Who Is Jill Dando? New Details About Murdered BBC Presenter

BBC new presenter Jill Dando was murdered in 1999. The crime has never been solved.

Who Is Jill Dando? Instagram

One of Britain most famous unsolved murders is being re-examined in a new documentary by the BBC. It will be 20 years ago this month since Jill Dando, a presenter for a number of popular television news programs, was shot to death on her doorstep in London. Two years after her death, a man was convicted of the murder but later the evidence used in his trial was called into questions and he was freed after a new trial.


To this day, no one is sure what happened to Jill Dando or why anyone would have wanted to kill her. Investigators involved in the unsolved case at the time are worried that it will never be solved.

Who was Jill Dando? Read on the learn about her life and her murder.

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1. Early Life

Dando was born in  Weston-super-Mare, Somerset England in 1961. She grew up with her parent and brother, attending locals schools until university. She studied journalism at  South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education in Cardiff before embarking on a professional journalism career.



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BBC presenter JIll Dando.

2. Career

Dando began her career working at the same newspaper in her hometown that her father and bother had worked at. She set five years as a print journalist before transitioning to being a newsreader for BBC radio. She went on to do work for regional television outlets until finally landing a national tv job with BBC television news.


Dando hosted a number of very popular news programs including  Breakfast Time, Breakfast News, the BBC One O'Clock News, the Six O'Clock News, a travel show called Holiday, and the crime series Crimewatch. In 1997 she was named BBC Personality of the year and was considered one of the highest profile BBC personalities in England.



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Jill Dando was a popular BBC personality.


3. Murder

At the time of her death, Dando had just gotten engaged to Alan Farthing, a physician, and she was in the process of selling her house to move in with him. She had returned from his house to her own on the morning of April 26, 1999 when she was attacked on her front steps. The Guardian reported at the time, “As Dando was about to put her keys in the lock to open the front door of her home in Fulham, she was grabbed from behind. With his right arm, the assailant held her and forced her to the ground, so that her face was almost touching the tiled step of the porch. Then, with his left hand, he fired a single shot at her left temple, killing her instantly. The bullet entered her head just above her ear, parallel to the ground, and came out the right side of her head.”

A neighbor found her body and called police about fifteen minutes later.

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Dando had recently gotten engaged to Alan Farthing.


4. Investigation

Because of Dando’s profile as a famous news personality, the investigation into her case was intense and complicated. Her job made her a well-known figure across the country and she came into contact with thousands of different people in the course of her career. Police later revealed that they had interviewed over 2,500 people in relation to the murder investigation.



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Dando's death led to a wide-ranging murder investigation.


5. Arrest

After two years, police announced an arrest in connection with the case. A local man named Barry George was arrested and convicted on the ground that he had gunshot residue on his coat that matched the weapon used to kill Dando. He was sentenced to life in prison and had served eight years of his sentence when his conviction was overturned.

Experts said that the gunshot residue could have come from another source and was no longer considered definitive proof of guilt. He was acquitted in a second trial and released from prison. He now lives in Ireland with his sister.



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A new documentary explores the life and death of Jill Dando.


6. Unanswered Questions

With the overturning of Gordon’s conviction, police are left with no answers about who killed Dando. There were many number of theories floated at the time. Some wondered if she was murdered by a stalker and police investigated over a hundred men who had sent her inappropriate mail. Other suggested that her work as a crime reporter had put her on the wrong side of organized crime and her death was a professional hit.

Still, others wondered if her deaths as ordered by Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic as retaliation for BBC reporting about the civil war raging in his country at the time.



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Fans leave flowers at Jill Dando's grave.


At this time, there is still no known culprit in the murder and British police do not expect to ever solve the crime.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.