Simon Cowell’s Syco bringing Making a Murderer-style drama to ITV

Award-winning former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas returns to ITV to unravel previously closed murder case

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Simon Cowell’s company Syco is bringing a Making a Murderer-style drama to ITV.

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The Investigator: A British Crime Story sees Mark Williams-Thomas (the award-winning former police detective who unmasked Jimmy Savile as the UK’s most notorious paedophile) return to ITV for what is set to be an explosive new real-life investigative series.

The case (previously closed) surrounds the murder of Carole Packman, whose body – to this day – has never been found. For more than 30 years the case has baffled detectives. 

The four-part series will weave together both real-life and reenactment footage in order to unravel the facts of the complex investigation.

It’s a new direction for Cowell’s company. After all, we’re much more used to seeing Cowell and his brand running shiny-floored Saturday night shows. But as usual, he’s a businessman with a keen eye on what’s trendy: you’ll struggle to find someone that hasn’t been hooked on the Netflix series. 

A source tells us the project is also a nod to the fact that Cowell is a vocal fan of HBO’s 2015 documentary miniseries The Jinx, which explored the life of Robert Durst, a man described as being a “scion of New York’s billionaire Durst family” who was then at the centre of a “series of unsolved crimes” (a case was subsequently re-opened). 

The Investigator: A British Crime Story is a Shiver and Syco co-production. Mark Williams-Thomas spent two decades investigating major crime, which includes an 11-year police career specialising in child protection. 

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In October 2012, he presented ITV documentary The Other Side Of Jimmy Savilewhich first revealed Savile to be a serial sexual abuser. Williams-Thomas received two Royal Television Society awards and the Scoop of the Year at the London Press Awards for the programme. Earlier this month, ITV aired his interview with convicted murderer and former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.