Manhunt The Night Stalker – 21 September 2021 – 21/9/2021 – ITV

Episode 2 – The CCTV retrieved from nearby to the scene of a recent attack which Colin hopes will give the team a glimpse of their suspect fails to provide a clear image. Even Detective Superintendent Simon Morgan (Matt Bardock) though initially reluctant to change the screening criteria for Minstead crimes, accepts that things have to change.

Colin prepares a strategy for when he meets with DCS Hamish Campbell (Guy Williams) again to present his review. He suggests they need to increase the breadth of the crimes they are investigating to cover all potential Minstead cases, but reduce the scope of what they are doing to investigate each of these crimes, to try and utilise their limited resources to the best effect.

He calls this approach ‘Minstead Lite’. But even by utilising their resources better, Colin isn’t convinced that this will be enough. The team is still focusing a huge amount of its time and manpower towards DNA sampling, in the hope that they will catch the Night Stalker by a process of elimination. Hamish agrees with Colin, that they need to look at other avenues, and stopping the DNA trawl will free up their staff enormously. Hamish wants Colin to stay on to see this new approach through.

Colin is surprised and relieved that his plan is accepted so readily, and even more taken aback when he is asked to step in as Senior Investigating Officer by Simon Morgan, when he has to go on restricted duties. Simon is still determined to oversee the investigation as much as he can but Colin accepts the full responsibility for the case as the new SIO.

DC Spier’s (David Witt) informant suggests that she has found one of the pieces of jewellery that was stolen from a Minstead victim. However, the pawn shop owner has a criminal record and a reputation for violence, so they need to proceed with caution, and arrest the owner at the first sign of trouble.

Hoping that their questioning of the pawn shop owner will lead them to the Night Stalker, Colin is disappointed when it turns out that it is not the threat of Minstead Man that is preventing the shop owner from talking: he tells them he would give up the man who is attacking old ladies in an instant.

Colin keeps tabs on the case whilst trying to enjoy dinner with his parents, and can’t help but become more protective of them as they are easily in the realms of the Night Stalker’s prey. DI Nathan Eason (Matthew Gravelle) calls Colin to let him know that there have been four more reported attacks that night. Colin volunteers to go back in and help out, as the team are inundated and already overstretched by the sheer volume of attacks.

Colin meets one of the elderly victims properly for the first time, an 85-year-old man who says he has been attacked by the Night Stalker before, and this time has had his bank card stolen. Colin fears that the victim was also sexually assaulted but is too embarrassed to talk about it. Colin leaves their dedicated Family Liaison Officer, DC Patricia Henry, (Diveen Henry) with him to try and find out what happened.

Colin suspects that Minstead Man will try and use the victim’s bank card as soon as possible, and the cash machine he has used before is not far away. He sends all his available officers to stake out the cash machine, to lie in wait for the Night Stalker, and try to catch him red-handed. Minstead Man tries to take some money from the cash machine, but the victim cleverly gave him the wrong pin number, and he leaves the machine just before Colin’s team arrived to start their surveillance. They literally missed him by seconds.

Infuriated by their near miss, they painstakingly go through the CCTV they’ve obtained from around the cash machine, to piece together the Night Stalker’s movements as he approached and tried to use the ATM. Colin deduces that Minstead Man could have dumped the bank card in a nearby alley. He orders the alley to be searched, even though Simon Morgan thinks this might alert Minstead Man and could prevent him from returning to this cash machine. A bank card is found, but from a Minstead victim two years previously.

Colin realises that even with ‘Minstead Lite’ in place, they need to get ahead of the Night Stalker. Their only hope is to catch him in the act, and the only way to do this is to go ‘proactive’ – to flood the area with undercover surveillance officers, and lie in wait for the inevitable attacks. But they will have to be unseen and undetectable in order not to put off their suspect, which will require them calling on all the resources that the Metropolitan Police has to offer.

Colin will need to apply to the Force Tasking Group for extra funding to facilitate this. In order to do this, they must have a watertight plan: Colin needs all the advice he can get, so he asks for the guidance of the Heads of all the local branches, including Air Support and Central Control, which has access to 24/7 live feeds from thousands of Local Authority and Transport for London cameras. With all the resources that the Met has to offer, surely they can stop the Night Stalker once and for all?

The executive producer: is Philippa Braithwaite, the producer is Jo Willett, the co-producer is Evie Bergson-Korn, the director is Marc Evans. The writer is Ed Whitmore, who is also an executive producer. The series was devised by Ed Whitmore and Colin Sutton.

About Manhunt The Night Stalker

Martin Clunes stars as the former London Metropolitan Police Detective Chief In-spector Colin Sutton in a sequel to the critically acclaimed drama Manhunt.

Manhunt The Night Stalker, a four part drama, is the real life story of the police pursuit of a notorious serial burglar and rapist, whose 17 year reign of terror left thousands of elderly people in south east London living in fear. It is based on the diaries of Colin Sutton.

BAFTA award winning actor Martin Clunes will again take the role of DCI Sutton, the detective he portrayed in the first series of Manhunt tenaciously pursuing serial killer Levi Bellfield.

This show is broadcast on ITV.

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