We focus on the most notorious crimes in UK history, and where they took place...


Mary Bell

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On 25 May 1968, the day before her 11th birthday, Mary Bell strangled Martin Brown, 4.
His body was found in a derelict house in Newcastle.
Two months later, Mary enlisted a 13-year-old friend 
to help strangle Brian Howe, 3. His mutilated body was found on waste ground.
When detectives questioned local children, Mary and her friend acted strangely,  their stories changing. Officers soon realised Mary was a killer.
The friend was acquitted and gave evidence against Mary. The court heard Mary committed the crimes ‘for the pleasure and excitement of killing’. Mary Bell was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. She was sentenced to life in detention, released aged 23, and given a new identity.

Michael Atherton

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New Year’s Day 2012 – taxi driver Michael Atherton, 42, shot dead his partner Susan McGoldrick, 47, her sister Alison Turnbull, 44, and niece Tanya Turnbull, 24, at his home in Peterlee. He then turned the gun on himself.
His stepdaughter survived after fleeing via a window.
It emerged Atherton had a history of domestic violence. He blamed Alison for his arrest in 2008, after a row.
When he discovered Susan had gone out with her sister that night, he said there’d be trouble if he saw Alison at his home. He said he’d stay in a hotel.
Yet the women arrived home before he’d left. A row erupted and Atherton got his gun from the car

John Darwin

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In March 2002, John Darwin, 51, paddled out to sea in his canoe near his Hartlepool home.
He never returned.
Coastguard rescue teams and police searched for him, but all they found was Darwin’s paddle.
Several weeks later, the wreckage of his canoe washed up on a beach. With no body found by April 2003, John Darwin was declared dead.
His widow Anne and their two sons grieved…Until December 2007 – when Darwin walked into a police station, claiming to have amnesia.
He was reunited with his sons and Anne – who’d moved to Panama – was delighted.
a photo emerged of Anne and John in Panama.
Together. In 2006…
Turned out the couple had actually faked John’s death to claim his £250,000 life insurance.
Both Darwins were jailed for over six years – him for obtaining cash by deception, her for deception and 
money laundering.

Billy Dunlop

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Pizza-delivery girl Julie Hogg, 22, disappeared in November 1989.
Eighty days later, her mother Ann found her decomposing, partially mutilated body behind a bath panel in Ann’s Billingham home.
Julie’s ex Billy Dunlop was charged with murder, yet juries at two trials failed to reach a verdict. He was cleared.
The double jeopardy law (which meant Dunlop could not be tried again) meant he thought he’d got away with murder for 17 years…
Ann fought for double jeopardy laws to be scrapped and, in 2003, MPs backed changes allowing serious cases with compelling new evidence to be reopened. Dunlop pleaded guilty to murder in 2006, was jailed for life.

Raoul Moat

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Two days after being released from prison on 3 July 2010, Raoul Moat, 
37, from Newcastle, went on the rampage with a sawn-off shotgun.
First he shot his ex Samantha Stobbart and her new partner Chris Brown. While on the run in Rothbury, Moat shot police officer David Rathband in the face.
Brown was killed, Stobbart injured and PC Rathband blinded.
Police deployed armed officers in one of Britain’s biggest manhunts.
In a letter left with a friend, Moat declared war on officers, saying that he wouldn’t stop ‘until I am dead’.
On 9 July, police tracked Moat to the river Coquet, leading to a stand-off. Police negotiated, but Moat shot himself the next morning.
Sadly, David Rathband later 
 took his own life.