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Tuesday, April 23, 2019


(Martin Clunes)

ITV Choice (DStv 123) will air the three part production Manhunt on May 2, at 20h00.

Acclaimed actor Martin Clunes takes the role of former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, who tenaciously tracked down serial killer Levi Bellfield.

Written by Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness) this three-part series is the real life story of how the murder of French student, Amelie Delagrange in August 2004 was eventually linked to the murders of Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler in 2002.

With the full co-operation of former DCI Colin Sutton, Manhunt dramatises the hunt to find the killer, and the drama follows the detailed and painstaking investigation by the former London Metropolitan police detective and his team, as they dedicated themselves to uncovering the truth about Amelie’s killer and pursuing links to the other murders.

Here's how the drama unfolds ...

Episode 1

On August 19, 2004, French student Amelie Delagrange is found on Twickenham Green with fatal head injuries. Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton of the Metropolitan Police is appointed as Senior Investigating Officer, tasked with leading the investigation. There is no forensic evidence from the attacker at the crime scene, and no apparent motive. But there has been a spate of similar violent attacks on young women in the area. Sutton suspects there could be a link to the murder of Marsha McDonnell in the previous year. The police discover that Amelie’s phone last made contact with the network a short time after her death and they now know that the killer must have taken it and left the scene in a vehicle.

Sutton puts a large proportion of his team onto checking CCTV from that night to try to find the vehicle and decides to search the river not far from where the body was discovered. Some of Amelie’s possessions are found, and CCTV reveals a suspicious white van close to the crime scene at the time of the attack.

Episode 2

Sutton and his team are trying to identify the white van they have discovered from an extensive trawl of CCTV images. But there are 25,000 possible vans that need to be checked and eliminated. Sutton is due to fly to Spain with his wife, but Detective Sergeant Jo Brunt calls to report the team may have found the van, so he cancels his trip and returns to the investigation, only to discover it is not the suspect van. Sutton turns his attention to files of witness statements taken from the public and finds a report from a former partner of Levi Bellfield which says that Bellfield hates women, is violent and drives a white van. Sutton mounts a surveillance operation on Bellfield, becoming deeply concerned that they need to arrest him soon to prevent him from attacking again, and also discovers that Bellfield once lived close to the site of the disappearance of Milly Dowler in 2002. He gives this information to an old colleague in Surrey police, the force who are investigating Milly’s murder.

Episode 3

Sutton briefs the team in preparation for Bellfield’s arrest, but when they raid his home they can’t find him. Have they lost him? DS Griffiths persuades Bellfield’s frightened partner Laura Marsh to reveal that he is hiding up in the loft and he is found hiding under some fibreglass roof insulation. Finally, they have Bellfield in custody. But they can only hold him for 72 hours. The clock is ticking, and Sutton needs to charge Bellfield or release him. But Bellfield is admitting nothing. Bellfield’s partner Laura Marsh then discloses that he has raped and abused her and the suspect is remanded in custody. The team continues to investigate Bellfield’s crimes and finally find a crucial supermarket receipt that backs up Laura Marsh’s account of Bellfield’s movements on the night of Amelie’s death. The CPS decide there is sufficient evidence for Levi Bellfield to be formally charged with the murder of Amelie Delagrange and another attempted murder.