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Channel 5 ask ‘Who Killed Billie- Jo?’

Broadcasting

Channel 5 ask ‘Who Killed Billie- Jo?’

Best on the Box highlight for Thursday, February 10th.

When Billie-Jo Jenkins moved from a broken home in East London to start a new life with a foster family in Hastings, East Sussex, a better, happier life seemed to await her. But on 15 February 1997, police were called to the family home she shared with her foster parents and four sisters and found Billie-Jo’s lifeless body in a pool of blood on the back patio; she had been beaten violently to death in broad daylight.

Using hitherto unseen archive footage and with exclusive access to the police officers who led the murder investigation, Who Killed Billie- Jo? charts the events that followed, revealing how forensic and background evidence led to Billie-Jo’s foster father Siôn Jenkins moving from chief witness to prime suspect, as stories began to emerge that suggested that there was more to the church-going deputy headmaster than first appeared.

As police built up a picture of the events that led up to Billie-Jo’s murder, her foster mother Lois began to tell police about a darker side to her husband; conflicting accounts about the day emerged and background about Siôn Jenkins begins to change the police’s perceptions of him. Then, as other leads and suspects are ruled out, damning forensic evidence on Siôn Jenkins’s clothing leads to him being charged with Billie-Jo’s murder.

But as he faces his day in court, always vehemently denying the murder charge and maintaining his innocence, the programme discovers what the jury will made of the evidence put before it. Also a look into the conclusion of the murder investigation in court and the unanimous guilty verdict that led to the conviction of Siôn Jenkins for the murder of Billie-Jo, under a huge wave of media attention. But just when the police and prosecution believed their job was done, further scientific tests conducted on behalf of the defence team revealed another possible explanation for the bloodstains found on Siôn Jenkins’s clothing.

Channel 5 follow the story through a compelling legal battle with, on one hand, police and prosecution convinced that the culprit was behind bars and, on the other, Siôn Jenkins and his defence team desperately trying to prove his innocence. We hear from expert witnesses from both sides — equally convinced that the forensic evidence put before the jury supports their arguments that either proved that Siôn Jenkins killed his foster daughter, or exonerated him entirely.

Following a successful appeal to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the production reveals how Siôn Jenkins faced two further trials for murder, examining the contentious scientific evidence and new background evidence from Siôn’s wife Lois, as the documentary builds towards the climax to one of the UK’s most controversial murder trials. Jenkins was acquitted. So the question remains who did kill Billie-Jo?

Who Killed Billie- Jo?, Channel 5, 9 pm

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