Family of murdered Darlington woman hopes documentary will answer questions 32 years after crime

It's hoped a documentary will help bring new information to light which will help solve Ann's murder Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

More than 30 years after the murder of Darlington's Ann Heron, her family are hoping a new documentary will bring new information to light.

Ann was killed while sunbathing in her back garden, but the investigation has remained unsolved for the last 32 years.

Now a Channel 5 documentary airing on 3 May 2022 is re-examining the case, with Ann's stepdaughter Debbie saying she hopes that it will it might resolve some unanswered questions.

Durham Police's initial inquiries about a man in a blue car racing away from the scene led to nothing.

15 years after the case first went cold the force charged Ann's husband peter, but the case collapsed before reaching trial.

She said: "I think to the people of Darlington, and to the wider area, Ann is a name that is synonymous with a brutal murder.

"Actually behind the headlines was a lovely lady that was very shy, she was beautiful, stunningly attractive but really really modest at the same time.

"She was gentle, she wouldn't hurt a fly, she was about 5 ft 3, she was eight stone if you like, she was no competition for whoever went to that house and brutally murdered her."

Debbie has worked with a private investigator for the new documentary, which explores a theory that an escaped convict could be responsible.

Debbie said: "Whoever killed Ann killed her with such ferocity and brutality, and got away with it so easily... do we really think he stopped there? How many others are there out there.

"This isn't just for my family, this is also for other families who have unanswered questions like we do."

The potential new suspect raised in the documentary is Michael Benson. He is known to have used knives during house robberies, driven a blue car and had family in the Darlington area.

He died in 2008.

Durham Police said "The murder has been thoroughly investigated and they remain committed to finding the killer.

"There's no new evidence to identify new suspects, though they remain open minded."