Channel 4 Murder Island accused of having 'no respect' after 'cruel scene'

By Norman Silvester

Murder Island has been accused by a charity of showing no compassion towards grieving families.

The controversial reality TV show, by Rebus author Ian Rankin, is set in Scotland and involves eight amateur sleuths trying to solve the death of a female eco-activist, with a first prize of £50,000.

But a charity that supports the grieving families of murder victims has questioned the need for the Channel 4 series.

READ MORE - Tributes to young Scottish mum after she died near the M9 motorway

The six-week series, broadcast for the first time last Tuesday features three real former police officers.

But Ann Marie Cocozza, co-founder of FAMS (Families and Friends Affected by Murder and Suicide) said she was appalled by what she saw.

FAMS provides support and counselling to help people cope with the aftermath of a homicide.

Ann Marie told our sister title the Daily Record: “This programme was not a good watch and would not be a good watch for people who have lost a loved one through murder.

“Murder should not be entertainment.

“I was appalled because it felt this was a golden opportunity to show some sensitivity and compassion for the victims of murder.

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“But there was no empathy shown to this victim, particularly as this is supposed to be like real life.

“They showed people stepping over a body and pools of blood. That is cruel and hard to watch.”

Ann Marie is concerned by TV’s obsession with “murdertainment” which she says seldom takes victims’ families into account.

She added: “Murder is not like any other crime, a life has been taken. The programme makers should talk to organisations like ours beforehand but they never do.”

Margaret Hendry, whose 18-year-old son Liam was murdered by van driver Dean Wright in Barrowfield, Glasgow in September,
2019, also joined in criticism of the ­programme.

She said: “Murder Island so far shows no signs of being different from any other murdertainment programme. No dignity and respect shown for the victim or their families.”

A Channel Four spokesman said: “Murder Island is fictitious and the focus and drive of the series is the amateur detectives who are tasked with trying to solve a fictitious murder.”

On Murder Island, Parm Sandhu, a former detective chief superintendent at the Met, Simon Harding, a retired detective chief inspector in the Met’s homicide unit, and Graham “Maca” McMillan, a retired DI with Bedfordshire police, provide advice.


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