Screenwriters continue to romanticise murderous men while overlooking their female victims, a podcast producer said today – following criticism of recent dramas including BBC series The Gold.
Audrey Gillan, who created a podcast exploring the three victims of the Scottish serial killer Bible John, said too much focus was placed on understanding the motives of the perpetrators while women were presented as passive victims.
‘Women are repeatedly just seen as a body at the crime scene or on the mortuary table,’ she told the Radio Times. ‘Isn’t it time we changed the narrative?
‘Can’t we subvert the true crime, serial-killer genre to truly focus on the lives of the women and those who are left behind? These stories can be just as compelling as being inside the mind of a serial killer.’
BBC1 drama The Gold has also been criticised for the way it presents the gang behind the Brinks-Mat robbery in 1983, including road rage killer Kenneth Noye (played by Jack Lowden)
She said her criticism applied both to films and TV series, mentioning recent Netflix series You, which shows a stalker masturbating in a bush while watching a woman he will go on to kill through her window.
BBC1 drama The Gold has also been criticised for the way it presents the gang behind the Brinks-Mat robbery in 1983, including road rage killer Kenneth Noye.
Gary Cameron, the uncle of Stephen Cameron – a 21-year-old man who Noye murdered on a M25 slip road in 1996 – slammed the depiction of the thug as a ‘loveable rogue’.
Des, a 2020 ITV drama about serial killer Dennis Nilsen, was also slammed by the relatives of one of his victims.
Ms Gillan’s BBC podcast, Bible John: Creation of a Serial Killer, retold the story of the hunt for a serial killer responsible for killing three women in Glasgow in the 1960s.
The killer was never identified, but was dubbed ‘Bible John’ by the Press after witnesses heard him quoting passages from the Bible.
Rather than focusing on the killer, Ms Gillan sought to investigate the lives of his victims and the way they were dismissed by sexist police investigators as promiscuous heavy drinkers.
Ms Gillan said her criticism applied both to films and TV series, mentioning recent Netflix series You (pictured: Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg)
Des, a 2020 ITV drama about serial killer Dennis Nilsen (played by David Tennant), was also slammed by the relatives of one of his victims
Liz Tucker, chairwoman of Women in Film & TV, reserved particular scorn for BBC drama The Fall, which features Jamie Dornan as ‘conventionally attractive rapist’
‘I realised that watching serial killer dramas, I didn’t bring much critical faculty to my consumption,’ the journalist said.
‘Murderous men are romanticised, women are often an afterthought.’
Her comments were backed by Liz Tucker, chairwoman of Women in Film & TV.
‘There is an endless stream of shows about murderers and serial killers from Netflix’s Mindhunter to The Ted Bundy Tapes,’ she said.
‘Whether it’s documentary or drama, it’s all about an exciting investigation. Someone talking about the impact it has had on their lives is less noteworthy.’
Ms Tucker reserved particular scorn for BBC drama The Fall, which features Jamie Dornan as ‘conventionally attractive rapist’, saying it was one of the most disturbing shows she had seen.
MailOnline recently revealed how Kenneth Noye is ‘over the moon’ with his portrayal in The Gold, according to an ex-convict friend.
Noye is said to be ‘over the moon’ with the BBC portrayals of his life of crime in last night’s drama ‘Gold.’ Pictured: Noye, 75, for the first time since the programme aired
The killer as a ‘cheeky chappie’ in the BBC series
Noye, 75, has told friends he was happy with his depiction as more of a cheeky chappie than simply a cold-blooded killer.
It is understood Noye was able to access and read the script for The Gold – about the 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery in which he helped launder £26million in gold bullion – before it aired and was approving of the show.
A friend of Noye, who has also served time, said: ‘Kenny is over the moon. The media always put him up as a 24/7 ruthless thug, but he wants people to accept that he has served his time and lives his life quietly and is in a loving relationship.’
He added: ‘Kenny says people come up to him in the streets and shake his hand.
‘It’s the same hand that he stabbed two people to death with. He says the public have forgiven him and he never wants to risk being in trouble again.
‘There is a book about his life out soon and he hopes that will help people understand how he has left that criminal life behind.
‘All he does these days is work out every day in the gym and spend time with his girlfriend.’