‘A Confession’ follows a harrowing tale of a double murder and a detective’s difficult decisions to get to the truth of the matter. One missing person case leads to a completely different line of inquiry, and the detective leading the case decides to go against protocol to solve it. On the surface, it looks like something a character in a Hollywood film would do. However, there is a realistic tone to the story that tells us otherwise. Are the characters and the murders in ‘A Confession’ based on real people and events? Here’s the answer.
Is A Confession a True Story?
Yes, ‘A Confession’ is based on the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman named Sian O’Callaghan. The case came to light in March 2011. She had a night out with her friends in Suju, a club in Swindon, which was at a 15-minute walking distance from her house, where she lived with her boyfriend, Kevin Reape. When she didn’t come home, he filed a missing person report. A CCTV footage placed her leaving the club at 2:52 am. Reape had texted her at 3:24 am, through which the police located her phone in Savernake Forest, 12 miles away from her home. An extensive effort on the part of the police and the public was launched to find Sian, but after a clear suspect came into focus, the cops called off the search.
In the CCTV, a green Toyota Avensis was pinpointed, and the driver, Chris Halliwell, became the prime suspect in the case. He was placed under surveillance. When he was seen buying pills in a large amount, it was believed that he was about to commit suicide. Considering this, Steve Fulcher, the lead on the case, decided to bring him in for questioning, while seizing his car for evidence. This is where the case took a critical turn.
Believing that Sian was still alive, Fulcher knew that finding her while she still had time was the top-most priority. He also knew that if Halliwell was taken to the station and provided with the solicitor, there would be a lot of beating around the bush before finding out the answer, if at all. Instead of this, which was the standard procedure, he took Halliwell to the secluded locales of Burbury Castle. For the next few hours, they smoked and chatted, and Fulcher told him that the media trial on the case would be brutal for him. After a lot of deliberation, Halliwell finally confessed to the murder of Sian O’Callaghan and led them to the White Horse in Uffington, Oxfordshire, where he had buried her body.
An unforeseen twist arrived when Halliwell asked: “do you want another one?” Leading the cops to a field in Gloucestershire, he told them about Becky Godden-Edwards, a 20-year-old sex worker who had gone missing in 2003. While going through Halliwell’s things, they eventually landed on his trophy collection, which had 60 pieces of women’s clothing. This convinced Fulcher that the two girls were not the only victims of Halliwell. However, before he could focus on that, a different problem surfaced for him.
Where is Christopher Halliwell Now?
In the trial, Halliwell pleaded guilty for the murder of Sian O’Callaghan and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. However, the admission of crime against Becky was not accepted by the judge. The confessions were ruled inadmissible due to the misconduct on the part of Fulcher, who went against the Police and Criminal Evidence Act guidelines by not warning Halliwell and providing him with a solicitor.
Fulcher had to face an inquiry of his own, where he was held accountable for gross misconduct and received a disciplinary warning. Shortly after, he left the force, never regretting the choices her made in the case. After what happened, he remained convinced that had he not interrogated Halliwell against protocol, Becky’s grave would have probably remained undiscovered.
His labor bore fruit when Judge Williams reconsidered the case of Godden-Edwards and allowed the evidence against Halliwell to be submitted to the court. Halliwell was found guilty and received life imprisonment, sent to serve his sentence in Category A prison Long Lartin in Worcestershire. He is never to be released.
Read More: Where is A Confession Filmed?