7 July 2022
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and the invitation to the tour
There is something sinister about a British seaside town. On the surface they’re all funfairs and breezy promenades. Yet dig a little deeper in the sand and you soon uncover an underworld of murder, madness and mayhem…
Murder by the Sea is a companion book to the long-running true-crime documentary series on CBS Reality. Since 2018 the programme has examined some of the most extraordinary murder cases in Britain’s seaside towns. From Blackpool to Bournemouth, Southport to Pembrokeshire, people love to be beside the seaside, but away from the piers, the arcades and beautiful beaches lurks some dark secrets. Ten of the series’ most powerful and shocking cases feature in Murder by the Sea (Vol 1).
From serial killers to a 1950s poisoner, from cruel husbands to an unusual murder by a mother and son, these are the true stories of wives, couples and families who had the misfortune to encounter a killer in their everyday lives. With complete access to the extensive interviews conducted by the TV production teams with detectives, forensic psychologists, witnesses and relatives, Murder by the Sea features exclusive additional material and insights that could not be included in the original episodes.
Stephen Akinmurele – Blackpool serial killer who preyed on retired women.
John Cooper – serial killer and rapist who terrorised Pembrokeshire and eluded police for two decades.
Paul Longworth – Southport boat club commodore who tried to disguise the murder of his wife as a suicide.
Pierre Legris – Bournemouth bigamist who bludgeoned to death a woman who thought she was his second wife.
Malcolm Green – notorious Cardiff murderer who killed a prostitute and his best friend.
Louisa May Merrifield – the Blackpool Poisoner hanged in 1953 for killing her employer.
Mitchell Quy – murdered and dismembered his wife in Southport and taunted police for failing to locate the ‘missing person’.
Robert Mochrie – former civil servant who murdered his whole family in Barry.
Mathew Hardman – the teen who disembowelled an elderly woman on the island of Anglesey because he wanted to be a vampire.
Penny John and Barry Rogers – mother and son who murdered Penny’s mother in Pembrokeshire.
TV series Murder by the Sea has been commissioned twice a year since 2018 because it has won a devoted audience and high viewing figures, reinforced by frequent repeats and occasional ‘bingewatch months’ on CBS Reality. Having covered cases from around the UK, from Scotland to the South Coast, Wales, the North East and even the Isle of Man, the factual series has nationwide appeal. Its success is built on reviewing chilling cases with the assistance of experts and former detectives to reveal the murderous motivations of husbands, family members and psychopaths, and how they were eventually caught. Away from the ice creams and seafront arcades, the series exposes the dark side of locations that are meant to be idyllic.
Brand new series 7 launches in September 2022 with another in January 2023.
📖 My Review..
I'm not an overly enthusiastic reader of true crime because to be honest I'm scared of reading about those evil individuals who inflict such torment, and torture, on their victims and I haven't watched the TV series Murder by the Sea but something about this book title intrigued me especially as the seaside is one of my favourite places to visit and here in the UK we have hundreds of miles of beautiful, unspoiled, coastline. However, having said that, there is sometimes something a little bit sinister about a seaside town, maybe it's the thought of so many people, each with their own stories to tell, who pass through the towns all year round.
Murder by the Sea looks in depth at ten of the most chilling murders which have taken place in those seaside resorts we all know and love. Both Blackpool and Southport are just a short drive away from me and yet I wasn't familiar with any of the three cases which took place in these towns and which are mentioned in the book. Sometimes these stories of murder are just snippets in a local news item but as this in-depth study reveals there is usually a lot more to discover about these complex, and rather sensational, murder investigations.
With impeccable research and a fine eye for even the smallest of detail, the authors have done a great job of presenting the factual evidence of these heinous crimes. Crimes which have fractured families and shattered the peace of small seaside communities who are still reeling from having a killer in their midst.
Perfectly possible to read with no prior knowledge of the crimes, Murder by the Sea works as an adjunct, or introduction, to this True Life TV crime series.
🍷Best read with...a stiff drink, or maybe even two..
About the Authors
Authors DAVID HOWARD is a documentary film maker and founder of the television production company Monster Films. A recipient of the Royal Television Society Award for journalism, his award-winning films include Interview With A Murderer (Channel 4) and Dark Son (BBC). He is the creator and director of the series Murder by the Sea. This is his first book. ROBIN JAROSSI is a freelance journalist and the author of The Hunt for the 60s’ Ripper. He is also an on-air contributor to true-crime documentaries on the BBC and CBS Reality, including Murder by the Sea.
Twitter @MardleBooks #MurderbytheSea