Harold Shipman case to feature in BBC Four series

Harold Shipman
Image caption The motives for Harold Shipman's many murders remain unclear

A filmmaker is set to re-examine the case of Harold Shipman.

The GP - thought to be Britain's most prolific serial killer - was convicted of murdering 15 of his patients in January 2000.

But it is believed he could be behind a further 260 deaths between the 1970s and 1990s.

Filmmaker Chris Wilson will explore whether deference to doctors' authority and attitudes to the elderly meant he was able to go undetected for decades.

'Betrayal of trust'

The Harold Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story will air on BBC Four.

"It's a chilling story about power, authority and an astonishing betrayal of trust," said Wilson.

"One that, for me, remains as pertinent today as it was 20 years ago."

The documentary series will feature interviews with friends and relatives of Shipman's victims, some of whom will be speaking for the first time.

The GP, from Hyde, Greater Manchester, who died in Wakefield Prison in 2004, murdered his patients by injecting them with diamorphine - the medical name for heroin.

An official report concluded he killed between 215 and 260 people over a 23-year period.

"After the success of The Yorkshire Ripper Files, I know that this multi-part investigation of Harold Shipman will... explore not just Shipman himself but also the society and context which allowed him to become Britain's most prolific serial killer," said Cassian Harrison, channel editor of BBC Four.

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