Just Alec Jeffreys: Code of a Killer TV miniseries:
Description: DCS David Baker headed up the investigation into the brutal murders of two Leicestershire schoolgirls between 1983 and 1987. Only a few miles away, Dr Alec Jeffreys, was a scientist at Leicester University who, on 10 September 1984, invented a remarkable technique to read each individual's unique DNA fingerprint. When a local teenager admitted to one of the murders but not the other, Baker asked Jeffreys to analyze the DNA evidence left at the crime scenes. Both men were shocked to discover that the teenager was innocent, his confession false. DCS Baker then took the extraordinarily brave step to launch the world's first ever DNA manhunt, testing over five thousand local men to track down the killer.
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Episode descriptions are taken from wiki:
EPISODE 1: In 1983, in a small village outside Leicester, 15-year-old Lynda Mann is found by a footpath, raped and strangled to death. A year on, after an exhaustive but fruitless search for the killer, Detective Chief Superintendent David Baker is forced to scale down the investigation. Meanwhile, just a few miles up the road at the University of Leicester, scientist Dr Alec Jeffreys invents a remarkable technique to read DNA – the unique genetic fingerprint of every individual – something never previously achieved despite decades of research across the globe. His discovery is first put to use in an immigration case, proving the parentage of a young Ghanaian boy and preventing his deportation. The acceptance of Jeffreys’ findings in a court of law opens the door to DNA testing and he and his university laboratory are swamped by paternity and immigration cases. Summer 1986, and 15-year-old Dawn Ashworth goes missing – last seen just a hundred yards from where Lynda's body was discovered. Dawn’s body is found two days later; she has been strangled and hidden in undergrowth near a footpath shortcut. DCS Baker is back on the case – convinced the same culprit has struck again. This time the investigation bears fruit when a young man from the area, seen acting suspiciously at the time of Dawn’s murder, confesses to her killing. However, he refuses to admit he had anything to do with the death of Lynda Mann. Reading about Jeffreys’ work in a local paper, Baker approaches him at the university – perhaps the DNA test can prove the teenager's involvement in Lynda’s death? Jeffreys is hesitant – the DNA sample from the murder scene is nearly three years old, and the technique was not intended or designed for criminal investigation. Furthermore, having only been used in paternity and immigration cases, would the findings be accepted in a criminal court? But Jeffreys is able to obtain a clear genetic fingerprint of the murderer from a sample. It proves that the teenager did not kill Lynda Mann... could the murders have been committed by two different men, or is he innocent?
EPISODE 2: In a storm of publicity, the local teenager is released and the world is introduced to the idea of DNA fingerprinting – forensic DNA. But in the villages of Narborough and Enderby there’s a real sense of fear: there’s a murderer in their midst. Baker calls together his team of officers, some of whom doubt the new science and firmly believe they had their man and have been forced to let him go. Baker tells them that the investigation must go back to square one: the statements and paperwork are to be gone through again and again. The killer is dangerous and is likely to strike again. A Crimewatch special is filmed of Dawn’s last journey and an emotional appeal made to the public...but still no new evidence comes to light. Baker realizes the usual routes of enquiry just aren’t working; they need something else, and they need it to work before the killer strikes again. He sees that the science offers them an opportunity. If this new DNA fingerprinting can eliminate a killer, it can surely catch one. Baker grabs the local map off his wall and drives to the university. Baker explains to Jeffreys: they now have the DNA code of the killer; he wants to conduct the world’s first DNA manhunt, testing the blood of every man in the area aged between 18 and 34, seeking a match with the killer's. Jeffreys is in awe of the magnitude of the idea, and the confidence that Baker has in this new science – the eyes of the world will be on them. The future of forensic DNA will be at stake. Both men know that it’s a risk they have to take if they want the killer caught. Baker makes the radical plea to his superiors. Despite the vast expense, the Home Office eventually concede – the testing will be carried out by the Forensic Science Service. It is agreed that the mass screening must be voluntary; for reasons of civil liberty, no-one can be compelled. In order for the manhunt to work, they need the whole community to believe in the science and get behind the idea. Without the villagers' support and a high turnout, it won’t work. January 1st 1987: the first day of screening. Baker and Jeffreys and their teams of police and doctors wait with bated breath … will they catch the killer?