A new documentary about Ian Huntley will shed light on the mistakes which stopped him getting away with murder.
5 Mistakes That Caught A Killer is set to air on Channel 5 tonight, and will tell the chilling story of Huntley, who murdered two schoolgirls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, in 2002.
The 10-year-old girls left home to go and buy some sweets, and never returned, sparking one of the biggest manhunts Britain has ever seen.
Take a look at a clip from the documentary here:
After the highly publicised search, Huntley, who had worked as a caretaker at the girls’ school, was arrested for their murder. He was convicted alongside girlfriend Maxine Carr, who was found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
In 2003, Huntley was convicted in a murder trial and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
During the investigation, Huntley got caught in his own web of lies after making five key mistakes, which a spokesperson for the documentary has shed light on.
Try to catch my film #FIVEMISTAKES THAT CAUGHT A KILLER @ 10pm on @channel5_tv this Thursday about the Soham murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by Ian Huntley. There's genuinely new info + the only interview the man who led the police inquiry has given since the trial. pic.twitter.com/7sfPWD4AH4
— Roger Steven Corke (@rogercorke) May 21, 2019
The first mistake involved him speaking to the media. As a result, people in Huntley’s old home town of Grimsby recognised him as a man who had been linked to previous sex attacks on women, the Mirror report.
The spokesperson explained:
Their first error was talking to the media. When Huntley’s TV interviews were shown in his home town of Grimsby, people came forward to reveal his murky past.
Huntley also drew attention to himself by turning off one of the girl’s mobile phones, which triggered a signal to a telecoms mast, showing the device was in the vicinity of the former caretaker’s home.
Another mistake came from Carr, who when first interviewed by police, insisted she had been with Huntley all day when the girls disappeared. However, mobile phone records proved she was in fact 100 miles away that day.
As well as those telling findings, alarm bells rang for Special Constable Sharon Gilbert when Huntley asked her how long DNA lasted for.
I just thought it was strange, very strange.
It is just not what a normal member of the public says to someone who is sat in uniform in front of them.
Looking forward to seeing our footage this Thursday 23 May 2019 on Channel 5 at 10pm
Ian Huntley: 5 Mistakes that Caught a Killer by @ElephantHouseTV
A look at how the killer of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells was convicted. pic.twitter.com/bhMIH9zO1c
— Aerial Filming & Photography by TheDroneMan.net (@dronemanuk) May 18, 2019
Police believe that within hours of his conversation with Gilbert, Huntley returned to the woodland where he had left the bodies to cut off the girls’ distinctive Manchester United shirts and attempted to burn them to destroy any DNA evidence.
Finally, Huntley got new tyres on his car after the murder; the same vehicle he had used to drive the girls to the woodland where he left their bodies.
After being charged with murder, Huntley initially denied everything. But he went on to change his story, and told the court the girls had died accidentally.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but the jury found him guilty of murder.
If it weren’t for his own mistakes, former Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Stevenson, who put Huntley behind bars, believes the guilty man could have been convicted of manslaughter rather than murder, and could be walking free today.
Those who appear in the documentary were all involved in the original inquiry, including Stevenson, whose interview is his first since the trial.
Ian Huntley: 5 Mistakes That Caught a Killer will air on Channel 5 tonight at 10pm.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.