Warning over influence of TV crime on reporting

The Chair of the Crime Reporters Association and chief crime correspondent at the Daily Mirror, Jeff Edwards, warned journalists pursuing new angles on the Ipswich murders against being influenced by fictional crime programmes such as Cracker and Prime Suspect.

Edwards told Press Gazette: "Journalists are pursuing different criminal psychologists who are giving different versions of who they think the killer is.

Only one version can be right. It's very dangerous to make any assumptions.

"The point is that there is a very short trail at the moment. Two bodies were found in a stream and recovery of forensic evidence will be virtually nil.

In a strange way forensic evidence won't start until they find out who is responsible.

"Journalists can't get their heads around this because they are so influenced by what they see on Prime Suspect or Cracker. They're desperate to say something new.

"Some are saying the killer has left victims unclothed because of a sexual fetish. This may or may not be true — we simply don't know at this stage.

"It could be that he's been involved in crime before and is forensically aware — the killer or killers may have removed the girls' clothes to ensure there would be no transfer of fibres.

"The removal of their clothes may not indicate a sexual twist and could have been a practical measure."

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