Stephen Graham Stars In ITV's New True Crime Drama White House Farm
| Last updated
White House Farm looks into the deaths of Nevill and June Bamber, who were killed in 1985 alongside their adopted daughter Sheila Caffell and her two sons, Daniel and Nicholas.
The family were shot dead in an Essex farmhouse. At the time, police suspected that Sheila (played in the dramatisation by Cressida Bonas), who suffered with schizophrenia, was responsible for the murders.
It was initially believed that she had shot her relatives before turning the gun on herself, as it was found in her hands.
However, as the investigation continued, suspicions were raised that a murder-suicide may not have been the case, and that there was a chance someone else had carried out the killings.
The first officer to doubt that Sheila was behind the killings was DS Stan Jones (Mark Addy).
Despite DCI Thomas Jones (played by Stephen Graham) believing that Sheila was responsible, eventually her adoptive brother Jeremy Bamber (played by Freddie Fox) was arrested in connection with the deaths.
After a trial in 1986, Jeremy was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole.
The court found that he had attempted to stage the murders to make it look like Sheila was responsible, so that the large inheritance would go solely to him.
However, Bamber maintains his innocence to this day, with lawyers making several appeals to have his case reviewed.
The six-part drama has been written by Kris Mrksa and Giula Sandler.
Speaking about the horrific episode, Mrksa said he wanted to look at the story from the viewpoint of its effect on those involved.
He said: "This is an incredibly compelling true crime story, but it's the human dimension of these events that gripped my imagination, particularly after reading Colin Caffell's book.
"So much discussion of the case has focused on contested legal details, but I wanted to tell this story in a way that did justice to the devastating emotional truth of what happened."
Colin Caffell was Sheila's husband at the time, although their relationship had broken down. He had sole custody of the twins and had dropped them off at their grandparents' house to spend a week with them and Sheila - that was the last time he saw his sons.
Speaking at the launch of the drama, he said he had worked hard to make sure his wife's name was cleared.
He said: "I had a choice whether to be completely consumed by it or to get above it.
"If I'd actually given in and been the victim it would have been a sense of defeat to Jeremy. I wasn't going to let him beat me.
"What I experienced after it all happened was yes everybody accepted that Jeremy was guilty. They kept on saying to me, 'But yes, Sheila was a drug addict wasn't she? She used to beat the children, didn't she?'
"And I said, 'No, that's not true.'
"She was very heavily medicated for her psychosis and that would have affected everything. There's no way she could have done any of the things they accused her of. But that idea stuck in the mind. And there's the attitude that they read it in the newspapers so it must be true. Now it's social media."
White House Farm starts tonight (8 January) on ITV at 9pm.