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Mystery of the Man on the Moor

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On a chilly December day in 2015 a man was found dead, killed by strychnine poisoning, on bleak Saddleworth Moor near Oldham. But police could find no clue as to his identity, despite huge international press appeals.

This thoroughly engrossing and poignant documentary follows Greater Manchester police as they painstakingly spend a year hunting for leads. One officer goes through hundreds of hours of CCTV: “It’s not like in the films, like The Bourne Identity, where straight away you see the right person.”

For the entire team the need to find a name for the man they called “Neil Dovestone”, after the spot where he was found, became personal. “It touched our hearts,” says one of the detectives.


This programme offers exclusive access to the year-long investigation to unearth the identity of a man who was found dead on Saddleworth Moor, Oldham, in December 2015. Found with no phone, wallet or driving licence, his identity remained a mystery to police investigating the case. Featuring previously unseen footage and moving interviews with members of the deceased's family, this documentary offers an insight into Greater Manchester Police's efforts to understand how he came to the end of his life in such unusual circumstances.

Cast & Crew

Director Sarah Hey
Executive Producer Andrew Sheldon
Producer Sarah Hey


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