Jill Dando was shot dead on her porch on April 26, 1999, igniting the largest murder investigation since the search for the Yorkshire Ripper.
The Crimewatch broadcaster was one of the country’s most popular personalities, her star power still surging, when a killer still on the loose snuck up behind her and shot her outside her Fulham home.
While a man, Barry George, was convicted and imprisoned for her murder shortly after, he was acquitted eight years later after an appeal and retrial.
The case is still open after more than 24 years, and there have been no advances in almost a decade.
For years, theories have circulated about what happened to Dando, who may have targeted her, and why. These are the central questions in the new Netflix documentary Who Killed Jill Dando?
Dando’s ascent from ‘low origins’ to the ‘nation’s darling’ is covered in great length, a nice addition to remind viewers of the lady she was, with the film taking the time to provide a portrait of the woman rather than merely focusing on the manner in which she died.
Her abilities as a journalist are remembered fondly by her colleagues, many of them also recall her ‘gentle, kind, and well-meaning’ demeanour while aggressively combating sexism in the media profession at the time.
But, with no fresh knowledge on the titular topic that drives the series, what can it accomplish?
When the crime was originally probed, authorities pursued numerous lines of inquiry to establish who would shoot a woman in the back of the head at close range in an affluent district of the city, and why.
While her fiancé and a past partner were questioned, they were ruled out as suspects, prompting speculation that the media star was murdered by a stalker or mad admirer.
Others claimed that it may have been a case of mistaken identification, and other ideas even suggested that an assassin was hired as retaliation for Dando’s work on Crimewatch.
There was also speculation that Bosnian-Serbian or Yugoslav organisations had retaliated for NATO activities against media outlets and her charity calls during the Yugoslav Wars.
The documentary begins with tracing Dando’s life and career, interacting with her family, friends, and coworkers before diving into the circumstances of her death.
It then retells George’s narrative, including how he became involved in the case, the evidence that led to his conviction, and how he was finally exonerated, all of which he recounts.
However, many viewers will be familiar with many of the circumstances of the case and will likely not be presented with any fresh or shocking information.
The most stunning moment in the series occurs at the end, when one of the initial detectives assigned to the case claims that he and many other police felt they had the correct guy all along, and that releasing George was a mistake.
However, the series continues to play an essential role in reminding viewers of the tragic truth that Dando’s murder has not been solved over a quarter-century later.
Journalist and Loose Women panellist Jane Moore says it’s’mind-boggling’ that there are still no answers after all these years.
As Dando’s brother, Nigel Dando, has stated in recent months, there is a potential that this series may not only rekindle interest in the case, but will also lead to someone coming forward with information.
As a result, it is quite understood that any kind of spotlight cast back on the case can only be beneficial, and perhaps aid in taking another step forward in the pursuit of justice.
Who Killed Jill Dando? is now streaming on Netflix.