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Great Crimes and Trials is a documentary series narrated by Robert Powell. Featuring re-constructed and actual archive footage, the series charts the crimes of the most infamous villains ever including Dillinger, Manson, The Yorkshire Ripper, Jack the Ripper and Dr Crippen.


Saisons & épisodes Les résumés de tous les épisodes de Great Crimes and Trials

S01E01 The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping 00/00/0000 It was a crime that shattered America. A case so improbable that nobody ever dreamed it could happen. Despite a ransom being paid, after 72 days the body of American legend Charles Lindbergh’s kidnapped baby son, was found murdered. A German carpenter was tried, sentenced and sent to the electric chair, but to this day it is not known if he acted alone…
S01E02 Lucky Luciano 00/00/0000 He started out as a violent street thug, but soon became a ruthless leader, who rose to the top of the Mafia. He always kept one step ahead of the law and infamously once boasted, ‘I buried hundreds of guys’. Even when finally imprisoned he found a way of securing his freedom.
S01E03 Al Capone 00/00/0000 On St Valentine’s Day 1929, the brutal massacre of six gangsters in a Chicago warehouse signalled the emergence of Al ‘Scarface’ Capone as the undisputed Godfather of crime. He was vain, violent and notoriously ruthless. A man who won ultimate respect by exacting total fear.
S01E04 Son of Sam 00/00/0000 His name struck fear into the hearts of New Yorkers and brought terror to the streets. He unleashed all his hatred on the one group which he considered had rejected him the most - women.
S01E05 The Hillside Stranglers 00/00/0000 Within weeks, the hillsides around Los Angeles became the scene of a terrible carnage - more than ten strangled corpses. The police soon realised they were no longer dealing with a serial murderer but hunting something frighteningly new - two killers, who were out on a ‘spree’.
S01E06 John Dillinger - Public Enemy No. 1 00/00/0000 In the world of gangsters, he was notorious, ruthless, a man destined to become a legend. He turned to crime out of boredom and soon found it was too addictive to give up. He blazed a trail across the States, robbing banks with a violent and authoritative ease.
S01E07 The Manson Family Murders 00/00/0000 Charles Manson was the ultimate hippie leader with a difference. Together with his cult followers he pioneered a new revolution - a helter-skelter of bloody, calculated and remorseless killing that brought a new, sinister meaning to the term - ‘The Family’.
S01E08 The Jonestown Massacre 00/00/0000 It was a crime that defied the imagination. In November 1978, deep in the jungles of Guyana the Rev Jim Jones gathered nearly 1,000 devoted followers around him, and with a simple promise persuaded them to commit the greatest ‘revolutionary’ mass suicide of the 20th Century.
S01E09 The Green Beret Killings 00/00/0000 American army doctor Jeffrey MacDonald seemed to have everything going for him, good looks, charm, a commission in the Green Berets, a pretty wife and two daughters. Then one night his wife and children were horrifically murdered. Had it not been for the determination of one person - his father-in-law - justice might never have been done.
S01E10 The Case of Dr. Sam Sheppard 00/00/0000 He was young, handsome and successful - the ideal of American manhood. But when his wife was found battered to death, for him the American dream turned into a nightmare. Convicted of murder, it took him 12 years to establish his innocence and have his conviction overturned
S01E11 Neville Heath 00/00/0000 In June 1946 after six years of war a girl was found whipped and murdered in a cheap London hotel. The hunt was soon on for a suave and sinister ex-RAF pilot who showed little remorse or concern when he was sentenced to hang.
S01E12 Ted Bundy 00/00/0000 Women began to disappear in the Seattle area in the first half of 1974. Almost on a monthly basis after that other women mysteriously vanished - then on the grass hillside near Lake Sammanish the remains of some decomposed bodies were found. It was not until July 1979 that a jury found attractive graduate Bundy guilty and mercifully ended the reign of a savage multiple sex-killer who brutally murdered over twenty girls.
S01E13 Gary Gilmore 00/00/0000 He was the double murderer who insisted on being executed. The question always remained: how badly did he want to die, and why? It was good that he believed in reincarnation as on 17th January 1977 after years of legal moralising his wish was granted and he was strapped to an old office chair and shot dead by a firing squad in Utah.
