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Interview With A Murderer

Interview with a Murderer is a documentary that aired on Channel 4 on the 12th of June. It follows Prof. David Wilson as he interviews suspect Bert Spencer about the murder of Carl Bridgewater in 1978. The documentary also speaks to important people in Bert’s life at the time including his secretary, ex wife and daughter and what they think really happened on that day.

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Carl Bridgewater was a thirteen year old boy doing his paper-round when he was shot point blank in the head by a shotgun in Yew Tree Farm. Bert Spencer was one of the main suspects in the case but there was not enough evidence to convict him. A group of armed robbers known as the Bridgewater Four were convicted of killing the boy in 1979 receiving life sentences. This was changed however in 1997 when the convictions were overturned due to certain evidence being fabricated. The murder was and is still unsolved.

Bert Spencer did receive a life sentence (serving 14 years) in 1980 for the murder of Hubert Wilkes, an old farmer and friend of Bert Spencer. This murder eerily had the same traits to the way Carl Bridgewater was killed twelve years earlier. Since leaving prison Bert has stayed out of the public eye until recently when the case was brought up again and Prof David Wilson was asked to speak to Bert personally to try and work out what really happened all those years ago.

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Within the documentary I found Bert incredibly closed off and cold. Whenever anyone questioned his alibi or the things he was saying he became irritated and annoyed threatening the person that has disagreed with him. His mannerisms and the way he holds himself are also very dominant and he seems to know how to weasel his way out of certain questions and situations. On more than one occasion I noticed his emotional state when talking about certain things seemed more like crocodile tears to me than actual empathy to the situation.

In the finale of the documentary Prof David Wilson tells Bert that he finds his characteristics very concerning and that his solid alibi no longer stands. This makes the thought that Bert Spencer killed Carl Bridgewater much more prominent and has made a lot of people want the police to reopen the case.

In my opinion, of course in these situations it is hard to determine who is right and wrong especially when they are trying to recount things that happened nearly forty years ago. It is clear that Bert is a very dominant and angry man who doesn’t like to be challenged and even his ex wife can clearly recount evidence that would support this. Is he a child killer? That I do not know. Clearly he has it in himself to kill another person and I believe if he had killed Carl it wouldn’t have been his choice to. If it was true and he was robbing the home and Carl just happened to wander in and see what was going on I believe Bert thought a murder would have been his only option to keep himself in the clear. I believe, up until this point, if he had done it Bert thought he was safe and now not so much.

Hopefully if they reopen the case Carl Bridgewater can finally rest in peace.

Do you think Bert Spencer did it?

Until next time.

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