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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:50 am 
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BBC Blog

Marking 30 years of Crimewatch

Monday 15 September 2014, 16:16
Georgina Lee Producer, Crimewatch

Clip from the 30 years of Crimewatch programme.

Since its first broadcast in 1984, Crimewatch has appealed for help with thousands of cases, featuring over 4,500 appeals including 758 murders, 339 rapes and 926 robberies. Crimewatch’s track record shows that around 1 in 3 cases featured lead to an arrest with 1 in 5 leading to a conviction.

Georgina Lee, a producer on the programme, writes about her experiences making a special edition to mark its 30 years of crime solving, Living with Murder.

A major part of working for Crimewatch involves meeting the families of victims in order to interview them for appeals. You’re meeting people at the worst possible time of their lives, asking them to sit in front of a TV camera and to tell you about their, often very raw, grief.

Every case is different, some people are angry, others distressed or even numb. But the more time I spend with them and the more families I meet, I have become increasingly aware that they all share something: Their feelings of loss are compounded by the knowledge that someone has caused it, that their grief is the result of someone else making a deliberate decision to end their loved ones’ life. They have to face their grief while also being caught up in a police investigation, legal proceedings and often under the intensity of the media spotlight.

But what happens to these people after the court cases are concluded and the cameras have moved on? That was where the idea for the film Living with Murder came from, to take an intimate look at the particular grief, which comes from the crime.

I was expecting the making of the film to be emotional, that there would be tears, and there were, many, some my own. But I hadn’t expected that spending time with the families we featured would be so inspiring, or that there would be so much laughter.

Shaun and Josie Russell, who would have every right to see the world as a very dark place, are still able to see the best in people. Kieron Bimpson, who gives incredible energy, every day, to the charity he’s set up in memory of his three-year old daughter Francesca. Paul Bowman who spoke with incredible honesty about the downward spiral he experienced after his daughter Sally-Anne’s killer was convicted. Yet, he was cracking jokes while making us cups of tea.

The strength and determination these people have shown in not allowing murder to completely destroy their lives and the resilience of the human spirit really is humbling.

The words of Sally-Anne Bowman’s father Paul will stay with me. “I’m determined to live as decent a life as possible, with what’s happened and what’s in my head.”

Georgina Lee is a producer for Crimewatch

Living With Murder meets some of the relatives and survivors of Crimewatch appeals past to see how their lives have moved on. Amongst those featured are Kate and Gerry McCann, Shaun and Josie Russell and Sally Anne Bowman’s father Paul.

BBC Crimewatch, Living with Murder is on Tuesday 16 September, 10.40pm, BBC One

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