S01E14 The Trial of Adolf Eichmann 00/00/0000 He was a man determined to demonstrate his German purity. In 1934 he became a member of the SS. He killed not only Jews en masse, but was also responsible for the calculated deaths of twenty-seven RAF prisoners… Eventually, in 1959 he was discovered hiding in Argentina by Israeli agents, who kidnapped him and flew him to Israel for trial.
S01E15 John Gacy 00/00/0000 Seven bodies were found in the crawl space under his home. Eight more were quickly uncovered in other parts of the house, some in trenches covered in quicklime. Eventually, the remains of twenty-eight were discovered. When he had run out of burial space he started dumping bodies in the river. His victims were male and the disappearances continued until the thirty-third killing brought the police with a search warrant to the house.
S01E16 The Massacre of the Tsar and the Imperial family 00/00/0000 As civil war raged across Russia in 1918, the deposed Tsar and his family were imprisoned. On 16th July they were massacred and buried secretly in the forest. Almost immediately though, rumours sprang up that not all the imperial family were dead…
S01E17 Dr. Crippen 00/00/0000 When an unassuming US doctor living in London in 1910 fell in love with his secretary, he was tied to a wife who he hated. His solution was murder. Dr Crippen and his mistress fled abroad and when a body was discovered in the cellar they tried to escape across the Atlantic. But one of the world’s first radio transmissions enabled the police to foil them.
S01E18 The Great Train Robbery 00/00/0000 In 1963 a mail train was ambushed in England. In one of the largest robberies ever, the gang got away with more than £2.5 million in used bank notes. The stories of police attempts to recapture some of the robbers still hit the headlines today…
S01E19 The Boston Strangler 00/00/0000 For three years Albert DeSalvo stalked the streets of Boston, leaving behind him a hideous trail of human destruction. It was a crusade of evil, of a maniac who might never have been caught had it not been for his confessions to another prison inmate.
S01E20 Haigh the Acid Bath Murderer 00/00/0000 In 1949 John George Haigh escorted Mrs Olivia Durand-Deacon down to his factory in Crawley, where he shot her in the head and then heaved her into a previously-prepared vat of acid. Charged with murder, he said he had also disposed of seven other victims the same way - including his parents - and often enjoyed drinking their blood….
S01E21 John Christie of Rillington Place 00/00/0000 He had an obsession with disinfecting his flat. When he moved out, four bodies were discovered there and two more in the garden. When arrested it became horrifically clear that he had also killed a mother and child in 1949 - a crime for which another man had already been hanged.
S01E22 The Black Panther 00/00/0000 When the kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl was linked to the brutal murder of three British subpostmasters the police knew they were dealing with a ruthless and callous killer. For the girl, the abduction ended in unimaginable horror. For the police it would take another eleven months and a chance encounter before the ‘Black Panther’ was eventually cornered.
S01E23 Murph the Surf 00/00/0000 In late October 1964, thieves stole 22 gems from New York City’s Museum of Natural History. Three of the stones were so famous they would be impossible to sell. Within 48 hours, aided by confidential police sources, two men in New York and another two in Miami were arrested.
S01E24 The Hammersmith Murders 00/00/0000 Despite a massive police operation, he seemed to anticipate their every move. He loved to taunt and mock the detectives and killed with impunity. Eventually, he was trapped by bluff, but never caught. To this day no one has been charged.
S01E25 The McKay Kidnapping 00/00/0000 It was the first in Britain for centuries. In a cruel and callous kidnapping a woman became the innocent victim of mistaken identity. After many efforts to catch her abductors, the police were led to a lonely farmhouse - and two brothers with a ghastly secret.
S01E26 The Yorkshire Ripper 00/00/0000 The reign of terror that followed the first murder of a Leeds prostitute in 1975, cut a trail of fear across northern England. The ‘Ripper’ never struck twice in the same place. But thankfully, one evening he made a mistake….
S01E27 duplicate of 3x16 - please remove 00/00/0000
S01E28 duplicate of 3x25 - please remove 00/00/0000
S01E29 duplicate of 3x18 - please remove 00/00/0000
S01E30 duplicate of 1x09 - please remove 00/00/0000
S01E31 duplicate of 1x24 - please remove 00/00/0000
S02E01 Charles Starkweather - The Badlands Killer 00/00/0000 Born in Nebraska, Charlie Starkweather was a dissolute teenager and self-styled rebel. He dreamt of becoming rich and of earning a fortune through crime. In 1958 he realised his fantasies when he set off on the outlaw trail with his schoolgirl lover, 14-year-old Caril Fugate, like a latter day Bonnie and Clyde. In his wake he left 11 motiveless murders until he was finally cornered, captured, and executed in the electric chair.
