Investigative journalist Don Hale was asked by ITV to work on new series Judge Rinder’s Crime Stories to help examine whether Peter Sutcliffe, who was convicted of murdering 13 women between 1975 and 1981, was responsible for more victims.
The unsolved case has now been subjected to 95-year secrecy restrictions by the police.
In the programme, Rinder examines fresh evidence and a pathology report discovered just two years ago by cold case detective Chris Clark, who says Mr Downing should have been cleared within days.
Other new evidence also links this case to two other similar unsolved murders nearby, and all carry the hallmark of Sutcliffe.
The programme is presented by TV presenter and criminal barrister Robert Rinder, above left, better known for ITV’s Judge Rinder, which sees him settle small claims disputes on camera.
The programme will air on ITV1 at 2pm today.
Said Don: “I found Judge Rinder’s team to be very thorough and hard working and determined to get to the truth.
“They gave me quite a grilling but we went through every aspect of the case and later worked independently interviewing both Chris Clark and Stephen Downing.
“Many of the documents to be shown on the programme and the photos were provided by me together with facts and details about the Downing family and their own long campaign for justice which eventually attracted my attention.”