Pubs were visited, pints were consumed, and my interview for the British television show “Murder Casebook” went well. At least the host and crew, I’m happy to report, were pleased with my performance. The show is tentatively scheduled to air sometime in April on the UK’s Crime and Investigation Network. My six days in England went by far too quickly, but any chance to visit the Motherland is always welcome.
I taped my interview on Saturday. Originally scheduled to take place at RAF Uxbridge, an historic airbase with ties to Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain, we ended up filming at RAF Northolt, an active airfield in West London. It, too, played a pivotal role in the defense of the capital during the Second World War and was the first base from which the famous Spitfire flew. For a history geek like me, it was very cool stuff!
The interview was a great experience. Surprisingly, I was pretty calm before hand thanks to the production team who did a great job making me feel at ease. We filmed in the Officer’s Mess in front of a large fireplace framed between the RAF’s official flag and the Union Jack. The subject was Gordon Frederick Cummins, an RAF cadet and serial killer who stalked the blacked-out streets of wartime London, murdering four women in a fashion similar to Jack the Ripper. The press ultimately dubbed Cummins “The Blackout Ripper.” I wrote about the case in my second book In the Dark (published in the UK as The Blackout Murders).
Fred Dinenage, the show’s host and well-known British TV reporter, had me walk through Cummins’s crime spree and detail each of the murders. He was a great interviewer and engaged me in a friendly, conversational style. I was once featured on Court TV’s “The Investigators.” Throughout that taping, the crew had to keep stopping the interview to put powder on my forehead to blunt the glare of the camera lights. I’m happy to say there were no such problems this time around.
The taping took the better part of three hours. I brought a camera with me–but I got so wrapped up in things, I forgot to take pictures! Naturally, once the interview was over, I thought of better ways to phrase the things I had said. Such is life.
All in all, it was an amazing experience and one for which I’m incredibly thankful. It would not have been possible without the perseverance of the wonderful Liz Kay at Talent TV South. So, to Liz, I say, “Cheers!”