S02E02 Howard Hughes Autobiography Hoax 00/00/0000 In December 1971 the world was amazed when it was announced that author Clifford Irving would be collaborating with millionaire recluse Howard Hughes on his official biography. It was even more astonishing when this was swiftly followed by an announcement from Hughes that the whole thing was a hoax. Irving insisted that this was a misunderstanding, but when Hughes finally broke cover to speak to journalists the ingenious fraud was revealed.
S02E03 The Scarsdale Shooting 00/00/0000 On 10th March 1980, Jean Harris, headmistress of an exclusive East Coast girls school, drove to the house of her lover, Dr Herman Tarnower, author of the best selling ‘Scarsdale Diet’, and shot him dead. She had been aware that he wanted to end their relationship, and claimed that his shooting had been an accident while she was trying to persuade him to kill her. The jury was unconvinced and she was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.
S02E04 The S.L.A. Kidnap of Patty Hearst 00/00/0000 On 4th February 1974 Patricia Hearst the 19-year-old heiress to one of America’s largest media fortunes was kidnapped by an obscure terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army. Within three months she had apparently joined them when she was filmed wielding a gun during a bank raid. Recaptured and tried, Patty was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, but released in January 1979 as an act of Executive Clemency by President Jimmy Carter.
S02E05 Richard Speck - The Nurse Killer 00/00/0000 In July 1966 alcoholic ex-marine Richard Speck woke up in Chicago after a night on the town and heard a radio report which sickened him. Eight nurses had been raped and slaughtered in their home. When the police arrived to arrest him, Speck claimed that he had no knowledge of the crime, and he stuck to this story throughout his trial and imprisonment to a sentence of 400 to 1,000 years.
S02E06 Caryl Chessman - The Red Light Bandit 00/00/0000 An habitual criminal from childhood, Caryl Chessman was also one of the cleverest of criminals. Condemned to death for repeated rapes, robberies, sexual perversion and kidnapping on 18th May 1948, he used his brilliant mind to learn enough law to carry on a crusade against execution for 12 years.
S02E07 Roberts, Duddy and Witney - The Braybrook Street Massacre 00/00/0000 The murder of a policeman in Britain is still a rarity, but on 12th August 1966 the nation was shocked when three were gunned down in West London after stopping a car. Within a few days, two petty criminals John Duddy and John Witney - had been arrested, and the description of a third, Harry Roberts, had been publicised all over the country. But it was not to be for another three months, after one of the largest manhunts known in Britain that Roberts was tracked down in Epping Forest where he had been using his military training to evade capture.
S02E08 The Bamber Family Murders 00/00/0000 After a desperate phone call appealing for help police raced to a remote farmhouse in Essex, to stop a hysterical young woman running amok with a loaded hunting rifle. They arrived to find her and her family dead, in an apparently straightforward mass shooting followed by suicide. But not everyone was satisfied with his verdict, and several months later the dead girl’s step brother was arrested and charged with carrying out what had almost become the perfect murder.
S02E09 Hitler and the Nuremberg Trials 00/00/0000 Hitler and his Nazi party dominated Germany for only 12 years. But during that short period they not only brought about a World War in which tens of millions of troops and civilians died, but were responsible for a cold-blooded policy of mass extermination directed against the Jews and other racial groups which the Nazis considered subhuman in which many more millions were slaughtered. When the Nazis had finally been defeated, the victorious alliance against them took the unprecedented step of putting their surviving leaders on trial at Nuremberg for ‘Crimes against Humanity’.
S02E10 Stalin and the Massacre at Katyn Wood 00/00/0000 In April 1943, Berlin announced that the bodies of 3,000 Polish officers had been found murdered by the Soviets at Katyn Wood. Stalin indignantly denied the accusation, even though all documents on the bodies stopped in 1940 when the men had been in Soviet hands. Only recently did the full truth of who was responsible come out.
