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Jill Dando: The 20 Year Mystery

Jill Dando: The 20 Year Mystery

Mon, April 22nd, 2019

Thursday 9pm – 10pm, ITV

It remains one of the UK’s most intriguing and puzzling ‘whodunnits’? Jill Dando was murdered in broad daylight on her own West London doorstep in April 1999, the incident lead to one of the most high profile unsolved murder mysteries of modern times. Highly regarded by all she was the sweet, caring and quintessentially girl next door character that the nation adored. She was one of the BBC’s biggest stars and the murder shocked the nation. She related to the public, her crush on Cliff Richard echoed by many in the UK and in this documentary we see her giggling like a schoolgirl as she is pranked by the singing legend. She had everything to live for, she was planning her forthcoming marriage and her career was flourishing. Being shot point blank range in the back of her head was callous, cowardly and ruined the lives of so many close to her.

This documentary sifts and searches through many boxes of the evidence from the original investigation, seeking to find out of any crucial or key evidence was missed to unearth who carried out the act. There were no witnesses to the act, the assassin disappeared, sloped into the criminal underground where only they know the motive and reasons why she was targeted. A woman made the call which alerted police – stating “confidentiality, it looks life Jill Dando”. The initial investigations focussed around ‘Crimewatch’ – the series she presented, and Kosovo, where she voiced the persecution suffered by the Albanian minorities and fronted a charity campaign for the cause. The investigation spread much wider and lines of enquiry went as far as Serbian warlord Arkan, gun-runners in Liverpool and one of Britain’s most notorious road rage murders. Despite these thoughts, Police quickly changed tone and turned to the stalker theory, resulting in the arrest of Dando’s neighbour and local gun enthusiast, Barry George.  He was jailed for 8 years before it was determined he had not done the crime, since then no further arrests have been made.

Various experts are drawn in for their opinion, including a criminal psychologist and a ballistics expert. The programme is cleverly constructed and presents the different scenarios, making each seem entirely plausible before discounting them through inconsistencies. Does the clue to make the breakthrough lay in the evidence boxes? One possible clue is found from the day but is suggestive rather than conclusive.


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