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'When Missing Turns To Murder' Is The New True Crime Series You Have To Watch

Helen McCourt only had a 500 yard journey between her house and the bus stop, but when she didn't make it home, police launched a missing persons appeal.

However, as a series of grim discoveries were made, detectives became increasingly aware they were dealing with a murder case.

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A number of clues were uncovered throughout the investigation, which transformed the missing persons case into a murder case.

The story of Helen's murder will now appear on the first episode of a new true crime documentary called When Missing Turns To Murder.

Filmmakers work closely with the families affected by a series of killings, starting with that of 22-year-old Helen McCourt from Liverpool.

Helen McCourt went missing aged 22. Credit: PA Images
Helen McCourt went missing aged 22. Credit: PA Images

Helen disappeared after getting off a bus in Billinge on her way home from work as an insurance clerk, on 9th February 1988.

Her family desperately appealed for any trace of her after she didn't return home, but a discovery 15 miles away from their house where she was last seen told detectives they were dealing with a murder case.

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The discovery consisted of two blood-stained towels and several items of discarded clothing, found by a dog walker, implicating local pub landlord Ian Simms. He had already raised suspicions among police because of his nervous response to questioning.

Helen and her mother Marie McCourt. Credit: PA Images
Helen and her mother Marie McCourt. Credit: PA Images

Clothing discovered in the woodland area was branded with a beer logo connected to the father-of-two's pub, the George and Dragon in St Helens, where Helen used to work.

Police questioned Simms and found blood and one of Helen's earrings in his car.

A month later, Helen's bag, coat, scarf, trousers and mittens were found on a riverbank in Irlam in a binliner which was proved to be taken from Simms' pub.

Police searching for Helen's body. Credit: Crime + Investigation
Police searching for Helen's body. Credit: Crime + Investigation

Simms was arrested and charged with Helen's murder and more than 5,000 turned out to look for her, but a body was never found.

Even to this day, Simms has refused to give any information to where Helen's body is, leaving her mum Marie unable to lay her daughter to rest.

Marie is campaigning for Helen's Law to be introduced in the UK, which would mean killers who refuse to reveal their victim's location will never be released from prison.

When Missing Turns To Murder will air on Monday 4th March at 9pm on Crime + Investigation.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Entertainment, TV News, TV Entertainment

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on emma.rosemurgey@pretty52.com

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