Tod Productions and STV Productions have optioned the rights to Jeremy Craddock’s true crime book The Jigsaw Murders: The True Story of the Ruxton Killings and the Birth of Modern Forensics, with plans to adapt it as a TV drama. The deal was negotiated by SoloSon Media in association with Hardman & Swainson.
The Jigsaw Murders explores the murder mystery that electrified the public and press across the UK in the 1930s. In September 1935, Dr Buck Ruxton murdered his wife and their nanny before disposing of their bodies in the Scottish borders. Sensationally billed as ‘the Jigsaw Murders’, it took the genius of Professors Sydney Smith and John Glaister in Edinburgh, and their ground-breaking forensic techniques, to painstakingly piece together and identify the bodies. But as justice closed in, and armed with the most famous lawyer in the land, could Ruxton escape justice? The book is set to be published in 2021 by The History Press.
“Jeremy Craddock is a hugely talented writer and journalist, who is not only determined to excavate this brutal story and the consequent scientific breakthroughs that still influence today’s forensics, but to give an unprecedented voice to Buxton’s female victims”, said Elaine Collins, Managing-Director of Tod Productions. “I’m excited to develop this complex and multi-layered crime story for television, to give presence to the victims, and to dramatise the characteristically brilliant scientists at work in 1930s Scotland.”
“I am absolutely thrilled that The Jigsaw Murders has been optioned for TV by Elaine Collins and Tod Productions. I am a huge fan of her work, especially Shetland and Vera, and I feel privileged that she has seen potential in my work”, commented Jeremy Craddock. “This is a story that has haunted me since I was a child, a landmark case that changed the way forensic pathologists help to solve murders. And yet it is a case that is largely forgotten today. Most previous accounts focus solely on the lurid aspects, ignoring the human drama behind it all. My book – and hopefully a TV drama – will tell the full story of the people behind the sensational headlines for the first time.”
While David Mortimer, Managing Director of STV Productions, added: “We’re thrilled to have Tod as part of the STV Productions family and The Jigsaw Murders is a fantastic addition to their already strong development slate of distinctive, high quality shows. There’s a real appetite for true crime based drama and we’re delighted Elaine Collins at Tod has seen the huge potential in this exciting new work, which we know will hold tremendous appeal.”