S02E11 The Assassination of Gandhi 00/00/0000 Mahatma Gandhi was revered as the father of modern India, whose campaign of non-violent rebellion finally persuaded the British to pull out of the ‘Jewel’ of their empire. His murder on 20th January 1948 by right-wing fanatics was a severe blow to hopes of avoiding inter-communal violence, as were the assassinations of his successors as leaders of India, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi.
S02E12 The Assassination of Martin Luther King 00/00/0000 The last 1950s and 1960s were a time of turmoil in America as the Civil Rights movement fought against racial segregation. Its leader was the charismatic preacher Martin Luther King Jr, and his assassination in April 1968 allegedly by a lone gunman James Earl Ray, gave rise to endless conspiracy theories as to who had funded him to do so.
S02E13 The Assassination of John F Kennedy 00/00/0000 Few events have shocked a generation more than the murder of President John F Kennedy on 22nd November 1963 in Dallas. Young and charismatic he seemed to promise a new beginning for America and the world, and within hours of his death theories about who had killed him abounded. These were not stilled by the Warren Commission’s assertion that there was a single gunman, and this programme looks at some of the other possibilities - such as the Cubans, big business, the Mafia, the KGB.
S02E14 The A6 Murder 00/00/0000 On 4th April 1962 James Hanratty was hanged for an apparently motiveless shooting of two lovers on the A6 main road near London. But much of the evidence had been circumstantial, and pointed equally well towards another name, Peter Alphon. When he confessed during an interview that he had carried out the murder many people were amazed that no charges were ever brought and controversy still rages as to whether Hanratty was wrongly executed.
S02E15 Dennis Nilsen - The Kindly Killer 00/00/0000 During the five years from 1978 - 83 an unassuming civil servant who lived in the Muswell Hill area of London became Britain’s worst mass murderer. Dennis Nilsen, who had been a policeman for a short time, lured at least 15 young men back to his flat, murdered them and then disposed of their remains down the sewer. Only when this became blocked was his ghastly secret discovered, and after his lawyers had failed to establish insanity, he was imprisoned for life
S02E16 Charles Whitman - The Austin Sniper 00/00/0000 Although happily married, 25-year-old Charles Whitman was a worried man. He knew that he was in the grip of a terrible compulsion and on the verge of doing something appalling. Finally, on 31st July 1966 his self-control snapped and after killing his wife and mother so that they would be spared the shame he climbed the white granite tower of the University of Texas administration building, and started shooting at anyone who moved below. Fifteen people died and thirty were injured before police assault teams got close enough to gun him down.
S02E17 The Boston Brinks Robbery 00/00/0000 One of North America’s largest security companies, Brinks, has always been a target for robbers. One of the most spectacular attempts was made on 17th January 1950 when a gang broke into the company’s Boston headquarters and escaped with $2,775,395. It was more than 5 years before one of them turned state’s evidence and caused the arrest of his companions.
S02E18 Richard Ramirez - The Night Stalker 00/00/0000 During a two year rampage, a sadistic serial killer broke into the homes of families throughout California. He raped, mutilated and tortured more than 25 victims in one of the most vicious sprees in US criminal history. When Richard Ramirez was arrested on 25th August 1985 a bizarre story involving Satanism and cult worship began to emerge, and the killer seem to exercise an extraordinary hold over many people who attended his trial.
S02E19 The Rosenbergs - Atom Spies? 00/00/0000 On 19th June 1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg walked to the electric chair in Sing Sing prison to become the first married couple in the United States to be executed together. They had been found guilty at the height of the McCarthy anti-Communist witch hunts of spying for the Soviet Union during the Second World War and passing vital secrets of the Manhattan Project, America’s atomic bomb programme, to the Russians. To the end they protested their innocence and controversy continues as to whether they were condemned simply to calm the American public’s fear of growing Communist power.
S02E20 The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa 00/00/0000 To this day, the exact fate of Jimmy Hoffa, one of the most corrupt and forceful US union leaders, remains a mystery. Hoffa had built up the Teamsters Union into a massive and rich organisation with close links to organised crime. Brought to trial in 1962 and finally imprisoned in 1967, he was pardoned by Richard Nixon in 1971. Four years later he was lured to a fictitious union meeting and disappeared.
