TV focus on how police snared brutal murderer

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

DETAILS of how police bluffed a man into revealing his involvement in the brutal murder of a 41-year-old Wrexham woman will feature in a TV documentary later this month.

Polish dairy worker Lukasz Reszpondek was jailed for life in November, 2009, and told he must serve a minimum of 18 years, for murdering Ermatati Rodgers – known to her friends as ‘Tati’ – who lived in Gwersyllt and was originally from Indonesia.

He strangled her and buried her body in a shallow grave on land near Erddig, probably because she wanted him to leave his wife, the murder trial at Mold Crown Court was told.

The story of how police built their case against Reszpondek is highlighted in a one-off documentary entitled Catch Me If You Can to be screened on BBC1 at 10.35pm on May 24.

Narrated by Philip Glenister, who famously played DCI Gene Hunt in the hit television series’ Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes, the hour-long programme explores the incredible lengths that some criminals go to in their bid to try and get away with murder – and how the police raise their game in tracking them down.

A spokesman for the programme makers said: “We will be covering the story of Ermatati Rodgers’ murder largely from the perspective of the investigating officers.

“We will hear from the senior investigating officers in the case and using drama reconstruction we will retrace the police’s footsteps.

“We cover their initial reaction to Ermatati's murder and their frustration at the surprising lack of forensic evidence or witnesses.

“We trace the steps Reszpondek took to throw police off the trail – including buying a duplicate set of the tools he used to bury her body.”

He added: “The story will also show police identifying Reszpondek as a suspect but lacking the evidence to press charges and the surveillance operation they launched in a bid to show he was the killer.

“It was this which ultimately led to the final stage of the investigation – a last throw of the dice for the investigation team, who eventually managed to force Respondek's hand, by leading him to believe they were on the verge of discovering the body – thus bluffing him into revealing his involvement in Ermatati’s murder.”

As a major hunt for the victim went on for over a year, the killer left her body buried in a field.

Once caught, Reszpondek concocted a story that his lover mysteriously collapsed and died of natural causes at his home in Trinity Street, Wrexham, in January 2008.
He said that when he found her dead he had buried her body in a panic.

But a jury of six men and five women took seven hours to dismiss his story following a three-week trial.

Jailing him for life, Mr Justice Lloyd-Jones told him: “The premature and pointless death of Ermatati Rodgers will leave a permanent shadow over the lives of her family and friends.”

See full story in the Leader

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