The death of Jill Dando is the subject of a Netflix documentary series.
The journalist and BBC presenter was shot dead at the age of 37 on April 26, 1999 outside her home in Fulham, west London. A new three-part series, titled Who Killed Jill Dando?, explores the circumstances and theories surrounding her unsolved murder over two decades later.
Along with Dando’s family and friends, the series features interviews with journalists, investigators and lawyers involved in the case.
Has anyone been convicted for Jill Dando’s murder?
Barry George, a convicted sex offender, was arrested for Dando’s death 13 months after she was killed. George, who has always denied his involvement, was sentenced to life in prison in July 2001. His conviction rested on a particle of gunshot residue in his inside jacket pocket.
Speaking in the Netflix series, George claimed he “didn’t know” who Dando was, despite police finding magazine covers featuring the presenter in his home.
In a 2007 Court of Appeal hearing, eight years after he was sentenced, the gunshot evidence was dismissed and George’s conviction was quashed. Speaking in the Netflix series, George said: “It makes me angry that they have taken eight years of my life.”
What other theories surround Jill Dando’s death?
A prevalent theory is that Dando was murdered by a Serbian hitman following her coverage of the Serb-Kosovo war.
In the days prior to her death, Dando presented a Kosovo Crisis Appeal which had raised over £1million in 24 hours for refugees fleeing the Balkans.
Speaking in the Netflix series, Dando’s agent, Jon Roseman, said: “We had a lot of mail, but not usually threatening. Then we received a letter that mentioned the appeal she had given earlier that month for Kosovo. It seemed to be somewhat threatening.”
The BBC’s former head of news, Tony Hall, was phoned by a man with an Eastern European accent in response to Western bombings in the Serbian region. The caller, who phoned on the day Dando was killed, is said to have threatened: “Your prime minister Blair butchered innocent young people, we butcher back.”
Some, however, have cast doubt on the theory in the years since, with the call believed to be a hoax. Police could not trace the call.
Another prominent theory is that she was killed by a criminal in response to her work as a host on BBC show Crimewatch.
Speaking in the documentary, convicted criminal-turned-writer Noel ‘Razor’ Smith claimed that the name of the person who killed Dando circulates in the criminal underworld, but he can’t name the person over fears for his own safety.
“There are rumours in the criminal underworld, let’s put it that way,” Smith said (via The Mirror). “It’s not who you would think and it’s not Barry George. It was a professional hit.”
As shown in the series, the police looked into several of Dando’s close relationships, including her fiance Alan Farthing, ex-boyfriend Bob Wheaton and agent Jon Roseman. The latter was connected after writing an unreleased book about an agent whose client was shot and killed.
All three were removed from the suspect list following police investigations, with authorities satisfied they were all on good terms with Dando.
Who Killed Jill Dando? is available to stream on Netflix.
The post ‘Who Killed Jill Dando?’: key theories behind the Netflix series appeared first on NME.