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Episode credited cast:
Narvel Annable ...
John Tanner
Thea Rowland ...
Rachel McLean
Detective Sergeant Stephen Beech


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Release Date:

26 January 2004 (UK)  »

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Follows Real Crime: Starring John Bindon (2002) See more »

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Interesting Documentary
8 May 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Absorbing documentary about New Zealand student John Tanner who strangled his girlfriend Rachel in a lover's tiff and hid her body under the floorboards of her Oxford student house while coldly lying to police about their final time together and even appearing on Crimewatch UK appealing for help finding her.

I was at University in 1991 when this was in the news and the case was all the more unsettling as her distraught flat mates were walking over her corpse for 2 weeks before the police smelled a rat and arrested Tanner. Female students I knew at the time were particularly freaked out by the incident.

When arrested Tanner stated that he had had to "destroy that which I loved most" and his icy, calculating manner was witnessed on TV when he participated in reenactments of their final hours together and appealed to the public at a press conference.

Noah Huntley of 28 Days Later plays Tanner which is miscasting as Tanner was an ugly b***ard and Huntley isn't but he does a good job of portraying Tanner as a paranoid and very jealous boyfriend in the dramatised accounts of the doomed relationship intercut with interviews and footage of the real John taken at the time.

Footnote: Huntley is a bigger bloke than I realised and it's now fairly clear why Selena wasn't taking any chances over the scratched arm.

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