Derbyshire detectives take murder hunt online by joining podcast series
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For the first time, our detectives have teamed up with podcasters to re-examine an unsolved murder dating back 23 years.
In November 1997, Michael Pritchard was run over by a thief who had stolen his parcel delivery van in a quiet corner of Kirk Langley, between Derby and Ashbourne.
Despite one of Derbyshire Constabulary’s biggest ever manhunts and a string of high-profile appeals over the years, Mr Pritchard’s killer has never been snared.
Now, the case will be coming under the scrutiny of internet sleuths as part of the new True Crime Investigators UK podcast.
Presented by retired Derbyshire police officers John and Sally Midgley, the 64-minute episode features an emotional interview with Michael’s widow, Hilary, and contributions from Detective Chief Inspector Paul Tatlow.
DCI Tatlow, who is leading on the ongoing investigation into Mr Pritchard’s murder, said he hoped the force’s debut on the medium of podcasts would bring fresh lines of inquiry for his team.
He said: “This was a murder that not only shocked the quiet, close-knit community of Kirk Langley but it absolutely devastated Michael Pritchard’s family.
“The ripples of that afternoon back in 1997 are still being felt to this day and, despite 23 years passing, our commitment to finding the people responsible has never faltered.
“When John and Sally contacted us to see if we wanted to take part in their new podcast, we leapt at the chance.
“It’s new ground for us but we know how popular true crime podcasts are and, by taking to streaming for the first time, we’re able to share our appeal to as vast an audience as possible.
“Someone out there knows who killed Michael Pritchard. They may have stayed silent due to fear, or loyalty to friends or acquaintances. But loyalties change. People change.
“And my hope is that someone will listen to the podcast, see how much devastation that incident has caused, and give us the piece of the jigsaw we need to bring some form of closure for Hilary and her family.”
The podcast is available to download now from www.truecrimeinvestigators.co.uk and can be streamed on all major platforms, including Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts.
The episode follows a three-part mini-series charting another unsolved killing in Derbyshire – the Wendy Sewell murder, in Bakewell in 1973.
In addition to interviews with Hilary Pritchard and DCI Tatlow, the new episode features a verbal reconstruction of the incident along with eye-witness accounts.
By returning to the Michael Pritchard case, John and Sally Midgley found themselves treading familiar ground.
John, who worked on the initial, fast-moving investigation back in 1997, said: “Despite being retired, I still come back to this case and it’s always at the back of my mind.
“This was an ordinary family going about their daily business and the tragic events of that day in November 1997 changed their lives forever.
“When Sally and I first started listening to true crime podcasts we were aware that podcasts in other countries had made appeals for information from the public with some success.
“When we started to think about releasing a podcast ourselves, the Michael Pritchard case came to the fore and it’s our hope that we can see the same success here, with information coming forward after all these years.”
A reward of up to £10,000 is still available for information leading to a conviction. To qualify for the reward, information must be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Anyone who has information that could help our investigation can also contact Derbyshire police using one of the below methods: