vital my peep that whatever had long past on in the past, the supreme likelihood of fixing the crimes became once with the most up-to-date, with Amelie,” he talked about.

“If we bought a suspect, we might possibly return and safe a examine others and hit upon if he fitted in. It grew to alter into out moderately well.”

As Manhunt showed, CCTV performed the largest position in the case. It incorporated CCTV of Amelie Delagrange on the bus that took her to Twickenham Green, after she overlooked her quit – and photos of Marsha McDonnell on the bus dwelling.

He talked about: “All I had became once a lifeless lady in the guts of Twickenham Green. We determined what we might possibly build became once search out every portion of CCTV for miles round.”

Image copyright ITV/Getty

Image caption Martin Clunes and Colin Sutton, the man he portrays in the drama

In total, 2,000 hours of pictures were considered by detectives – and the drama exhibits how colleagues puzzled Colin Sutton’s decision to allocate so many of his workers to that laborious job.

Nonetheless as viewers seen in the first episode, a key step forward in the case came from a team reviewing CCTV taken from external cameras on passing buses. Their pictures showed a white van had arrived at the green unbiased appropriate sooner than Amelie became once killed, and stayed for eight minutes sooner than being pushed off.

Nonetheless they might possibly no longer track down the van, taking away 26,000 Ford Courier vehicles – cherish the one considered in the photography – from their inquiry.

The step forward came after a woman urged her ex-boyfriend became once a doable suspect. His name became once Levi Bellfield.

He became once a wheel clamper who owned a white van. It later emerged he furthermore owned a Toyota Previa with blacked-out dwelling windows – cherish the one that ran over Kate Sheedy. He became once arrested in November 2004, when we became once chanced on hiding in his loft.

What became once it cherish reporting on the case?

Image copyright ITV

Image caption Within the drama, Celyn Jones appears as Levi Bellfield

BBC Judge North presenter and reporter Alison Freeman became once working for the BBC News online web page at the time, and interviewed Kate Sheedy for a chunk of writing.

“The murders struck a particular chord with me and one of my colleagues as we were both young ladies living in south London at the time.

“All around the final few weeks I’ve considered adverts for the sequence about the manhunt for Levi Bellfield. On yarn of defending the murders is one thing that has stayed with me, I felt in actuality fascinating to glance it.

“I even sent a text to my worn colleague unbiased appropriate sooner than the originate of the programme to lunge searching if she became once gazing too – although we live hundreds of miles from every various now.

“When we started reporting the killing of Amelie, we moderately like a flash puzzled if there became once a link with Marsha McDonnell’s loss of life, as they both stood out as in actuality queer murders.

“No apparent motive or brazenly sexual train. Factual violent attacks on young ladies walking dwelling at night time – as any of us might possibly build.

“I could possibly handiest interviewed Kate Sheedy a week or so sooner than Amelie’s loss of life. She became once such a stable, sure and dignified young lady.

“She fought to outlive horrific injuries, whereas unable to realize why anybody would build one thing cherish that. It became once a horrifying notion that it might safe took place to anybody.”

What’s took place since?

Image copyright PA

Image caption Levi Bellfield, who now calls himself Yusuf Rahim, might possibly now no longer ever be released from penal complicated

Levi Bellfield became once given a full-lifestyles penal complicated sentence in June 2011 after being chanced on responsible of murdering Milly Dowler.

He became once already in penal complicated for the murders of Amelie and Marsha and the tried execute of Kate at the time.

It became once claimed final month that Bellfield, now 50, became once fragment of moderately one sex gang that has never been delivered to justice.

Bellfield, who now calls himself Yusuf Rahim, became once linked in a allege to 6 males accused of paedophilia, execute and grooming.

There safe been furthermore experiences in 2017 that Bellfield had allegedly confessed to the execute of Lin Russell and her six-year-previous daughter Megan in Kent, in 1996.

Police had previously talked about they’d chanced on no link between Bellfield and any various crimes, despite detectives having talked about at the time of his conviction that he became once in the help of 20 various attacks on ladies.

Colin Sutton, who’s now retired from the potential, wrote a book on the case, on which the ITV drama became once primarily based mostly.

He talked about all the things has been done with “corpulent disclosure” to the victims’ families, and that he had “steady encouragement” from some.

He urged the Radio Cases: “They knew the yarn of the distress that went into the investigation and the strategy in which laborious we worked.

“And it became once the supreme shall we build for them because we might possibly no longer bring their family help, nevertheless that it’s seemingly you’ll well possibly also treat them with decency and admire and build your handiest to bring the perpetrator to justice.”

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