BBC One has commissioned a new TV drama based on John Christie’s real life killings which took place at the infamous Rillington Place in the late 1940s/early 1950s.
Christie is one of Britain’s most notorious killers and murdered at least eight women, including his wife Ethel, by strangling them in his flat at 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill.
The victims’ bodies were discovered soon after he moved out of the property in March 1953.
Three were discovered hidden in an alcove in the kitchen while his wife’s body was found beneath the floorboards of the front room. Christie was arrested and convicted of his wife’s murder, for which he was hanged.
However Christie’s neighbour Timothy Evans had already been convicted and hanged for the killings of his own wife and child, one of the most high profile miscarriages of justice ever known in Britain.
Publicity around Christie’s deeds and the realisation that Evans was innocent shocked the public and helped contribute towards the abolition of capital punishment.
The tale of Christie’s deeds was first dramatised in the 1971 film 10 Rillington Place in which Richard Attenborough played the killer.
The BBC adaptation will focus on Christie, Ethel and Evans and will explore the relationships and individual actions which cost the innocent Evans his life.
Filming will start in March at the BBC Scotland drama studios in Dumbarton and the drama is being written by Ed Whitmore (He Kills Coppers) and Tracey Malone (Born To Kill).
Phillippa Giles, Managing Director of production company Bandit, said: “This has been a passion piece involving close relationships with the surviving family members, which we have developed over several years – it will be hugely emotional to start filming this painful story and finally bring it to screen.”
Hilary Salmon, Head of BBC Drama Production England, added: “We are thrilled to be bringing this iconic story to BBC One. Ed Whitmore and Tracey Malone have written three brilliant scripts which really crack open the mysteries and motivations of the Christie case.”