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The Detective's Dilemma: Episode 1

2022-04-05 | 🔗
When 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan went missing, Detective Steve Fulcher arrested a suspect who offered to lead him to her body. The suspect then asked, ‘Do you want another one?’ What would you have done? Listen to the whole series of the Detective's Dilemma for free, on Spotify casefilepresents.com/the-detectives-dilemma
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
When twenty two year old, Shanna Callaghan, goes missing after an idea in Swindon a suspect in her disappearance of is delayed. Detective stay, full charter, her body this aspect and then take the detective by surprise. By asking, do you want another? One case file presents the detectives dilemma at ten pod series, narrated by main that dives day Pinta case thirty five operation, mayan, battering interviews with family members and delayed detective stay full job. When a moral dilemma arises, you'll have the opportunity to put yourself in the detectives shoes and ask yourself what would you have done
The detectives dilemma is available to stream, but free right now only on Spotify stay tuned, to hear the first episode in its entirety and be sure to check out the rest of the series for free on Spotify. We covered the disappearance of shown Callaghan and the subsequent investigation back on a bizarre thirty
of a case file? It's one of those episodes. That is just stayed with me as an extraordinary story, which shows better than almost any other the gravity of the decisions. A senior detective must make in the heat of a fast moving investigation, and the very fall in line. I'm not an investigator must walk to balance operational effectiveness with today's increasingly stringent procedures with exclusive access to the characters in the story, including family members and lady investigators, stay full chart. We will go behind the scenes to watch Rebel held the investigation, unfolded and the minefield legal and ethical dilemmas that distinguish this case so starkly from the norm. And we will leave you to ponder the fundamental question at the heart of this perplexing tale.
if it had been your loved ones that state photo was looking for. What would you have wanted him to do and at the same time, trying to step into he shoes and ask yourself what would you have done?
when detective superintendent, state Fulcher of Wiltshire police, first heard of disappearance of Sean Callahan. He had no idea. This case would change his life forever. Sean was a twenty two year old girl very attractive. She was an office worker. She lived locally in Swindon
a family was local. She was in a loving relationship with her boyfriend Kevin. She had a close knit family, mother, Elaine, a brother and two sisters, and I was just enjoying a night out in Swindon on that particular Friday night into Saturday morning, Sean O'Callaghan's mother, Elaine Pickford says her daughter. Light up a room with fibrin person, I'm always happy smiling fun, loving sociable. You know one of those people that would walk in a room and did light the room up. I know people say that a lot about people, but in Sean's case it's definitely true atmospheres would change. Sean was around. You know everybody liked Sean bloats, friends, sociable, outgoing bubbly yeah and never really gave me any hassles growing up.
Secondly, he noble the usual stuff, but nothing. The ordinary yeah Swindon he's a large town in the county of Wheelchair South West England about One hundred and twenty six kilometres west of London with a population with about one hundred and eighty five thousand people one of the lower crime rates in the country the evening of Friday, the eighteenth of March, two thousand, and eleven Sean Callahan had a night out with some friends in the old an area of Swindon. They went out for dinner before visiting to the spot and Baker straight after which they went to a nightclub called Suju. Sean left the suit you not club alone in the early hours of the morning of Saturday, the nineteenth of March, the flat she shared with her boy
and Kevin was only eight hundred metres away from the club, but she didn't make it home that night concerned by the fact Sean hadn't returned back to their flat Kevin, sent her a text message at three twenty four. I am to check if she was ok, Sean didn't respond. The young first contact was from Kevin reap shallow Callaghan. Boyfriend had been together at a teen months. He contacted the police and, on the morning of I said 19th of March two thousand and eleven he was concerned about Sean because she hadn't been in contact with him or he knew was the at three hundred and twenty four. It sent a text to her saying, worried.
with a case and it hadn't been responded to he'd, been desperate to on the phone, her phone phone friends family to find out where she was now. Sean had gone out for a night out in Swindon old town with a couple of female friends and they'd gone to various pubs and clubs, and that was as much as Kevin could tell us at that particular point in time. Sean's, mother, Elaine, wasn't over. He worried had first week So maybe she's gone off dinner to Mates House afterwards decided to stay. friends and that she would be in touch it's easy to understand. Sean was twenty two. The last thing her mother Elaine wanted to do was panic. bud. Light morning I was just thinking about it. She's been out to the early, I was she won't be up yet
She has a friends and then also you think timber held on that could be an explanation for this evening. She's woken up, her phone might be charged you kind of running through the logical explanations for it for quite some time really by the time I got home packing would say that was early afternoon there were police officers. the house when I arrived back home so that was quite an immediate concern. The already the police were starting escalates snip by the Saturday afternoon. After taking the initial report from Sean's boyfriend, Kevin, Swindon Police immediately questioned the friends. Sean was out with they couldn't offer any useful information. if they hadn't run into any issues throughout the night.
and there were no incidents or suspicious people in the club. Cctv footage from this Jujunaught club show Sean leaving the club alone at two fifty two- I am detective Superintendent- Am Detective, had done a colleague favor and swapped his own core weekend. It's always on call That's how I always remaining the count, so you need such proximity when I'm cool And if it wasn't my uncle, we cannot agree to sort with colleagues, because he'd been working seventy hours on a different case, but for that out to them are not picked up. The China Callaghan kidnap at all at about six o clock on Saturday, the nineteenth of March, I was by officers from Swindon Play station. They would increasingly concerned regarding the safety and welfare.
