8.0
2 votes
Great Crimes and Trials

Great Crimes and Trials

History 1993

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.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Great Crimes and Trials

#1 - Dr. Crippen

8.67

Season 1 - Episode 17

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.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 3 votes.

#2 - The Manson Family Murders

8.25

Season 1 - Episode 7

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’.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 4 votes.

#3 - The Hillside Stranglers

8.00

Season 1 - Episode 5

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’.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 6 votes.

#4 - The Jonestown Massacre

8.00

Season 1 - Episode 8

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.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 6 votes.

#5 - Charles Starkweather - The Badlands Killer

8.00

Season 2 - Episode 1

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.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 1 votes.

#6 - Richard Speck - The Nurse Killer
8.00
Season 2 - Episode 5

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.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 1 votes.

#7 - Richard Ramirez - The Night Stalker
8.00
Season 2 - Episode 18

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.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 1 votes.

#8 - Wayne Williams - The Atlanta Killer
8.00
Season 2 - Episode 23

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.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 1 votes.

#9 - John Dillinger - Public Enemy No. 1
7.80
Season 1 - Episode 6

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.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 5 votes.

#10 - John Christie of Rillington Place
7.75
Season 1 - Episode 21

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.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Great Crimes and Trials from 4 votes.

Last updated: dec 06, 2020

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