The murder trial of British au pair Louise Woodward was televised live in the UK, transfixing viewers and splitting public opinion about whether she was guilty or innocent.
Twenty-five years later, this series re-examines the evidence with unprecedented access to witnesses, the defence team, the prosecution and members of the jury who decided her fate. On 4 February 1997, Louise, a 19-year-old au pair from Cheshire, called 911 in Boston, saying she was trying to revive eight-month-old Matthew Eappen, who was unresponsive. Within days, she was arrested and charged with his murder. We ask if Louise Woodward really did shake baby Matthew to death, or whether she was a victim of bogus science. Told over three parts, this is the most comprehensive and well-informed exploration of a case that still haunts all those involved in it, including jury members who now reveal how they made up their minds. Key moments of the trial, including Louise’s own testimony on the stand, make for electrifying viewing, as do new interviews with the scientist who’s changed his mind since testifying against her, the detective who still believes that Louise was to blame, and supporters who still harbour doubts.
This episode explores the shock and horror of the Louise Woodward trial that continued for months after the verdict. Those caught up in the twists and turns reveal how the case still affects them today. Key prosecution witness Dr Patrick Barnes tells us why he’s changed his mind about the science. Was the victim, eight-month-old Matthew Eappen, forgotten in all the hysteria?