What a strange dish ITV1 served up last night with its examination of Colin Ireland, a serial killer who targetted gay men.
Usually such programmes are little more than puff pieces for the police force involved in the inquiry. Given the scale of policing disasters in this instance that was hardly possible.
Ireland was caught, ultimately by CCTV evidence, in an era when this was a new method of capturing murder suspects. This issue was touched upon, but not tackled in any detail. What was odder however, were the issues left out of the programme.
Ireland's alleged far-right involvement was not mentioned at all. How unusual is it for a documentary to miss out on the chance to add 'Nazi-killer' to the mix? More seriously how you can run an hour long programme about a man picking up gays in London bars, going back to their homes, tying them up and robbing them, and not debate the issue of the killers sexuality? Ths was at best bizarre, at worst a dereliction of investigative journalism.
It does not take a genius to suspect that Ireland was wrestling with his own sexuality, and that at least some of the anger he felt towards gay men derived from this. "Real Crime: Serial Killer on Camera" was ultimately a shallow examination of a major cime.