Crime documentary Murdertown to recount Wakefield shoe fetish murder of Wendy Speakes

The murder of Wendy Speakes 27 years ago is to be featured in Crime and Investigation programme, Murdertown.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:57 am
Wendy Speakes was attacked in her Balne Lane home in 1994.

TV and radio broadcaster, Anita Rani, fronts the brand-new series, which shows a 360 degree investigation of the impact of murder on a local community, through the eyes of those most immediately affected, including friends and relatives of the victim, as well as crime reporters, investigating police officers and criminologists.

In the episode, Anita Rani visits the city where the murder took place to re-tells the tragic story and shed new light on how lives and places are changed forever by such a shocking and unforgettable crime.

The second episode of the series focuses on victim Wendy Speakes.

The scene on Balne Lane in March 1994.

In 1994, Mrs Speakes was targeted by sadistic killer Christopher Farrow as she got off a bus and walked to her home on Balne Lane, Wakefield after work.

He managed to trick his way into the 51-year-old's home.

Farrow, then a 33-year-old painter and decorator, forced Mrs Speakes upstairs to her bedroom, where he gagged her and bound her hands with a pair of black stockings before carrying out a sexual attack.

He raped her after raiding her shoe drawer and placing a pair of black high heels in view because he liked "looking at shoes when having sex", his trial heard.

TV and radio broadcaster, Anita Rani, fronts the brand-new series of Murdertown, for which she visited Wakefield.

He also forced her to wear another pair of shoes while carrying out the attack after tying her up with tights before stabbing her 11 times until she died.

Farrow initially tried to rape a 24-year-old barmaid and followed her for several days before unsuccessfully trying to get into her home.

He then targeted Mrs Speakes, who he spoke to on the doorstep before forcing his way into her house.

A huge police investigation was launched to find Mrs Speakes' killer, with DNA tests carried out on thousands of men.

Christopher Farrow.

He was caught after advancements in computer technology in 2000 matched fingerprints taken from him during a 1996 drink-driving arrest to those in an unsolved crimes database, while his DNA was linked to blood found at the crime scene.

He stabbed Mrs. Speakes nine times in the back and shoulders and twice in the neck. Farrow was arrested in March 2000 in connection with the murder after his fingerprints were matched to the scene.

Farrow was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison. However, Wendy's daughter Tracey Millington-Jones, continues to campaign against Farrow's release from prison and has successfully kept him behind bars so far.

Speaking in December, Tracey vowed to carry on her fight to keep the shoe fetish killer who raped and murdered her mum behind bars until the day he dies.

Farrow forced her to wear a pair of shoes while carrying out the attack after tying her up with tights before stabbing her 11 times until she died.

She said: "I will continue to be strong and fight for justice for my mum and continue my campaign for Christopher Farrow to remain in prison until he dies – only then will I get closure from this living nightmare”.

A Parole Board panel decided, after a hearing held in November last year, that Farrow is not suitable to be freed from jail or to be transferred to an open prison.

Tracey said: "Unfortunately, this is not closure for me or my family as a parole hearing occurs every two years now and I have to go through the torture, stress and anxiety of attending prison and reading my victim impact statement to the panel and then waiting for their decision.

"It is not an easy process to endure but I am my mother’s daughter and I will not let my mum down."

The brand new and exclusive 10-part series Murdertown is on CRIME+INVESTIGATION, with the second episode airing on Monday, October 4 at 9pm. Episodes will be available for 30 days on catch up.