In October 2019, the bodies of 39 Vietnamese immigrants were found behind a heavy truck in Essex. The deceased – 28 men, 8 women, and 3 boys aged 15 to 17 – died of suffocation when carried across a waterway in a sultry, pitch-black container.
BBC Two Essex Lolly Killer Hunting He gave a horrifying explanation of the atrocities and subsequent police investigations, but frustratingly told only part of the story.
It started with a 999 call when truck driver Maurice Robinson noticed that the people in it were dead. The investigation spread from Essex to Northern Ireland, France and Belgium, capturing other responsible persons.
The story was studded with tragic details, such as images of the victim’s belongings on the truck. Naked lip gloss, a purse decorated with the phrase “I love cats”, a silver cross.
Even more devastating was the last message the victim wrote to his loved one. “Mummy, I still love you very much. I’m dying because I can’t breathe,” read the final message from 26-year-old Fam Ti Tora Mai.
Testimony from the families of Vietnamese victims was also taken up. A sad wife explained that her husband had traveled to Europe to alleviate family poverty. “We knew that if he didn’t go, family life would always be hard,” she said.
These segments correctly told the stories of the victims and made them feel why they made a long and dangerous journey to Europe. But the omission of the show on how our own “hostile environment” contributed to their death was clear.
As the documentary concluded, people’s smugglers were ultimately convicted of their crimes. But part of the story was clearly missing. The lack of safe and legitimate routes to Britain and other European countries can drive people to push people behind airtight containers in the first place.
Are you struggling to find your next favorite TV series?
NS Me The on TV newsletter is a daily email full of the latest TV news, opinions and interviews, as well as suggestions on what to watch. Sign up here to get the latest updates on the best new TVs.