Documentary About Infamous Serial Killer Harold Shipman Airs Tonight

by : Lucy Connolly on : 28 Sep 2020 18:47
harold shipman documentary 1harold shipman documentary 1PA Images

The chilling story of serial killer Harold Shipman will air on BBC2 tonight in a new documentary that explores how the ‘respected’ doctor was able to get away with his heinous crimes for so long.

Believed to be the most prolific serial killer in modern history, Shipman – a GP who practised in Todmorden and Hyde – was charged with 15 murders, although a public inquiry later concluded he had killed at least 215 of his patients between 1975 and 1998.


The Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story documents the serial killer’s crimes in a three-part series, examining the true scale of Shipman’s crimes as they emerged.

You can check out the trailer for the series below:

The documentary will also explore the pattern behind the GP’s murders, looking specifically at his victims who were mostly elderly, vulnerable patients. The vast majority of his victims were killed in their own homes, with Shipman certifying their deaths as a result of natural causes.


‘The story of how the crimes of ‘respected’ GP Harold Shipman were first discovered and how he was eventually apprehended and charged with the murder of 15 of his own patients,’ the official synopsis for the documentary series reads.

Created by film-maker Chris Wilson, the documentary will feature first-hand accounts from many people connected to the case, including detectives, journalists and other doctors, and will focus its attention on the victims rather than the murderer.

Harold ShipmanHarold ShipmanPA Images

Including interviews with the victims’ relatives and friends throughout, the documentary will look at how attitudes towards elderly people at the time allowed Shipman to get away with murder for so long.


The first episode, titled The Good Doctor, begins in Hyde in 1998; the year his crimes first came to light after questions were raised regarding the will of his final victim Kathleen Grundy.

A murder inquiry was launched when it emerged Grundy had died from a fatal dose of diamorphine, despite Shipman marking it as natural causes, and so began a murder investigation on an unprecedented scale. The first episode concludes before the start of his trial.

The Shipman Files: A Very British Story airs on BBC Two tonight at 9pm, and continues on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Film and TV, Documentaries, Murder, Now, TV


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    Episode 1