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The brand new dark BBC thriller ‘Sherwood’ tells the tale of two shocking murders in a fractured Nottinghamshire community. Following the killings, historic divisions regarding the Miners' Strike three decades earlier begin to resurface.
‘Sherwood’ doesn’t hide the fact that the plot of the series is based on true events, but how close to the truth is the bleak police drama?
‘Sherwood’ is based off two murders which happened in 2004 in Nottinghamshire, sparking one of the biggest manhunts in British policing history.
Although the Nottinghamshire born and bred screenwriter James Graham (Ink, Finding Neverland, Brexit: The Uncivil War) fictionalised the characters for ‘Sherwood,’ the story itself remains very much alike.
In 2004 former NUM (National Union of Miners) member Keith Frogson was brutally murdered with a Samurai sword and cross bow by local resident Robert Boyer.
Boyer also happened to have worked through the miners’ strikes 30 years earlier, meaning he was deemed a scab by the miners union. This is where the political aspect of the murders emerges.
Boyer then hid in the local Sherwood forest, only returning to set Frogson’s house on fire while the late Mr Frogson’s daughter and son-in-law were inside. Thankfully they both came out unharmed.
In the same few weeks there was a second Nottinghamshire murder, this time it was carried out by ex miner Terry Rodgers on his own daughter Chanel.
Rodgers shot his daughter who he had walked down the aisle only 17 days before. Like Boyer, Rodgers also fled and hid in Sherwood forest, leading to the biggest manhunts in British history.
Both murderers were captured around three weeks after the homicides took place.
Boyer pleaded guilty and it turned out he was afflicted with serious mental health issues; he had attacked Frogson because he was convinced the man was trying to destroy his house.
In fact, the murder had nothing to do with the miners strike at all. Prosecutor Andrew Easteal stated:
“It was suggested initially that the origin of this tragedy had something to do with the miners' strike. May I make it absolutely clear that suggestion is wholly wrong…The reason for that misunderstanding stems from the fact that Boyer was a miner and worked through the strike and Frogson was a leading member of the NUM. But Boyer was quite oblivious to this until after the arrest.”
Looking now at the Terry Rodgers murder, the defendant pleaded not guilty, but admitted Chanel’s man slaughter. Nevertheless, this plea was not accepted and he went to prison in 2004. However, whilst in prison Rodger refused to eat for 2 years and malnutrition eventually led to his death in 2006.
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