Charlotte Callaghan, who had been investigating as a missing person it spent the day during the obvious checks of hospitals Jacobin Home address and so on, they decided that time to escalate. The issue to me as the on call senior investigating officer of the Force Of course, I am. I pick that issue up took a briefing over. The telephone boxes share the concerns of the offices that had been investigating to that point and dumb dropped everything and run up the Swindon too, to see things first hand get first and account and work out for I see what was known about what lies of inquiry. We should be instigating with what level of resources and urgency the first call to the
please came from Kevin reap about nine forty in the morning. I got a call from my colleagues at about some six o clock in the evening. So during the intervening period of time that has taken on account from the close Association of China, Callaghan pieced together could be established about her movements from the night before and some based polyphony one of the first things investigators did was check. Shawn's mobile phone records, the text message sent by Kevin at three twenty four. I am pinged off a tower that put the occasion of shots phone in the area of seven act. For us that the time the exactly occasion options fine could not be identified. They could.
only be narrowed down to a six and a half mile radius around the phone tower first day, Fulcher. That was the starting point of the investigation. The location of the phone at the time of last contact had moved from old town in Swindon to somewhere in the seventy forest, a distance of some twenty miles, and that had happened between last known sightings of Charlotte about ten to three in the morning to the last contact when her phone was in seventy four
it's a three twenty four. So within a half hour period, Sean or at least her phone had moved from old town in Swindon to somewhere in this one at forest, with no obvious explanation, and that was a primary cause of concern. The instinct is critically makes the difference between the ability to save somebody's life or otherwise, and I'd set three hypotheses three possible answers to why her phone is suddenly in seminary forest at three twenty four and in the middle of the night, the first was, but she could have gone off with somebody. She met in them in Suji Night she could have had her phone stolen and that could be in in the middle of seven forest where she is somewhere else yet to be determined all.
worrying of all, of course, is that she has been taken there and the question then, for Kevin Rape and for the family is: why would she go to the middle of seventh forest at three? Twenty four in the morning? Is that within character Is there any reason why she would have somebody there? That was known. How Sean or her phone Suddenly moved from Swindon Twenty miles to the seven act. Forest was The only concern if someone
I had taken Sean. The statistics were grim. The statistics indicate that if a party is abducted with criminal intent that they live an average of six hours on average acoustic, I would argue that no cases average in every case must be taken on its merits, but the reality is that that form of criminality results in a very high proportion of cases in in the murder of the abducted party. Now I didn't work on the assumption that, is dead. I had her abduction as one of a number of hypotheses that I was working too and because of the nature of the hypotheses and what I know about, kidnap and survive ability. I had to move with every resource and every ounce of energy and effort that I could muster If I assumed she was dead, then she would be dead, because there is no other cavalry this coming.
