Programme Index

Discover 10,100,220 listings and 229,683 playable programmes from the BBC

Murder, Mystery and My Family

Series 3

Episode 1

Duration: 43 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC One LondonLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland HD

Leading criminal barristers Sasha Wass and Jeremy Dein investigate their oldest case yet, the murder of a female canal boat passenger 180 years ago, for which boatmen were convicted and publicly hanged in front of 10,000 spectators.

Rugely, Staffordshire, 1839. At dawn on a summer morning, labourers pull the lifeless body of 37-year-old Christina Collins from the Trent and Mersey Canal. She had drowned. Christina had been the sole passenger of a narrow boat, and within an hour the crew were in custody, most of them still drunk from the whisky they had stolen from their cargo hold. They claimed Christina had committed suicide.

An initial trial cleared the men of rape, but before a murder charge could be considered, the proceedings were halted. At a second trial eight months later, without the boatmen's conflicting accounts being presented to the jury, three men including 27-year-old George Thomas were convicted of Christina's murder and sentenced to death.

Now, 180 years on, George Thomas's relatives Jeanette and Patricia are convinced of his innocence and have called upon Sacha and Jeremy to see if they can shed new light on the unusual situation of the two trials. Exploring questions of character, forensic evidence and legal history, can the barristers find enough new evidence to convince a judge that George Thomas was wrongly convicted? Show less


Sasha Wass
Jeremy Dein
Clare Wales
James Pearson
Series Producer:
David McConnell
Executive Producer:
Mike Benson
Production Manager:
Zlatina Rankova
Production Department:
Michael Klokkos
Production Company:
Chalkboard TV

About this data

This data is drawn from the data stream that informs BBC's iPlayer and Sounds. The information shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was/is subject to change and may not be accurate. More