By John Brindley - Staff Author
ITV clearly won the battle for journalistic bragging rights – but 20 years after the clinical killing of TV presenter Jill Dando the war remains lost.
Both major TV companies have broadcast documentaries to mark the anniversary of Dando’s murder and ITV’s Jill Dando the 20 year mystery was much the more thought-provoking of the two.
Not too surprising perhaps in that the very last people you can expect to get to the bottom of a possible scandal concerning the BBC are the dear old system-servers themselves.
Dando was, after all, a BBC presenter, much loved and admired for her varied contributions to news and holiday programmes as well as, more poignantly Crimewatch.
The BBC has never much liked the idea that one of their own was gunned down as a result of the job she was doing with fellow Crimewatch host Nick Ross consistently rubbishing the claim.
So it was only remotely disappointing that, just as with their documentary coinciding with 10 years after the alleged abduction of Madeleine McCann, their journalistic efforts resulted in little more than telling us they haven’t got a clue who killed Jill or why.
ITV, on the other hand, at least unearthed real evidence to support the conspiracy theory that her murder was in revenge for NATO’s slaughter of 15 people in Serbia.
They revealed three separate communications made to police that claimed this was indeed what happened.
The very fact that this appeared to have been either overlooked or discarded by the investigators begged the further question, raised by the documentary makers,of what else lay dormant in their overcrowded files.
Needless to say, the Metropolitan Police refused to discuss ITV’s findings, claiming they can’t share information on a case that is still ongoing.
Perhaps the most telling comment in ITV’s documentary, however, was that the police investigation originally concentrated on people who knew Dando and then shifted to the outside world.
And, it was then when searching for a needle in a haystack, they landed upon Barry George, who scandalously spent eight years in prison for murder on the most unconvincing of evidence.
It didn’t impress me much that Sir Cliff Richard was presented in the documentary as a ‘very close friend of Jill’, shrugging his shoulders at how anyone would have wanted her dead.
Although not formally charged or convicted with any offence, Sir Cliff was, let us recall, the subject of a major child abuse investigation.
He is also known as a friend of the Kray Twins and the notorious Lord Boothby during his more shadowy pre-Christian days.
Instead of being used as someone to confirm Jill’s own good nature – which the general public has long since been convinced of – he should have been subjected to more poignant questions as were asked of Barry George.
Sir Cliff claimed he was lending Jill his car for her forthcoming wedding to Alan Farthing – and where was he in either of the two documentaries?
Without pointing fingers when there remains no hard evidence, it is a matter of fact that the vast majority of crimes are committed by people who know their victims.
In both the investigation into Dando’s murder and the McCann incident, police turned their attentions elsewhere and have been going around in ever decreasing circles ever since.
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