Press Centre

The Investigator: A British Crime Story

  • Episode: 

    4 of 4

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 04 Aug 2016
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 31 2016 : Sat 30 Jul - Fri 05 Aug
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

    Last in series
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“People have said to me, ‘Okay, forget it. Just leave it. It's 30 years now.’ And you just think to yourself, 'If it was your mother, would you leave it?'” - Sam Gillingham, Carole Packman’s daughter
Mark Williams-Thomas returns to ITV for an explosive and ground-breaking new investigative series that shows how real life crime can be far more compelling than fiction.
Williams-Thomas, the award-winning former police detective who unmasked Jimmy Savile as the UK’s most notorious paedophile, re-examines a previously ‘closed’ and chilling murder case, which has baffled detectives for more than 30 years.
The murder of Carole Packman, whose body has never been found, continues to affect the lives of many of those involved and as Williams-Thomas discovers, the shocking tale of murder, fraud, deceit and lies has left family members desperate for answers.
In a UK television first, The Investigator: A British Crime Story, will follow the case over four explosive episodes, combining stylized drama with compelling documentary.
In June 1985 the wife and mother mysteriously disappeared and has never been seen since. Her husband Russell Causley is now serving a life sentence for her murder, yet no body has ever been found. Throughout the case he pleaded his innocence and refused to talk. After Carole’s disappearance, a woman turned up at a police station claiming to be her, saying she was safe and well.
Russell had begun an affair with an employee in his new insurance business - Patricia Causley, who at 26 was much younger than him. She moved in with the couple in Westbourne having sold her own flat and given them the proceeds, and says the marriage was already breaking down.
Evidence emerged that after Carole’s disappearance, Patricia was working in Canada alongside Russell and using Carole's name. After returning to Britain, sometime later, Russell was jailed for insurance fraud after faking his own death by supposedly falling from a yacht off Guernsey. This fraud caused the police to look more closely into the disappearance of his wife.
Mark investigated evidence that Patricia impersonated Carole to fraudulently transfer the title deeds of the matrimonial home from Carole into her and Russell’s names.
In response to both of these occasions of fraud, Patricia admitted to using Carole’s work permit in Canada, but not to using her identity. She also said there was dishonesty involved in the conveyance of the title deeds to her name but that this was known to the police and courts at the time. Patricia said Carole’s disappearance did not surprise her as she had told her she wanted to leave, and stated that she did not know that Carole had been murdered.
Evidence emerged of Russell talking about ways to dispose of a body while serving his sentence for fraud – which the police investigated for the murder conviction.  And, after more than 20 years of silence, he wrote a full confession to the murder in which he said he burned his wife’s, Carole’s body. This prompted Mark to conduct his own scientific and forensic experiment to find out whether it was possible to dispose of a human body in the way Russell’s letter described.
In the fourth and final episode, a former police officer who investigated the original case tells Mark he believes it is plausible that Russell could have burned Carole's body as a way to dispose of it as he claimed in his confession letter.
Mark learns police recently visited Russell in prison to hold a meeting with him.  Sam’s son Neil contacts Mark to update him on developments.  Neil says: “He [Russell] stands by what he said in the letter.  The letter’s completely truthful. Meyrick Park golf course was one of the locations he’s given as where he scattered the ashes.”
Mark heads to the golf course to see whether he can find any evidence, 30 years on.
Russell identified a broad area in his garden where he claims to have burnt his wife’s body before scattering her ashes at different locations around the country, so Mark instigates a dig, and asks a specialist in cremated remains to investigate the claim. Sam has a brief recollection of the fire in June 1985. She says: “When I came home, my father was stood up on the bank with the fire … My father was really, really angry with me. And he ripped my dress and he sent me into the home.”
Also, more letters arrive from Russell which add a further twist as the series reaches its end.