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Geoffrey Wansell

 

Geoffrey Wansell Murder By the Sea

 

Murder By The Sea

 

Murder By The Sea Poster

 

Geoffrey WansellThe millions of British holiday makers heading for the seaside on this Bank Holiday weekend may only be there to paddle in the waves, sit in the deck chairs on the beach, take a donkey ride or sample the amusement arcades and the carousel, but in reality something far darker lurks beneath the fun.

There is something distinctly sinister about British seaside towns, as I discovered in a making a series of television films over the past six months. No one can quite explain exactly why, but there can be no doubt that the seaside goes hand in hand with murder.
Take Blackpool, for example, once one of Britain’s favourite Bank Holiday destinations. It was there that the 20-year-old Nigerian born Stephen Akinmurele, who was brought up on the Isle of Man by his grandmother, brutally murdered Eric and Joan Boardman, both in their seventies, as well as landlady Jemmimah Cargill, also in her seventies.

It then emerged that the tall muscular barman in a local night club, who was a promiscuous bi-sexual, had already killed two other elderly women on the Isle of Man – taking the number of his victims to five. And he killed them all before he reached the age of 21.
He stalked elderly women and took a depraved delight in strangling them, then sitting with their dead bodies before setting fire to their homes in an effort to conceal his crimes.

Akinmurele might well have become one of this country’s most notorious serial killers – he was certainly one of the youngest - had he not hanged himself in Strangeways prison in Manchester on August Bank Holiday Monday in 1999 just before he was due to stand trial. His death meant his dreadful crimes received almost no publicity.

Geoffrey WansellTwo years earlier, and just down the Lancashire coast at Southport, the commodore of the local sailing club, Paul Longworth, telephoned the police on January 8 1997 to claim that he had come home to find his wife Tina hanging from the bannisters of their home, apparently having committed suicide. She had done no such thing.

In fact Longworth had killed her with a rope from his sailing club and staged her hanging, spreading photographs of their two young children beneath her feet as some sort of bizarre explanation for her suicide. Longworth’s plan began to fall apart when the post mortem revealed 36 scratches and bruises on Tina’s body, and detectives discovered that their marriage had been far from happy.
This seaside crime was all the more despicable because Tina Longworth had been killed by her husband while their young children were asleep in the house, and he had provided himself with an apparent alibi in the form of a 37th birthday party at his sailing club. Longworth was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 14 years.

We tell both those stories in the television series, but there were more. We also describe the extraordinary killing spree and subsequent manhunt for Terry Clifton, who killed Morecambe garage owner Tony Marrocco and his mechanic Paul Sandham.
Clifton was to give the police the slip on a string of occasions after the killings, including one remarkable moment when he was confronted in a seventh floor flat by armed officers, only to escape by lowering himself from the flat’s balcony to the one below, and then doing the same thing for a further five floors and 100 feet - earning himself the press nickname of ‘Spiderman’.
Clifton was eventually captured, and convicted, although he refused enter the court from the cells. It took no fewer than nine prison officers to force this brutal killer to hear the judge pass a life sentence.

Tragically there have been many other murders committed in seaside towns.

Thirteen-year-old Billie-Jo Jenkins was pitilessly killed with an 18 inch tent peg and left in a pool of blood in Hastings. Seamstress and mother of two Heather Barnett, then aged 48, was bludgeoned with a hammer and had her throat cut in her home in Bournemouth by her Italian neighbour Danilo Restivo, who is now serving a ‘whole life’ sentence.

Geoffrey Wansell
The second series of six one hour episodes of "Murder by the Sea" started on 8 January 2019 on CBS Reality, which is Channel 148 on Freeview, Sky 146 and Virgin 148. It is running at the moment, playing at 10 pm on Tuesday evenings, with repeats on Sunday evenings at 11pm, as well as other repeats in the early hours. It is also available on Catch Up TV for CBS Reality.


Geoffrey has just finished filming the third series of six one hour shows, which are provisionally scheduled to play each night during the Easter break (though that has yet to be confirmed). Once again they feature murders that have taken place in British seaside towns. The shows are among the most popular on the channel.

 


Here below are some shots of the film crew of Murder By The Sea, and a picture of Geoffrey with some 'unusual suspects' on the beach at Blackpool...!

Murder By The sea film crew

Murder By The Sea film crew

Murder By The Sea film crew

 

Geoffrey and the donkeys

 

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