We focus on the most notorious crimes in UK history, and where they took place...
Known as Britain’s most evil mother, for over 19 years Eunice Spry abused three foster children, viciously beating, starving them and making them live in a barn.
As a toddler, Spry’s adopted daughter was made to eat cat food, and even her own vomit, at their Tewkesbury home.
After Spry moved the family to an isolated farmhouse, a 10-year-old was tied by his feet to Spry’s van and dragged at speed across a field. She forced sticks down the children’s throats and scrubbed them with sandpaper.
When one found the courage to speak out, Spry was arrested and found guilty of 26 charges, including unlawful wounding and assault occasioning ABH. Initially jailed for 14 years, reduced to 12, Spry was freed after serving half her sentence.
When Sian O’Callaghan, 22, went missing after a night out in Swindon, in March 2011, police soon suspected taxi driver Christopher Halliwell. His car was caught on CCTV close to where she was last seen.
After his arrest, Halliwell led police to Sian’s semi-naked body dumped on a country road. She’d been stabbed to death.
He then confessed to killing Becky Godden-Edwards, 20, who’d disappeared in January 2003, and led them to her shallow grave nearby.
At Bristol Crown Court, Halliwell pleaded guilty to murdering Sian. And, after a separate trial, he was convicted of murdering Becky and handed a whole-life term.
Murder of Joanna Yeates
Landscape architect Joanna Yeates,
25, disappeared on
17 December 2010, following a night out with colleagues. Her boyfriend
was away for
Following a huge manhunt, Joanna’s frozen body was eventually discovered on a snowy roadside verge that Christmas morning.
The murder investigation was one of the largest ever undertaken in the Bristol area, dominating the news.
On 20 January her Dutch neighbour Vincent Tabak, 32, was arrested for murder. He was obsessed with violent sex and pornography.
In October 2011, after being found guilty of strangling Joanna, Vincent Tabak was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 20 years.
Married couple Fred and Rose West tortured, raped and brutally murdered scores of young women unlucky enough to end up at their Gloucester house.
The victims were dismembered, and many buried in the family home. The Wests’ decades of depravity were only uncovered in February 1993, following a tip-off.
Fred West hanged himself in his cell on New Year’s Day 1995 while awaiting trial for 12 murders. That November, Rose West was convicted of 10 murders and given a whole-life tariff.
Murder of Becky Watts
In February 2015, schoolgirl Becky Watts, 16, vanished from the Bristol home where she lived with her dad and stepmum.
After a huge police search, her stepbrother Nathan Matthews and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare were arrested for murder – to the horror of Becky’s family.
During the trial, Nathan claimed he’d killed Becky by accident, trying to scare her. But the court heard Becky was suffocated and stabbed in an alleged sexually- motivated kidnap plot.
The couple put Becky’s body in their car boot, driving home hours later. They used a power saw to cut up her body, bagged it and arranged to store it in a shed.
Matthews, 28, was convicted of Becky’s murder and sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 33 years. Hoare, 21, got 17 years after being convicted of manslaughter.
The killings shocked the Cornish hamlet of Carnkie in 2000. Lee Ford, 33, had told friends his wife Lesley, 36, had left him. Now she and her children – Sarah-Jane, 17, Ann-Marie, 16, Steven, 14, and Craig, 13 – had been found dead after more than a month.
Three bodies were found in the shed, two in a field six miles away. All had been garrotted with a rope.
Ford was arrested and pleaded guilty to murder. He gave no motive but the court heard he’d had a sexual relationship with Sarah-Jane. Ford was jailed for life.