It's me and my team all or nothing. There is no party to pass the buck to. Fulcher made a decision, an important decision. To immediately escalate the investigation. He doesn't. I did it as a category. I cry mean action, the most serious category It means it is a major investigation of significant concern where any member of the public is at risk. The and our is unknown and the investigation and Hearing of evidence requires the ILO patients have significant resources. Journalist stave Brody covered the case for the baby say at the time. I think that the police uncertainties
at a superintendent, Steve Fulcher knew that at the very least, she'd been abducted, and I think that's why they took it says they took it very seriously, very early on as a journalist, Brady The sense right away that there was something different about this case. in persons today. Please would put it a message saying well this answer by the afternoon they've turned up, or even next day vast majority of missing persons, generally turn up, and this wasn't one of those I think the people feeling. There was a feeling that this was pretty awful. I want something will have to be done. Detective superintendent, stay full charge could feel at too a young woman who didn't come home and her phone pinging in a forest. Twenty miles from where she was last seen, he's grave
concern for the welfare of China Callaghan was the top priority in full. should that supported my yeah. My concern was the fact that the family had been desperately trying to get hold of shown throughout the morning of such they, the nineteenth and dumb. She hadn't responded to anyone that Bishop that's completely out of character, so her phone is in the middle of a remote rural area and she hasn't responded to her mother to her boyfriend or anybody. So, working on the hypothesis that she's been abducted from the last seen location in Swindon old town, I conducted this investigation is a crime in action and what that means is that one prioritize is very clearly the life of
the hostage or the victim. In this case the Shawna Callahan. Everything else is subordinate to the notion of finding Shawn finding her as swiftly as possible and seeking to save her life search teams, both in the immediate vicinity of Su Jews, go house to house enquiries going, I'm looking for more cctv, evidence of where Sean went to lessen the inquiries going on simultaneously, because where else can telephony tell me simultaneously, conducting inquiries with known associates witnesses at the time everybody that has ensued, use nightclub, for instance, looking at the family cohort looking at any known, associates or movements on that night and always be done first time and simultaneously as the senior investigating officer or Saw Steve's decision to West alight the case to a cat, gray. I crime action had enough
impacts on how the investigation was conducted further down the line which we will exploring tile light. For now it was a huge escalation in gravity, speed and resourcing with major knock on impacts for he's police department It was something he knew he would have to justify to his bosses. I would suggest that Even if we found show. within a number of hours, it would have been a worthwhile response because he don't know what you don't know at that given point in time. That was the first thing. Second thing was that in terms of cat regulation, particularly after my initial lies of inquiry, established that clearly the first two high policies were unlikely in the most likely was
the most concerning of all I he. She hasn't willingly gone to the middle of seventh forest of her own volition and therefore was most likely to have been abducted, justified my categorizing as a category a inquiry. Now inquiries are categorized according to the impact it would have on the rest of policing public and budget and finance, so I saw this as a crime in action required as much resources. The police force could find to swiftly and especially fine shown in the Shootist period of time possible if she was found alive and well and you got off with a friend. Well so be it, but I I had called it right, as had my cold
in Swindon a great number of police forces and police responses would never have actually got into a position of dealing with this as a crime in action. In the timescale in which we did, it had been a missing person. Inquiry to have had a twenty four hour period of time in hospitals, you'd have had major crime teams, often times claiming that they only deal with homicide. Therefore they want to see a body before they take. You don't see the dedicated detectives around homicide wouldn't necessary, join in as I took in general terms, and it's certainly not. Generally the case, but it comes down to individual Sie decision making. What are we going to do here? How much resource we're going to put in how much effort we going to instigate too That report is the most important thing and instinct is here And over many many years of experience, usually bitter experience of a firm cases that one has dealt with so am I been a police officer for twenty eight years dealt with many crimes and action kidnap
and homicides and agriculture hereafter other offenses as well as a professional detective. That's what I do for a living. From the council, the girls she was with the evening. They left her in situ. So we knew that we wanted to get the footage from suit each night club which we gathered. We could see if the shoe shown on the cameras in the backyard of of that premises, socializing with people. So of course the question is asked: who are those people or do they have any involvement in her disappearance. By light Saturday night thought she was still no closer A locating Sean and the investigation can sinew into Sunday morning, by which point show had been missing for over twenty four hours. It was time for food to retrace the steps of the missing woman and also her dark
I had on Sunday morning, I went to old town to see nightclub retraced the steps. This is all about trying to put yourself back into the position both of Sean and potentially have John's abductor. What's happened here? What can I sense? What what can I see? What kind of place? Where could she have gone? I mean simple things like the layout of that some old town there's derelict buildings, there's recreation grounds. This whole rafts of places that could potentially be search searched for Sean. She could have been dragged off into bushes in this location. We'd, better, put a search team in there and saw to getting a feeling for the the size of the task in terms of searching for Sean physically, but also putting yourself back into the mindset of both Sean.
and the other party to this if she has been abducted, how did he pick her out? What would he have seen it? What would his motive approach been for? Those kind of things are standard but useful when an examination of Cctv footage showed Sean only at the nightclub and gave no clue who's to her whereabouts. It was time to stay full charge. I follow Shawn's phone into the forest. I had no knowledge of where she'd gone. The last sighting was on that cctv. Footage at sutures so obviously of the search parameter within the immediate environs of Swindon
well town in the vicinity of sue juice, but I knew that her phone at least, is somewhere in the seventy forest. That's a six and half kilometer radius area, which is huge, and the first thing I did was get traffic officers to do the drive. How long would it take physically to get between those two points and send the helicopter up on that evening, with heat seeking equipment to see whether they could find any traces with a flyover? The seven act forest is the stuff of fairy tales, giant oaks with names like a big belly and sleeping dragon twist them. Center agonized shapes in winter day a dark and bear covered in snow in autumn. They shine like gold on Sunday, the twentieth of March to the US eleven? The early morning, fog cost a pole over the forest.
There was a chill in the air and the temperature although durians eight degrees celsius for most of the day. It was here that the electronic tracking systems that operate between phones and two towers sent the pole, ass. The mobile telephony system works on the basis of signals being passed between fixed points masts which relay the sick. You can get a reading of the irrelevant most the signals bounced off, so we can be definitively clear that her phone, at least in Swindon old town, at some ten to three, but the phone at least was in the middle of seven.
