Northern Ireland

New BBC programme examines brutal murders of four young women in NI

Murder In The Badlands is on BBC One NI tonight at 10.35pm
Murder In The Badlands is on BBC One NI tonight at 10.35pm

THE brutal murders of four young women in mysterious circumstances in Northern Ireland over a period of more than 40 years is examined in a series of new documentaries.

The lives of Lisa Dorrian, Inga Maria Hauser, Arlene Arkinson and Marian Beattie were all brutally cut short.

A new four part series, Murder In The Badlands, will forensically rebuild the time-line of the murders of the four women and the investigations that followed.

Each episode features insights from surviving family members, police officers, journalists and criminologists.

The first documentary, which will broadcast tonight on BBC Northern Ireland, will focus on Ms Dorrian, who was last seen at a party at a caravan park in the village of Ballyhalbert in 2005.

The disappearance of the 25-year-old shop assistant from Bangor, Co Down is one of the most high-profile unsolved murders in Northern Ireland.

Over the past 17 years, police have followed multiple lines of inquiry, taken hundreds of statements and carried out more than 400 searches.

They have also made several arrests, but no-one has been charged with her murder.

Tonight's programme will feature interviews with Ms Dorrian's family, including a powerful testimony from her sister and victims’ rights campaigner, Joanne Dorrian.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, who is leading the PSNI investigation into her death, said he does not believe Ms Dorrian's murder was pre-planned and remains "convinced that a small number of people hold the key" to her disappearance.

Other episodes will examine the death of German woman Inga Maria Hauser, who was 18 when she was last seen alive on a ferry to Larne in 1988 before her body was found in Ballypatrick Forest two weeks later.

The murder of Co Tyrone teenager Arlene Arkinson (15), who was murdered in 1994 by convicted child killer and rapist Robert Howard, and the death of Marian Beattie (18) who was killed after attending a charity dance in Aughnacloy in 1973, will also be examined in the series.

Murder In The Badlands is on BBC One NI tonight at 10.35pm.