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Murder, Mystery and My Family

Series 3

Episode 6

Duration: 43 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC One HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales

Available for 21 days

Leading criminal barristers Sasha Wass and Jeremy Dein investigate the violent assault and murder of a teenage girl in 1918, and how a button and badge found near her body led to the conviction of a former serviceman.

South east London, 1918. 16-year-old Nellie Trew was on her way home from the library. When by midnight she still had not arrived, her father alerted the police. The following morning Nellie’s lifeless body was discovered on Eltham Common. In a brutal attack, she had been raped and strangled to death.

Two crucial pieces of evidence were recovered at the crime scene: a coat button and a distinctive military badge. Police put out an appeal using photos of these items, and 22-year-old medically discharged former serviceman David Greenwood came forward to identify the badge as being exactly like one he had owned. He was swiftly arrested. Despite vehemently protesting his innocence, David Greenwood was charged with Nellie’s murder, and after a three-day trial at London’s Old Bailey he was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Now, over a century later, David Greenwood’s cousin Kathryn has been researching her ancestor’s case and is determined to clear his name. Kathryn’s cousin John has flown in from Australia to help her.

Barristers Jeremy and Sasha delve into the case, exploring the psychiatry of David Greenwood, a recent First World War veteran. They also examine the forensic science of the crime scene investigation, encompassing the original button and badge found at the murder scene, now held at Scotland Yard’s crime museum. Did these items really implicate David Greenwood as Nellie’s murderer? And can Jeremy put forward a strong enough case to convince a judge that Greenwood’s conviction was a miscarriage of justice. 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

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