S02E21 Dan White - The City Hall Killer 00/00/0000 Dan White gave up his job with the San Francisco fire department to go into politics. Running on a strongly anti-gay platform he was elected to the post of supervisor but soon found himself in financial trouble. When he resigned in 1978 Mayor George Moscone was persuaded by another supervisor, Harvey Milk, who was the city’s first openly gay elected official, to offer the job to a replacement who would support the gay community. Appalled, White withdrew his resignation and when Moscone refused to accept this, he shot him and Milk.
S02E22 Bonnie and Clyde 00/00/0000 The film ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ made a romantic myth of these two young Texans. In reality they were illiterate, unfeeling killers who for a two year period, 1932 - 1934, spread terror across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Their gang carried out more than 20 small robberies and needless killings before being gunned down on 23rd May 1934.
S02E23 Wayne Williams - The Atlanta Killer 00/00/0000 Experience has taught the Atlanta police department to expect about eight child murders a year - usually within families and usually quickly solved. But in 1979 they realised that they were dealing with a serial killer who preyed on young black children aged between 7 and 14. Before the nightmare was ended with the arrest of 23-year-old Wayne Williams in May 1981, there had been 28 victims, and a national manhunt was in progress.
S02E24 The Escapes from Alcatraz 00/00/0000
S02E25 The KKK Killings 00/00/0000 Founded originally in the aftermath of the American Civil War as a defender of white southerners against the revenge of freed black slaves, this secret society became notorious for its savage methods and white-hooded costume. Revived in the 1920s, its targets became Jews and other minorities as well as blacks. The attempts of the US government to control it were the background of the film ‘Mississippi Burning’.
S02E26 New York Mafia Wars 00/00/0000 Originating as a resistance movement against Arab invaders in 9th Century Sicily, this secret society was brought to the United States during the great waves of emigration from Italy in the late 19th Century. It was soon organising crime and racketeering in many American cities, and under bosses like ‘Lucky’ Luciano, Carlo Gambino and Santo Trafficante, became a nationwide ‘business’ which boasted of being bigger than US Steel.
S03E01 Mark Chapman and the Killing of John Lennon 00/00/0000 One man’s obsessive adoration of the world’s greatest rock star led to a transposition of personality and the death of John Lennon.
S03E02 Gaston Dominici and the Drummond Murders 00/00/0000 The brutal murder of Sir Jack Drummond and his family in the lonely Provencal countryside led to a sensational trial and the eventual sentencing of a peasant farmer to the guillotine.
S03E03 Henry Lee Lucas - The Highway Stalker 00/00/0000
S03E04 Donald Hume - The Setty Case 00/00/0000
S03E05 John Duffy - The Railway Killer 00/00/0000
S03E06 Graham Young - The Compulsive Poisoner 00/00/0000
S03E07 Sir Harry Oakes - The Bahamas Murder Mystery 00/00/0000
S03E08 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) 00/00/0000
S03E09 Defeo and Benson - Inheritance Killers 00/00/0000
S03E10 Donald Merrett - The Murderous Buccaneer 00/00/0000
S03E11 Roy Fontaine - The Deadly Butler 00/00/0000
S03E12 Buck Ruxton - The Ravine Bodies Mystery 00/00/0000
S03E13 Leonard Lake and Charles NG - The Calaveras County Serial Killings 00/00/0000
S03E14 John Bodkin Adams and Other Infamous Doctors 00/00/0000
S03E15 Heidnick and Dahmer - Killers for Company 00/00/0000
S03E16 Judge Joe Peel and the Chillingworth Murders 00/00/0000
S03E17 Sacco and Vanzetti - Anarchy and Murder 00/00/0000
S03E18 The Trunk Murders 00/00/0000
S03E19 Browne and Kennedy and Other Police Killings 00/00/0000
S03E20 The Siege of Sidney Street 00/00/0000
S03E21 Leopold and Loeb 00/00/0000
S03E22 The Zodiac Killer and Other Unsolved Serial Murders 00/00/0000
S03E23 The Assassination of Robert Kennedy 00/00/0000
S03E24 Pol Pot and the Killing Fields of Cambodia 00/00/0000
S03E25 The Massacre at Malmedy 00/00/0000
S03E26 Ma Barker and Other Public Enemies 00/00/0000

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