Press Centre

An Hour To Catch A Killer with Trevor McDonald

  • Episode: 

    1 of 7

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 12 Oct 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 41 2017 : Sat 07 Oct - Fri 13 Oct
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 3 October 2017.
Kicking off ITV’s brand new Crime & Punishment season is a compelling one off documentary, An Hour to Catch A Killer with Trevor McDonald. 
With innovative access to the Northumbria homicide team, An Hour To Catch A Killer takes viewers to the heart of the all-important window of time that can make or break a murder investigation – the ‘Golden Hour’.  This principle, outlined in British Police’s Murder Investigation Manual, describes how the decisions detectives make during that first hour impact on whether or not they catch the killer.
Presented by Sir Trevor McDonald and with access to the family of the young woman brutally murdered in this tragic case, the film follows homicide detectives from Northumbria Police as they look to solve this tragic case. The force start filming themselves from the second the call comes in, when the clock starts ticking on their chances of finding the culprit. For the first time the murder squad wear HD body cameras, recording every moment as the first 60 minutes counts down.
Taking viewers inside the crime scene where camera crews can’t ordinarily go because their presence would contaminate evidence, this film allows unrestricted access to the heart of the investigation.
From then on the programme has access to every level of the investigation as it develops, placing the viewer at the sharp end to get an insight into every move made by those leading the case as they try to close in on the killer. And the programme stays with them until the perpetrator is found and charged.
DCI Lisa Theaker said: “Getting evidence in the golden hour is vital. It’s fresh, it’s not contaminated and it might not be there very long. The priority for me is securing evidence as quickly as possible. Where’s my offender? That’s a real priority for me because they’ll be a wealth of forensic evidence on them. Let’s find who the killer is.”
Sir Trevor McDonald, who meets the family of Alice Ruggles who was brutally murdered in the tragic case the film follows, said: “An Hour To Catch A Killer will reveal the expertise of Northumbria Police's Homicide Team, through unprecedented access to every layer of the investigation. The use of Body Worn Cameras will provide an incredibly intimate insight into the crucial 'Golden Hour' of a murder inquiry as we follow the team's race against the clock to catch the killer.”
The film also features Alice’s parents, Clive and Sue who said: “We want to share Alice's story because it highlights the dangers of coercive behaviour and stalking. Although the ITV documentary is not specifically about stalking we believe that it will help draw attention to some of the warning signs that should trigger alarm bells."
For ITV’s Crime and Punishment season, big name talent including Gordon Ramsay, Ross Kemp, Susanna Reid, Sir Trevor McDonald and Piers Morgan will front films offering viewers a fresh insight into hidden worlds, the criminal mind, the international cocaine trade, police investigations and how we punish offenders in Britain today.
The run of films will be shown in consecutive weeks this autumn.  With unprecedented access to a team of UK homicide detectives, Sir Trevor McDonald shows how the vital ‘golden hour’, starting the moment a murder is reported, can make or break solving the case. Susanna Reid reveals the inside story of one of Britain’s most shocking recent murder cases, the killing of Becky Watts, featuring previously unseen interviews. Ross Kemp spends a week inside one of Britain’s most iconic prisons – getting a taste of jail on both sides of the bars. Gordon Ramsay explores the world of cocaine and its links to a global trail of crime and devastation, from Columbian farms to Britain’s streets, including some of London’s most glamorous postcodes.  And Piers Morgan travels to a US maximum security prison to interview one of America’s most vicious and cunning killers.
The Crime & Punishment season is commissioned for ITV by Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment and Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual.
Sue Murphy said: “Crime and the way we treat prisoners are subjects of great importance in modern Britain.  It affects us all and tells us much about the dark side of human nature and society. In this season of brand new crime programmes, well-known figures immerse themselves in challenging and often dangerous precincts, to bring ITV viewers an authentic, unflinching insight into hidden and extreme worlds.  Meeting people who live on both sides of the law, the films offer unique perspectives on how criminals operate, how they are caught and the consequences they face.”
Films in the Crime & Punishment season are as follows:
An Hour To Catch A Killer with Trevor McDonald - 1 x 60 
Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine - 2 x 60 
Ross Kemp Behind Bars - Inside Barlinnie - 1 x 60 
The Murder of Becky Watts - The Police Tapes with Susannah Reid - 1 x 60 
Serial Killer with Piers Morgan - 1 x 60