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A+E NETWORKS® UK commissions ‘Once Upon a True Crime’, premiering on Crime+Investigation®

Once Upon a True Crime

Pictured left to right: Douglas Skelton, Denise Mina, Mark Billingham and Peter James

Crime + Investigation® UK is proud to announce a brand new four part-series, Once Upon a True Crime, which follows some of Britain’s best-loved crime fiction writers as they turn detective to explore the enduring mysteries of the real-life murder cases which have inspired some of their most famous characters and novels.

Scheduled to premiere here in Spring 2022, the series features best-selling authors Denise Mina, Mark Billingham, Peter James and Douglas Skelton, as they re-visit the crime scenes of the real-life murderers and victims who have helped inspire their fiction. These are the cases they can’t forget.

For Denise Mina, it’s the Glasgow haunts of Scotland’s most notorious serial killer, Peter Manuel, on which she based her brilliant book, The Long Drop. For Peter James, it’s the tragedy of the so-called ‘Babes In The Wood’ murders in Brighton in 1986. For Mark Billingham, it’s the final, enduring mysteries of the grotesque couple Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, which helped inspire the best-seller, Their Little Secret.  And for Douglas Skelton, it’s the infamous 1980s gangland turf war known as the Ice Cream Wars, which terrorised Glasgow’s East End, the background to which influenced Blood City.

The series has been ordered by Dan Korn, VP of Programming at A+E Networks® UK, and Diana Carter, Commissioning Editor and Head of Talent at A+E Networks UK.

Diana Carter said: “It’s a real pleasure to work with leading authors such as Peter, Denise, Mark and Douglas and provides a fascinating insight into how true crime inspires their own work. We can’t wait until Once Upon a True Crime hits our viewers’ screens, we’re really excited to be the home of this intriguing and innovative series as the worlds of true and fictional crime merge for what is a captivating watch.”

Each twist and turn of the story will be relived through the eyes of the authors and the experts and witnesses they meet along the way. Retracing the steps of killers and victims in forensic detail, often in the company of the detectives who worked each case or the journalists who covered them, our authors will piece together exactly what happened and why and examine new, as yet untested theories to try and resolve the unanswered questions of each case.

Mark Downie, Creative Director for IWC Media, said:Few people understand the mind and motivations of a murderer better than a crime fiction writer, so the opportunity of immersing some of Britain’s best storytellers into the true crimes which have fascinated them most, felt irresistible.

Incisive, enquiring and endlessly curious, our authors’ investigations promise fresh insights and new perspectives on the nuances and complexities of four of the UK’s most shocking crimes.”

Once Upon A True Crime promises to be an innovative, revelatory and filmic method of helping to ensure that the victims in each of these deeply troubling cases are not forgotten and that their families’ campaigns for justice endure.

Melanie Darlaston, Head of Factual UK at Motion Content Group, said:It’s a pleasure to be collaborating with A+E Networks and IWC on this fascinating new series that promises to be a ‘must watch’ for any true crime aficionado.”

Images available to download here