An actor who played the murder suspect in a Crimewatch reconstruction has been named as the suspected killer by viewers who think he resembles the man. Oh dear.
Steve Watson played the role for the BBC programme, which aired way back in 1994. It was repeated again this year, leading to viewers calling police and identifying him as the killer.
The re-enactment was for the 1994 murder of Julie Pacey, and after the 53-year-old appeared as the killer in the appeal, he was then arrested by police.
Officers then took his DNA, and while BBC tried to warn Watson the appeal was set to air again after advances in DNA technology, he was shocked to be accused by the police.
[My face] was on the screen for too long and even then, people in the street said, ‘Oh, is that that murderer?’
To hear those words you think, ‘Please, it’s just a reconstruction, surely you understand’, but unfortunately they don’t.
Ms Pacey, a nursery school worker, was found dead in the bathroom of her home in Grantham, Lincolnshire, by her horrified 14-year-old daughter.
She had been strangled and sexually assaulted. DNA evidence from the scene was re-analysed this year and a full profile has now been obtained with advanced technology.
The police have yet to eliminate Mr Watson from the investigation four weeks after taking his DNA.