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BBC working on Rillington Place crime drama

Billington Place promo
This promo from the 1971 film highlights how shocking the sexually motivated murders were at the time

The BBC are developing a biographical drama based on British serial killer John Christie.

Craig Viveiros (And Then There Were None and Silent Witness) is directing from a screenplay by Ed Whitmore and Tracey Malone, who both worked on Silent Witness as well.

Christie and his wife moved into 10 Rillington Place, London in 1938. In 1949 he offered to help his neighbour’s wife with an abortion. Instead he gassed her unconscious, before raping and strangling her.

He persuaded the husband, Timothy Evans, not to contact the police right away. Evans then also gave Christie his baby daughter, the later saying he would find her a good home. Later, following a bungling police investigation, Evans was hanged for the murder of his wife and daughter.

However, three years later Christie was uncovered as a serial killer and doubt was thrown on Evan’s conviction – Christie actually testified at Evans’ trial.

The case was important not just because Christie was such a prolific and perverse murderer but also due to the miscarriage of justice, which helped hasten Britain getting rid of the death penalty. Evans was eventually pardoned for both murders .

Christie himself was hanged 1953 and is thought to have murdered at least eight women.

There was a film called 10 Rillington Place made in 1971, starring Richard Attenborough, John Hurt and Judy Geeson.

Filming will start in March at the BBC Scotland’s studios near Glasgow.