Mention the name Jeremy Bamber and anyone with memories of the 1980s will almost certainly recall the man convicted of murdering his adoptive parents, adoptive sister and her twin six-year-old sons in a remote Essex farmhouse.
And now RadioTimes.com can reveal that the tragic story is being turned into an ITV drama.
The channel is developing a six-part series provisionally called The White House Farm Murders.
It’s being written by talented Australian writer Kris Mrksa, the man behind the recent creepy BBC1 thriller Requiem.
The story will recount events around the bloody carnage of the night of 6 to 7 August 1985 when Nevill and June Bamber were shot and killed inside their farmhouse, along with their adoptive daughter, Sheila Caffell, and Sheila’s six-year-old twin sons, Daniel and Nicholas Caffell.
The police initially believed that Sheila Cafell committed the murders but Bamber was eventually arrested.
At his trial, the prosecution argued that, motivated by a large inheritance, Bamber had shot the family with his father’s semi-automatic rifle, then placed the gun in his unstable sister’s hands to make it look like a murder–suicide.
Bamber was convicted of five counts of murder in October 1986 and was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years. He was told in 1994 that he would never be released, a judgement that has since been upheld on appeal.
Bamber still denies his involvement in the crimes.
Mrksa believes the motivations of the story and what it says about the Britain of the time will make for gripping TV if it gets green lit.
He told RadioTimes.com: “There’s a strong procedural line running through it but it’s really more about the characters. I think there’s a complex story there of the pressures and resentments and dysfunction of families.”
If it goes ahead, the programme would join a roster of dramas from ITV based on real life events.
These include dramas which have aired including Little Boy Blue about the murder of Rhys Jones and an in-production story of the detective who hunted for the killer Levi Bellfield whose victims included Surrey schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Martin Clunes is playing DCI Colin Sutton, the investigating officer, in the drama.
An ITV spokeswoman said: “We can confirm a drama series entitled The White House Farm Murders is being developed for ITV.”