Notorious killings to feature in new TV documentaries

Helen McCourt
Helen McCourt

Two of the borough's highest profile tragedies are to be screened to the nation within days of each other.

Documentaries about the notorious murder of Helen McCourt and the toxic relationship that ended in teenager Carly Fairhurst’s death both appear in episodes of Judge Rinder’s Crime Stories in the coming days.

Carly Fairhurst

Carly Fairhurst

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A whole hour is given over to the case of 22-year-old Billinge insurance clerk Helen, whose killer remains behind bars more than 30 years later because he has never revealed the whereabouts of her body.

Mum Marie, who continues to campaign for pub landlord Ian Simms and other unrepentant murderers to be kept in jail indefinitely if they fail to disclose what they did with their victims’ remains, figures large in the programme, as do investigating officers.

The case of 19-year-old Carly, from Hindley, will see interviews with her parents Trevor and Sheila and focus on her lethal friendship with Darren Pillkington, who was jailed for her manslaughter having already killed before.

Both cases have received extensive coverage in the Wigan Post over the years.

Marie McCourt is still seeking law changes amounting to a “no body, no parole” ruling for murderers.

Since Carly’s death the Fairhursts have raised money for Victim Support and have given talks, including to police, on spotting the signs of domestic abuse.

Carly features on tomorrow’s episode of Judge Rinder’s Crime Stories and Helen on next Monday’s. Both programmes are broadcast at 2pm on ITV.