A new BBC documentary, The Shipman Files: A Very British Crime, showed murderer doctor Harold Shipman’s heartless reaction when shown photos of his alleged victims.
He was being investigated for killing several of his patients at Pontifract General Infirmary through 1975–1998.
He was convicted of murdering 15 people but is thought to have killed closer to 250, most of his victims elderly women.
Trusted GP Shipman administered a lethal dose of poison to many of his patients – and walked away with cash from their wills.
Shipman was arrested and jailed in 2000 while police gathered more evidence about patients they believed he had killed.
But when showed photographs of the patients from around the time Shipman knew them, his sinister reaction showed a heartless man.
He turned his chair around and faced the wall, and even closed his eyes when the detective put the photo in front of him.
Chris Gregg, former Detective Chief Superintendent and former head of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, interrogated Shipman and spoke on the documentary about the experience.
“During the course of the questioning, we wanted to show him the photographs of Lily Crossley, Robert Lingard, Eva Lyons, as they were in 1975, and to present him with as much information as we can to put these allegations to him.”
Gregg added that Shipman was laughing and joking with the guards until he realised he was at Halifax police station, and then “his whole demeanour changed”.
“As soon as I introduced us, he spun on his heels and put his back to me,” he said.
“I was reading him his rights and asking him his details, and the custody officer was asking the same, and he refused to speak.
“John Barr, my colleague, said that as I was talking to him, he was looking at John’s tie which had spots on it, and he could tell that he was counting the spots, meticulously.
“He was just blocking himself out from what was happening.”
He went on: “During the interviews, he was determined he was not going to cooperate in any way, shape or form, and at one point he turned his chair around, sat in the corner.”
A clip then played from Shipman’s interview, where he sits with his arms folded, staring at the wall.
And when a photo of Lily Crossley was presented to him, he closed his eyes and refused to even look at her.
“He was detained there for a couple of days while we questioned him, and he did not utter one word from entering to leaving Halifax police station,” Gregg added.
In 2004, Shipman was found dead in his prison cell after taking his own life, leaving many family members of his victims and possible victims feeling he had cheated justice.