My lovely wife bought me this book as a surprise. We’d binge watched the TV series over two days and we both wanted to know more. In 1985 a family of five were shot and murdered in a quiet farmhouse in Essex. The police originally thought that it was a murder suicide committed by Sheila Caffell, although it turned out to have been carried out by her younger brother.
The book was written by Colin, Sheila’s former husband and the father of twin boys, who were also killed along with Neville and June, Sheila’s parents. It was a truly horrific slaughter and it took Colin many years to come to terms with what happened. The book isn’t only about the murders as it also focuses on Sheila and how she would never have harmed her sons, despite what was printed in the press at the time. Her cousins knew that she couldn’t have done it and pestered the police to look at Jeremy. Eventually the police put together enough evidence to arrest Jeremy. His girlfriend then handed herself into the police and admitted that Jeremy had told her that he had committed the murders for the money.
Much of the book discusses Colin’s search for answers, not just to the murders, but spiritually and religiously. The good side and the bad side of the church are both on display, along with a couple of ‘mediums’. I don’t have any first hand experience of psychics, but Colin and Sheila obviously believed, and definitely helped Colin.
The book was first published in 1995 with an extra couple of chapters written to coincide with the TV series. One of those chapters covers Jeremy’s appeal. Fortunately, further forensic examination of the original case showed that the correct killer had been jailed, much to the relief of Colin.
Overall a very interesting read, although if you are only looking for details of the murder and the trial this probably isn’t the book you’re looking for. Reviews suggest that the book by Carol Ann Lee is the best of the books written about the murders. I would recommend watching the TV series, which was based upon Colin’s book, without the clairvoyance stuff.