Who Killed my Dad? - The Death of Terry Lloyd
Published: Wed 06 Mar 2013
The information contained herein is strictly embargoed from all press use, non-commercial publication, or syndication until Tuesday 12 March 12 2013.
“I need an understanding of what happened that day because I wasn’t there and because it was so far away. I need to piece together the events of those days to create a kind of timeline, a picture in my head, to help me.” - Chelsey Lloyd
This new ITV documentary follows war reporter Terry Lloyd’s daughter Chelsey as she retraces his steps by going to Iraq, where he was killed in 2003, as part of her deeply personal search for the truth about the circumstances of his death.
Marking the tenth anniversary of the incident in the opening days of the Allied invasion of Iraq that resulted in the Terry’s death, Who Killed My Dad? - The Death of Terry Lloyd uses extensive archive footage together with testimony from his ITN colleagues, including Sir Trevor McDonald, to help Chelsey to piece together the final details of her father’s life.
Accompanied by ITV News presenter Mark Austin, who in 2003 was also a reporter covering the start of the Iraq War, and cameraman Daniel Demoustier - who was driving the vehicle carrying Terry when they were initially fired upon - Chelsey returns to the scene of the engagement which led to her father’s death alongside his translator Hussein Osman. The body of fellow cameraman Frederic Nerac, who was in a vehicle following Terry's 4x4, which also came under fire, has never been discovered. Chelsey and Mark also visit the United States to meet the commander of the Marines who were involved in the fatal action.
Chelsey explains that at the time of going to Iraq her dad was the happiest he had been for a long time as he relished his assignment on the front line. But she reveals that she has never been able to fully grieve for her father.
In the documentary, she flies into Kuwait with Mark and Daniel, who explains the danger of the war zone the crew was going into: “Usually you come into a conflict zone, you know the bad guys are there, the good guys are there, they’re defending this bit and it’s going on for weeks and months or years and you know exactly what kind of situation you’re gonna end up [in]. Here we had no clue. Everything could happen. Bad things could happen and it did.”
Mark explains that Terry’s team had crossed the border into Iraq but Mark had not yet. On the night before Terry died, he filed his last report for ITV News and spoke with Mark, who describes their final conversation to Chelsey.
“We managed to get through on a satellite phone and he told me that he had crossed the border and he was pretty pleased about that, and I told him we were this side of the border and he was pretty pleased about that. That would have been the last time I spoke to your father.”
As Chelsey is driven into Iraq, she explains her conflicting emotions on being in a place that was far from what she had imagined it would be.
At the scene of the firefight, Daniel tells her how the two cars containing him and Terry, Fred Nerac and Hussein Osman were driving along the road in Southern Iraq passing traces of a heavy artillery fight and burned out tanks when they realised they had gone too far, past the tanks of the Allied forces and close to the frontline. When they U-turned an Iraqi pick-up with a gun on the back drove alongside them, and the US tanks then opened fire.
Through Daniel's testimony and other eye-witness reports the documentary then follows the course of events that resulted in the fatal incident.
Sir Trevor McDonald, who helped identify Terry’s body, says: “Incidents like that are not supposed to happen to reporters. We are supposed to go into dangerous circumstances, get the story out by hook or by crook, come back and bore everybody in the pub about how dangerous it was and how miraculously we had succeeded. ITN had been particularly fortunate. Our people had done dangerous things but they’d all come back. Terry had not.”
Having seen the place and the circumstances in which her father died, Chelsey says that she felt strangely at peace and that it was a journey that she needed to do.
After the inquest in 2006 into Terry’s death, where a coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing, the Lloyd family had called for the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions to commence proceedings against the Marines believed to have been involved, including their commanding officers. But now, ten years on, Chelsey just wants to find out more from the people directly involved.
As part of this process, Chelsey and Mark fly to the US to meet Vince Hogan, the commander of the platoon involved in the firefight. He has a long discussion in a coffee shop with Chelsey alone, before they are joined by Mark. At this point, Vince Hogan talks about how he remembers the incident, his thoughts ten years on and how it feels to be meeting Chelsey now.
This meeting stirs different emotions in Chelsey, and the documentary closes with Chelsey explaining to Mark that the journey to Iraq and the meeting with Vince Hogan had helped her understand more about the tragic events of ten years earlier.