Shameless killers who were interviewed on TV before being found guilty of crimes

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Serial killers sometimes give interviews after they’ve been sentenced – but what is even more macabre is when we find out someone was interviewed before they were caught.

These interviews reveal how cold-blooded killers would occasionally imitate the emotions that ordinary people would experience if they were the victim of a heinous crime.

Here the Daily Star has rounded up five convicted criminals who spoke to TV crews before they were arrested for their heinous crimes.

Darren Vickers

Bus driver Darren Vickers befriended, groomed and abused eight-year-old Jamie Lavis before killing him in Openshaw, Greater Manchester in 1997.

He said he was the last person to see the youngster when he drove him on the bus.

In a truly dark twist, Darren quickly joined the search for the little boy and spoke on TV and purporting to represent Jamie's shattered parents John and Karen Lavis.

Desperate to find their son, Jamie's parents even permitted Darren to move in with them during the search, moving out of their own bed so he could be there.

Jamie's dismembered body was eventually found on a golf course, with his head and limbs missing, and Darren was jailed for life and ordered to serve 25 years in 1999.

A 2018 documentary, Faking It: Tears Of A Crime, analysed the statements Vickers made during the search for Jamie and revealed the killer gave himself away.

Body language expert Cliff Lansley says that when Darren spoke to TV reporters he showed he was lying by repeatedly shaking his head and occasionally shrugging his shoulders.

“The head shake is tiny but it's a gift to a body language analyst because those tiny gestures are below consciousness and they leak the contradiction to the statement he is making,” Mr Lansey said on the programme.

Stuart Hazell

The shocking murder of 12-year-old Tia Sharp gripped the nation after she was reported missing from her grandmother's home, where she was later found dead.

Stuart Hazell, who was the then-boyfriend of Tia Sharp's grandmother, told police she had left the home in New Addington, London, on August 3, 2012, to buy shoes in Croydon.

Eighty police officers were allocated to the search, and Stuart appeared on television on August 9 to deny any involvement in her disappearance, revealing the pair were alone in the house on Thursday night playing computer games and eating pizza and chips.

He said Tia was “a happy-go-lucky golden angel” and that she had not had any problems at her “loving home” before she vanished. Stuart said he thought people were "pointing the finger" at him as he was the last one to see her.

It turned out they were right to do so as on August 10, Tia’s body was discovered in a black bed sheet in a black bag in the home of Tia's grandmother, Christine Sharp.

Memory cards were discovered at Christine's home shortly after Stuart's arrest, and authorities were able to recover photographs and videos. Some of the files depicted Tia in sexual positions and were thought to have been taken after her death, while others were voyeuristic photographs shot while she was still alive.

Stuart was subsequently charged with murder.

Ian Huntley

Best friends Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were 10 years old when they disappeared from a family barbecue on August 4, 2002.

Police descended on the Cambridgeshire town of Soham, with more than 400 officers working round the clock to find the pair.

Their school caretaker Ian Huntley was hiding a chilling secret – he had murdered the pair after he lured them to his home.

Ian murdered the girls and hid their remains in an irrigated ditch near the RAF station, roughly 10 miles away from their home.

Like others in this article, he gave an interview in front of TV cameras and joined the hunt for the missing girls before he was discovered.

Ian was charged with two counts of murder on August 20 and sentenced to two life sentences, with a minimum of 40 years behind bars.

He is now housed in HMP Frankland in Durham, where he will not be considered for parole until 2042 at the earliest.

Chris Watts

The Watts family murders that occurred in Frederick, Colorado, United States, on August 13, 2018, shocked the world.

Shanann Watts and her two young children were reported missing by her close friend after the mum didn’t show up for an appointment or respond to texts.

Chris appeared on two Denver television stations the next day, appealing for his family's safe return.

However, he lacked the emotional response that one might expect from a man whose loved ones had gone missing and were likely in danger.

He was arrested the day after this interview on suspicion of murdering his wife, two children, and his third unborn child, as Shanann was pregnant at the time.

It was discovered that Chris was having an affair and had decided to kill his family after an argument about getting a divorce.

Chris eventually admitted to murdering pregnant Shanann by strangulation and murdering their daughters, four-year-old Bella and three-year-old Celeste, by smothering them with a blanket over their heads.

He pleaded guilty to numerous charges of first-degree murder as part of a plea deal on November 6, 2018, when the death penalty was removed from sentencing in Colorado (which was later abolished in 2020).

He was given five life sentences with no chance of release, three of which were to be served consecutively.

Matthew Haverly

News teams were interviewing local residents in Bradford County in June 2018 after a body had been discovered in a nearby creek.

Matthew Haverly was one person who was interviewed, speaking casually about what he thought happened

In the clip, he can be seen speculating that the body could have been dumped after a “hit” and that his mother would be “concerned” about the situation.

In a twist that people didn’t see coming, it turns out Matthew knew exactly what happened as he was responsible. He was arrested later the same day as his television interview.

The victim was the very mother he mentioned, who died of blunt force trauma to the head before being placed in the creek. Police said she also had bruises on her wrists.

Matthew said he had no recollection of the occurrence and pled "no contest" to charges of involuntary homicide, mistreatment of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and weapon possession.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and has so far been denied all of his requests for early release. Along with the sentence, he also had to pay fines and court costs.

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