Wasted half an hour later. The difficulty with the seventh forest is that, because it's such a rural, remote location, there's only one mass than what we would generally do is triangulate the signals to get a closer geographic fix on where the phone all the individual is with only one mast in the in southern forest. That was impossible so because it gave it left a huge potential search area of six and a half kilometer radius. in which Sean or at least her phone had to be but clearly the priority. All I knew at that stage was that her phone, at least, is in that seventy four somewhere and thus can be searched. We've got to try and find them. We are going to do urgently significant proportion of resources put into that
is your Youtube by colossal area. If you're going do a formal line, search a line, a bit, please technique where you as you suggest, walking a line, but you do within arm's breadth of each other, so you can imagine what resource commitment that would require if you were going to do that. Obviously, the helicopter is useful in terms of heat seeking dogs as well. So we sent the dogs out to see whether they could get the a trace? One of the many elderly strategies in the investigation was to try and utilise both traditional media and social media opportunities in order to support the investigation, if they could inform the public, perhaps that could lead to a crucial witness coming forward, but some, unexpected happened. Bbc journalist, Steve Brody explains how the public were quick to respond to the story of the missing young woman.
I think it might have been almost Sunday over Monday when, when the public began, to get aware of this and I have to say there was instant report between the public and the police, and indeed the media It became one of those stories you never know why story gets to the half of the public. There's no great thing about it. Why does it happen? Why doesn't it happen? This It was one of stories where people wanted to find This young girl, the huge public response, took stay future by surprised, as well as into Paypal, converged on the forest. To look the Shan means most extraordinary reaction.
Even if I'd wanted to set a different press trashy. I couldn't because social media was alive to the fact that chant gone missing amongst her friends and family people were turning up in several forests to physically search for her, in the hope that she was recovered, bullet she'd perhaps been left somewhere and was injured and and and can be saved. So he's one of my six. Putting things. I've ever come across, actually in which, by the Sunday and suddenly, the Monday over ten thousand people from Swindon entirely announced for by me, unbidden had given up their time their work the weekend to look for, Shall Nicolet stay. Brady watched the response from the newsroom, and it was quite extraordinary I was in the end in the newsroom in Bristol, and I saw these pictures come in. Hundreds of people turned up not scores. Hundreds of people turned up all passionately wanting to help the police
find Sean an unprecedented public response. There were so many members of the public turned up the police. Don't have enough officers to direct them properly. Sean's brother Lamb was ordered by the community response for he's missing sister Not only did it help his family to know there were so many people searching for Sean, but it allowed them to stay at am together and white for news has advised their family liaison officer, F, l for sure yeah. very surprised that taken aback in and also proud, as well dinner. To think that minutes. He rallied like that. I'm yes or sing on the the media, coaches, turning up what you're getting into coaches and actually going to to seven up in hordes and the going out, searching in and watching the police record, and I text, while being very impressed that you living around people that
to do that being an older brother. You kind to want to to get him You kind of want to get involved in the search, isn't end up having people around he's going to saying that maybe it's best we just so stay and all kind of bubble that we is formed in the house and the It wasn't a good idea to be going out and about you, but I think it was the one of their family. These offices, at your vice, that it probably wasn't the best use of my time then, to c of c on the media that there's all these people in Swindon She going out to trying to find Sean so relaxed. My own. I need to want to go out and and hand out posters and so try and find, and once the public became involved in drives that spurred the police to go
To wave and greater length stay forger explains this flower affect what was striking about this entire inquiry. The professionalism of the police force not just built you please, but in them surrounding forces as well offices was, I can send them off duty. They would leave duty because they were so committed to this notion of finding Sharm. My role was to ensure that we had the right type of the seas and the right resources and the right since a direction for everybody had a proper role. two before you can see how many things you need to do, simpletons they always talk about twenty four simpleton he's strands if you drop one of them. You, because
was later will the inquiry will fail. So, of course I will intelligence experts there. I want forensic experts there. I want to lessen the experts and these these guys come round in one concerted efforts. One of the it is the moment in policing, which is most gratifying when you've got such a professional team working to clear, erection so effectively what we did. What we did in this short period of time is product, I'm not gonna, say it's unprecedented because it I'm sure there's lots of other good examples, but what we did was extraordinary. And all dedicated to this one end find Sean. On the next episode of the detectives dilemma. Just want to say how very worried we are about shop Footage from the Cctv camera was quite a breakthrough on that Monday morning is Your visit, she got an caught. You ever taken up at summits,
for trivial purposes to detect is dilemma is available to stream for free right now, only on Spotify be sure to check out the rest of the series for free on Spotify.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-08.